1997 – Big Changes

Year In Review
Cover for ‘Summer Concert’ section for Newsday, 1997 (traditional media on paper)

This was a year of big changes. I was getting rather burnt out, and desperately searching for some way to keep myself focused on keeping this freelance career from sputtering out. Probably also nearing the big ‘Four Oh’, and just facing the usual mid life crisis nonsense. I started the year out like the previous 7 years, working for the same clients, the same mixture of styles, with occasional bright spots to keep me moving forward.

Last traditional scratchboard for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, 1997.

One day in the late Summer, my wife brought home a Wacom tablet and a copy of a program called ‘Painter’. I fell in love with it immediately. While it probably took me a while to catch back up to what I was doing with ink and paper, the transition was remarkably smooth.

Dever Designs, traditional scratchboard and wash, 1997

I was a little worried about how my clients would adjust, but I noticed a quick acceptance, and even and uptick in business, as the shipping headaches disappeared overnight (art could now be sent as digital attachments to email), and tight deadlines could now be accommodated even quicker. Most of the very early digital work is hardly worth sharing here, but I’ll post a couple at the bottom of the page, and instead share many of the best of the last traditional illustrations.

Newsday, traditional scratchboard, 1997
Early Unpublished Digital Experiment, 1997
Early Unpublished Digital Experiment, 1997
American Bar Association, digital, 1997
Zillions, digital, 1997