One of the perks of being a Rouleur member is getting a magazine through your door with a classy, cool and collectable cover. Our talented contributors give you the back story on each creation – for issue 20.4, London-based illustrator Adam Doughty looked far into cycling’s future.
In late April, I was provided with a detailed brief from Andy McGrath and the team to create a colourful, fun and busy cover illustration to support their futuristic Tour de France 2040 article – a welcome escape from the coronavirus pandemic!
This was my first cycling themed commission [we spotted Adam, pictured below in his studio, and his work in the superb football magazine When Saturday Comes – Ed]. I have however previously enjoyed illustrating bicycles as part of my Transport Timeline illustration series.
I was particularly drawn to the creative and playful nature of the feature. Alongside their ideas, I was however still able to develop my own imaginings. I took reference from retro futuristic posters, previous Tour de France route maps and historical French landmarks. For the hotels featured in the background, I took inspiration from the Brutalist architecture style.
I sketched out my ideas using pencil on paper, playing around with sizing and layouts. I picked three of my strongest ones and developed these into drafts.
Once all of the relevant features had been hand drawn, I added colour and shading on my computer and sent them to the editorial team for review.
They picked the blue and red mountain scene for the cover. I reached for my trusty 0.1 pen and Bristol Board paper pad – I like the traditional approach to drawing rather than a tablet – and commenced with the final version. At this stage, I was able to add the finer details and see it all coming together.
The biggest challenge I encountered was having to illustrate a hologram of Marc Madiot. A holographic illustration is not something that I have tried before, so it took me a couple of attempts to capture the effect.
I think my favourite imagined feature is the Tour de France arch complete with built-in speakers, rotating 360 degrees around a road – quite a feat of engineering.
There were a few concepts that did not make it into the final version too. These include a monorail providing spectators with breath-taking views and a blocky, brutalist mountain where upon reaching the summit, cyclists would activate hover mode and fly off. Imagine that.
Lastly, it was a pleasure to create for Rouleur – and I look forward to teleporting to the Tour de France in 2040!