A book cover assignment for Skyhorse Publishing which I finished up last night. It started out as a rather simple concept (Thinker holding a book, sitting on a toilet) to a more complex ‘collage’ of various images.
This has been an interesting year for me. At the start of 2022, I was in a deep funk. I turned sixty in January. The past 6 years in this country have been mentally exhausting, just keeping up with all the madness on the news, and the Covid pandemic wreaked havoc with both my illustration career and with my musical side hustle. I’m still working on various book publishing projects, but the quicker turnaround clients have been drying up and blowing away for years, and this year was no different.
However, in April, in order to improve upon my weight and health (a troubling doctor’s visit in February convinced me), I began a walking regimen, which began to show positive results after a few months diligence. I wanted to put the same obsessive attitude towards my flagging enthusiasm towards work. For years I have been wanting to do more comics, so I made an additional goal of doing a daily strip, just to see what happens if I keep it up for a length of time. Perhaps I might improve at it just by daily repetition.
After several months of this routine, I began to see my enthusiasm begin to slowly return to my illustration career. I began to take a bit more interest in my assignments, and started applying new skills I learned doing the daily comic to my paying work. I end the year 2022 with an improved mental attitude towards my work, and an enthusiasm for comics that has been laying dormant for decades.
A disturbing trend towards a this new A.I. technology has given me pause with regards to posting so much of my work on the internet. I haven’t personally been impacted by this yet, but I can see how it could be a problem in the future as the technology improves. Which is why I am going to be making a few changes this year with regards to what I’m sharing on this blog. I’m thinking of expanding my Patreon site (the one I currently use for my comic strip “Mose Goes Walkies”), and adding a bit more of my illustration work (plus extras, like rough sketches, behind-the-scenes commentary, and time lapse videos). In fact, this week I’ll likely be posting my usual “year in review” samples on the Patreon site. We’ll see how this works.
The band is floundering on life support at the moment (we had a few gigs in the past year, added a new band member), but rethinking the music business is also a big priority.
Hope everyone had an interesting past year, and wishing you all the best in the coming year.
I’m going to be doing things a little different for the coming year. This website will remain as a ‘portfolio’ showcase of my older work, but I will be going through a lot of my older posts and consolidating them, leaving much fewer samples to see, as far as my day-to-day projects.
I shall strive to post a sample or two once a week here, but over on my Patreon site (one I currently use strictly for my ‘Mose Goes Walkies’ comics), I shall be sharing a lot more illustration samples, along with some preliminary sketches, ‘time lapse videos’ and an expanded ‘behind the scenes’ commentary. The Patreon site has several pre-existing tier levels, but a subscriber would also have the option of creating their own pay scale, so, in theory you could be enjoying all the benefits for as little as one dollar a month.
The sample above (of which there are more that will be posted on Friday of this week) was from a book I just finished up called “What Do We Know About Alien Abduction” for Penguin Young Readers.
I decided to do something a little different this year for my annual Krampus card. I’ve been thinking of retiring this character, and, since I’ve started a new comic strip venture this year, I used the comic to work as both a sunday strip and to do double duty as our holiday card, both giving our dear Krampus a fine send-off, and transitioning to a new era of “Mose Goes Walkies” greeting cards. Once I did this Sunday strip (pictured above), I felt I wasn’t quite through with this guy (and his waggly tongue), so I continued the story throughout the week (below are the next few chapters, with the plan to continue it throughout the following week). The strip can be read on a daily basis at the link above in the menubar, or if you wish to check out more you can subscribe to our Instagram feed (where most of the action happens), support us on Patreon (entire archive, plus extras) or sporadically on TikTok.
Finished up a long horizontal illustration yesterday and this morning for the American Bar Association’s ‘Litigation’ magazine. The ABA has been a client since the late 90s, and I always enjoy the challenges they throw my way. I ended up doing the line work on the iPad with Procreate (in three different layers (curtain/foreground characters, Constitution lettering, founding fathers) and then combining them and doing the color treatment in Painter on my desktop computer.