I received a very nice Christmas surprise in the mail this week. I have been working for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine since my first year in business (1989), but, unfortunately, I have not been very good at saving my original artwork and/or printed samples over the past thirty years. I put out an online ‘appeal’ to anyone who may have back issues of this magazine to try and recover some of these lost illustrations from my early years in the freelance business (some 33 missing pieces to this puzzle when I first made my christmas list). Thanks to a reader in New Jersey, and over the course of the past several months, I have now been able to fill in the blanks in that chronology to the tune of 20 missing illustration assignments from the years 1989-1993 (many of these arriving the day after Christmas).
Of course, most of these early illustrations appear very amateurish to me now, (looking back from a thirty year perspective) but it is interesting to me to look back and see how far I’ve come. Here’s a link to a AHMM checklist of each and every illustration I’ve done for them in the past thirty years.
The illustration above was for a Holiday card design I did for this publisher back in 2007.
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).
Between 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.
Aside from the book illustrations I’ve been doing every day for the past few weeks, I also had a sketch today for an upcoming Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine story. Tune in next week for the finished version. Also, be sure and check out the index of all the AHMM illustrations I’ve done since 1989.
As I mentioned in the last post, here are the final versions of several of the ‘rough sketches’. A few of the jobs that crossed the desk over the past week. Above, for Hudson Valley magazine, and below, black and white assignments for River Styx and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.