Out on a Limb

Barrons, Far East Economic Review

Not really slowing down all that much, but the pace feels a bit more relaxed this past week. I’ve got a few larger ongoing projects in the works, but probably won’t have much to post until later in the month. In the meantime here are a few projects from the end of March.

This rather complex image was an assignment over the weekend from my Hong Kong client. When I first read over the specs for this illustration I was a bit overwhelmed. The concept was based on a bit of eastern mythology, where an ocean of milk is churned by the actions of various parties playing tug of war with a giant dragon, and I was given a list of various parties to include on either side of the ‘churn’. The dragon would then snake around the border of the cover, leaving room for type/headlines in the middle and on either side of the masthead at the top. As a convenience to the client, the three separate elements (bottom, head and tail) would be send as floating layers that could be tweaked and rearranged as needed. It took most of the day on Sunday to complete, and was a bit tricky to pull off, but I think the final product was worth the effort.

Another assignment for the same client this weekend, this one about elephant polo. (and elephants are almost trickier to draw than dragons, although they don’t look it).

Below is an illustration for Barrons, probably from a couple weeks ago (done around the same time as the ‘prospector’ from the last posting).

Last week, I also finished up the last remaining odds and ends for the game board project, and I wish the designer the best of luck in the upcoming ‘game of the year’ competition. This upcoming month should see me immersed in Veterinary medicine, Insects, more Presidential portraits, and whatever else the fickle winds of illustration blow my way.

Marching On

Barrons, Uncle Goose Toys, Westword, WSJ


The illustration above was for Barrons this week, and was oddly enough one of the first financial illustrations I’ve done in the past six months that hasn’t been ‘doom and gloom’, so I take it as a hopeful sign that maybe we’ve bottomed out. I also had a cover assignment for Westword, a regional magazine that I had last worked for about two years ago. This was another ‘dollar bill’ spoof illustration similar to one I had done for the Journal last summer, except replacing Washington’s head with that of a cow.

I also had a few Wall Street Journal assignments over the weekend. The one above was accompanying an article about investors taking refuge in credit unions during these tough times, and the one below, was another ‘health care’ spot, this one on laser treatments for psoriasis.

I’ve begun a rather large project for a local toy manufacturer that will involve presidential portraits. The first four were Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Obama, but I’ll be eventually completing all of them over the course of the coming months. The first three were very similar to portraits I had done last year for Barnes and Noble (but simplified and cleaned up a bit), and the Obama portrait I’ve included below.

The Big One

Sorsamo Games


For most of the past month and a half I’ve been working on a large ‘board game’ project for a client overseas. Aside from a few tweaks and finishing touches, most of it has been completed, and I’m posting a sampling of some of the project elements here. The game is a ‘murder mystery’ set in Helsinki back in the 30s. Above is the box cover layout including the four sides (click on the image above to see a slightly larger version). The bulk of the work for this project was in the gameboard (below, again, click on the image to see a larger version). This was an overhead view of the city as it would appear in the year 1934, and the game designer put an amazing amount of work and research into each and every building and city block on the board. Also included in the board were several ‘stops’ and ‘paths’ and locations for each of the characters in the game. Below the complete board image, I have also included a close up detail image of one portion of the map.


In addition to the board and box design, I also worked on a number of additional ‘game elements’. 12 individual ‘character’ tiles, 12 ‘locations’ (close ups of various important buildings on the board), some ‘action tiles’, and 6 large illustrations for the booklet outlining the storyline and featuring all of the main characters. Rather than post all of the material, I’ve chosen a few samples of each (pictured below).

Not Quite the Ides of March, but close enough

AHMM, ChronicleHE, Far East Economic Review, North Carolina Magazine, WSJ

March has started fairly strong, with plenty of work on the docket, and looks to be so for the coming weeks at least. The large overseas ‘board game’ project continues to take up a majority of my time, and I should have some samples to post near the end of the month. In the meantime, I also had several other projects come across the desk in the past few weeks. The above illustration, for the Chronicle of Higher Education should appear in an upcoming issue, and the illustration below, was another fiction illustration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, one of my longest running clients (this year will mark 20 years of working together).

This past weekend I also had a few quick turnaround illustrations for the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong. The above illustration was for a cover, and I also had a portrait assignment (below).

More portraits were in store for me this past week, with an assignment from the North Carolina Business Review. A rather fun assignment where I had to surround the portrait subject with a boardroom staffed with bobble head dolls. The complete two page spread is pictured above, and I have zoomed in on the right side of the image to show detail below.

Also this week, I had another ‘health care’ illustration for the Wall Street Journal, this one having to do with a new form of Alzheimer’s medication. The original sketch had the character sweeping off a brain, but the editors felt it might ‘gross people out’, so we went with an ‘elderly head’ as an alternate idea. Personally, I thought it ended up looking like a treatment for dandruff with this change, but what do I know?