Cartoon Spots

Newsday, Oxendine

The surrounding color cartoon spots were all for a college lifestyle client of mine in the month of December. These were semi-regular assignments (during the school year) on a variety of subject to go with little mini-articles throughout the magazine. I’ve completely forgotten doing most of these, and when I came across the ‘salsa dancing’ one I cracked myself up, and I also particularly liked the ‘hula dancer’ below. There were usually two different sizes of spots for this magazine, and I don’t remember the significance of each size, but the ‘square format’ ones I’ve place above, and the more ‘rectangular ones’ I’ve placed below. (I think the ones above had something to do with specific activities/achievements of certain schools, and the ones below were more ‘general topics’ pertaining to campus life)

I also had a trio of tiny ‘head’ spots for a different section of the magazine that I don’t quite remember what they were for.

In addition to the ‘college’ spots, I also had a series of small cartoon spots for my east coast newspaper client this month. These all had to do with the new ‘domain names’ that were being introduced, with explanations of each.

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.

Genres of Literature

Instructional Fair



This was the eighth book that I did for Instructional Fair in 2000, and one of the rare ones where I was involved with the cover illustration as well as inside spots. I was quite excited to be working on a cover illustration, and I was quite happy with how it turned out. I have previously only shared the cover and a few sample interiors on this blog, but am going back and posting these books in their entirety (writing this in 2018). Below are the interior spots for ‘Genres of Literature’.

Genres3 Genres2 Genres1

Unusual Fare

Carus Publishing, Christian Home & School, Cobblestone, Newsday

The piece above was for a local christian parenting magazine, and had something to do with teachers at private religious schools. For a change of pace, I finished this one in a pastel style. This was a style that I relied on heavily in the early years, until the problems with shipping the artwork, keeping it smudge free and breathing tons of pastel dust caused me to curtail work in this medium. Once I went digital, I ocassionally drag it out of mothballs for the odd assignment, but it never seems to quite catch on as a regular style.

To the left was a small spot for a children’s magazine client this month. This was a diagram showing the comparative sizes to the Panema Canal with various objects. I did this one in a combination of watercolors and colored pencils.

I also had another ‘puzzle page’ assignment for the same client this month, this one a maze involving a miniature futuristic submarine travelling around a circuit board (if I remember correctly).

And continuing to experiment in a ‘painterly’ style (using oil pastels), I had another in a series of ‘food illustrations’ for a recipe feature for my east coast newspaper client (this one with a holiday theme).

Scratchboards in December

AHMM, ChronicleHE, Newsday, WSJ

Most of the black and white scratchboards this month were for the same national newspaper client. I’d been working for this client for about a year at this point, and enjoying the frequent assignments.

The illustration above seemed to comment on the rocky financial road we’ve been travelling on all year, and the illustration to the left seems to portend better times ahead (that is, if our ‘car’ holds out till the new year). The two illustrations below don’t quite seem as promising. A ‘bull’ topiary being reshaped into a bear, and below that, a number of tiny investors are hunkering down as if preparing for the worst.

There was also a piece on the Japanese economy this month (pictured right), and a piece on computer stock (pictured below).

Below that is another fiction piece for my long time ‘mystery digest’ client. Nearly a full year of working for this client in 2000, after a long dry spell from before my ‘digital’ changeover.

And on the color scratchboards, there were only two this month, a piece for my educational publication client, and a piece on the coming new year from my east coast newspaper client. (I seem to be going a little nutty on the background pattern on that ‘odometer’ illustration)