One of the frills of promoting more than one style of illustration. Less than six months after I did a cover illustration for On The Town, a local arts magazine, they wanted another in my ‘pastel’ style. I remember being quite thrilled at these cover assignments, which were seen all over town, but in hindsight, the pay was negligable, the exposure swift and fleeting, and it wasn’t much more than an ego boost when it was desperately needed.
I picked up a few new national clients this month, a piece for Sailing World, and a series of conceptual illustrations for a magazine called Chronicles out of Rockford Illinois. This was the first assignment I had where I was asked to illustrate a more ‘esoteric’ series of articles (illustrating an ‘idea’ rather than something a bit more concrete), and I remember being rather stressed out by this one, barely getting my head around the articles I was reading.
This is the fourth assignment I had for Alfred Hitchcock. Compared to the previous 3, this was a bit more ambitious in scale (two characters interacting, furniture and such). Still quite crude in execution, and my hands are a mess, but I seem to have a good eye for a composition despite the raw technique. The artwork for these early AHMM pieces have long since disappeared, but thanks to a Mr. Bruce Harris who has recently been sending me samples of my early work for this publication (this being posted in late 2018, nearly thirty years later).
I forget how this appearance in an ‘Artist how-to’ magazine came about. Perhaps there was a ‘call for entries’ that I sent some samples to, or perhaps the magazine saw the portrait on the cover of one of my early mailers. Anyhow, while this didn’t pay much (if it paid anything – I dont’ have a record of any income from it), it did give me a boost of confidence when it was really needed. Here I was being used as an example of ‘pastel portrait art’ (and on the opening page of the article, no less). A funny thing happened a year or so later, I was at a party at the neighbor’s house and started talking to this one woman who it turns out was a ‘fellow grand rapids artist’, and who not only recognized me and my name from the portrait in this magazine article, but whose art appeared on the next page in the same article (a portrait of her husband). (cue ‘it’s a small world after all’)
This was my first color postcard mailing, and probably went out sometime in early 1990. I don’t remember where I got it printed, or how many I sent out. For some reason though, I have a vague memory from around this time, of getting ripped off by a ‘fly by night’ operation that advertised for postcard printing in the back of an industry trade magazine. (not this postcard, but another, in which I sent out payment in advance, and never got anything back from them, or even returned phone calls, to the point where I reported them to the better business bureau).