May 2, 2009

Let's All Pull Together to Save Water

by Laura Smith

The artist says, "The client I did this piece for was Southern Nevada Water Authority. The job description was to convey various aspects of Water Conservation through a series of illustrations that would be used in print advertising and as a calendar. This project was to be instructional to children and adults in the Southern Nevada area.

Ron Lopez was the art director on this job and he had a lot of great ideas and yet was very receptive when I would contribute my own ideas to the project. This particular image was based on one of his ideas. In his original rough layout, there was a guy at the opposite end (instead of the dog you see here) helping a woman in the foreground with the pool cover. It was very formal and almost demonstrational, but I was able to convince him that instead of taking a very serious and straightforward approach with this project, that we should keep it light – especially considering the audience. He and I are both fans of Mary Blair’s work, and while I’m not exactly aping her style, I feel it pays homage to her spirit. In the end it all paid off. I was told that children were clipping the art from the paper and doing their versions of the images I painted."

Laura Smith's graphic approach to illustration has been inspired by some of the great poster artists of the first half of the 20th century. Those who have most influenced her have done so because of the simplicity and directness of their work in terms of graphic elements, as well as their ability to communicate an idea quickly and efficiently. She has produced illustrations from advertisements to billboards for such companies as HBO, Microsoft, Capitol Records, Japan Airlines, Heinekin, Time and Newsweek. Her work is featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and most recently three of her posters were added to the collection London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. You can find more of Laura's work at her website,