Hot Flashes

Baker Book House, Cobblestone

Finished up a 4 page project for a children’s magazine publisher this week. This will be for an upcoming story in the October issue, an adaptation of the ‘Minotaur’ story from Greek myth. I went back and forth on this one, with regards to how I should portray the figures on the faux ‘greek urn pieces’. On the one hand, I wanted to emulate the style of Grecian figures that you would normally see on pottery of this type, but at the same time, I also wanted to stay in keeping with my normal ‘scratchboard style’. So I ended up sort of doing a cross between the two.
These ‘broken pottery shards’ actually spread themselves across a two page spread, and in and around the type, but in order to show it on the blog, I’ve done a little editing and rearranging.

Also this week, I had a fast turnaround book cover assignment from a local publisher. This is for a humorous book on female menopause, and is a rare chance to work in a cartoon style. A fun little assignment.

ADDENDUM: This, in fact, ended up being the very last time I would do any work for Carus Publishing, after a nearly twenty year relationship. I had grown frustrated with their policy of taking over a year to pay for work. A shame, because I often enjoyed the assignments.


Carus Publishing, Cobblestone, Newsday

August of ’03 was the last significant month of ‘map making’ on a large scale. Cobblesone, a children’s educational magazine publishing company that I had been working for since the early to mid nineties underwent a corporate merger, and the parent company started cutting corners every which way they could. I guess my maps were part of those cut corners. The map below was the last of the ‘middle east’ assignments for this year for Faces magazine (Cobblestone’s geography publication). The map above was a piece on Long Island dining, for Newsday.

For the same children’s publisher, but a different publication (don’t remember exactly), I had the map below, showing different concentrations of Islam around the globe.

And then, while not a map, the piece below was another ‘puzzle page’ assignment for the same company’s ‘science magazine’, Oddysey. This was more in the line of a ‘story problem’, as opposed to the more ‘puzzle’ or ‘mazelike’ illustrations I sometimes do for this feature.

Maps etc

Carus Publishing, Cobblestone

A heaping helping of maps this month from my children’s magazine client. The one above was about different ‘western pioneer trails’, and also included many small vignettes sprinkled across the map to help decorate the dead space. An enlargement of one of them I’ve included just below it.

Another one for the same client, was the map above depicting the Lewis and Clark expedition. I was also asked to provide a number of small vignettes for this one, but separately, so that the designer could move them around and reuse them throughout the article if need be (pictured left and below).

I also had another illustration project for the same client in July, this one having something to do with one of the president’s wives redecorating the White House. I don’t remember much else about this particular illustration.
Below that was yet another map for this client in July. This one about the Nile and/or Egypt. I’ve also enlarged the smaller ‘locator map’ to show the details.


Cobblestone, Gemini Publications, Metro Detroit Parent, Newsday

I had a fun cartoon assignment for my east coast newspaper client in January. This was a large horizontal busy illustration that was to accompany an article about all the different ‘camp options’ available to send kids to in the summer (horse camp, music camp, etc etc). I’ve enlarged one section of it to better show the details that went into it. This was a favorite piece of the year, and would be used long afterwards as a sample of my ‘cartoon style’ on my own website.

This month marked the final two spot illustrations that I would provide for a long time local client, a regional magazine that I’d been working for since my first year in business. The rates were always very low, but the deadlines were usually pretty liberal, and I was always given lots of freedom and it was a good opportunity to practice my cartooning skills. My workload was becoming such, though, that I could no longer justify the time spent on these assignments.

Above was another ‘puzzle page’ assignment from a children’s publication that I did regularly for a number of years. This one with a fun ‘sci fi’ theme.

To the left and below, are a few black and white cartoon assignments for my agent, for a michigan regional parenting publication.

Atypical Styles

America, Carus Publishing, Cobblestone, Newsday, Strang Publications

I continue to experiment with the ‘painterly’ style, the above illustration for a ‘recipe’ feature in an east coast newspaper (the author whipping up a microwave dinner for her construction crew), and the illustration below for an evangelical women’s magazine.

Similar in style, but for a black and white publication was the illustration below. This was for one of my children’s magazine publishers, for their ‘teen’ poetry/prose magazine, and this one accompanied a poem about a pear tree.

Another ‘running’ themed illustration for a new client, this one done in a colored pencil medium (but approached as if I was doing my old ‘pastel style’). I wasn’t too happy about how this turned out, I probably would have benefitted from better reference material, and a stronger layout.

Below is a small spot illustration that I did for one of my children’s magazines this month, working in a combination of watercolors and colored pencils, but with a bit more of a ‘realistic’ style. Always fun to draw dinosaurs, wish I got the chance more often.