Working on my graphic novel about our experiences hiking the John Muir trail last summer. Hoping to ramp up the production on this over the next several weeks, to take advantage of the downtime that this current pandemic is causing. Not only is the work therapeutic, but reliving our trip is proving mentally soothing.
Hunkered down at home like everyone else. A lot of my friends are having a hard time coping with the solitary lifestyle, the isolation, the face-to-face daily interactions of their co-workers. I feel for them, but let’s face it, I’ve had decades of practice at this. During the first twenty years, before I started playing music in a band, I rarely left the house and socialized with anyone other than parents at my son’s school functions.
The one thing I AM feeling, however, is the dread and the uncertainty for the future. Above is an illustration for Delaware Today, one of two that I’m working on this week. I am so grateful for their continued patronage in these difficult times. It has been a difficult year so far, slower than any in the past thirty, and this was before the pandemic hit. I had a few book projects lined up, but now I’m not sure they are still in the works, considering the impending recession. I am still open for business, and trying to keep focused and busy with ‘self generated’ projects. Stay healthy everyone, and best of luck weathering the storm.
Back in 1989, when I started freelancing, I had few if any clients, and spent a majority of my time drawing samples and self promotional pieces, anything to keep busy and practice drawing. One of the earliest portraits I can remember drawing back then, was a portrait of my favorite authors, Charles Bukowski. I have returned to that subject this afternoon with a new portrait, thirty some years later (I also happen to be reading a biography and re-reading his first novel “Post Office” currently, so he was on my mind). I plan on using some of my down time on doing new samples for my ispot page (I was told that every time I upload new samples, I get bumped to the front of the queue for potential clients viewing), plus working on my John Muir book (see previous posts). Trying to keep busy.
Last year, while we were in the midst of our 4 week trip, the idea was proposed amongst the four of us that we should turn our adventure (or series of misadventures) into a graphic novel. This spring I have been working on doing just that, and here’s another page sample from the project. (I posted another sample a few weeks ago) I envision the book as a mix of comedic travelogue (along the lines of Bill Bryson’s ‘A Walk in the Woods’), and ‘hiking dos and don’ts’ guide (learn from our mistakes), with occasional nature tidbits (like the old ‘Mark Trail’ comic strip), with a bit of middle-age angst and philosophy thrown in for good measure. Hoping to pick up speed and get enough done to start shopping the idea around soon.
As a full time working illustrator, I’ve had time to amass quite a pile of printed samples of my work over the past thirty years. By no means a complete collection, it is starting to burst at the seams. For the first ten years, I was not very diligent about saving all my samples, but after twenty years had passed, I started to take this collection a little more seriously, and I scour eBay and thrift stores for copies of work that I’ve let slip through the cracks. I’m still on the lookout for old copies of Cicada magazine in which I’ve appeared (I’ve only got one copy), and I’m missing almost a decades worth of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, several early Baker Book House book covers, and a few editions of “A World of Literature”. If anyone has a lead on anything drop me an email, as I’m always eager to fill up these shelves. See the bibliography in the menu above for a full list of book titles.