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.
The above illustration was for the Chronicle of Higher Education, and was a long horizontal that stretched across the top of a newspaper tabloid sized page.
Below was an illustration for what was once a regular customer of mine back in the 90s, Legal Times, a newspaper out of Washington DC. I used to do pieces almost on a weekly basis for this client, but then a change of personnel diminished that workload to an assignment once over couple of months, and it gradually dwindled down to nothing by the following spring.
Above are four ‘health care’ column spots for November for the Wall Street Journal. The topics this time were; ‘hand sanitizers’ (sneaking in a self portrait in hiking gear), ‘fountain of youth medication’, ‘safe sealants for children’s play areas’ and ‘foot care’.
I also had a series of very tiny black and white spots for this same client during the month of November. I dont’ quite remember what they were all about, but I suspect they were for some sort of article discussing various ‘economic indicators’. The were quite possibly the smallest spots I’ve ever had to do, most of them only measuring 3/4 of an inch square in size (enlarged slightly here for this blog).
The only somewhat ‘large’ assignment this month from this client, was a piece on ‘online dating sites’ pictured below.
A piece for US Catholic about different versions of the painting ‘Madonna and child’, gave me an opportunity to ape a couple of artistic styles, and do a couple caricatures to boot.
The piece below was for Newsday, a lifestyle section piece about holiday preparations (who sits where, having enough tables for a large crowd, etc).
And then, finally, another fiction piece for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. This one was a departure for me and my usual ‘dark’ treatments for this publication. A rather sunny and bright illustration about a woman who moves into a house with a pool where a murder was committed by the previous tenants. At this time in the magazine’s design, they would frequently include the title and author text in among the illustration, thus the white space at the top, fading out.
I had a rather large cartoon illustration for one of my east coast newspaper clients. This one concerned the new policies being adopted by the airlines where they would start cutting back on food service and allow passengers to bring their own food on board. I had a lot of fun with this one. While they are generally more work than the usual assignment, I like the chance to do a ‘busy’ scene with lots of chances to hide little bits of subversive humor all over the place.
I also had a piece on Colin Powell’s presentation to the United Nations. This was the first time I’d been given the chance to draw Mr. Powell, surprisingly enough, considering how much he’s been in the news over the past 10 years.
Also, for the same client, was the color illustration below. I dont’ remember this one too well, and I don’t know why there are burgers that look like ‘the earth’ being fried on a skillet. I remember having a hard time making these burgers ‘look’ like burgers. I still don’t think I quite succeeded.
The above illustration was for a legal newspaper client of mine. I remember being rather nervous about this one. It was supposed to depict the inside of the Supreme Court chambers (something I’d never seen), and I was having trouble finding good reference for the room, and I knew that the client, being based in Washington DC was probably more familiar with the room than I was. I hope I came at least close.
The illustration above was one that I had this month for an educational publication. I don’t remember the topic of this one all too clearly.
And finally, I had a couple of cartoon assignments for regular clients this month. The alien at the chalkboard above, was for my semi-regular ‘puzzle page’ feature that I’d been contributing to for a children’s science periodical. I’d done a few ‘aliens’ for this feature before, but this is my personal favorite alien. I also had a piece on ‘post office employees’ for another children’s publication (pictured below).