Thanksgiving Leftovers

AHMM, ChronicleHE, Common Reader

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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).

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I also finished up another fiction illustration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine this morning (pictured below).

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Hectic Week Roundup

AHMM, Dover, Llewellyn

LittlePrincessWashwebBetween finishing up another MacMillan ‘Epic Fails’ project, and the Wheatland Music Festival over the weekend, and several smaller projects pictured here on this post, it has been a busy week (and catching a cold partway through it didn’t help matters any). Above was the finished illustration for Dover’s Evergreen Classics line of reprints, this one for ‘A Little Princess’ (I had shown a sketch version of this one last week, and they asked that the monkey be moved over to the window for the final version). Below is the finished version of the Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine illustration. This one is drastically different than the original sketch. The editors felt that a ‘hanged man’ would be too disturbing for their readers, so I picked a scene from earlier in the story. I’ve been doing illustrations for AHMM now for almost thirty years, you can see an entire checklist and links to all the illustrations here.

Below that, it is once again that time of year for the Llewellyn Witches Companion cover. I’ve been doing these now for over a decade, and it is interesting to see what concepts the editors come up with each year to keep it unique and different, and yet, basically the same.

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Changeover

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ahmmwebusageGetting ready for Thanksgiving week. I’ve just finished another of the ‘What was’ books for Penguin, and worked up sketches for another one. (I’ll likely share some more samples from older books in this series sometime in December) On Thursday I made a trip down to Kendall College of Art and Design to do a lecture on ‘Freelance Illustration’ to a group of third year illustration students (thanks again to Mike for inviting me down, and to the great group of students who shared their portfolios with me at the end of class – you were all very inspirational to this old man). I was reminded of my favorite quote from the movie ‘Chinatown’, where the villain Noah Cross (played by John Huston) talks of ‘respectability': “Politicians, Ugly Buildings and Whores all get respectable, if they last long enough.” — so this old Kendall dropout was quite tickled to be doling out advice to the young illustrators of tomorrow. Meanwhile, the work continues … On Friday afternoon I finished up the above illustration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, one of my longest running clients (my first assignment for them was in the fall of 1989). Next week I’ll be starting on sketches for another book project, which will likely be taking up most of December.