New Regular Gig

ChronicleHE, WSJ

The illustration to the left was for my national newspaper client, as well as the rather unusual ‘online construction’ assignment pictured below. Interesting concepts on both of these, but looking back on them, I think I would rather have used a bit more solid black here and there to help the contrast a bit more.

This month also saw the start of a regular gig for this client. A ‘dubious health care’ column that ran weekly for a few years that I provided small illustrations for every Monday (appearing in the paper on Tuesday). After a couple years, the column moved to a bi-monthly schedule, and color became more frequent as the years passed. It has been a nice safety net for lean times for a good many years, and has provided me with invaluable practice at working on a small scale. UPDATE: This ‘Regular Gig’ lasted ultimately from April of 2002 until February of 2011. Almost a decade, and by the end it was an irregular feature that perhaps appeared once a month.

The piece above was for the same client in April, and was probably a Sunday chart accompaniment (twists and turns in the road ahead for investors, no doubt).

I also had a few spots for my educational publication client this month. A pair of black and white illustrations for an article about the ‘future of the printed word’. I’d been getting a lot of practice drawing my old blue apple G3 this month (and next), and I’m not sure, but I think I saved a little time by reusing the ‘computer’ from one of these drawings for another assignment elsewhere over the next few months (just changing the item on the screen).

To the right is another spot for the same national newspaper client, this one having something to do with doctor’s fees, and below that was another one for the same client, something to do with the Republicans and Democrats, but other than that, I don’t quite remember the slant on the story.

Corporate Work

Carus Publishing, Clean Water Action Fund, Cobblestone, Time for Kids

I had a series of small cartoon spots this month for a corporate client. This was a series of illustrations to go with a brochure on toxic substances and their impact on children. They were all about the same size and covered a variety of subjects. A cartoon style that I like working in, but a bit straighter and less humorous than I usually do. (did manage to sneak my cat Ripley into one of them, however)

Also, this month, I had another cartoon piece for a children’s magazine. This was a story about how comparatively heavy a space suit is to wear (I would do a similar one the following year regarding firefighter’s gear).

The piece above was yet another ‘puzzle page’ illustration for a children’s science magazine feature that I frequently contribute to. Not one of my best efforts. I remember the concept for this ‘puzzle’ as being rather confusing and strange, and it looks as if I rushed through it.

Additional April Work

America, Newsday, US Catholic

One of my favorite pieces of the month was this rather simple image of ‘lady justice’ for a catholic magazine. I took the opportunity to work in a different style than I normally do, and I really liked how the colors turned out in this one.

And speaking of catholics, I also had a few pieces this month for two different clients on the recent rash of priest pedophile accusations. The one above, a riff on the old ‘see no, hear no, speak no evil’ pose, but with a fourth member of the gang, was for a jesuit publication. The illustration to the left was for my east coast newspaper client.

Also, for the same newspaper client, I had a large color piece to accompany a story about when surgeons make ‘mistakes’. (pictured below).

Below that, is a piece for my national newspaper client. This one about rising gas prices and their effect on the stock market. I would recycle this concept again in a couple years, completely unaware that I’d done it once before.

And speaking of recycling, I would conciously reuse this computer illustration again a few months later, when I was asked to do a similar concept (but different items on the screen) for another client.

Children’s Magazine Work

Carus Publishing, Cobblestone, Cricket

Before I got the reputation around the offices of this one particular children’s magazine as the ‘historical/nautical’ artist, I was frequently given assignments for a while that had a ‘boy’s adventure’ feel to them. This was another of those assignments, and concerned a pair of young boys trapped in an old mine as their candles are snuffed out mysteriously one by one (turns out the rats are eating the wax). I experimented with a different technique this time around, starting with a rough pastel background and then carving out my usual scratchboard technique in the rough background. It worked nicely for the moody ‘dark scenes’, but was less successful in the final illustration where the boys escape the mineshaft and head out into the sunshine. My favorite piece of the series was the rat illustration above.

The two illustrations below were for the same story, but had unusual shapes that wrapped around the text. This was a challenging piece all around, because most of the action of the story takes place in the dark, and the time and date was rather vague, so that I was worried about period costumes, and used the darkness to hide my ignorance for the most part.

For a children’s history magazine this month, I also had a series of illustrations about the framing of the declaration of independence. I don’t remember if the map and the illustrations below were for the same publication/story or not, but they seem to be connected in some way. The map above was of the state of Maryland and the surrounding region, and I’ve enlarged one of the small vignettes on the map to show the detail.

I also had to provide a series of three portraits of some of the lesser known signers of the Declaration (if I remember this assignment correctly). Plus a full page image of the three of them together (text would be superimposed over the lighter area in the middle of the illustration).