January Cartoon Assignments

Carus Publishing, Consumer Reports, Gemini Publications, Metro Detroit Parent, Newsday


One thing I have been amazed to discover as I dig deeper in the archives, is how much of my workload was made up of the ‘cartoon’ style back around this time. These days (around ’08 is when I’m writing this) I work almost exclusively in scratchboard, aside from the occasional exception. One positive aspect of this, is that I’ve gotten much better at the scratchboard than I was in 2000, but I wonder if I’ve lost a bit of the spontenaety and fun that I’d picked up from working so much in a lighter style.

The illustration above was for my east coast newspaper client, an illustration on ‘busy working mothers’. The black and white illustration to the left was part of a larger ‘text heavy’ illustration that I did for my agent this month, for a michigan regional parenting magazine (the rest of the illustration covered a lot of space, and was mostly made up of rather dull hand lettering).
Another hand lettering assignment for the same client is pictured below, and was a bit more interesting, trying to make letters out of various ‘school projects’. I don’t do lettering very often, but this one was kind of fun and challenging.

The tutorial on ‘how to use chopsticks’ pictured to the left was for a children’s publication client this month.

Below are a few more cartoon illustrations for my east coast newspaper client. Most of the ‘cartoon assignments’ were for the ‘ladies lifestyle’ section, as the lighter, less serious style seemed to fit the tone of the articles a little better than the heavy handed dark scratchboard technique.

The ‘woman giving flowers to herself’ illustration was for an article about being single on Valentine’s Day, and consequently, being nice to yourself. Below that, was a larger illustration about safety issues for work at home Moms, with an imaginary inspector pointing out what’s wrong (labelled ‘inspector’ on his helmet in case you missed the point).



Above is a ‘puzzle’ assignment for one of my children’s magazine clients (a kids version of a well known consumer advocate magazine, which unfortunately ceased publication the following year). This puzzle had something to do with twins and finding similar shapes hidden through the room.

To the left and below were a few more black and white assignments for my agent (same client as the other two black and white assignments above), both having to do with valentine’s day presumably.

1999 Year in Review

Year In Review

1999 was a very busy year, workwise, but the average invoice was still fairly low, so it didn’t particularly translate into a big year at the bank. This was the 2nd full year since I made the transition to the digital medium, and, while I was still getting the bugs out in many respects, I was starting to pick up some new and interesting clients because of the change, and some of my regular customers were starting to use me on a more regular basis. The final months of the year would bring a new client, The Wall Street Journal, that would eventually turn out to be one of my biggest in the coming decade, and I had a few color children’s book projects for Instructional Fair in the latter half of the year.

My son was 9-10 years old this year, we joined Little League for the first time, and we were probably still taking backpacking trips in the summer (although it was probably near the tail end of this hobby).

A record breaking year in terms of illustrations completed, 1,656 total, nearly doubling the previous years output (a number of children’s workbook projects helped boost the illustration count during this period). This brings the ten year total up to 5,989.

These are what I felt were the best illustrations of 1999.