Last of the Spots (for this Client)

Christianity Today

These were the last spots for Marriage Partnership magazine (Christianity Today), who I had been working for since the early nineties.

It is kind of interesting to note, that I’ve been doing small spot illustration series of one sort or another almost continuously since the early nineties, only the styles and clients change hands. I’ll do a stint with one client for a couple years, then that peters out, then another seems to take up the baton for a couple more years, and so on and so on. Not the kind of thing that makes a big splash or gets an illustrator noticed, but it is nice to have steady work, and it seems to be my calling.

Going Batty (First Cricket Cover)

Christianity Today, Cricket

After 6 years of doing inside story work for Cricket magazine, I finally got a cover shot for them early in ’95. An interesting layout, but I’m not crazy about the technique I used. I tried to mix acrylic paints and scratchboard as a way of showing some depth of field and lighten up the colors for a brighter cover (despite the night-time scene). I continued regularly contributing to the inside of the magazine for several years afterwards and got another chance at a cover assignment over ten years later (I think I did much better the second time).

I also had a trio of spots this month for Marriage Partnership (Christianity Today). These were a semi-regular affair, and usually involved stories related to ‘men’s lifestyles’. The top one was something to do with a survey of women who would prefer a husband who looks like Danny DeVito but who does the dishes, over a man who looks like Robert Redford. I forget the topics of the other two. These were a little different in style from either my usual scratchboard, or cartoon style, I guess you would call this my ‘fallback caricature style’, almost cartoon, but a bit more refined and controlled. (and done with a rapideograph pen as opposed to the brush and ink I used in the cartoons)


Christianity Today, CRC

The above illustration for the Christian Reformed Church was for a magazine article, something about ‘seeing through the fog’, if I remember correctly. I had done a few acrylics before, mostly as self promo pieces, trying to sell a new style that was similar to the light pastel look, but more durable for mailing. This was one of the earlier paying jobs with this style though. I ended up taking this painting with me to Minnesota the following summer to sell the idea of doing the next book project in acrylics.

I also had another batch of small black and white spot illustrations for Marriage Partnership (Christianity Today) this month. I don’t quite remember the specific topics, but this was usually for a ‘men’s issues’ column that I contributed to for a couple of years.

Spring Spots

Christianity Today

These spots were for a regular column I was illustrating for Marriage Partnership magazine (Christianity Today). These went with small ‘factoids’ geared towards their male readers, and since the invoices don’t always give me enough of a description to pinpoint when specific spots were published, I’m just guessing on which to include here by way of example. These may have been from ’94, or they very well may have been from ’93 or ’92.

I’ve decided to bunch them all together here in this post rather than spread them out month by month. I had spot assignments (usually 3 at a time) from this client in May, in March, and in January, and they can all be found here.

Also this month, I got a first assignment from Sign of the Times magazine, another evangelical publication out in Idaho. They would go on to be an infrequent regular during the mid to late 90s.

I’m not sure why I chose to use this unusual style for these spots, perhaps it was because the first assignment I had for them was a caricature assignment, and I just naturally stuck with it on subsequent jobs. These were done with a rapideograph, my art tool of choice back in my ‘graphic art’ days in the 80s.

Seeing Spots

Christianity Today

Some more spots here for Marriage Partnership (Christianity Today). The spots here were for the magazine in November and in September. I notice that I’ve started toying with the idea of ‘signing’ these, but I wasn’t very consistent with it. I’ve also noticed a recurring ‘shadow’ technique that almost works as a signature. I’ve never much liked the idea of signing my work, not sure why, perhaps it has always struck me as a sort of conceit.