In most cases I have a working familiarity with the subjects I'm asked to illustrate. However, for this New Yorker assignment on the opening Maverick Concert by the percussion group Nexus, I was unfamiliar with both the concert hall and the musicians.
This can often be a great help since, particularly in a short deadline, since the research and sketches tend to grow around each other and the preconceptions are minimal. Sargent's "Rehersal of the Pasdeloup Orchestra" was running through the back of my mind, especially the focus on the percussion and the lost-and-found instrument details.
Art Director Deanna Donegan and I discussed architecture of the concert hall playing a role in the drawing, so the cast light through the uncommon windows became a theme in the preliminary sketches.