9/11 continues to influence the workload. The illustration above was part of a series of moody illustrations to accompany an article in the lifestyle section of an east coast newspaper. The article was about how many people are putting things ‘on hold’ since the September attacks, things like weddings, having children etc. Rather than the usual scratchboard, I decided to do these in a painterly style (using oil pastels from my digital toolbox).
Meanwhile, I still had the usual assortment of assignments from my children’s magazine client. The above ‘puzzle page’ assignment was done in a mixture of my usual ‘cartoon’ style, and some colored pencil techniques used for the ‘grass squares’. I also had a three part illustration on how ‘locks’ work for a different magazine in the same family of publications. This one was finished using a combination watercolor and colored pencils.
It is interesting to note, that just a few months prior to my starting a regular gig of ‘health care’ spot illustrations for my national newspaper client, I had been doing similar sized cartoon spot illustrations for many years for another client. These were small ‘factoid’ type illustrations for a college lifestyles magazine that I did on a semi regular basis for many years, but since this magazine only published during the school year, and on a bi-monthly basis, the workload wasn’t nearly as regular, nor was the pay as good. But they seem very similar in size and layout, and were good training for what was to come. I also had a series of even smaller icon spots for the same client this month, a sampling of the 15 or so illustrations are pictured below.
My wife and I have a running joke, that if she doesn’t like one of my postcard images, it is sure to be a hit. She has rather conservative likes and dislikes, and in the past, whenever I’ve sent out a postcard that she felt is ‘just too weird’, it frequently ends up being one that gets the most response. So when it came time to come up with an image this time, I had this theory foremost in my mind. Now, I’m not sure how well this odd image did. I don’t recall any specific jobs or new clients that came about because of it, but after six years, it still remains one of my favorite ‘on my own’ images.
This also marks the first time that we we used a new ‘postcard printing & mailing service’. Previously, the mailing list we were using was self generated. Namely, I researched every single name and address, from sources at the library, at book stores, in ‘artist market’ books, and stamped and addressed each and every postcard or envelope ourselves. This new service ended up being a big time saver and we’ve used the same company ever since.
Prior to this postcard, the details concerning my promotional mailings becomes rather sketchy, and I will try and post examples of each as I dig them out of the archives, but exact dates and chronology will be purely guesswork, as record keeping was hit or miss in the pre-computerized days.
More life studies from that class I audited in either ’01 or ’02 at a local community college. Not much variety in models this semester, and I have a whole lot of drawings of this particular gentleman.
I seem to have a lot of gesture drawings and short charcoal studies from this class, and not very many time intensive pieces. Probably a result of the teacher’s priorities with the rest of the students (an advanced class is more likely to experiment with mediums and spend longer times on a single pose).
Below are a few of the quicker gesture drawings and studies.
The above illustration for my national newspaper client prompted the most feedback I’d gotten for an illustration in a long time. One reader contacted me wanting to buy the ‘original art’ (which of course doesn’t exist – I provided a signed digital print instead). This illustration also may have led to my landing a regular corporate client the following year. Plus I used the image for a postcard mailing in December.
Recent events still continued to influence my workload this month, the illustration to the left for the same client as above, dealt with market uncertainty due to the daily scares on the news. Another illustration along similar lines is pictured below.
Below that is another sign of the times, the possibility that we may be entering a war with Afghanistan, a situation that didn’t bode well for the Soviets when they tried it back in the 80s. This one was for an east coast newspaper client, and while I don’t normally like to include ‘text labels’ in my illustrations, this one seemed to work out satisfactorily.
Meanwhile, the CEOs were still wallowing in the cash, as we see in another illustration this month. The threats of war and uncertainty don’t seem to be dampening their spirits. (this one another illo for the national newspaper client).
Below that, meanwhile, ordinary Joes are continuing to reel from the government’s vague threats and warnings (this one for the east coast newspaper client)
Also this month, again for the same national newspaper client, was the illustration below having something to do with computers (I don’t really remember the angle on this particular story).