As you would probably have guessed by taking a 2-minute stroll around my portfolio of illustrations and 3d renderings, a large majority of my work is highly conceptual. To be honest, I don’t have much of an interest in generating images of plain objects sitting on plain backgrounds, as I don’t feel like I’m contributing much to the royalty-free stock market by doing that. I mean really – if you need a picture of a simple book on a white isolated background, there are plenty of other places on the internet where you can easily get that in any color or perspective you need. Of course, creating simple images of isolated objects is easy and it would be a fast way to boost the size of my portfolio but I have little interest in re-creating such common imagery.
Generating thousands of 3d renderings a year is tough, especially when each one needs to illustrate a specific business metaphor or technology theme. It helps that I have spent many years working for large corporations, because I feel like my head has been forcefully crammed full of those catchy buzz-words and phrases often used in big business such as, “let’s touch base”, “coming down the pike”, and “action items”. I admit that some of this business-speak is a bit over the top (see, even I do it too) at times, but it is catchy and the most clever ones usually spread like wildfire – until they get played-out and are replaced by something fresh and equally bizarre. The good news for me is that most of them are fairly easy to represent with simple objects, and I can usually come up with several variations of the same buzz-word or cliche in a short amount of time. However, there is one new buzz-word that I’ve been hearing more and more lately, and I have yet to come up with a decent image for it: disintermediate. Basically, I think it means to cut out the middleman, but…I’m not really sure. All I know is that it’s one that I’m starting to hear more and more, and that means I should probably look it up in the dictionary before I get left behind.
Another big source of inspiration for me comes from business journals and financial magazines. Those publications usually include a ton of highly-clever illustrations and photography to support their articles, and I can usually generate several new ideas with a brief thumb-through of each new issue.
Creating these conceptual images is very challenging, but as much as I hate to admit it, my years spent at big mega-corporations have been very good for me. Without that experience, I’m not sure I could have come up with half of the ideas and concepts portrayed in the Norebbo portfolio. I’m always looking out for new trends and buzz-words though, and luckily, there are new ones infecting big-business all the time. I can’t promise that I’ll cover every one of them, but I do have fun trying.