The nautical themed postcard that I sent out last fall paid off in a big way this month with a multi-image assignment from D Magazine out of Texas. This story involved a group of cuban refugees who travelled through a hurricane to reach the Texas coast in a small motorboat. The above illustration appeared in the magazine as a 1&1/2 page spread, and was quite fun and dramatic to put together. I also had a smaller ‘map insert’ that chose to do in a slightly different style. I hadn’t done a map in quite a while, and I forgot how much fun they could be. It is a totally different experience working on a map, than it is drawing a ‘scene’ like the one above. You seem to use a different side of your brain while you work on it, and it is a nice break from the routine. In addition, I also was asked to provide a horizontal ‘waves’ picture that could be used along the bottom of subsequent pages in the article.
Then, for the Chronicle of Higher Education, I had to put my conceptual skills to the test, for an article about psychology in middle aged adults. I almost used this one as a promo postcard later in the year, but changed my mind at the last minute.
Then I had an unusual fiction piece for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. This one was set in a fictional ‘middle ages’ era, and concerned a travelling musician. I liked the layout of this one, a little different than the usual scenes I churn out for this publication.
Around ’04 and ’05 I was dabbling in music recording, and put together a cd of original songs with a collaborator. This ‘monkey painting’ was something quick I whipped up for the cover illustration of the cd. I also used it for a promotional postcard during the summer of ’05. For the curious, the cd is still available on cdbaby and iTunes (and various other online music sources).
I also worked up a black and white version of the image for t shirts and misc merchandise purposes (pictured below). The ‘monkey with a hat’ image was a quick logo that I came up with as an online avatar for myself for one of those myspace pages.
For the Christmas of ’06, my wife asked me to come up with some quick logos for some personalized notepads she was printing up for the neices and nephews. Below are a few examples of these.
Got a first trio of assignments in June from a new client that would become a nice source of steady work over the next few years. Barrons, who is affiliated with the Wall Street Journal (at least as far as parent company goes, I’m not sure how closely the two organizations are affiliated, but the checks come from the same place). The first assignment was to show an investor ‘in a slump’. The client requested the ‘park bench’ image, but all the little touches were mine (slumping trees, squirrel flat on the ground). The fun part about working for this client, is that frequently one job will lead to another. Sometimes I’ll come up with a series of concepts, and a single assignment can turn into two or three finals. Or a spot illustration (as in the case of the ‘black hole’ illustration below) can grow into a cover illustration the following month. The people are friendly to work with, and the assignments are frequently challenging and fun.
I also got another of my ‘dead guy memorial’ illustration assignments from Newsday. This time Billy Graham was the recently deceased. And from the same client, I had a ‘jigsaw puzzle’ portrait of the Supreme Court, since Renquist was stepping down. Tricky to capture the likenesses on such a small scale, but after working for Legal Times for years back in the 90s, I was quite practiced at drawing these judges.
Then in addition to all the fun I was having with the above illustrations, I also had a few chores. Some of my least favorite things to draw are cars and buildings. The cartoony ‘houses’ above wasn’t too bad. These were for US Catholic magazine, and I dont’ quite remember the topic, but the anthromorphization of the buildings, and the fact that they didn’t have to be quite so ‘perfect’ helped make this one more fun than it could’ve been.
In contrast, the illustration below, for National Auctioneer, wasn’t nearly as much fun, and you can tell from the way I rendered it that I had completely the wrong attitude in approaching it.
Below that, I had an assignment from the American Bar Association, that involved cars taking up the lion’s share of the illustration. This one involved servicemen and their financial responsibilities at home while they are overseas serving their country.