Client: Nike

Remember the game you used to play as a kid where you’d draw a head, fold your piece of paper over and pass it on to the next person to draw the torso?

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Illustrator: Jasper Goodall

Remember the game you used to play as a kid where you’d draw a head, fold your piece of paper over and pass it on to the next person to draw the torso? You’d end up with Darth Vader’s bonce supported by Twiggy’s chest, with gorilla’s legs in a pair of clown’s shoes. Well, that’s the kind of illustration Jasper Goodall was asked to do on behalf of Nike to promote a series of Europe-wide football training sessions, dubbed Nike Park.

These free youth-orientated events took place at major stadia across France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, and boasted some of the top (Nike sponsored) stars of the Euro 2000 football tournament.

Supplied with reference material of the bodies of various footballers past and present who happened to be striking the appropriate poses for the advertising posters, Goodall was charged with decapitating them and applying the heads of the players who would actually be appearing at the soccer workshops. ‘It was a feat of technical trickery,’ says Goodall. ‘I guess I was employed to create a stylised photo-like drawing out of nothing. I was sent tons of heads from TV commercials and then it was a matter of intricately cutting and pasting to get the angles exactly right. My brief was to make it as photorealistic as possible.’

Goodall worked exclusively in Photoshop, because it offered a greater degree of control than Illustrator, his other program of choice. ‘With so many layers, I could shave a bit off here or there or rotate a tiny bit of leg to match the visual reference exactly,’ he explains. Though the type was handled in-house at Wieden & Kennedy under the watchful eye of art director Mark Schillum, Goodall drew small robots and ‘ninja’ figures for the backgrounds. These were incorporated into mock-heroic posters that were similar in style to The Mission, last year’s explosive, effects-packed commercial directed by Tarsem, which featured a posse of the world’s highest paid footballers pursued by cyborgs in the Eur Fascist complex in Rome.

Appropriately enough for such a hi-tech endeavour, Goodall never actually met his commissioners at Wieden & Kennedy in Amsterdam – communications were conducted entirely by e-mail or telephone.

Brighton-based Goodall – who has worked editorially for the Face, GQ and Scene, as well as on ad campaigns for Volkswagen, Salomon, Levi’s and BMW – says that the project was more ‘heavily art directed’ than most that he works on, but fairly typical in terms of modus operandus. This involves scanning photographs, combining various body parts and then drawing over them either on computer or by hand for a more rough-and-ready feel.

A graduate of George Hardie’s illustration course at Brighton, Goodall admits to benefitting from the vogue for a ‘generic diagrammy type of illustration which was popular last year and the year before’, though he is consciously trying to broaden his repertoire of photomontage-based styles. According to Goodall, advertising is currently attracted to illustration because it’s perfect for ‘illustrating those quirky puns that everyone in advertising seems to be addicted to’.

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