Kids Workbook Project

Instructional Fair


Around the turn of the century (hmm, still sounds strange to say that), I did a number of black and white children’s workbook projects for a local educational book publisher, Instructional Fair. These usually involved a series of 20-30 small spot illustrations, mostly cartoonish in style, on a variety of subjects, depending on the book title. I mostly worked with one editor, and we did a number of books together, but then after a few years, the company underwent some shake-ups and reorganizing, and the projects started drying up. Occasionally one would trickle in, the company now called ‘Carson Dellosa’ and with different editors, and this one that I did in the fall of 2004 was the last one that I worked on. I’m only posting a few of the illustrations here, just to give a feel for what the project entailed. These are not available for reprints, due to the contract I signed, but posted for history’s sake.
These were usually quite fun to do, for the most part. The pay wasn’t all that great, but the sheer volume of illustrations meant a substantial paycheck at the end of the project. They were fairly quick and easy, and gave me a lot of practice in perfecting my ‘cartoon line work’, and most importantly, kept me busy.

This particular batch of illustrations was for a book on ‘outdoor activities for children’. The quantity was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 illustrations, ranging in size from full page to small spots, and mostly similar to the type of illustrations seen here in this posting (a couple were more involved and difficult, but there were more than enough of the small quick ones to even things out).

There was usually very little in the way of art direction or changes to my sketch ideas, so working with this client was usually pretty painless. Looking back, though, I wish I was a bit more strident in negotiating the contracts, as there were a mountain of illustrations involved.

More illustrations from this book here on another posting. The book is still available on Amazon (link here).

Keeping Busy

CRC, Instructional Fair


October was a very busy month for me. Based in South Haven, caring for my Dad as he went through chemo treatments for Multiple Myeloma, and working on the dining room table. I had three big multi-illustration projects come due right around the same time. Carson Dellosa, who had been giving me work since around ’99 (though under the name of Instructional Fair), and who had gone through some corporate shake-ups in recent years handed me an assignment to illustrate a ‘spanish poster’ which needed around 25 spot illustrations to illustrate different spanish nouns (pictured at left and below). Rather than post all of them, I just chose a couple examples, the rooster, the kite and the leaf. For the same designer during this month, I also had a book cover illustration (pictured above), something geared towards teachers in need of activities to occupy their classrooms.

For the same company, but a different designer/editor, I had a pair of workbooks which needed about 20 or so black and white illustrations each. I’ve chosen a few samples to post here, and the rest are posted in another pair of blog entries this month. These were for a series of ‘Test Preparation’ books that I was working on throughout the year (grades 3 through 8), and the two this month were for grades 4 and 5.

In addition to these projects, and my regular monthly workload, I also was working on an ongoing curriculum project for the Christian Reformed Church. Most of the pieces were large in size 11×17 (and some larger posters), mostly done in a modified semi-realistic cartoon style.

This ‘bible’ project was an ongoing thing (this current project since ’02), meaning that I didn’t do all the work in October, but it was spaced out over a period of 3 months or so, but the finishes just happened to come due in October. There were about 20 or so of these illustrations in each batch, and they were all fairly similar, depicting various bible scenes and/or activities, and I’ve just chosen a few of them to post here by way of example. (more to be found here in another posting)


Test Booklet Grade 4

Instructional Fair

These are some further samples from the Carson Dellosa book project ‘Teamwork Test Prep Grade 4′ that I provided illustrations for in October of ’04. As is usual with these projects, the topics were all over the board, and the illustrations were a wide variety of sizes and shapes. The book is still available on Amazon (link here)