Maps etc

Carus Publishing, CRC, Metro Detroit Parent



A trio of maps this month for my children’s publication client. One of them for a history magazine that included a bunch of small vignettes on the revolutionary war, and then an all purpose mediterranean map that I forget what purpose it served. Below was a historical map of the port of Alexandria (which may or may not have been part of the ‘mediterranean’ assignment).

Also this month, for my regular ‘puzzle page’ gig for the science publication (same client), I had a rather complex drawing and series of small spots having something to do with animals inside of bubbles (I seem to remember that the client was going to place the small spots somewhere within the large bubble).

This month marked the end of my working relationship with my ‘agent’. I had been taking assignments off and on through this local agent for the past 7 or 8 years. I didn’t mind the work that she brought my way, but I was able to generate much more on my own, and without the 30 percent cut. The past few years of our working relationship was pretty much confined to a single regional magazine client out of Detroit, with black and white cartoon images similar to the one pictured below.

I also had an assignment for a local religious organization this month, a ‘sticker sheet’ of bible characters and misc items that would no doubt be part of some activity for their sunday school curriculum.

Scratchboards in May

America, Legal Times, Metro Detroit Parent, WSJ



A lot of steady work this month, but nothing particularly memorable. The two illustrations above for my national newspaper client both seemed to be saying the same things; careful, we’re not out of the woods yet.

Meanwhile, of course, Uncle Sam is still handing out the tax cuts, as we can see in the illustration to the left for the same client (this may have been around the time of George Bush’s ‘tax rebate’ – but I can’t be sure).

I had another piece for my agent this month, this one for a michigan regional publication (pictured right). I don’t remember the topic, whether it was about legalized gambling, or simply something to do with family budgets.

I had a piece on alcoholism and substance abuse for a jesuit magazine this month (pictured left), and a couple illustrations for an east coast legal newspaper (pictured below). It was fun to draw a couple of ‘superheroes’, a subject I rarely get to tackle, even if it was a bit tongue in cheek, and overly explanatory text heavy. The other ‘senate floor ruckus’ illustration was on an obscure topic that I’ve long forgotten the significance of.

Cartoon Spots

Metro Detroit Parent, Oxendine, Strang Publications

I had a series of cartoon spot illustrations this month for a college lifestyle magazine. I’d been doing these small factoid illos for this client for almost ten years at this point, and the styles have changed and mutated over time. This client was always very open minded and I was allowed a lot of freedom to experiment. Eventually we sort of settled on this particular style as being a good compromise between stylistic and time constraint issues. The pay scale didn’t allow me to spent a great deal of time on each, but with this rather loose style I could usually fit in a lot of detail and humor and keep it fresh looking and fun. The most time consuming part of these projects were usually just the brainstorming sessions, coming up with a fresh approach to frequently repetitive or esoteric topics.
I also had a cartoon assignment this month for an evangelical magazine client. This rather strange one had something to do with ‘positive attitudes’. I didn’t care what the story was about, it was just fun to draw a creepy tentacled monster.

Also this month, I had a few more black and white cartoon assignments from my agent for a Michigan regional magazine (the camping and juggling illustrations pictured below).

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.