After a very slow June and July, August has started out in high gear, with several large projects in the works (some aborigines for a client in Australia, several ‘Treasure Island’ illustrations for a client in California, and another ‘board game project’ for a client in Finland among them), and the occasional quick turnaround projects just to keep me guessing. The illustrations above and below were for the Wall Street Journal this past weekend, about unemployment.
I had a few illustrations for a North Carolina magazine (part of the inside spread shown below), regarding a notorious local personality in a ‘Music Man’ setting and costume.
Another one that I did in a ‘painterly’ style last week was for the Chronicle of Higher Education (shown below) – I actually started to do this one in scratchboard, but didn’t feel it worked with how I wanted to portray the ‘chalkboard’, so aborted and started again in the ‘oil paint style’.
Another of my ‘health care column’ illustrations for the Wall Street Journal last week yielded an unexpected bonus, when the manufacturer of the ‘device’ that was being talked about in the article contacted me with regards to purchasing the rights to the illustration for use with their own advertising and promotion. (pictured below)
April is shaping up to be a fairly steady month, and I’ve had several interesting projects over the past few weeks. The illustration above is another fiction piece for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. This was an interesting story with a murder victim who operated an old style printing press, and took me back down memory lane. The first job I ever applied for in high school was at a local printer/newspaper who still used these old lead typesetting chunks.
The illustration below was a two page spread for Business North Carolina, and was about Mexican laborers leaving the state due to the poor job market. I tried to emulate a Diego Rivera style, mostly in the color scheme, and worked in oil pastels instead of the usual oil paints to give it a little more texture.
I also had a rush job for the Wall Street Journal this week. 4 spots trying to explain how the ‘toxic assets’ funds from the government were going to work. Below that, is an illustration for the Chronicle of Higher Education, accompanying an article about the popular grammar textbook that has been in use in college writing classes for the past 50 years (and the author had a rather dubious opinion of its worth and merits).
Also, this week, I did a pair of short presentations at a middle school in Lansing. I showed the kids some samples of my work, gave a demonstration of ‘digital drawing’, and got the kids involved in some messy charcoal sketches. Not something I do all that often, and it was a fun break from the routine.
March has started fairly strong, with plenty of work on the docket, and looks to be so for the coming weeks at least. The large overseas ‘board game’ project continues to take up a majority of my time, and I should have some samples to post near the end of the month. In the meantime, I also had several other projects come across the desk in the past few weeks. The above illustration, for the Chronicle of Higher Education should appear in an upcoming issue, and the illustration below, was another fiction illustration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, one of my longest running clients (this year will mark 20 years of working together).
This past weekend I also had a few quick turnaround illustrations for the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong. The above illustration was for a cover, and I also had a portrait assignment (below).
More portraits were in store for me this past week, with an assignment from the North Carolina Business Review. A rather fun assignment where I had to surround the portrait subject with a boardroom staffed with bobble head dolls. The complete two page spread is pictured above, and I have zoomed in on the right side of the image to show detail below.
Also this week, I had another ‘health care’ illustration for the Wall Street Journal, this one having to do with a new form of Alzheimer’s medication. The original sketch had the character sweeping off a brain, but the editors felt it might ‘gross people out’, so we went with an ‘elderly head’ as an alternate idea. Personally, I thought it ended up looking like a treatment for dandruff with this change, but what do I know?
The illustration above was for a new client, Business North Carolina magazine, a little different style than the usual scratchboard. A fun portrait assignment of Ken Thompson (of Wachovia fame). I tried doing a little faux ‘cracking’ in the paint to emulate an old canvas, subtle around the edges, but it doesn’t show up real well on this small version I’ve posted here.