“For he’s a Jolly Good Fellow!”

I was recently asked to create a Rich Picture to mark the departure of a much loved leader from one of the "Big Four" consultancies. As ever I can't show the whole picture but here's a small section with some identifying features redacted.

“For he’s a Jolly Good Fellow!”

An unusual request came to me recently to create a commemorative Rich Picture as a framed gift for a departing Director at one of the “Big Four” consultancies. It was a division I had worked with in the past through I had never met the recipient, or the commissioner. In the modern manner a subscription had been raised from his team in secret via a WhatsApp group. It didn’t amount to anything like my usual fee for a picture of this complexity but if it built up a reservoir of goodwill with the consultancy in question and showcased my capabilities in the process then it could be worth doing and if a thing is worth doing it is worth doing well.

Armed with a list of attributes, anecdotes and a few phone-snaps of the recipient I set about sketching a Rich Picture that had him front and centre like a Colossus with the vignettes that told his story around him, framed by a cheering crowd of team members, mostly raising a glass in his honour. The resulting picture is  clearly recognisable as him, his family appear on his laptop screensaver, the logos of his organisation and those of his major clients are clearly visible. For these reasons I can’t show much more than the snippet above, which references a charity zorbing event he participated in at a large Cricket match. Of course in real life the zorbing took place in an interval but I thought it might be funny if he appeared as the bowler and the ball. His other sporting passions include Rugby Union, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Golf and Skiing and these are duly referenced elsewhere in the picture. It wasn’t all about the fun though, the performance scores, the global clients and the commitment to charities and good causes were also referenced.

My first pencil sketch landed quite well and after a few edits I was onto the artwork. I found it hard not to create the artwork with the same level of detail as a full blown Rich Picture so I tried not to think of my hourly rate and more about the pleasure the many small details would bring to the recipient. It was clear his team had a great deal of love and respect for their departing leader and it was easy to get caught up in that enthusiasm. I think it’s fair to say I overdelivered!

Here’s a bit of feedback from the client and the recipient:

“I just want to thank you so much for this piece of art work. It really is amazing. The quality and detail is way beyond what I (and I’m sure) many others were expecting. I also want to thank you for doing this for the price that you did. I appreciate your normal price is vastly more than this for typical pieces of work, and there will not be an expectation that its the same for future pieces of work. I will speak to all the partners to let them know how good you have been during this, and we’ve engaged with a lot of humour which I very much appreciate!” J.

“Thanks so much everyone for your awesome picture… absolutely love it… every time I look at it I find something else I hadn’t seen before” B.