September Scratchboards

ABA, ChronicleHE, Legal Times, National Business Employment Weekly

The above illustration was for a midwest legal magazine. I seem to remember this was about Judges becoming involved in the community. Below is another illustration for the same client, and I don’t remember what that one was about.

The illustration to the left was another that has slipped from my memory. This was for an educational publication, and probably dealt with something cerebral.

Below was an illustration for a new client this month, an east coast magazine, who needed a small spot to accompany an article about a local author’s new book.

Below was an illustration for an east coast legal newspaper regarding immigration reforms, and the mixed messages we are sending. Additionally for this client I had a rather unusual map illustration which I haven’t bothered to include here.

This month marked the last assignment I would get from an east coast magazine client who had been keeping me pretty busy the previous 12 months. Unfortunately the magazine folded. This was a piece on salaries, and also included a number of small spots in which I separated out each of the characters on the cover into individual stacks of cash (something along the lines of the color spot pictured to the left, except the rest were in black and white)

Below is another assignment for my educational publication client, this one having to do with prayer in the locker rooms of publicly funded institutions.

More April Scratchboards

Innovision, Legal Times, National Business Employment Weekly

The above large illustration was for a new east coast newspaper client this month. I don’t remember what it was about, but it seems to cover all the bases (a doctor, a student, a computer user, buildings, cars, buses, businessmen – oh, and pigeons).

I had another assignment from a national newspaper client who has been keeping me somewhat busy the past 6 months or so. I had hopes this would turn into a nice regular gig for me, but unfortunately the newspaper folded later in the year. The ‘guy in the light’ illustration was for the cover, and has been cropped down, and the ‘spotlight’ illustration (which turned out much better of the two) was a small inside spot for the contents page.

I had another series of illustrations this month for my west coast magazine client. I’ve been doing quite a few of these this past year (and the coming year), and they usually involve a larger color illustration (above) and a series of related smaller black and white spots (pictured below). The concept this month was ‘origami’ creatures made out of ‘money’, and for the cover, I used almost a ‘collage’ effect made up out of found images on the internet. An unusual experiment for me, and something I never quite went back to again. I don’t quite remember if I looked up actual ‘origami’ designs to base these creatures on, or if I just made it up out of my head (probably the latter). It might have been interesting to do this photographically, and actually learn origami and fold up dollar bills for each of these, but probably not feasable on a tight deadline.

The Good and the Not So Good

Carus Publishing, ChronicleHE, National Business Employment Weekly, Newsday

The above illustration was a cover assignment for the Chronicle of Higher Education. This was on the topic of ‘Incivility’ and I was pretty much given free reign to come up with what I wanted on this one. A departure for me to do something less ‘structured’ and ‘concrete’, and I must say I’m still pretty happy with how this one looks, even nearly 10 years after I originally did it. Wish I could say the same for most of the rest of the work I’ve been digging up from this period.

The illustration to the right was for Footsteps (Cobblestone) and dealt with ‘black sea chanties’. Not too bad, at least I kept it simple. The illustration below, however is one that really makes me cringe. I really should have tried something a bit simpler to get across the ‘balloon’ idea, the excessive linework just gets in the way. The illustration below that, of the ‘tire pump’ was a small accompanying spot, and was much more successful than the larger cover illo. These were both for National Business Employment Weekly.

I had two assignments for Legal Times this month, both featuring President Clinton. Neither of them captured a good likeness. I’m not sure if I ever did a decent caricature of this guy the entire time he was in office, and only finally ‘nailed’ him a couple years after he left. Both of these illustrations are fairly cringe-worthy, both in the execution and the layout, not to mention how I was hampered with strange concepts from the starting gate.

The above illustration was a ‘same day’ editorial piece for Newsday. This one probably dealing with the Bosnia situation.


ABA, National Business Employment Weekly, Recorder

The above illustration was for The Recorder. I did a fairly steady stream of work for this client for about a year or so, but then a series of budget cuts forced them to curtail illustration usage. This one was an early alarmist piece about the upcoming Y2K fears. I’m struck by how quickly any of these illustrations can look so ‘dated’ when anything ‘modern’ is introduced into the picture (like the current computer model of the time), and how something much less concrete in subject matter can transend the era in which it was produced. (sometimes a ‘style’ can do that as well, which is obvious when you flip through some old illustration annuals). The illustrations on this page all seem very dated to me.

The illustration below was for the American Bar Association. They wanted something a little 50s ‘horror movie’, and wanted some hand lettering. Not my favorite thing to do, but I bit the bullet and gave it my best shot.

This series of spot illustrations was for National Business Employment Weekly. They just wanted a set of ‘computer spots’, anthromorphized and in several different poses. Probably about ‘online job hunting’. Since I was less specific on the style of computer, these don’t look quite so dated, although the boxy computer monitors do date them a bit. The color spots were for the cover and inside contents page, and the rest of the black and white spots were sprinkled throughout the issue.

October Color Scratchboards

Carus Publishing, Cobblestone, National Business Employment Weekly, Newsday, Recorder

The illustration above and below were for National Business Employment Weekly. The illustration above was for the cover, and had the added distinction of being picked up as a sample illustration to be used in the ‘Artist’s Market’ book for the following year with a brief bio of myself and story about how the assignment came to me. When I first started out, I used this reference book quite a bit for finding clients, though I use it to a much lesser extent these days.

It’s funny sometimes to see how similar topics pop up together from two different clients in the same month. I had two ‘cannon’ illustrations this month. The larger ‘corporate wars’ illustration above was for The Recorder, and the small spot to the left was for Cobblestone, about the Civil War. I think I prefer the smaller spot. Around this time, and for many years afterwards, I was still quite intimidated by a full page illustration assignment. I tended to concentrate on details and miss out on the big picture. The scratchboard tends to look way too busy and muddy on the larger scale. In later years I learned a few tricks to help make the larger ones more successful, like increasing my line width, using large areas of black or white a bit more judiciously, and trying to see the picture as a whole instead of concentrating on individual bits and pieces in the composition.

The illustration below was another full page assignment from the Recorder.

The above illustration was for Newsday. Something to do with the home health care industry.