Continuing with my ‘President’s Day’ Illustration Tribute, showcasing most of the Presidential illustrations I’ve done in the past thirty years.
The period from 2000-2008 was the busiest time in my career, and just so happened to coincide with George W Bush’s presidency. As a consequence, I have more illustrations of Dubya than of any other president (although Trump is starting to ridiculously come close, after only a year in office, and only half as many assignments). Most of these illustrations come from either Newsday, Legal Times, Barrons or the Wall Street Journal (although there are a few from other sources). I struggled with his likeness for a very short while at the start (would have preferred Gore had won for many reasons, one of which being the ease at which he was to draw), but once I had several of them under my belt, it got to be where I could draw him with little or no reference material. Anyhow, here’s ‘most’ of the George Bush illustrations I have in my files (there are a few more, but aren’t worth the time to drag out into the light).
I’ll be moving on to Obama, and finally the current resident of Pennsylvania Ave, tomorrow, more than likely.
Continuing this “President’s Day Tribute” with samples of every time I’ve drawn one of the Presidents in my career. Above we have Eisenhower through Johnson. Again, mostly from the Uncle Goose Presidential Blocks project, the Dover Presidential Caricature Stickers Book, and several illustrations from the Penguin books I’ve been doing recently (there’s also a leftover Theodore Roosevelt that I had skipped before, and an extra William McKinley). More to come.
At this point, we are getting to where the president was actually in office while I was working as an illustrator. I started illustrating full time in 1989, so George Bush Sr. was just getting started in his single term Presidency, and by the time Clinton came into office I had several clients that were regularly asking for illustrations featuring the sitting president. My only surviving George Bush Sr. illustration predates my ‘digital illustration’ days, and was a small spot cartoon featuring George and Barbara Bush for Christianity Today Magazine, from about 1991. When Bill Clinton came into office, I struggled for a long time with his likeness. Most of the ‘smaller samples’ on this page are from early Legal Times or Newday assignments, from back in the mid to late 90s. It was only later on, when I was getting more comfortable with the medium, that the larger samples come from (all done after he had left office). I have many more awkward examples of the early struggling days, but I think I’ll just leave them aside for now.
And, as a bonus, here’s a few more Clinton illustrations I found. A page from the Hillary Clinton Coloring Book from a few years ago featuring Bill and Hillary in an ‘American Gothic’ spoof, and an early one from Legal Times (probably circa 1998 or 99) that also features Ronald Reagan, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and one other unidentifiable character.
A week to go before we head down to the BVI for our 25th anniversary, and work has started to pick up a bit after a rather slow summer and fall. Several large projects will be keeping me busy over the Thanksgiving weekend as I try to clear out the docket. Taking vacations has never been easy as a freelancer, and with the uncertain economy I’m a bit leery of missing any work due to being in communicado.
The illustration above was for the Wall Street Journal last week. The original version is the one on the left, as I wanted to show the dark murky depths swallowing the figure near the bottom of the layout. However, the designer was worried about how it would print, so I revised it so that the solid blacks weren’t so pronounced. I’m torn as to which one I like better.
Also for the Journal earlier in the week, I had a quick rush job, an icon for a recurring feature on ‘books’. Not much direction was given, just something generic involving books and reading. I’ve posted both the color and black and white version below.
Also for the journal over the previous weekend, I had an illustration regarding ceo’s refusing bonuses during these tough times (but not necessarily the middle management).
During the past few weeks, I’ve begun hearing from a few clients who I hadn’t heard from in many years. The above map for Legal Times was the first assignment I’d done since 2005, and I also had a fun ‘icon’ assignment for Strategic Finance, who I hadn’t heard from since 2003. These were small (they will be printed approximately 1 x .5 inches) and will go with various topic headings in a ‘bulletin’ section. I’ve posted one of them at a greatly increased size, and a sampling of the rest of them at a size approximately double how they will appear in print (there were nine of these total).
There were also a few jobs for Barrons in the mix this past week. Most have been involving the economic woes of recent months. (above and below)
And, also this weekend, I had an interesting piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education, involving scientific research in the age of instant information dispersal.
And much more to come after the weekend, plus work lined up for when I get back from vacation. Nice being busy again.