While you were opening your Christmas pressies and partying on NYE, illustrator Kieran Rynhart was pen deep in Easter. 200 cups of coffee, 800 characters and 700 Lindt eggs later comes the enchanted easter wonderland of this year’s interactive Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt. We talked to Kieran about creating this delightful epic for DraftFCB Sydney.
IR: This is one mammoth artwork. How did it all come about and what was the brief?
I first heard about a large job coming up for a certain chocolataire through my agents at International Rescue. They thought my style would be a good contender for the contract and put me forward. Lindt was looking for a fun, magical and family friendly wonderland which would appeal to both kids and adults, but with a sophisticated style befitting a luxury European brand. The work I submitted seemed to do the trick as I soon started on a test piece which led to getting the go-ahead for the final from Lindt Australia and then head office in Switzerland.
So I get a call, the creatives Steve Liu and Josh Aitken at DraftFCB are looking for a ‘Where’s Wally’ style image in which to hide aprox 15 Gold Bunnies. It’s gonna be a big job, but a fun job, I was totally keen.
IR: It took you 6 weeks of around the clock work. Any meltdowns, chocolate illusions?
There was one unfortuanate experience where an error during the saving process meant I lost hours worth of work. Can’t say I had a meltdown but it was a little gutting as the time plan was generous but none the less tight. I had a couple of bunnies I would have loved to crack open to deal with the annoyance, I couldn’t though otherwise the candid camera over my shoulder would’ve caught me. “Bunnies bunnies everywhere but not a piece to eat”.
IR: What was your illustration process?
Making this piece was massive. It was a 1.5 by 1 metre image packed with hundreds of figures, buildings and extras. I started by roughing up the landscape, giving it a Swiss feel and then roughing an imaginary Swiss style town. After that I layed out figures and their various scenarios. This was probably the most challenging stage of the project, as Steve, Josh and I worked hard wracking our brains for ideas.
Once the rough was finished I needed to work on the image in high res (300dpi) but because of the enormous file size my computer couldn’t handle it. Therefore I decided the best way to work was to break the image into four sections. For each section I started creating the line work, the colour and then laying out the Lindt product. Working on each of these sections was the most epic part of the process and ultimately the most rewarding as the pieces really came alive.
The four sections were eventually joined back together, yet still required the files to be ‘layered’, thus creating an excessively huge file that took around 20 minutes to save. It was a blessing in disguise as I often took the time to make one of those coffees mentioned in the timelapse. Layers got combined, the images got stitched up and then came the great day of sending Draft a file that was ‘small’ enough for a regular FTP site to handle.
IR: Your tools for survival?
Audio books and did I mention audio books? Radio New Zealand, a guitar, coffee and a daily listen to some of favourite albums (Ok Computer, Neon Bible amongst many). A little bit of Facebook here and there just to keep some semblance of social contact.
IR: We spotted Tweedledee and Tweedledum in the illustration and a pretty funny lawn mowing scene. Did you dream up these scenarios? Any hidden things in there nobody knows of? Are you in there?
Creatives Josh and Steve provided great character scenerio lists and while I was drawing these quirky scenarios seemed to pop into my mind. My favourites would have to be the nuns tripping over each other and the great parade float disaster going on.
Actually there are a few hidden things in the image. I have (on request) put the Australian Lindt team into the image as well as Steve and Josh. Under the marquee is a bunch of real Lindt Facebook fans but thats not really a secret. I am in there! On the top left hand side of the image I’m sitting at an easel with the final of the Lindt image on it. I’m kinda alluding to that image in an image, repeating forever thing. Also one of the buskers is based on a musician named ‘Seasick Steve‘, if he finds out I hope he doesn’t mind. Oh yeah there is the random guy in horse leg pants and another guy wearing a horse head, this was something we felt had an inexplicably absurd humour about it. Hmmm and there’s mime in a literal glass box in the town square, “trapped in a glass cage of emotion” maybe?
IR: How was it working with creatives Steve and Josh?
Well I can’t talk Steve and Josh up enough, they were awesome to work with! A couple of great heads for creative ideas, a very good sense of what works visaully and most of all they always ensured an easy going, fun atmosphere conducive to the creation of an inspiring, engaging and creative image. Yeah if there was ever a team I would be really excited about working with again it would definitely be those guys!
IR: How’s life after Bunny going for you?
Oh well it’s massively unstructured. It’s been great catching up with friends and family after the job. But in a weird kind of way the job offered a very easy, simplified version of life for me, it was almost like a holiday. I woke up, drew cartoony images, listened to stories all day and then I went to bed. Now back in the real world again it suddenly becomes more of a challenge to be creative as life’s many mundane tasks so often take priority. Wow that sounds depressing? Trust me it’s not, I just wish I could draw fun images all day!