I’m still plugging away at this illustration business. Been very slow, as I’m sure it has been for much of the industry. Above was one of the few assignments I had over the past month, for an upcoming issue of Delaware Today.
Not sure what has happened to the 4 book projects that I’ve been working on. I was expecting to be working on them all through May, but they all seem to be way behind schedule. I just received word from First Second that the “What Unites Us” book has now been scheduled for a Winter of ’21 release (hopefully people are going back into book stores by then).
I’ve been using the slow time to learn some new skills. I’ve been working on a new animation project (using different software than I’ve used in the past), and I expect to be rolling that out publicly by the end of the week, so stay tuned. I’ve been very excited with how it has been looking, and have been grateful to have something to look forward to working on every morning.
It’s a very frightening and uncertain time for all of us, so stay frosty, and keep fighting the good fight. Stay safe everyone.
I normally keep my ‘comments’ section turned off, because of the mountains of spam I receive at this site, but I’m sort of curious to hear how others are coping during this pandemic. Feel free to share your experiences below.
I’m currently in a ‘holding pattern’ on several books (either waiting for the manuscript to begin rough sketches, or waiting on rough sketches to be approved to go to finish, or waiting final approval to go to publication), and, since two of the books on the docket are from the ‘Who Was’ series, I thought I’d take the time to share the artwork from a previously published title that I was involved with. This one is “Where is Area 51?” from a few years back, and, like most of these projects, consisted of around 80 illustrations of various sizes, ranging from spot art to two page spreads. Like the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ project, this one had a fair number of airplanes to draw, plus quite a few barren landscapes. While I have shared a few samples from this book here in the past, this is the first time sharing all of the collection.
The two books I am currently working on (What was the Civil Rights Movement? and Who was Walt Whitman?) are the 20th and 21st books that I will have illustrated for this series. The others were:
Here’s how that Chronicle of Higher Education piece turned out for Monday. In retrospect, the color scheme seems a bit limited, but I didn’t notice it until I saw it in print later the same afternoon. Been a while since I’ve done a quick turnaround piece. I guess I’m out of practice. Below is the black and white version.
Or to paraphrase a line from a Terry Pratchett novel I just read: “Is that a light at the end of the tunnel, or is the end of the tunnel just on fire?”
In the last few days of this week, after a much too quiet month, business-wise, a few jobs trickled in, which did wonders to buoy my spirits. Above are a few rough sketches for an illustration I’ll be finishing up this weekend for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Oddly enough, this is the first assignment I’ve had pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic. They wound up choosing the first one, but told me to hang on to the other one for possible future articles. And then on Friday, I was contacted by the publisher of the ‘Who Was’ series of books, to take on an upcoming book on Walt Whitman. I’m currently working on one on the Civil Rights Movement, and expect to begin work on a book about Climate Change very soon, so I anticipate having a very busy May, which has put me in a much more hopeful mood than I’ve been in several months.
Earlier in the week, I had a few spot illustrations for GreenPrints (pictured above), and I’ve been spending a lot of time this past month working on a new album for my band, the Jukejoint Handmedowns. This will be our 5th album, which we began recording in February, and then, when the ‘stay at home’ order came down in March, we decided we would attempt to finish the album in isolation, each of us recording our parts separately and sharing them with me for final mixing and mastering. We are very near completion, and below are a few of the ‘in progress’ versions of the lyric sheet insert (front and back) and the rough layout for the album cover. The album was already very dark and apocalyptic in tone before we even began, so the pandemic and shut-down seemed to fit the theme even more urgently. We are hoping to release this sometime this summer, when, hopefully, some of the restrictions loosen up.
My son and I have been working on another comics project, sort of a ‘frontier western’ tale set on Mars. Here’s a sample of one of the pages that I worked up today. I had done some previous samples but wanted to start again with a bit more of a subdued color palette.