These are more spot illustrations from the book ‘Outdoor Science Classroom’ that I did for Carson Dellosa in November. There were 32 illustrations total in the project, and these were some of the more interesting ones.
Around the turn of the century (hmm, still sounds strange to say that), I did a number of black and white children’s workbook projects for a local educational book publisher, Instructional Fair. These usually involved a series of 20-30 small spot illustrations, mostly cartoonish in style, on a variety of subjects, depending on the book title. I mostly worked with one editor, and we did a number of books together, but then after a few years, the company underwent some shake-ups and reorganizing, and the projects started drying up. Occasionally one would trickle in, the company now called ‘Carson Dellosa’ and with different editors, and this one that I did in the fall of 2004 was the last one that I worked on. I’m only posting a few of the illustrations here, just to give a feel for what the project entailed. These are not available for reprints, due to the contract I signed, but posted for history’s sake.
These were usually quite fun to do, for the most part. The pay wasn’t all that great, but the sheer volume of illustrations meant a substantial paycheck at the end of the project. They were fairly quick and easy, and gave me a lot of practice in perfecting my ‘cartoon line work’, and most importantly, kept me busy.
This particular batch of illustrations was for a book on ‘outdoor activities for children’. The quantity was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 illustrations, ranging in size from full page to small spots, and mostly similar to the type of illustrations seen here in this posting (a couple were more involved and difficult, but there were more than enough of the small quick ones to even things out).
There was usually very little in the way of art direction or changes to my sketch ideas, so working with this client was usually pretty painless. Looking back, though, I wish I was a bit more strident in negotiating the contracts, as there were a mountain of illustrations involved.
Had a couple of ‘basketball’ assignments for a couple of different children’s publications in the same month, which I thought an odd coincidence. The one above was for Highlights magazine, and was in the form of a ‘hidden picture’ puzzle (actually this would be the cover to a whole book of ‘hidden picture puzzles’. I’d never done one of these puzzles before, and I felt really awkward about the whole concept. I mean, how much hidden is ‘hidden enough’? I had no idea of what the expectations were and the directions I was given weren’t much help. I did my best to make it look interesting, but I never did feel like I ever ‘got’ this project. It reminded me of one of my first jobs out of college, where I was working as a security guard, and I would be plopped down in a different location every night, alone, given no instructions, and just be expected to know what was going on.
I also got an assignment from the Chronicle of Higher Education in November to do a series of small spots to illustrate an article about the Republican’s educational platforms. These were kind of fun, but I think I still need some work on drawing elephants, I don’t feel like I’ve quite got them figured out just yet.
The ‘other’ basketball illustration that I did in November was for Cricket magazine, and was to accompany a short poem (which would fit in the blank spot in the middle).
Plus, there were my ‘steady gig’ assignments. The ‘health care’ column that I illustrate every monday for the Wall Street Journal. The topics were ‘vitamin E’, ‘osteoperosis medications’, ‘winter flu season’ (which pops up every year), ‘organic vegetables’ and ‘telling the difference between different strengths of pain relievers’.
I also have been doing a monthly ‘puzzle page’ for Oddysey magazine (Cobblestone), and this one had something to do with a puzzle involving chocolate bars.
Also, somewhat regularly, I do a fiction illustration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. I don’t quite remember the topic on this one. In hindsight, I may have handled the part of the image that is seen through the bottle a little differently, perhaps with a bit of distortion since we are looking through curved glass.
And finally, another small spot for the Journal, having something to do with the results of the latest presidential election, and what impact it may have on stocks.