I had a trio of assignments from my agent this month, for a Michigan regional parenting magazine. A couple rare color assignments included in the bunch this time. The one above dealt with ‘when Mom gets sick’, and the one to the left was about ‘baby paraphenalia’, and I don’t quite remember what the spot below dealt with (just a ‘mom’ I guess).
The illustration below was for a national parenting magazine, and dealt with ‘busy moms’. This one I liked so well, that I recycled it as a promo postcard a few months later.
I had quite a few spot assignments this month from a local regional parenting publication (where my wife was working at the time, although I had been doing assignments for them for years prior to her getting a job there). The one above was on holiday credit spending, then a piece on ‘healthy eating for kids’ to the right, and below was a piece on ‘exercise’, and another on ‘ear candles’. (Oddly enough, I just did another assignment on ‘ear candles’ for my health care column gig just a few days ago – Jan 2008 — I think this one was funnier with the fire extinguisher)
Also this month I had a few assignments from my children’s magazine publisher. The ‘newspaper’ illustration was for a piece on ‘school papers’, and the black and white ‘liftoff’ illustration was an in-house announcement regarding a recent merger between two of my different children’s publishing clients.
The illustration below with the ‘automobile full of students’ was an assignment from my ‘college lifestyle’ magazine client.
Also this month was a series of small spots for the same children’s magazine client. These all had to do with reading and books in one way or another (I don’t remember the specifics), and they all kept the same background shape and size.
The ‘girl reading a book’ illustration was for a catholic magazine and dealt with reading the same book at different stages in your life, and it was a challenge to try and draw the same character as a girl, a young woman, and as a middle aged adult, and yet keep her recognizably the same person.
And, finally, for the same children’s magazine client, I also had a pair of illustrations on ‘dowsing’. This certainly was a busy month for cartoons, and the following month would be the same. It is interesting to look back at this time in my career when the ‘cartoons’ took up at least 50% of my workload, instead of being the relative rarity that they occupy in my work in the present (2007-08). They gave my work a nice shot in the arm from a variety standpoint, and things I learned from one style would sometimes enrich the other and visa versa. Conventional wisdom for aspiring illustrators has always been to ‘specialize’ in one style, as it makes it easier to market your work, clients remember you better when they can pigeon hole you, but I really don’t think it is healthy for the illustrator. Too easy to burn out doing the same thing over and over, and the work suffers because of it.