New clients this year included Llewellyn Publishing (who I wouldn’t hear from in a while afterwards, but would be a bigger client in the later half of the next decade), and I started working with a reprint company, marketing some of my older scratchboard editorial illustrations to various newspapers around the country (it was never much more than about a hundred bucks a month at it’s highest point, but was a nice bit of additional income). I don’t remember much about the year. My son would have been 6-7 years old, going to a Montessori school here in Grand Rapids (1st grade perhaps?). We were probably still doing backpacking trips in the summer to various Michigan islands, and perhaps started our son with some Tee Ball and Soccer teams.
I did 442 illustrations in 1996. Oddly enough, I did more illustrations than the previous year, but my income was less than ’95 (despite starting to pick up a little reprint payments). The total illustration tally since starting freelancing in 1989 is now at 3,096.
Digging up samples for these ‘pre-digital’ years is fairly difficult, as only a sampling of the artwork has survived, for one reason or another. Anyhow, these are the ‘best’ of ’96 (that I can find):