After a rather slow week, this past weekend started off strong with a few jobs for my Hong Kong client (the cover below, and a portrait below that), several jobs to work on over the coming week, and another health care spot for the Wall Street Journal (above). Nice to be active again.
A slow start to the week, but things started picking up again near the end. The job above was a rush job for the Chronicle that came in Wednesday with a Thursday deadline. Then on Thursday I got one from the WSJ for an early Friday afternoon deadline. (pictured below). I had scheduled a rehearsal with a music partner for an upcoming gig, and was hoping to clear out my Friday afternoon, so I planned on doing the Journal job early. I also had a job for Newsday come in on Thursday. Being the only black and white illustration of the bunch, I didn’t figure I had to worry too much about that one, and planned on getting that one done early Thursday evening.
Of course, it ended up being the most complicated one of the bunch. The article was about the rise in heroin use in the suburbs, and not knowing much about drug use, I assumed heroin=needles and based my original sketches on that concept. (one of which is pictured below)
Well, heard back from the AD, and it turns out that the ‘heroin use’ in the article is about snorting or smoking and not shooting up, so I revised the sketch concept on Thursday and proposed a reworked version of the second of my sketches, which ended up looking like this in the final version. Was okayed by the AD and I went to finish Thursday night.
Friday afternoon I get a call from a different designer at the same paper, who had taken over the project for the weekend, and now apparently ‘smoking’ is no good, they want ‘snorting’, so I worked up a revised version (working around the music rehearsal in the afternoon), and managed to get the finish to them by 5.
And just heard from another client, and looks like I’ll have a project to work on over the weekend as well. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting on the ‘pirate’ project, which has now stretched an extra month in the sketch approval process. Also, today, I received a couple copies of a book that I illustrated the cover of back in February of this year. The format turned out a little differently than anticipated, but the illustration printed nicely despite some unusual design and layout choices.
After several weeks of hectic and busy, work has suddenly put on the brakes and left me stalled by the side of the road. So I’m the taking advantage of this brief assignment dry spell by catching up on a few personal projects. Did a holiday mailer image over the weekend, and on monday did a child’s portrait for a friend. Worked in a ‘pastel’ style, which I haven’t done in several years. Back when I was first starting out, this was what I had visions of being my ‘signature style’, but I had no idea at the time how difficult shipping and protecting fragile pastel art could be (or how messy it would make my office for that matter). Of course, digital pastels have none of those problems, but I rarely work this way anymore, even though the digital tools seem to emulate the real thing fairly well.
But if this train runs me right, I’ll be home Saturday night,
and I’m 900 miles from my home…
This weekend worked on my holiday mailer. This was a concept that was suggested to me by my cousin Bridget. Had a lot of fun with this one, and had no idea how enjoyable entrails could be to draw. Will probably be printing this one on a 8×6 oversize postcard and will send them out in December, and will also be printing up a larger size ‘print’ to give to my cousin.
The illustration above was for Barrons this week to accompany an article about the monster.com website, utilizing their ‘monster’ mascot (who, up until this week, I was completely unfamiliar with).
Below is a small quick spot illustration I did for a new client out in California, of a fly fishing lure.
Also, this week marked the end of an 8 year collaboration with Wall Street Journal designer Sue Foster on a series of health care spots. When I first started doing these, they were black and white line art, and was a weekly column. A few years later they started asking for occasional color spot illustrations. Eventually the feature went from a ‘weekly’ to a ‘every other week’ appearance, and I began routinely providing a color version, in case the art fell on a ‘color page’ or if the illustration needed to be reprinted on the cover as a ‘teaser’. This column may or may not continue in the future, but with a new designer at the helm, but I wanted to take the time to thank Sue for an always fun and interesting ongoing project, and wish her good luck in her future endeavors. The illustration below was the last one for Sue at the helm.
Sometimes they were serious, other times not, other times they were surreal or downright goofy. 273 illustrations in all, and a few of my favorites from the past are reproduced below, and if you click on the small thumbnail, you can see larger versions (many of them reproduced at a larger size for the first time on this site).
from left: 2004, 2003, 2006, 2006, 2003, 2004