The above illustration was for Gemini Publications (Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Parent), and accompanied a humor article about travel. The illustration to the left and below were probably related in some way (due to the scrolls), but other than that, I forget which client they were for or what they were even about.
Oxendine Publishing (Student Leader) had a batch of small ‘factoid’ cartoons for me this month on the usual smorgasborg of topics. At this point, I’ve switched over from a more ‘experimental style’ with these that I had toyed with earlier in the year to a more reasonable ‘cartoon style’, but I see that I’m still jam packing them full of detail and shading that I would eventually discard due to time and budget restraints.
I also had the usual gamut of ‘lifestyle/relationship’ type illustrations in this style over the course of December for different clients. Above, a piece on ‘busy moms’ for Newsday, and to the right an illustration on ‘money and relationships’ for Gemini. Below is another one for the same local client, this one on ‘dating’. The illustration below that was for The Interpretor, although, for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was about.
The illustrations in this posting were another in a series of assignments I did for Innovision (Critical Care Nurse) during ’98 and ’99. These usually involved a larger color cover illustration, and a series of smaller black and white spots for the inside on a similar theme. This month the concept was ‘shadows’, and I was pretty pleased overall with how these turned out. Sometimes with this project I am happy with either the cover illustration or the inside spots, but rarely was I ever happy with how the entire package worked together, and this one was an exception in this regard. Overall, though, I wish I’d gone a bit further with the ‘shadow’ ideas on some of them. The ‘acorn/tree’ and the ‘shadow/hug’ being examples of the better concepts, while the others were much less inventive.
Most of the illustrations in this posting were departures from my usual ‘style’ as I played around with the different options available to me through this new digital medium. Not all were entirely successful, but I relished the chance to try something new every time the opportunity presented itself to me, and I’m sure I learned something with each triumph and failure. The piece above was another ‘food’ illustration for Newsday. I had been doing these throughout ’98 and would continue to provide illustrations for this repeating column over the next few years.
In a similar style, but less successfully (I thought) was the ‘football’ illustration for the Chronicle of Higher Education (left).
Sometimes different digital mediums could be combined in new and interesting ways, like the above ‘twister’ illustration for one of Cobblestone Publishing’s titles. An accompanying ‘map’ is pictured below for the same article on ‘tornado alley’.
I also had more technical map assignments, which probably would have been much harder to do prior to ‘going digital’, and, while they weren’t nearly as interesting from a ‘concept’ angle, they did give me a nice break from the routine and a chance to let my batteries recharge. The illustration to the left was one of several ‘locator’ type maps that I would frequently be asked to provide with each map assignment. I usually don’t include them here in the blog, as they tend to look quite similar to each other, but this one was a nice overall example from this time period. The map below was an info map to show where ‘Kurds’ are concentrated in the Middle East.
The border illustration below was another for the same client and went with an article about ‘campire songs’. This one was a combination of colored pencils and watercolor washes.
Similarly, the above two illustrations for an article on Jane Adams for the same client was a combination of watercolor, pen and ink and scratchboard techniques. This was a technique I wasn’t overly happy with and didn’t come back to it again much.
The above illustration marked my first assignment from America magazine, a Jesuit publication that I would have a long relationship with over the coming years. Previously, they had only purchased reprints from me, for illustrations that I had done for US Catholic, but they began to branch out and commission original work around this time. The budgets were initially quite low, but I compensated by keeping the illustrations simple and quick, until they were able to start offering better rates (which came later).
The ‘computer bug’ illustration above was for the American Bar Association. I had a lot of fun with the bug, which turned out nice, but I wish I’d spent more time on the people in the picture, and perhaps the shadows could have been better handled.
Clinton’s impeachment was in the news quite a bit this month, and I had two assignments on the topic from Legal Times. Neither was particularly imaginative in concept, but I thought I did a pretty good job with what I was handed.
On the west coast, I had an assignment for another legal magazine, The Recorder. This is one I wish I could have the chance to do again (and I might, just for fun on an upcoming promo postcard). They wanted a sort of ‘pandoras box’ type image, and if I were to do again, I would definitely go a bit darker, and worked a little homage of Bosch into the beasties and creatures pouring out of the box.
And, back on the east coast, for Newsday, I had one of my first ‘bull market’ illustrations (of which I would begin to have many many more of in the following years, once I started getting more work from the ‘financial press’).
I had a number of plain black and white line cartoons this month. Most of them through my agent for Metro Parent out of Detroit. The illustration to the left a lone exception, being for Gemini Publications (Grand Rapids Parent).
Most of the illustrations below were a series of spots for the same article about ‘parenting expenses’. Then there was a rather strange looking larger illustration for the same magazine on ‘sibling rivalry’ (pictured at bottom).