And here we are, already at the halfway point for 2020. In that oh so familiar limbo of waiting on the go-ahead on several projects, which seems to be the default position this year. Did a few rough sketches for GreenPrints this week (one of which is pictured above). As I am actively in the process of revamping my website, designing new postcard mailings and trying to drum up new business, I requested a ‘testimonial’ from this client, since we’ve been in a working relationship for the past 8 years. I’ll be posting these quotes elsewhere in my portfolio section, as well as sharing them here. Here’s what Pat had to say:
“I have used Tim Foley as an illustrator for my magazine for over eight years. He has been 100% reliable, professional, and easy to work with. More important, I love his artwork. I’ve used Tim primarily to illustrate humorous stories, and it’s an absolute highlight of my day when his final art appears in my inbox, because it always – always – is so funny I laugh out loud. I am very, very grateful to Tim for making my readers and I happier.”
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.
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.
Just passing the 2/3 mark and rapidly approaching the 3/4 mark on the “What Unites Us” graphic novel. In the meantime, I am also concurrently working on a series of ‘Saint portraits’ for a catholic publisher in Boston (a sampling shown below), plus I also finished another illustration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (pictured above). At the bottom of this post is an illustration I did last week for Green Prints. More samples to come next week sometime. Keeping busy.
A few small assignments from this past week. The ‘Giant Pumpkin’ illustration is for GreenPrints and the color illustration below is for The Common Reader to accompany an article about the author and his son attending a premiere of the restored version of “The Legend of Boggy Creek”, and meeting the star outside the theater.