Here we are in the third week of January already, and I haven’t posted since the ‘year in review’ near the beginning of the month. Been working on revisions to the “What Unites Us” project mostly for the first few weeks, and in the past week or so I’ve had a few new smaller projects come across my desk. The above illustration is for the Chronicle of Higher Education (one of my older clients, who I first began working for in 1991, but haven’t heard much from in the last few years). I’ve got a few book projects lined up for this month, but so far, I’m still in a holding pattern awaiting information. Meanwhile, below are a few black and white pieces for GreenPrints, and an illustration for the Common Reader that I did near the end of December. Coming up over the next few weeks, an assignment for Hudson Valley and I’ll be starting work on finished art for the Llewellyn Witches Companion interiors. Stay Tuned.
In other news, a new iPod (yes, they still make them) that I got for Christmas has forced me to upgrade my Mac system software, and once installed, has forced me to update much of my existing programs, including Painter (the application I use for most of my drawing). I wanted to wait for this inevitable upgrade until I had finished working on the “What Unites Us” project, because I’m notorious for getting bent out of shape when my drawing program changes, and I didn’t want the headaches that would naturally come with it. I’m happy to announce that, after a few glitches in installation, the new Painter 2020 seems to be operating mostly smoothly.
I’m also excited about a few other ‘art related’ activities I’ll be participating in later this week. I’ll be sitting in on a ‘Life Drawing’ event on Thursday (been many years), and on Friday I’ll be leading a ‘Comics & Creativity’ party at our house with several ‘art enthusiast’ friends. I’ll post some of the results of these exercises later in the week.
And, in music news, my band, the Jukejoint Handmedowns have started work on recording last week. We have an ambitious regimen where we plan on releasing 3 CDs this year, a collection of Originals (our 5th release), a collection of Cover Songs, and a Christmas CD.
The “polar vortex” has us in its grip this week, and I’m still awaiting a go-ahead on a large project that I expect to hear from Any Day Now. In the meantime, there’s a lot of cancellations around here and in-between shoveling the driveway, I got to thinking about that very first Oscar broadcast that me and my brother watched back in 1973. I was 11 years old, and I was a huge fan of the ‘Poseidon Adventure’, and was rooting for Shelley Winters and the Best Song category. In later years, of course, I became huge fans of several of the movies nominated this year, including The Godfather, Cabaret and Deliverance. I thought I’d put some of my spare time to use and work up another caricature poster for that seminal year (for me) of 1972/73. I may finish this up tomorrow, should my schedule permit. In the meantime, below is a quick turnaround illustration I did for the Chronicle of Higher Education on Tuesday.
A pleasant holiday in Chicago (the first celebrated at my son’s house, since his marriage in August), and now back home catching up on some quick turnaround work. Above is an illustration for the Chronicle of Higher Education, and, since these things tend to go in streaks, another ‘Uncle Sam’ themed illustration for a new client, The Common Reader for Washington University in St. Louis (a portrayal of a prison craft store purchase of an Uncle Sam figure made out of scrap metal parts).
I also finished up another fiction illustration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine this morning (pictured below).
This week we are taking the ‘way back machine’ to 2010, and this personal favorite illustration that I did for the Chronicle of Higher Education in January of that year. I forget exactly what the article was about, but I imagine it was something to do with college professors writing detective fiction in their spare time. I especially liked the subtle elbow patch on the trenchcoat.
An assignment for the Chronicle of Higher Education this week. This is a client that I’ve been working with since 1992, and although the frequency of assignments has slowed considerably the past few years, it is nice to still be on the radar for the occasional project. Every once in a while I like to share the rough sketches along with the final to show the evolution of an idea. This was a story on ‘one size fits all’ theories of student education, and the two ideas I came up with are below, with the editors choosing the more sparse concept. This was a quick one, with the assignment coming in on Monday evening, sketches on Tuesday morning, and final on Wednesday morning (a little early for the Thursday deadline).
I have a few more rough sketches to share later in the week for a few other projects I’m working on, and in the meantime I’m working on a ‘Who Was’ book that I’m hoping to get finishes done soon so I can clear my plate for a large assignment I’m expecting in the next few months.