The Model Magic™ Wizard was designed for Crayola's Air Dry Model Magic™ Modeling Compound. I wanted him to be very whimsical with a "chunky" look as if he were sculpted from clay. I first intended to make him out of real clay and have him photographed, but the art director said that wouldn't work. I'll talk more about that later.
I looked at a lot of older illustrators for inspiration. Andrew Loomis, who wrote many art instruction books, and Vernon Grant, the illustrator famous for his gnome characters as well as the creator of Kellogg's Snap!, Crackle! and Pop!® were two obvious influences. I didn't go though a lot of exploration and he sort of "magically" happened and was approved with no changes. Wow! that was easy! Or at least that's what I thought.
So, why not make him out of clay? It is Model Magic™ after all? Well, the package was produced quite a few years ago and the flexographic printing process had it's limitations. Printing the art onto a plastic/foil bag and with limited colors was the reason he became a painted illustration.
Below is the original packaging and a digitally restored version using a scan of the first unused painting. The printed package is taken from a second painting I did. The stars on his hat are dimensional looking and his beard is fuller. The second painting was never returned to me, and that's why It's not featured here. I most likely didn't want to destroy the first painting by over-painting it. Unfortunately, the new wizard printed a bit murky.
I was happy with the design and was hoping that he would become the official Model Magic™ mascot. But he was used only once and for a very brief time. But, his debut opened and closed on this one package. Still, he holds a good place in my heart and the job was a lot of fun. It's nice to finally see him looking his best! He's a happy little guy.
To see more of my art, please visit my website.
I produce illustrations and creative idea solutions for toys, packaging, publishing and advertising. I'm also a painter and educator with an MFA from Syracuse university.