Playtime Activities 2

Instructional Fair



As I described in the previous “Playtime Activities” post, these were a change of pace from the usual cartoon spots that I had been (and would continue to do so) providing for Instructional Fair since 1998. The drawings were received well enough, but as you can see, I went right back to the cartoon work on the next project. Here’s all the illustrations for Playtime Activities 2 for the first time since publication. (writing this in 2018)

Playtime Activities 1

Instructional Fair

Playtime1After working for Instructional Fair for two or three years, in the cartoon style exclusively, I suggested that on these two books “Playtime Activities 1” and “Playtime Activities 2”, that I try doing the spot art in my scratchboard style as a change of pace. The spots seemed less humorous and I though that the scratchboard style would suit the material better. These books were fairly well received, but I went right back to the cartoon style for the remainder of my working relationship with this client. This book now stands out as an anomaly. I’m sharing all the illustrations for this book now (2018 as I write this) for the first time since publication.


Book Harvest

ABA, America, Legal Times, Newsday, US Catholic

The above illustration was for the Jesuit¬†publication ‘America’ in July. This was a cover illustration for a special issue entitled the ‘fall book harvest’. I had a lot of fun with this one, despite the fact that it was rather time consuming and at times monotonous in the execution. In the years since (almost twenty years now as of this update) this has been my biggest selling reprint. I’ve sold untold copies of this image on my Zazzle store, in poster form, on mousepads, on tee shirts. Not sure who’s buying them, but thank you.
Another full page assignment is pictured below, this one for a midwest legal magazine. Not a particularly interesting concept or design (requested by the client), but I tried to make it as interesting as I could in the technique and colors.

The above spot illustration was for an east coast legal newspaper, having something to do with a conflict between the supreme court and congress (I don’t remember the story exactly).

Below is another ‘food illustration’ for my east coast newspaper client. This one having to do with a form of Scottish potato pancakes.

Finally I had a rather text heavy concept to illustrate for a catholic magazine this month. I wasn’t crazy about this one, but it surprised me by prompting a reprint request a month later for another publication. Hey, what do I know?

Slavery Spots

Carus Publishing, Cobblestone

For one of my children’s magazine clients this month, I had an assignment to do a series of color spots portraying slave life in the Antebellum South. I approached these a little looser than I normally do, and I was quite pleased with how many of them turned out, looking more like traditional primitive woodcut illustrations than the more tightly rendered images I sometimes produce. I liked how I left a lot more white space around these images too, which helps the black ‘pop’ a little better.

Black and White

AHMM, ChronicleHE, Uncle Goose Toys, WSJ

The illustration to the left was for my national newspaper client. I don’t quite remember the story behind this one, but it doesn’t look like good news at any rate.

The spot to the right was for the same client this month, this one no doubt having to do with ‘penny stocks’, or taking small risks.

I also had another fiction illustration this month for my long time ‘mystery digest’ client. This one was a little different from the norm, with a setting in a vague ‘middle ages’ time frame concerning a band of travelling gypsies. Around this time, most of the illustrations for this client had to share the page with the title and author of the story, so frequently space has to be alloted for text, either white space or black with type reversed out.

Below that, I had a small spots for an educational publication. I don’t remember much about either piece, other than the ‘Gladiator’ movie was rather popular at the time, and the story seemed to be concerning it in some fashion, and the one below that was something about ‘bad book reviews’.

In addition to all the black and white scratchboard work this month, I also had a series of small cartoon spots for a local wooden toy manufacturer, these to be used for a promotional brochure for their product line. I’ve only chosen one of the five spots for this posting, the rest can be found in the ‘children’ archives (they’re all quite similar).