Longest Month Ever

Dover

What with all this drama in Washington DC, these past few weeks have felt nearly as long as the preceding three months, and twice as stressful. I’ve been working on a paper doll book for Dover, and have been doing a bit more oil painting (more on this later), but mostly I’ve been obsessively checking the news and worrying about the future of our country. One more week and it will all be over (maybe?). Meanwhile, here’s a few doggies. Champ and Major, some uncontroversial future residents of the White House. (I really wanted to make them a squeaky toy in the shape of the ‘baby donald’ balloon, but the editors weren’t crazy about the idea…)

Coming up, I’ve gotten another “Who Was” project that I’m very excited about, plus I’m expecting the annual “Witches Companion” interiors in the near future, and I’ll be working on a few more interior illustrations for the Recipe Book Project over the upcoming weekend.

2020 Year in Review

Year In Review

For nearly everyone on the planet, I can assume this was probably one of those years we’d rather forget. Personally, it was a struggle, with sales dropping down to the level of my third year in business (1992), the isolation of lockdown, and my wife (working in the travel industry) reduced to part time hours at her job. Savings and underemployment benefits and the small business loan helped cushion the blow financially, but I struggled all year to keep my spirits up and to keep working at my craft despite the lack of paying work. I take some small comfort in the fact that the 2nd half of the year was much better than the first half, and that publishers seem to be tentatively putting their toes back into the water in the latter half of the year, resulting in a few book publishing jobs on the horizon for the new year. I also picked up a couple new clients this year, which I am also very hopeful about.

Keeping on the positive side, my graphic novel adaptation of “What Unites Us” is scheduled for release sometime this spring, after some delays in the publication date, and I look forward to promoting that. I had two of the “Who Was” books cross my desk this past year. I was also very excited this year to get my first Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine cover after having worked for them for over 30 years. I’m also currently working with another publisher on a recipe book (inspired by Fantasy Fiction) that I hope will be published in the coming year.

As for the band, we made a nice start on recording our fifth CD, when the pandemic shelved our plans. We tried recording remotely, but found that not all the band members were able to handle the chores of home recording their own parts. We had a couple small gigs in the early months of the year, but other than that, only had one outdoor private party in August (with one member absent and a substitute player sitting in). We look forward to reuniting again once the restrictions ease and vaccinations are more widespread.

Anyhow, here’s what I consider my best illustrations of the year, many of which were self promotional pieces done just to keep my skills fresh.

Cover Illustration

Delaware Today, Today Media

A little different style for me, emulating those traditional ‘travel’ posters with the posterized colors. This is for Delaware Today magazine, and I may be doing another version tomorrow to include an additional idea by the editors. A fun change of pace.

AHMM Work

AHMM

Well, unless something comes in over the next few days, this will be the last illustration before Christmas. I rather liked how this one turned out, and thanks to my wife for the ‘hand modeling’ (I wasn’t crazy about the angle in the rough sketch). This was for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, a client I’ve been working with since 1989 (and in fact, were one of the very first ‘national magazine clients’ to contact me in that first year of freelancing). I’ve another cover illustration assignment to finish up in the week between Christmas and New Years, but otherwise it looks like 2020 is wrapping up. Happy and Safe Holidays Everyone and here’s hoping 2021 is a big improvement.