Where Did September Go?

Barrons, US Catholic, WSJ

Blink, and you miss it. September has come and gone, and it seems we have gone right from late summer to leaves turning and chilly temperatures. I had a few short vacations this past month, and I’m also in the thick of a couple book projects, so the time has sort of gotten away from me. We had a nice time up at the Wheatland Music Festival early in the month, and then we had a beautiful week in Ireland during the middle weeks, but here it is the last day of September and we will be starting the fast downhill ride into the holiday season before long. In the meantime, I have a few projects to share. The illustration above was one that I did for Barrons last week, and below is an illustration for US Catholic that I finished around the same time. (both of these came in during the Ireland trip, so I was very grateful for the flexibility of both these clients in giving me a little extra time on the deadlines)

I’ve also jumped headfirst into the two aforementioned book projects and hope to have them squared away in a month or so (contractual obligations won’t let me share any of that work until publication). Last Friday afternoon, however, I got a quickie rush job for the Journal (I believe it was the quickest I’ve ever turned around a job of this size), and it was a shame I only had an hour or two from start to finish, as I would have liked to put a little more work into this one. Normally, I would have done this sort of thing in Scratchboard, but the time constraint forced me to work in a much more expedient style. (pictured below)

Also, in my last post, I promised I would share a photo of the ‘contraption’ that I help decorate this past summer for the kids hill ‘musical instrument activity’. Below is a photo of myself, and the two engineers who came up with this device (which takes a tin can and crimps it to be used as a washboard — the gears and mechanisms are all contained in the box in front of the handlebars, which is powered by the child sitting on the bike, and just for fun it is also covered with horns and bells and whistles to make the whole process a lot more fun for the kids).

July Roundup

AHMM, Barrons, ChronicleHE, Penguin, WSJ

July is quickly coming to a close, and I’ve got a few pieces of summer work to share. I just finished up the ‘sketch phase’ of another Penguin book (this one on Robert Ripley) and will have a few days rest before I end up starting another book project for Baker early next week. In the meantime, I received several complimentary copies of one of the books I did last fall, on the Panama Canal, so I’ve chosen a sampling of the 80+ drawings that I did for the interior of that project to share with you now. I’ve so far done seven book projects for Penguin’s ‘Who was’ and ‘What was’ series of young reader books in the past year and a half, and below is a complete list with Amazon links for those who would want to purchase them (with the exception of one of the books, I have been primarily involved with the black and white interior illustrations).

Who Was Laura Ingalls Wilder (interior illustrations)

Who Were the Wright Brothers (interior illustrations)

What Was the Panama Canal (interior illustrations)

What Was the Lewis & Clark Expedition (interiors & cover)

Who Was Julius Caesar (interior illustrations)

Who Was Isaac Newton (interior illustrations)

Who Was Robert Ripley (coming soon)

In addition to the work on the current book project this past month, I’ve also done several assignments for some of my ‘shorter deadline’ clients. Below are some pieces for Barrons, Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that I’ve done over the past few weeks.

I’m having a feeling that August and September are going to be a logistical nightmare, with a planned trip to the Wheatland Music Festival and a week in Ireland, and two books to put to bed in the middle of it, but I’m hoping I’m wrong.

Halfway through 2014

Barrons, Green Prints, US Catholic

Halfway through 2014, and we’re heading out for a short camping/music making weekend with the bandmates this coming holiday. A few pieces to share, and after the break I’ll likely be back at work on a new book project. Above and the following two illustrations were all for Barrons over the past couple weeks (these three were actually assigned at the same time, but were intended to be used over subsequent weeks, as a way of covering staff summer vacations).

A larger than usual assignment for US Catholic last week on retirement options (you can click on the small image below to see an enlarged version)

Then on Friday I had a couple of black and white illustrations for GreenPrints.

Have a happy and safe 4th weekend everyone.

and into Summer…


Busy week, finishing up the last of the three book projects I’ve been working on since early this year (all, of course, I’m unable to share here, for contractual reasons). A new book project starts early next week, so I’m apparently not out of the woods yet. One of the books from last year just got published, so I may share a sampling of illustrations from that one in the coming week, but until then, I’ve posted the one ‘editorial’ assignment I had come across my desk in the past couple of weeks, a piece for Barrons on bank regulations.

Going to be a busy weekend of music, with the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts taking place on the 6th, 7th & 8th. My band plays on Saturday morning, and I typically take the weekend off of work, and spend the entire weekend wandering around, catching some music acts, eating food from the booths, and getting a sunburn.