Good Old Caduceus

Barrons, Chicago Magazine, ChronicleHE, New York Newsday, WSJ

If there this one guarantee when you enter into the freelance illustration business, it is that you will be dealing in a lot of visual cliches. Yesterday had another crack at drawing a caduceus for Barrons, and I’ve done plenty over the past 27 plus years. Like their good friends: Uncle Sam, Lady Justice, the Top Hatted Millionaire, the Cap and Gown Graduate, The Bear and the Bull, and too many others to mention, they pop up again and again. Below, I’ve collected a sampling of caduceus illustrations from other clients¬†(Wall Street Journal, Newsday, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Chicago Magazine, among others)¬†just for fun.

Amy (24) & weekend assignments

Blown Covers, Facebook Faces, New York Newsday


After a slow week, believe it or not I actually have an assignment today. So today’s portrait has to be a quickie, and since I’m overdue for a caricature, I picked another ‘early caricature victim’ from my friends list. This is Amy, a girl I went to high school with, and these days she’s my sister’s sister-in-law. Rumor has it that she always hated how I drew her, usually with prominent cheeks and jawline. Well, old habits die hard.

Later today I’ll post the results of today’s same-day project, and I’ll no doubt be posting another of my ‘Blown Covers’ sketches that I did earlier this week.

Above is an illustration I did for Newsday this afternoon (click on the image for a larger version).
And as for the “Blown Covers” blog that I’ve been contributing sketches to for the past four weeks. Seems I got chosen this time around for top honors. It looks like they made some alterations to my original sketch (not sure that I agree with the tweaks, I thought the original version balanced better), but anyhow, a nice honor. (Immediately below, my original sketch, and then the version that appears on the site with alterations)

days 87-90 (end of the challenge)

Baker Book House, Llewellyn, New York Newsday

Day Eighty Seven


Today’s illustration was a quick turnaround assignment for Newsday that I did on Friday afternoon for the Sunday paper. This story was on ‘cyber terrorism threats’.

Day Eighty Eight


Finishing up the ‘funny animals’ for Baker this weekend. Next, I’ll be working on a complicated ‘what’s wrong’ picture for Highlights back cover assignment. Stay tuned.

Day Eighty Nine


I haven’t yet gotten the go-ahead on the Highlights job, so I began work on the ‘Witch’ book cover. Here’s a few sneak peeks at a couple of the elements while it is ‘in progress’.

Day Ninety (end of challenge recap)


Today’s illustration is a cover assignment for Llewellyn Publishing. I’ve been doing these for the past 5 years or so (click on the ‘Llewellyn’ category above to find the other covers). I also saved another version of the ‘roses’ on the cover that will be used as a back cover wraparound element (pictured below). You can see a larger version of the illustration above by clicking on the image.

Well, Ninety days later (and only took me 113 days to complete, once you factored in all the ‘days off’ I gave myself). I started this ‘drawing a day challenge’ back in June as a way of distracting myself from the horribly slow sales year I’ve been experiencing, and as a way to motivate myself to work outside the box, and to draw something every day regardless of whether or not I had an actual paying assignment. I have to say it was a positive experience overall. I found myself experimenting more, and then found myself actually using the new skills that I picked up in ‘extracurricular’ work and utilizing them in assignments. Work has picked up slightly in the three months that I’ve been doing this, which is a trend I hope continues, and I may just repeat this experiment again next year, should circumstances allow.

Days 14 through 18

CRC, Freaks of Nurture Comics, New York Newsday, WSJ

Day Fourteen:


Yesterday’s ‘day fourteen’ illustration is coming in a little late for various good excuses. I was working on a rather large WSJ assignment (which will more than likely be ‘day fifteen’), plus my music group The Jukejoint Handmedowns began work on recording their first cd for several hours during the day.
So, anyways, today’s illustration is one for the Freaks of Nurture blog, an essay about ‘fear’.

Day Fifteen:


And here’s the Journal assignment I’ve been working on for the past few days. This is a cover assignment, which needed to leave room in the center and along the right edge for copy purposes.

Day Sixteen:


Another paying assignment today, this one to accompany a ‘father’s day’ article for Newsday. Quick turnaround, sketches in the morning, finish by the afternoon. I’ll also be working on some tee shirt concepts this afternoon, but the sun is shining, so I think I’m going to take a few hours off and enjoy the sunshine.

Day Seventeen:


Since it’s the weekend, and I didn’t have a lot of free time available, I decided to go back to some more paint experimentation with another ‘yearbook’ portrait. This time working a little bigger and in more detail.

Day Eighteen:


Skipped a day yesterday to enjoy a lazy Father’s Day, and today’s illustration is another paying assignment from the CRC. They wanted a series of small heads of parents, teens, kids, grandparents of mixed ethnicities in a fairly iconic colorful cartoon style.

Promising End of Week Upturn

New York Newsday, WSJ


A slow couple of weeks, but these past few days have seen a couple of new jobs trickle in. A little too soon to get optimistic, but I certainly appreciate having projects crossing the desk again. The one above, on the nuclear situation in Japan, was a same day project for Newsday, and I also had a quick turnaround project for the Wall Street Journal this week (pictured below). Interesting lately, how I sometimes like the rough sketches better than the finish (sketches for both projects included below — the WSJ project had several changes to the ‘acronyms’ before the final round). Perhaps I should turn my ‘sketch’ style into yet another marketable medium.



I also got a call this afternoon for another project for next week that sounds like it will be fun, involving those little plastic ‘army men’ toys, and I’ve also been working on yet another comic strip for the ‘freaks of nurture’ project. Stay tuned.