The end of September brought cooler temperatures, the back to school routine, our son’s leadership conference to Washington DC and preparations to host a German exchange student in the following weeks. Work continued steady throughout the month, mostly with my regular clients, and the illustration above was a same day job for Newsday, regarding Canadian Geese populations and the nuisance they were perceived to be by area golf courses. The same client provided me with another say day project during this period with the illustration below, a piece on local citizens moving away. Unfortunate to have had to use lettering on the truck to spell out the concept, but as I remember, it was a specific request from the editors.
The illustration to the left was another of my ‘dubious health care’ column pieces that I do every other week for the Wall Street Journal. This one was on some sort of musical based sleep aid.
The same client kept me pretty busy with a few other assignments. A chart accompaniment for the Sunday edition in black and white featuring our old friend ‘the bull’, this time voicing his opinion at the voting booth (named as such, so you don’t get confused). And another same day piece for the same client at another time during this period involved taking referrals when looking for new hires. This one was commissioned in color, but I’m not sure if it actually ran in the paper that way. (pictured, left)
Barrons provided me with a few other assignments. One of them on female promotions (at least that is what I remember, something about needing to blow your own horn?) for which I brought out another bit player from the cliche bullpen, the ‘promotion ladder’.
Another assignment for the same client involved selling off bits of your own company’s stock in order to keep the business running, for which I came up with the following conceptual solution, with a boat being cannibalized in order to keep the furnaces running.
The Chronicle of Higher Education provided me with a nice cover illustration assignment, for which I was to come up with some sort of concept that involved ‘twisting the percentages’ (a companion piece that goes with it, I have included in October’s postings). (pictured below)
The only job during this period that I would consider in any way ‘out of the ordinary’, was this ‘spec’ job that was done as a test for the American Bar Association. They needed to change the artwork for a regular feature for which they had been using some old clip art for in the past, and wanted me to take a stab at it, and if it was accepted, then long term usage could be discussed at a later time. I did another one for this same client, which I included in the following month’s blog entry. Nothing ever came of these two specs.
Sometime in September, I received this assignment from US Catholic magazine. They requested that I draw up a series of ‘saint cards’ with images of a number of unsung heroes. A fireman, a teacher and a parent. A little different style than I usually do, more detailed than my ‘cartoons’ normally get.
Around the early part of September I received an assignment from a new client, Cleveland Magazine, for a series of spots (10 of them all total) that concerned very specific ‘activities’ that residents of this particular city could participate in around town. The topics ranged from ‘scooter rentals’ to ‘oddball sports fans’ to ‘birdwatching’ and anywhere and everywhere in between. Gave me a lot of opportunity for variety, drawing animals, modes of transportation, sports, etc – but the main thing was to try and keep them all unified in some particular way.
I tried to keep the styles somewhat similar throughout, and left some of the backgrounds white so that text could be wrapped around them if they wished, and others I put a light background wash behind. Rather than post them all full size in this blog, I’m going to post smaller versions of them in a row beneath this paragraph, and if you want to click on each of the small versions, you can see a larger sized illustration like the one above.
Highlights magazine gave me the chance to work in my cartoon style for a change of pace around this time. They needed a single larger image, and a series of small spots to sprinkle around the page. This was illustrating an activity for the kids, where they could use a tape recorder to make their own radio station, and the spots illustrated different aspects of the activity, like interviews, weather reports, ads, etc.
I also had an illustration for the Chronicle of Higher Education around this time. They needed an illustration of a couple of college students sitting around reading literary magazines.
The illustration to the left was a spot for Barrons to accompany an article, the topic of which has long been forgotten. Judging from the way the balloons are out of helium, and the glum expression on the clown’s face, I doubt if it was good news for the markets.
Plus another ‘dubious health care’ column spots for my regular bi-monthly gig for the Wall Street Journal. This one no doubt was about remedies for back pain. Another illustration for the same client is pictured below. This one was about climbing the career ladder, and how some people are not taking the usual route ‘straight up’ but finding alternate ways of achieving success.
The same client also gave me a rush assignment in the middle of this time period. A rather easy one, where they supplied me with reference photos of this particular ‘gizmo’ and I just needed to provide two illustrations, each with a different tag attached to the product.
While this illustration to the left was scratchboard, something about the tone and freedom of the piece gave me a great deal of satisfaction. This was one of my favorite black and white pieces that I did all year. This was a same day illustration for Newsday. Usually the call comes somewhere around 11, sketches get done by 12 or 1, and then I send the finish via email somewhere mid afternoon, depending on how complicated the piece is, or how many other projects I’ve got on the front burner.
Another assignment from my new Hong Kong client, The Far Eastern Economic Review, came through during this time, which was nice, as it was turning out to possibly be a new repeat client, rather than a one time aberration. This one was another portrait piece, and I ended up doing a couple different versions of it. One with the palace and light wash colors in the background, and another one with a plain white background, leaving it up to the client to choose which one would work out better in their layout.
A rather busy couple of weeks. Looking back on it now, I barely even remember doing most of these illustrations, I must have been totally ‘in the zone’.
Somewhere around this time, I also worked on a logo for my brother’s restaurant in North Chicago. If you are ever in the area, be sure to stop in for dinner and a glass of wine.