Monkey Business

Barrons, WSJ

A couple of small jobs this week, and steeling myself for a rather large crowd scene illustration over the weekend. I’m also working on a series of simple cartoon bugs for a local toy manufacturer, and will probably post some samples of both jobs next week (and likely ruminating on the different challenges presented by simplification and complexity). The illustration above was for Barrons, having to do with Congress and their uproar over executive bonus pay. The illustration below was another health care spot for the Wall Street Journal, on prebiotic foods.

And I just wanted to throw in a free plug for a wonderful magazine that I’ve been subscribing to for the past four years. The magazine is simply called “Illustration”, and can be ordered here. Each month they feature a couple of wonderful illustrators from the past, usually with either an exhaustive and meticulously researched biography, or an interview (or both), and showcase a ton of work samples reproduced beautifully on quality paper stock. I eagerly await each new issue, and return to them again and again when I am in need of inspiration and encouragement. I was feeling kind of burnt out and unmotivated this week, and happened to pick up one of the older issues, and came across a wonderful quote by the illustrator Dean Cornwell (1892-1960) that really struck a chord with me this week:

“An important difference between a fine artist and an illustrator is that the former goes through life painting the things that he sees before him, while the latter is forced to paint something that neither he nor anyone else has ever seen, and make it appear real. The true measure of an illustrator is his ability to take a subject about which he may have neither interest nor information, tackle it with everything he’s got, and make the finished picture look like the consummation of his life’s ambition.”