Those Crazy Kids

Carus Publishing, ChronicleHE, Highlights, Westchester Magazine

In November, I had a nice opportunity to provide the wrap around cover for Cricket magazine. This client has been providing me work since my very first year in business back in 1989, and this is the second cover illustration I’d done for them since that time. This one turned out much nicer than the first, I’m happy to say. The overall theme of the magazine was given to me as “music and butterflies” and it was up to me to come up with a cover (I could do one or the other, or as I chose to do, both). Since I was active with an amateur cello quartet around this time, I used that as inspiration, and our local botanical garden here in Grand Rapids has a ‘butterfly event’ every spring, so I imagined a concert given in an indoor garden, with a sprinkling of ‘musically inspired’ butterfly designs hovering in the air. The illustration to the left, was for the inside contents page, as a tie in to the cover design. (I almost liked the small spot better than the more busy spread on the outside). (the original for the cover measures approx 17 x 10)

This was certainly the month for oddball children’s assignments. I also had a quartet of spot illustrations for Highlights, on a variety of subjects. The piece to the right was about ‘studying bugs’, and there was another one about the ‘milky way’ (pictured below left)>

Then, in addition to these spots, I also had a couple of awkward ones for the same client, one of them having to do with US states along the mexican border, somehow woven into a decoration on a sombrero. And then a ‘hidden picture’ spot, in which I was to hide a drawing of the Mayflower in a bouquet of flowers. This one was tricky. I’ve never been much good at these ‘hidden picture’ assignments, I’m never sure how much ‘hidden’ is ‘hidden’ enough for the age group that I’m drawing for. You don’t want to treat the kids like idiots, but then again, you don’t want to make it impossible to find, either. (both pictured below)

My son turned 16 years old this month, so in honor, I worked up this illustration to go on a birthday party invitation. A homage (and apologies to) Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth, whose wonderfully demented ‘hot rod’ cartoons I grew up admiring as a child, was the inspiration for this ‘monster version’ of my son driving his ‘dream car’.

My son also turned up in an illustration this month for the Chronicle of Higher Education (in his trademark hoodie pullover and mussy hair). This was to accompany an article about making voting and political issues more appealing to high school kids.

And although it may look like an illustration for the same client, this one below was actually for a new client during November, Westchester Magazine.