Maps etc

Carus Publishing, CRC, Metro Detroit Parent

A trio of maps this month for my children’s publication client. One of them for a history magazine that included a bunch of small vignettes on the revolutionary war, and then an all purpose mediterranean map that I forget what purpose it served. Below was a historical map of the port of Alexandria (which may or may not have been part of the ‘mediterranean’ assignment).

Also this month, for my regular ‘puzzle page’ gig for the science publication (same client), I had a rather complex drawing and series of small spots having something to do with animals inside of bubbles (I seem to remember that the client was going to place the small spots somewhere within the large bubble).

This month marked the end of my working relationship with my ‘agent’. I had been taking assignments off and on through this local agent for the past 7 or 8 years. I didn’t mind the work that she brought my way, but I was able to generate much more on my own, and without the 30 percent cut. The past few years of our working relationship was pretty much confined to a single regional magazine client out of Detroit, with black and white cartoon images similar to the one pictured below.

I also had an assignment for a local religious organization this month, a ‘sticker sheet’ of bible characters and misc items that would no doubt be part of some activity for their sunday school curriculum.

Scratchboards in May

America, Legal Times, Metro Detroit Parent, WSJ

A lot of steady work this month, but nothing particularly memorable. The two illustrations above for my national newspaper client both seemed to be saying the same things; careful, we’re not out of the woods yet.

Meanwhile, of course, Uncle Sam is still handing out the tax cuts, as we can see in the illustration to the left for the same client (this may have been around the time of George Bush’s ‘tax rebate’ – but I can’t be sure).

I had another piece for my agent this month, this one for a michigan regional publication (pictured right). I don’t remember the topic, whether it was about legalized gambling, or simply something to do with family budgets.

I had a piece on alcoholism and substance abuse for a jesuit magazine this month (pictured left), and a couple illustrations for an east coast legal newspaper (pictured below). It was fun to draw a couple of ‘superheroes’, a subject I rarely get to tackle, even if it was a bit tongue in cheek, and overly explanatory text heavy. The other ‘senate floor ruckus’ illustration was on an obscure topic that I’ve long forgotten the significance of.

Cartoon Spots

Metro Detroit Parent, Oxendine, Strang Publications

I had a series of cartoon spot illustrations this month for a college lifestyle magazine. I’d been doing these small factoid illos for this client for almost ten years at this point, and the styles have changed and mutated over time. This client was always very open minded and I was allowed a lot of freedom to experiment. Eventually we sort of settled on this particular style as being a good compromise between stylistic and time constraint issues. The pay scale didn’t allow me to spent a great deal of time on each, but with this rather loose style I could usually fit in a lot of detail and humor and keep it fresh looking and fun. The most time consuming part of these projects were usually just the brainstorming sessions, coming up with a fresh approach to frequently repetitive or esoteric topics.
I also had a cartoon assignment this month for an evangelical magazine client. This rather strange one had something to do with ‘positive attitudes’. I didn’t care what the story was about, it was just fun to draw a creepy tentacled monster.

Also this month, I had a few more black and white cartoon assignments from my agent for a Michigan regional magazine (the camping and juggling illustrations pictured below).


Cobblestone, Gemini Publications, Metro Detroit Parent, Newsday

I had a fun cartoon assignment for my east coast newspaper client in January. This was a large horizontal busy illustration that was to accompany an article about all the different ‘camp options’ available to send kids to in the summer (horse camp, music camp, etc etc). I’ve enlarged one section of it to better show the details that went into it. This was a favorite piece of the year, and would be used long afterwards as a sample of my ‘cartoon style’ on my own website.

This month marked the final two spot illustrations that I would provide for a long time local client, a regional magazine that I’d been working for since my first year in business. The rates were always very low, but the deadlines were usually pretty liberal, and I was always given lots of freedom and it was a good opportunity to practice my cartooning skills. My workload was becoming such, though, that I could no longer justify the time spent on these assignments.

Above was another ‘puzzle page’ assignment from a children’s publication that I did regularly for a number of years. This one with a fun ‘sci fi’ theme.

To the left and below, are a few black and white cartoon assignments for my agent, for a michigan regional parenting publication.

A Cartoony Kind of Month

Children's Television Workshop, Christian Home & School, Gemini Publications, Metro Detroit Parent, Newsday, Oxendine

This was one of those unusual months, where I actually had more cartoon assignments than scratchboards (not to be repeated again for the next 7-8 years or more). It sure looks as if I’m having fun this month, there’s a lot of sly humor creeping into a lot of the illustrations (also see the accompanying ‘cartoon spots’ entry this month), and I seem really at ease with the style, the linework and the colors.

The above illustration and the one to the left were two additional larger spots that I did for my ‘college lifestyle’ magazine client. Usually I just provided small spots for this client, so it was fun to stretch out a little and do something a little bigger and more involved.

Another ‘larger’ cartoon is pictured below, this one for a local christian parenting magazine, a full page assignment on ‘busing’.

I also had an unusual assigment from my agent for a michigan regional parenting publication (pictured above). Usually, I only provide black and white illustrations for this client, so it was fun to try something in color. This was about the over saturation of marketing towards kids, and I tried to fit just about any kind of toy I could think of into the layout. Some of my usual subversive humor hidden away here and there (and an annoying toy my son got for christmas the previous year I notice down in the lower left corner).

The illustration to the left was for a major children’s magazine publisher, and had something to do with ‘family sing-a-long software’ available for your home pc.

Another small cartoon for a different local parenting magazine is pictured to the right. I don’t quite remember the angle of this particular story (play time with your children, perhaps?)

Pictured below is an assignment this month for my east coast newspaper client. This one dealt with teen workers in the fast food industry.

Another assignment for the same client is below that, a piece on holiday weight loss.