Another Minnesota Book

St. Mary's Press


I ran across this assignment for St Mary’s Press in my invoices, and I barely remember this project. This was a series of probably about 10 illustrations, all black and white and all scratchboard. Apparently not an important enough title to fly me out to Minnesota to discuss, as this one was handled over the phone and fax machine. I don’t remember any of the illustrations, but I found an image online of the book cover, and it is available used for very reasonable rates on Amazon (link here)

ADDENDUM: I think I’ve found one of the originals for this project while looking through the archives for something else. (a pictured below)

Also this month, I did my first assignment for the American Bar Association out of Chicago. They would continue to be a steady client to the present day. The original art for this first project hasn’t survived, unfortunately.

Book Project (I think)

St. Mary's Press


This is a rather mysterious set of illustrations. I can’t find an invoice to correspond with these, but my memory leads me to believe that this was for another book project for St Mary’s Press that I’d been doing work for during ’94-96. I’m guessing these were done somewhere late in ’94. I kind of like the bold woodcut look of these, much better looking than most of the scratchboards I was doing around this period. (of course, there is also the outside chance that these were done for the Christian Reformed Church, who I was also doing a lot of work for during this period)

Newspaper and Book Work

Baker Book House, Newsday, St. Mary's Press


The above ‘same day’ illustration was another one for Newsday. ‘Same day’ assignments at this time usually involved making a trip to the copy shop so I could enlarge the illustration as big as possible, and then faxing the enlarged version to the client to use as an ‘original’. At least in this way, I was able to hang on to a lot of the original artwork, which otherwise I probably wouldn’t see again.

Also, while researching the month of November, I came across another book assignment for St Mary’s Press. I don’t remember it much, and no artwork has survived that I’m aware of. I think I found the link for the book on Amazon, which still has a few used copies for sale. According to the invoice it looks like I provided about 8-10 illustrations for this one. I also had another book cover illustration for Baker Book House, although I don’t remember much about it. (this link at Amazon might be the same book, but I’m not certain).

Textbook Project

St. Mary's Press


In the summer of ’94 I had one of the biggest projects of my career so far. This was a catholic school textbook that would involve several color ‘chapter opener’ illustrations like the two color samples I’ve included here, plus a color cover spread across the front and back, plus several smaller black and white illustrations (something in the neighborhood of 30 or so), plus additional color inside pieces and a few large spreads. This project also involved a personal day long consultation and visit with the publisher in Minnesota, St Mary’s Press, which was a new thing for me. A plane ride and night’s stay in a local hotel, being shuttled around by the art director. Needless to say, this ‘hermit in training’ was a bit nervous. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it would be today, as I still got out of the office occasionally to deal with local clients at the time, but I was still not quite prepared for so much personal face time all at once.

Most of the ‘major illustrations’ were roughed out on site during the board meeting (gave me something to do, and I have always been much better at communicating visually rather than verbally), and a recurring motif was discussed (the ‘dove of peace’) which popped up in one way or another in each of the main illustrations. I’ve still got most of the original artwork for this project, surprisingly enough, although I think I may have sold one of them to the art director as a keepsake (probably the cover spread). I’ve chosen a few of the better ones to post here by way of example.


The black and white wash illustration below didn’t scan too well. this was a two page spread illustration portraying a ‘sustainable city’ with wind generators, designer communities, etc, and was a late addition to the project, according to the invoices, being billed out nearer the end of the year while the rest of the book was billed out around this time.