A few months ago, I got a call to work on the cover and interior spread for a feature on insider trading for Wardour's Securities and Investment Review magazine in London. The article was still in progress, so I began working from the brief, which mainly outlined a noir take on a short sequence involving the illegal exchange of privileged information. So right out of the gate the spy sketches were flying and rainy nights and briefcase handoffs at train stations were too enticing not to jot down. However, after sending in the above sketches, I received the final copy for the article and after chatting further with the Art Director, I realized that, as opposed to corporate espionage theatrical international treason, real-world insider trading is usually done under much more mundane circumstances like homes or offices, often with as little as zero fedoras.
So the next round of sketches were tailored to the idea of a dark and stormy night, but more in a cubicle setting and with some foreshadowing of the regulatory enforcement agencies looming into the scene in the second image.
The second set above were approved with a few small adjustments, like adding an eerie late-night custodian on the cover and lowering the angle on the office on the double page spread. Overall, it was an unexpectedly fascinating subject to get to research and illustrate. Much thanks to Steven Gibbon at Wardour for the call.