In what seems like a previous life I was asked by a notable advertising agency to come up with some engravings for a range of natural remedies. They were going to appear in national newspapers, and the creative team at the agency wanted images that would tap into a darker, more arcane world than is typically evoked by mainstream natural remedies.
They definitely didn’t want any ‘disneyfication’, and I duly created initial roughs that had a certain unsettling foreboding quality - the agency loved them and the client was willing to go along with them - I admit I was slightly surprised.
I then created the set of engravings and delivered proofs, assuming all would be well (since my roughs are always very detailed and very similar to the final engravings).
When the client saw the finished collection they got cold feet about them - ‘maybe they are just too... dark?’
The agency was extremely persuasive, the client relented, but I was asked to just re-engrave one - the naked women being observed through the leaves of a tree. I put a dress on her and changed the hands parting the leaves to a crow. Everyone was happy. Maybe I will edition the alternative as well one day, just for fun?
When we came to producing an edition we decided to keep them as a collection, but search for titles that would recontextualise them in a more traditional Myths & Legends ‘classical’ tradition. The images still have the same unsettling quality, but now have classical titles. That was a fun bit of research!
See if you can guess which remedies each engraving might have been developed for.
As with all my engravings, I am often surprised at why customers take a liking to any particular image, they often bring their own interpretation to it, maybe it reminds them of someone, or evokes a fond memory; but I am always intrigued why they buy this collection.