Primitive Early Painting

ChronicleHE, Worldwide Church of God

The illustration to the left was another scratchboard assignment for the Chronicle of Higher Education. This was one of a batch of illustrations that were recently returned by the client when they were cleaning out their offices and found an envelope of my artwork (late ’07).

The illustration below was one of the earliest examples of an ‘acrylic painting’ style that I was experimenting with, as a replacement for pastels, which were much harder to send to clients, and generally much messier to archive and store. This one was for The Worldwide Church of God for their ‘Plain Truth’ magazine. This one is rather primitive, but by the next year, I was improving my skills in this medium and used it for a multi-image book project.

Also this month, and the month before, I started doing some work for a Pennsylvania advertising firm, Ball Advertising. I started out doing a packaging illustration for an ice cream company (Kemps), and it would grow to a quarterly newsletter assignment over the next couple years. I don’t remember what any of this artwork looked like, as the originals were never returned, and I never saw any of the final printed pieces.

Other new clients this month included Mature Living magazine and Christian Home & School, a local parenting publication who would go on to be a fairly steady client in the coming years.

Delinquents and Art Galleries

Worldwide Church of God

Both of the illustrations on this page were for the Worldwide Church of God (Youth 93, Plain Truth), but I’m not sure exactly when. Judging from the style and techniques, I’d say they were both from sometime in ’93. I don’t remember why I suddenly abandoned the cartoon style for something a bit more ‘crosshatched’ in the above illustration, perhaps it was a request from the editors, or perhaps I felt that this style would look more ‘menacing’.

Cartoon Assignment

Worldwide Church of God

This was another for the Worldwide Church of God. My records are sketchy, so I’m not sure exactly when this one was published. This one was about avoiding all the ‘bad messages’ that the media throw at you with regards to sex and promiscuity. These are my favorite kinds of cartoon illustration assignments, crowded with lots of details and opportunities for mischief.

More Cartoon Spots

Worldwide Church of God

These were all spot illustrations that were done for the Worldwide Church of God, although I don’t have a clear picture of when exactly they were done. I worked for this client anywhere from 1990 to 1994. If I had to guess, the ‘dog scratching at the door’ illustration above was probably nearer the end of the period, and the two spots to the left and below were both from sometime in the middle (around ’92).

You can usually ‘date’ the cartoon illustrations by how big the noses are on the characters, and how skinny the legs and arms are. The line tended to be more purposefully ‘wiggly’ near the beginning, as I was probably emulating the style of some other artists whose art I was attracted to, and when I started getting more self confident, I began to find my own linework style.

Anatomy, Foot Fungus and a Rash of New Clients

Strang Publications, Worldwide Church of God

This ‘mechanical anatomy’ illustration was another for Strang Publications in Florida. I used this one many years later in a calendar brochure, and inspired another client to do a variation on this illustration for their own publication. (see February ’98)

A couple of new clients popped up in June and July of ’92, however I have very little memory of the projects involved. One of them was for Times Mirror Magazines (some illustrations about skiing?), and another was a fossil illustration for the Lapidary Journal. In August I had another assignment for Governing which I do remember quite vividly. It was a full page cartoon assignment about ‘innovation’ where I had a series of cavemen trying to design alternatives to ‘the wheel’. I remember it being quite cute, and I’m sorry to say that the artwork hasn’t survived.

In September I got my first assignments from a company called North American Publishing, who would keep me fairly busy over the next couple years. I don’t remember much about the jobs, however, and I’m not sure if the artwork was ever returned.

Another new client this month was the Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York who gave me a smattering of illustration assignments during the coming months before disappearing again. (I don’t remember much about these either). Also heard from Institutional Investor magazine for the first time in September, another client who would give me repeat business for a short while before dropping out of sight. Corporate Detroit and Michigan Living also called for the first time around this period. Could be that the postcards I was sending out a couple months earlier were getting a few bites.

Also this month, I had a series of small spots on ‘athlete’s foot’ for The Worldwide Church of God. (I love the book titles in the ‘library’ spot – ‘Toe Tales’ and ‘Fungus and You’ — I don’t remember, did I come up with those, or were they handed to me by the client?)

(UPDATE 2018): I’m wondering, as I’m transferring this blog entry from the old blog to the new, if this article is the source of all the ‘toe fungus’ spam emails I receive? The stats on the old blog seem to indicated that this one entry got a lot of visits (probably from search bots).