I was asked if I would design the collateral material for this year’s Houston Heights Home Tour. It’s a gratis project of course. Since I’m trying to build my freelance graphic design and illustration business, there’s always the anticipation that such projects will raise my profile among prospective clients. That’s never a given, but I can alway hope. Besides, the theme seemed like a fun and interesting idea to design around, and possibly get some nice portfolio pieces to boot. The Heights, like all of Houston, is going through enormous transformation. Hence the main theme “Embracing Change.” The theme for the auction/gala however, is “Casablanca.” The original idea given to me was to use a still from the iconic final scene from the movie. Instead, I offered to create a custom, original image that tied in to the neighborhood theme. I must admit, I was motivated by the anticipated challenge and fun. The final image was created in Adobe Illustrator. I used a graphite sketch I worked up as a template. The only mentionable changes made from drawing to finished art are that I altered Rick’s slack-jawed mouth, and I reduced Ilsa’s figure a bit. Oh yes; and instead of a waiting plane in the fog-shrouded background, I added a home-lined neighborhood street with oak tree foliage.