In July of 1989, I received my first assignment from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Little did I know that this client would remain, more or less, a steady buyer of illustrations from me for the next thirty years. This was also, more than likely, the first ‘scratchboard’ illustration I sold to any national publication. Quite crude in execution, and it astounds me that they came back for more based on this first effort. You can also see, oddly enough, a signature down in the bottom right corner, something that I stopped including quite soon after this.
A huge thank you to Bruce Harris of New Jersey, for heeding my plea for back issues, as most of the original artwork for these assignments have disappeared over the years.
These are a few more pastels probably from around ’88 or ’89. Some of them were done with the ‘limited edition’ poster market in mind, others were just done for fun and experience. I actually came close to selling a few pieces to a poster distributor (as far as actually packing up and shipping a few pastels to them to look at in person), but the deal fell through for one reason or another. I believe the two ‘lighthouse’ pieces above were the ones they were interested in.
The piece below was rather large, and I went so far as to enter it in a local art competition (didn’t get in). I eventually gave it to a friend and it hangs in their living room.
I also did a fair share of pastel drawings from old photographs that I picked up at flea markets. This one below was one of these. Another one, of a girl wearing an oversized hat, ended up being bought by the local community college where it still hangs (the last I heard). The ‘girl with a hat’ picture I ended up doing a copy of, and gave one of them to my sister, who has it hanging in her office. (I may get a picture of it yet and post it here)
In these early days of my career, I would just draw whatever came into my head, just to keep working. Searching around for a style, for something, anything, that might catch a buyer’s eye.