My Wife’s Employer

Gemini Publications, Oxendine, US Catholic


Around this time, my wife was working for a local regional magazine. A client that I had been a contributor to since my first year in business. This month would mark the last assignments I would do for this magazine. The above full page illustration was for a special supplement on ecommerce, and the portrait to the right was a personal favor for my wife for a photo that the company requested of her to place on their new web page.

At this time I was starting to phase out some of my lowest paying clients, in order to free up some of my time to accept some of the more lucrative assignments that were starting to come my way. I hadn’t done an assignment for this client for almost a year at this point, and this assignment was a bit more than the usual rates.

Also this month, I had a pair of cartoon assignments for a catholic magazine client. This one dealt with ‘reading clubs’, and these two cartoons would be placed along the bottom of a two page spread.

Another rather strange cartoon for the same client this month is pictured at right. This one dealt with how middle aged adults are starting to help their parents through old age, and in some ways the parents ‘become the children’, and this story dealt with one couple’s experiences taking their elderly parents snorkeling.

I also had my first assignment for a children’s version of a major national magazine. I would later get occasional assignments from this client, but never what I would call regular work. (pictured above)

I also had another larger cartoon illustration for my ‘college’ magazine client this month. (pictured left)

Parenting Cartoons

Children's Television Workshop, Gemini Publications, Newsday


Had a lot of ‘parenting’ related cartoon work in August. The piece above, and the companion piece to the left, were for my east coast newspaper client, and had to do with packing, moving, something like that, in relation to kids in some way (getting harder and harder to remember some of these topics, nearly 8 years ago now). The larger one above was one of those fun ones that I like to do, where I can make it real busy and hide a lot of details throughout the illustration.

I also had a few small illustrations for our local regional parenting magazine, one on ‘grandparents’ (right), and another one having to do with ‘baby auditions’ for child actors and models (below left).


I had an assignment for three illustrations this month for a national parenting magazine (I think this one was for the ‘spanish’ version of the magazine), having to do with computers and kids, and software, and other related topics. It is amazing how quickly these ‘computer’ illustrations are already looking a bit dated. I used my G3 as the model for most of my illustrations during this time, and while it looked quite modern and snazzy at the time, it is starting to look a little bulky and retro to my eyes now (can’t wait to see how I was drawing computers back in the 90s).

January Cartoon Assignments

Carus Publishing, Consumer Reports, Gemini Publications, Metro Detroit Parent, Newsday


One thing I have been amazed to discover as I dig deeper in the archives, is how much of my workload was made up of the ‘cartoon’ style back around this time. These days (around ’08 is when I’m writing this) I work almost exclusively in scratchboard, aside from the occasional exception. One positive aspect of this, is that I’ve gotten much better at the scratchboard than I was in 2000, but I wonder if I’ve lost a bit of the spontenaety and fun that I’d picked up from working so much in a lighter style.

The illustration above was for my east coast newspaper client, an illustration on ‘busy working mothers’. The black and white illustration to the left was part of a larger ‘text heavy’ illustration that I did for my agent this month, for a michigan regional parenting magazine (the rest of the illustration covered a lot of space, and was mostly made up of rather dull hand lettering).
Another hand lettering assignment for the same client is pictured below, and was a bit more interesting, trying to make letters out of various ‘school projects’. I don’t do lettering very often, but this one was kind of fun and challenging.

The tutorial on ‘how to use chopsticks’ pictured to the left was for a children’s publication client this month.

Below are a few more cartoon illustrations for my east coast newspaper client. Most of the ‘cartoon assignments’ were for the ‘ladies lifestyle’ section, as the lighter, less serious style seemed to fit the tone of the articles a little better than the heavy handed dark scratchboard technique.

The ‘woman giving flowers to herself’ illustration was for an article about being single on Valentine’s Day, and consequently, being nice to yourself. Below that, was a larger illustration about safety issues for work at home Moms, with an imaginary inspector pointing out what’s wrong (labelled ‘inspector’ on his helmet in case you missed the point).



Above is a ‘puzzle’ assignment for one of my children’s magazine clients (a kids version of a well known consumer advocate magazine, which unfortunately ceased publication the following year). This puzzle had something to do with twins and finding similar shapes hidden through the room.

To the left and below were a few more black and white assignments for my agent (same client as the other two black and white assignments above), both having to do with valentine’s day presumably.

Cartoons for August

Gemini Publications, Newsday, Oxendine

(Oddly enough, while transferring this blog from its former home to its current placement in my website’s blog, I happened to notice that this entry has an enormous readership, comparatively. Not sure why, maybe the mention of “wacky packages” in paragraph 2, or the mention of “the x files” near the end). Who know what drives people towards clicking on a google search result?

The illustrations above and below were for an east coast newspaper client and had something to do with how women and men shop differently (if I remember correctly). I mostly remember having a lot of fun putting all sorts of little details and designs on all the packages on the shelves, reliving my ‘wacky packages’ youth once again.


Above is another cartoon for the same client, this one about ‘bad neighbors’. I wasn’t too happy with how this one turned out. I didn’t do such a good job on the perspective of the houses (never my strong suit anyway).

I had another series of small ‘factoid’ spots for a southern college lifestyle magazine (five pictured to the left and below). I also had a couple small spots for a local regional magazine (the ‘angry girl’, the ‘x-files’ illustration, and the ‘tarpaper shack’ illustration below).

November Cartoons

Briar Patch Music, Gemini Publications

The ‘swing dance’ illustration to the left was for Gemini Publications (Grand Rapids Magazine). A bit more stylized and freeflowing than my usual dumpy cartoon characters. I was quite pleased with the simple design on this one.

Less successful was another experiment in combining the cartoon style with a ‘collage’ of credit card images lifted from the internet. The cards were too low in resolution to look good and sort of clashed with the style of the ‘tree stand’ below. This was another piece for the same client in November. (pictured right below)

I also had a trio of small black and white line cartoons for the same client this month, probably for the ‘parenting’ publication (since they tended to have a smaller operating budget and frequently put out issues in black and white, except for the cover). One was on ‘holiday travel’, another dealt with gifted children and another was on ‘investigating employee benefits’.

Also this month I was contacted by a new local client. A christian music publisher wanted me to draw a caricature of one of their artists for a newsletter. This was one of those ‘big head’ caricatures that I always feel a bit awkward drawing (they never look right to me somehow), but this one turned out better than most.