Bees Bees Bees


Had an interesting assignment this month from a local religious organization, doing a cover and several inside spot illustrations for their monthly magazine. Bugs are always interesting to draw, and the theme for this one was ‘bees’, which gave me plenty of chances to practice my bug skills. The above illustration was for the cover, and the illustrations below were for the inside.

Also this month I had a few other assignments for the same client (brochures and other in-house items). Some were in black and white (like the ‘bible instruments’ pictured to the left, and the ‘guide’ illustration below), and the three ‘carnival’ illustrations below that were for another issue of the magazine, and were used both separately, and all together in one long illustration spreading across the opening two page spread.

Shower of Scratchboards for April

ChronicleHE, Legal Times, Newsday, Recorder

A lot more scratchboard illustrations than normal this month, some better than others. The above illustration was for an east coast newspaper client and was about the heavy handed techniques that the NYPD have been accused of around this time. This was one of those sketches where, after it was approved, I said to myself “oh my god, what you thinking?”. Buildings are not my strong suit, and a whole bunch of buildings, including demolition and destruction was even worse. However, I jumped right into it and ended up with one of my favorite images from this period.

Below is another ‘same day’ illustration for the same client. This one was a rather strange concept but with a pretty decent likeness of Milosovic.

I also had a few color pieces for the same client. Usually, with this client, the black and white illustrations are ‘same day’ work for the editorial pages, and the color assignments are usually for the ‘lifestyle section’ with a day or two leadtime. The one above was about women and tax preparation, and the one below was something about ‘aging’. (the one below was not strictly a scratchboard, except for the figure, the rest made up of various techniques including oil pastels, watercolors and colored pencils.)

The illustration above was for a west coast legal magazine on ‘racial profiling’, and meanwhile, on the east coast, I had a few illustrations for a legal newspaper out of Washington (both pictured below). The ‘topiary’ illustration was something to do with the Libyan court proceedings on that downed airliner in Scotland, and below that was a rather strange shaped illustration featuring Uncle Sam (don’t remember the topic on that one)

I also had a few illustrations this month for my educational publication client. The color illustration featuring the ‘erased’ student I don’t quite remember the topic of, then there was a black and white ‘computer’ user illustration, and then an illustration featuring some students behind a barricade. Of the three, the ‘computer tangle’ turned out the best, the other two being a little weak in concept and in execution.

More April Scratchboards

Innovision, Legal Times, National Business Employment Weekly

The above large illustration was for a new east coast newspaper client this month. I don’t remember what it was about, but it seems to cover all the bases (a doctor, a student, a computer user, buildings, cars, buses, businessmen – oh, and pigeons).

I had another assignment from a national newspaper client who has been keeping me somewhat busy the past 6 months or so. I had hopes this would turn into a nice regular gig for me, but unfortunately the newspaper folded later in the year. The ‘guy in the light’ illustration was for the cover, and has been cropped down, and the ‘spotlight’ illustration (which turned out much better of the two) was a small inside spot for the contents page.

I had another series of illustrations this month for my west coast magazine client. I’ve been doing quite a few of these this past year (and the coming year), and they usually involve a larger color illustration (above) and a series of related smaller black and white spots (pictured below). The concept this month was ‘origami’ creatures made out of ‘money’, and for the cover, I used almost a ‘collage’ effect made up out of found images on the internet. An unusual experiment for me, and something I never quite went back to again. I don’t quite remember if I looked up actual ‘origami’ designs to base these creatures on, or if I just made it up out of my head (probably the latter). It might have been interesting to do this photographically, and actually learn origami and fold up dollar bills for each of these, but probably not feasable on a tight deadline.

Odds and Ends

Clubhouse, Gemini Publications

The illustrations above and below were for a west coast children’s magazine and accompanying website. Apparently, in the illustration below, the web browser would click on various areas of the neighborhood to be taken to different online portions of the magazine.

The above illustration was for a cd cover of a christmas collection by a local christian recording artist.
I also had a number of small spots for a local regional magazine publisher this month. Usually I worked in a ‘cartoon’ style for this client, as the pay scale was so low, and I could quickly turn around these cartoons with a minimum of fuss. They wanted something a little different for one of the spots this month, and I did a quick and dirty oil pastel drawing of a hand reaching for a fridge handle. It was kind of light in hue, as are so many of my illustrations from this period (I was still learning about ‘screen contrast/lightness’ settings on the computer), and wasn’t much to write home about.

The ‘Shakespeare holding an oscar’ was for the ‘city’ publication (and if memory serves, probably had to do with ‘Shakespeare in Love’), and I also had a few ‘401k’ illustrations one for the ‘city’ and another for the ‘parenting’ publication.

I was also asked to do a ‘scratchboard’ illustration for this same client this month. I usually tried to avoid these from this particular client due to the extra time involved in a scratchboard drawing, and for the aforementioned budgetary restraints, but kept this one rather simple. This image could just as easily have been an assignment from my educational publication client (and would have paid 10 times the amount).

I also had another black and white assignment from a Michigan regional parenting publication through my agent. This was a similar type magazine to the one published locally, but a slightly bigger market and city, and consequently paid better, even with a bite taken out by the agent.

Character Development

Carus Publishing, Cobblestone

Around this time I was approached by one of the magazines under the parent ‘children’s magazine’ client that I’ve been working for on and off for about 7 years to develop a series of ‘apple’ headed characters that could be used and reused by the magazine over the coming years. These would be sprinkled around the magazine either as headings for different departments or simply just to take up space where there was a hole that needed to be filled. As per usual with this client these were for a small one time fee no different than their going rates, and they retained all rights to the illustrations. I had been in business at this point for about ten years, and I was just now starting to pay attention to the contracts I was signing, and what kind of rights I was giving away on a regular basis. This would start playing a bigger part in the decision making process of future assignments as the years went on.