April Showers

ChronicleHE, Far East Economic Review, The Deal, WSJ

After a couple weeks of relative quiet, April burst forth with a refreshing downpour, and just in time for our spring break trip to Arizona tomorrow evening. It looks like I’ll be bringing along the computer and tablet and doing some work while I’m out there as well. Been raining outside the past few days too, but today is bright and sunny, and I’m tempted to head out and play in the sunshine later this afternoon.

The illustration above was a cover for The Deal magazine that dropped in my lap over the weekend. A fun assignment, but much more time consuming than I anticipated. I spent most of the day Monday and late into the evening getting this one done for a Tuesday deadline. I also had a pair of illustrations over the weekend for the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong. Both pictured below, one of them on ‘internet censorship’ and another on ‘targeting chinese consumers’.

Also, on monday, I had another of my ‘health care’ spots for the Wall Street Journal, this one on a new mineral supplement that is purported to treat arthritis and depression. I also got a call on Monday for a rush assignment for the Chronicle of Higher Education (usually they call on Thursday or Friday for a Tuesday deadline), so I squeezed that assignment in as well (pictured below). This one was about the decline of ‘Lit Studies’.

The piece above was for the Miami Herald, for an article about the ‘weak dollar’. I also was quite busy this week finishing up sketches for the large CRC curriculum job, and sketches for the ABA cover, and before I leave tomorrow I have a few other last minute assignments to attend to. When it rains, it pours.

Black and White and Color

Barrons, Carus Publishing, Niche Media, The Deal, WSJ

Took in a couple of fiction projects in early May from Cicada magazine (Cricket’s ‘teen digest’ publication). All the artwork that appears in this periodical runs in black and white. The fun part of working for this client is the freedom usually given to working in different mediums. I decided to do the first story in a rather loose pen and ink sketch technique. The illustration at the top was a two page spread, and the other two were smaller half page spots. The story concerned a young female outcast of a primitive society who stumbles upon a member of a more advanced society in her travels, and I forget how it ends, but the daisy image below somehow ties it all together with a moral.

The second story for the same publication needed a slightly different approach (so that it didn’t look like the same illustrator did a lot of the art in the issue). I decided to work in a pencil sketch/watercolor wash in greyscale technique. This story was about the recollections of a middle aged ex surfer. It took a little research on my behalf, not knowing squat about surfing or surfboards. My favorite of the illustrations was the one above, where the young teen boys are chilling out on the school grounds, daydreaming about surfing, while a tarp over their heads blows in the wind, and resembles a wave. It was a much more relaxed and freeflowing illustration than the other two in the story, which needed to show the surf boards accurately and I tend to tense up when accuracy is on the line. Eventually in the story, the narrator buys a surfboard, never quite gets to use it, and then transforms it into a coffee table. So, a surfing story, without any actual surfing taking place. The black and white pieces for this assignment were a lot of fun to put together, and it was a nice breath of fresh air to work in a new style after so much scratchboard for so long. (and of course, my dog makes an appearance in the final illustration)

Another fun black and white piece came from Barrons around this time. This one needed a hot air balloon overlooking some scenery. I don’t quite remember the topic of this one, but the illustration turned out quite nice.

In addition to all the enjoyable black and white pieces during this time, I also had a few color pieces come across the desk. The one to the left is another of my ‘health care’ column spots that I do every couple of weeks for the Wall Street Journal. This one about a new blood testing gizmo.
And got an assignment from a new client at this time, Niche Media, a publisher of various regional publications around the country, which would turn out be a semi-regular client over the next few years. This one was about the NSA and some goof ups involving children and nice little grannies. Had a lot of fun with this one.

Also got another assignment from a new client, Corporate Dealmaker (The Deal). Another large full page illustration, something to do with contracts and law. Wasn’t quite happy with how this one turned out. Not sure why.