Another newspaper job from the New Zealand Herald around the end of May. This was another full page piece, this one on forced retirement. Used myself for the model, but changing some of the facial features.
The piece below was a same day illustration for Newsday. The topic was something to do with the democrats campaign crashing and burning while the republicans seem to keep plugging away in their tried and true methods (completely missed the boat on this one, predictionwise, judging by the results of the fall elections). A fun illustration.
A few spots for the Wall Street Journal also fell during the latter half of May. A few spots for the ‘dubious health care’ column, a piece on vitamins for skin care, and another on drugs for insomnia. Also a black and white rush job for the weekend edition. This one had to fit in a rather strange area, wrapping around a chart. It appears the ‘bear market’ is in danger of a steep decline, judging by the picture.
Received a rather large two page spread illustration for US Catholic. This was a tricky one. I’m not very good at buildings, and for this one he wanted a picture of one of those ‘mega churches’ that have been popping up in the suburbs lately (a lot of them here around GR). It didn’t turn out that bad, but it wasn’t particularly enjoyable to work on. I tried to make it interesting by trying a different technique than the usual scratchboard, mixing colored pencils and watercolors.
Also around this time, I took in a series of illustrations for the Chronicle of Higher Education. This was for a supplement on college finances, a couple of them in black and white, and the third one in color. I don’t remember if the anthromorphized ‘dollar signs’ were my idea, or if this was a suggestion of the client, but it seems to tie them all together.
Took in a couple of fiction projects in early May from Cicada magazine (Cricket’s ‘teen digest’ publication). All the artwork that appears in this periodical runs in black and white. The fun part of working for this client is the freedom usually given to working in different mediums. I decided to do the first story in a rather loose pen and ink sketch technique. The illustration at the top was a two page spread, and the other two were smaller half page spots. The story concerned a young female outcast of a primitive society who stumbles upon a member of a more advanced society in her travels, and I forget how it ends, but the daisy image below somehow ties it all together with a moral.
The second story for the same publication needed a slightly different approach (so that it didn’t look like the same illustrator did a lot of the art in the issue). I decided to work in a pencil sketch/watercolor wash in greyscale technique. This story was about the recollections of a middle aged ex surfer. It took a little research on my behalf, not knowing squat about surfing or surfboards. My favorite of the illustrations was the one above, where the young teen boys are chilling out on the school grounds, daydreaming about surfing, while a tarp over their heads blows in the wind, and resembles a wave. It was a much more relaxed and freeflowing illustration than the other two in the story, which needed to show the surf boards accurately and I tend to tense up when accuracy is on the line. Eventually in the story, the narrator buys a surfboard, never quite gets to use it, and then transforms it into a coffee table. So, a surfing story, without any actual surfing taking place. The black and white pieces for this assignment were a lot of fun to put together, and it was a nice breath of fresh air to work in a new style after so much scratchboard for so long. (and of course, my dog makes an appearance in the final illustration)
Another fun black and white piece came from Barrons around this time. This one needed a hot air balloon overlooking some scenery. I don’t quite remember the topic of this one, but the illustration turned out quite nice.
In addition to all the enjoyable black and white pieces during this time, I also had a few color pieces come across the desk. The one to the left is another of my ‘health care’ column spots that I do every couple of weeks for the Wall Street Journal. This one about a new blood testing gizmo.
And got an assignment from a new client at this time, Niche Media, a publisher of various regional publications around the country, which would turn out be a semi-regular client over the next few years. This one was about the NSA and some goof ups involving children and nice little grannies. Had a lot of fun with this one.
Also got another assignment from a new client, Corporate Dealmaker (The Deal). Another large full page illustration, something to do with contracts and law. Wasn’t quite happy with how this one turned out. Not sure why.