Epic Fails: Wright Brothers: Nose-Diving Into History

MacMillan

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In 2017 I was approached by MacMillan Children’s Publishing to illustrate a book which was to be a possible first in a series of young readers historical books. The series being called “Epic Fails” and the first book was “The Wright Brothers: Nose-Diving Into History”. These were somewhat similar to the Who Was books that I was doing for Penguin, but with definitely more of a tongue-in-cheek humor in the outlook and writing. Eventually, this series would get the green light, and I have been involved with 4 of the titles so far (more to come on these as they go into production).

I had worked for MacMillan more than twenty five years previously, mostly illustrating textbook covers for their educational division. Nice to be working with them once again.

Anyways, here’s the illustrations for that first book on the Wright Brothers and the history of flight (not to be confused with a book I did for Penguin called “Who Were The Wright Brothers”).

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Blog Updates

Self Promotion

In October of 2007 I began this blog as a new method of self promotion, and as a way of sharing new work as it crossed my desk. My first blog post was inspired by an exciting cover assignment for LA Weekly, and I began methodically chronicling the ups and downs of this occupation on a regular basis.

Soon afterwards, I realized that I could also ‘backdate’ blog entries, and I figured that I could eventually display my entire work history, going back to when I first started working freelance in 1989, and beyond. Since going digital in 1997, I had each and every piece of art I’ve ever done in my archives, and using my invoice file as reference I was able to recreate fairly accurately the previous decade of work. Prior to 1997, the records get a bit more spotty, and much of the artwork has been lost, but I managed to dig up some interesting samples and stories from the first ten years.

In 2014, I reworked my website using a new platform, and this new platform included a ‘blog’ feature, with improved bells and whistles, so I decided to move the existing blog over here to integrate directly with my website. It has taken four years, but I’ve managed to finally get all the files transferred.

Soon I’ll be putting together a navigation tool to make browsing the ‘early years’ a bit easier, and I may also be featuring a ‘throwback thursday’ from time to time to share some of the older posts. I’m also thinking of compiling several indexes of ‘like minded’ illustrations for the reprint market.

Next year I’ll be celebrating thirty years in this business, and I’ll hopefully still be around to chronicle the next decade.

Also, I must apologize for disabling the ‘comments’ option for these blog entries. I just keep getting so much spam, that it becomes a full time job managing it. If you wish to comment on anything here, feel free to drop me an email.

Is It Safe?

Skyhorse Publishing

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The publisher I am currently working for doing a ‘Peter Cottontail’ reprint, was one that I had worked with last year on a book called “Is It Safe to Kiss My Cat?”, and I realized that I had previously shared all the color spot illustrations for that project, but had not yet shared any of the many black and white spot cartoons. So, here they are. I really enjoy this sort of work, and the style is very reminiscent of work I used to do for an educational publisher back around 2000-2004.

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As July Hurries Into August

Hudson Valley, Today Media, Westchester Magazine

videowebusageAside from the book projects I am currently working on (“Peter Cottontail” and ‘What Was The Vietnam War?” – an interesting daily juxtaposition to be sure), I also had a few quick turnaround assignments from Westchester Magazine (above) and Hudson Valley Magazine (below) this week. Both these magazines are under the same parent company (Today Media), but I don’t think I’ve done any work for Westchester before this (perhaps there are two Westchester Magazines? I had a few assignments for a similarly named magazine back in 2005, but with a different address). Other than that, have been gearing up for my son’s wedding in Chicago at the beginning of next month, so the days are flying by at a rapid pace.

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July Update

ChronicleHE, Skyhorse Publishing

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Been keeping busy this summer. Mostly these days, it seems to be with book projects of one sort or another. Above is a color illustration for the cover of a new reprint of the ‘Peter Cottontail’ stories, originally illustrated by Harrison Cady. I’ve been asked to ‘emulate’ his style, but I’m also trying to keep it somewhat within my own sphere of styles. I’ve been experimenting with some of the more realistic looking watercolor tools, and hopefully will become somewhat proficient with them by the time I finish this collection of illustrations (which I should be finished with by the end of the month). I also recently finished up another of the ‘Who Was’ books (on ‘Hollywood’), and have just been approached to do another one on the Vietnam War. Then I’ve also been working on a series of books for MacMillan in their ‘Epic Fails’ series (just finished one on ‘Not So Great Presidents’ and will be starting soon on another one on ‘The Age of Exploration’). In the meantime, there are also a smattering of quick turnaround projects that come up, and below is an illustration I did for the Chronicle of Higher Education (a client since 1991) that I finished up over the weekend.

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