In February, I was handed a project from the Chronicle of Higher Education, in which they needed a series of illustrations to fill a special supplement. These would cover a broad range of topics, from funding, to affirmative action, to student and faculty issues. I did them all in scratchboard, and some of them were my concepts, and others were given as suggestions to me by the editors.
Most were quite a bit larger than I have them pictured here, and for the most part, they turned out quite nice. I was developing a new style for ‘background colors’ around this time, and made liberal use of overlapping colors and textures, a technique I would evolve and tone down a bit as the years progressed.
I don’t remember exactly what the topics were regarding in each of these illustrations. The one at the top was larger than the rest and was probably meant to be an ‘educational overview’ type of illustration. The one below that accompanied an article that had something to do with penmanship. Third from the top on the right, was a piece on college admissions (names being drawn out of a hat), and the one to the left was about admissions officers acting as salesman; thus my usual ‘used car guy’ in his loud outfit and big cheesy grin.
Some of these concepts I feel like I’ve done time and time again, like the ‘students as pegs’ to the right, or the ‘students riding on money like a magic carpet’, and I would probably end up doing them again in the future.
Some of the other spots throughout this project, were the snake oil salesman to the left (another of those cliche standy’s like the ‘fat cat’ or ‘uncle sam’ or the ‘used car salesman’ or the ‘poor guy wearing a barrel’), the ‘affirmative action’ piece (below right), and the other two illustrations below that (that I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the topics of)…
And then, finally the illustration at the bottom, which, again, I don’t remember what the topic was (perhaps something about the competition for getting into certain universities). This was my favorite of the bunch, and was quite a challenge logistically, but I think it turned out pretty nice.