Back To Work

AHMM, Far East Economic Review, Niche Media, WSJ

After a strangely quiet August (aside from a few ongoing projects I will post at a later date, once the dust clears), I had a few projects from some of my regular clients. The fiction illustration above was for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and, due to a goof-up, I actually ended up doing this illustration twice, with two different configurations (the unused illustration is pictured below). I was mistakenly given the wrong dimensions for this illustration, and it somehow got through the sketch phase without anyone noticing.

Over the course of the Labor Day weekend, I had a series of three illustration assignments come across my desk from the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong. A travel piece, a piece on entrepreneurs, and an overview illustration about the electric power industry. (all pictured below)

Around the same time, I had a caricature assignment featuring the Trumps (well, actually, the client wanted the building to have equal importance) for a Chicago regional magazine.

And finally, a few more pieces for the Wall Street Journal, a few of the ‘health care’ spots from the past month, and a few black and white spots for the Sunday Journal done during the past 30 days or so. Some of these were actually completed ‘on the road’ in coffee shops or wherever I could find internet access, since we’ve been kind of busy settling the boy down in Chicago to start college. There was also a recent ‘health care’ spot that I did three finishes for as a precautionary measure, due to being ‘out of the office’ at the usual deadline date, but now I can’t seem to find any of them to post here (maybe they ended up on my wife’s computer…).

The new postcards should start hitting the mails in a few days, followed by another one in a few weeks, and I should have some further samples to post here when my two other ‘big projects’ wind down.

ADDENDUM – 9/15: Well, I tracked down those three spots that I did while on vacation, all for the ‘health care’ column, something to do with treating ‘bad breath’, and they are posted below. (I believe they went with the one with the guy with the clothespin on his nose)

In the Meantime

ChronicleHE, Niche Media, WSJ

Still working hard on my ‘bible stories’ project for the CRC here in Grand Rapids, hoping to have it all completed by the end of the month. In the meantime, other work continues to trickle in.

For the Chronicle of Higher Education this week, I had a pair of ‘suspicious eyes’ illustrations for a story on racial paranoia. Used myself as the model for both of these (the big bags under the eyes are a dead giveaway).

I also had a couple small spots for the Wall Street Journal over the past few weeks. The piece to the left was about a new weight loss supplement, and the black and white spot below was something about the job market for college graduates this spring. (another one of those unusually shaped pieces that need to fit around a chart layout).

Below are a couple illustrations for the current issue of Boston Common (Niche Media).

In Like a Lion

AHMM, Far East Economic Review, Niche Media, WSJ

The image above was for Boston Common Magazine, and the one below was for Gotham (both periodicals under the ‘Niche Media’ banner – different AD for each). I had to cheat a little on the uniform above, as the client wanted Roger’s number 22 on the uniform (but in the actual uniform, only appears on the back). The illustration below was for an article about ‘green buildings’. I also had another ‘health care’ spot for the Wall Street Journal (pictured to the left) and this week’s topic was a purported ‘tinnitus’ cure.

The illustration below was a quick one over the weekend for the Far East Economic Review. This story was something about China’s vanishing wilderness.

Below is another fiction piece for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. This month’s story was a shorter one than usual, and didn’t have much in the way of settings or interesting action, which made it a bit tricky. It was slightly tongue in cheek, so I went with a little bit lighter approach this time than I usually do.

Over the past month or so, I’ve been also working on a large ‘board game’ project for a designer in Finland. The project is nearing completion, aside from a few tweaks, and I’m eager to share some of these images on this blog, as these are easily the best pieces I’ve done in quite some time. I think I’ll hold off on them for now and perhaps post some samples in a couple weeks.

Super Bowls and Writers Conferences

ChronicleHE, Niche Media, WSJ

The above illustration was for The Chronicle of Higher Education that I did earlier this week. This was about a writer’s conference taking place in NYC. I had read the article on Friday, hoping that two days of ‘sleeping on it’ would give me some ideas, but by Monday morning sketch time, I was still pretty stumped. Drawing buildings is not my favorite thing in the world, and I wasn’t sure exactly ‘where’ in NY this conference was taking place, so drawing a particular set of buildings was going to be problematic. I did two concepts, one more traditional with a street scene, a taxi and nondescript tall buildings in the background, and then the idea hit me to do the one that eventually got chosen, replacing the buildings with stacks of books.

The finish, this time, was probably influenced by a lot of the older illustration that I’ve been looking at recently, digging through my archives for this weblog. I was struck by some techniques that I used to use with scratchboard that I have lately abandoned for a more tightly rendered look, and tried using something similar to that in the rendering of the books, and then I went for some of the more recent style for the figures in the foreground. The only thing I was a little disappointed in was my color choices, which I thought were a little drab.

A week or so ago, my wife asked me to draw her up a ‘pig’ for an upcoming school function (pig roast, bbq dinner fund raiser), so I whipped up the illustration pictured above to the left.

The illustration to the left was a Super Bowl Sunday piece on the markets for the Wall Street Journal. One of my favorite black and white pieces I’ve done in a while. The spot illustration (above and to the right) was for the same client, for a regular health care column that I illustrate on Tuesdays. (face color evaluations was the topic)

Earlier in the month, I had a larger color assignment for the same client. This one was on copper pipe price fluctuations and China’s undo influence on them as a market indicator. I had another sketch that I preferred to this one, and may finish it up on my own when I get some free time.

And then finally, I had a caricature of a rapper named JayZ for Gotham Magazine (Niche Media). I didn’t know who it was, but my son offered to play some of his music for me on his iPod.

January’s Flip Side

AHMM, Barrons, ChronicleHE, Far East Economic Review, Miami Herald, Niche Media

The above illustration and the two below were actually some of the earliest assignments to come across the desk this month, but since this client wasn’t going to be publishing them until later, I held off on posting them at the time. These were all for Barrons, and dealt with tax law (above), dividends (below) and fears about biotech corn (below). I kind of went overboard with the ‘dramatic lighting’ in all three of these. Hopefully they weren’t placed side by side when they reached publication, like they are here.

Earlier this week, I had a quartet of small black and white spots for my the Chronicle of Higher Education. These all dealt with different ‘tax proposals’ made by different factions of the upcoming election. In order from left to right: consumption tax, tax cuts, tax incentives and ‘taxes & elections’.

This weekend I finished up the Suharto portrait for the Far East Economic Review in Hong Kong (it was pre-ordered when he first entered his sick bed the week prior, and then it looked like he was going to recover, but finally kicked it over the weekend).

Earlier in the month I also had an assignment from the Miami Herald, who I hadn’t heard from since the previous summer. This one was on ‘work perks’ like medical benefits and massages. The assignments for this client tend to be a little on the large side, and this used to indimidate me, but I think I’m starting to find an approach that works.

I had a portrait assignment earlier this month for the Los Angeles magazine for Niche Media. I don’t remember who this was exactly, other than a movie producer. Also this month was another ‘fiction’ illustration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. This one was set in ancient Greece during a plague, and needed some research on costumes and ‘cemetery markers’ of the time.

I also continue to work on the ‘book assignment’ that has been on the workbench for the past two months. Apparently the release date has been set for the end of March, and my artwork will now grace the cover, after some back and forth with the publishers. More info when it gets closer to the release date.