College Spots


I had a series of spot illustrations for a long time ‘college prep’ publication client in October. There were two different styles that I worked in for these two groups of spots, in order to keep them from looking too similar to each other. The first was more of a cartoon style, like the ‘surfing’ spot and the ‘huddle’ spot below.

The rest of the spots were quite a bit smaller in size, and I did these in a simplified ‘scratchboard’ style. They mostly dealt with ‘college’ life in one way or another, email, gas prices, lunch, recycling etc etc. A couple of cute ones came out of this batch, I particularly liked how the ‘guitar and amp’ one turned out.

Black and White World

AHMM, ChronicleHE, Newsday, WSJ

The above fiction piece was for my long time ‘mystery digest’ client. I don’t quite remember the story all that well, but I seem to remember it had a vaguely ‘medieval’ feel to it, and there was a ‘princess in disguise’ who gets discovered by an adventurer, and this particular scene takes place in the hayloft of a barn. This was one of my favorite pieces for this client around this time. I thought I handled the lights and darks quite well, mixing up the patterns, and using some fun dramatic lighting.

Another nice black and white piece around this time was for my east coast newspaper client. This one had something to do with movies, but other than that, I don’t quite remember. One of my better ‘faces’ in a while. I was experimenting with a ‘spray/spatter’ technique now and again with scratchboard (on a limited basis), which looks real nice on my computer screen, but I never did find out how it ended up looking in the printed versions.

Also, in black and white, I had my monthly quota of ‘health care’ spots for my national newspaper client. I don’t quite remember the topics of these, but if I had to guess, I’d say they were about ‘aspirin’, ‘healthy bacteria’, ‘yoga in the sauna’ and ‘group health plans’.

I also had a series of spots for my educational publication. These were fairly easy (once I did the first ‘coin’), and was just a matter of copying the original drawing and then breaking it up into different ‘pie’ slices.

History Lessons

Carus Publishing, Cobblestone

I had an abundance of ‘historical scratchboards’ for a few children’s magazine clients in October. The one above was part of a two page story about a civil rights figure (don’t remember who), and the companion piece is found below.

I also had a series of vignettes for a different children’s magazine. These were all dealing with ‘famous nurses’ (and I don’t remember the specifics of this story either).

Maps and Roses

Carus Publishing, Cobblestone

There’s no predicting what will inspire me. I had an assignment this month for a children’s history periodical where I was asked to draw a series of vignettes about various semi-famous ‘nurses in history’, and it involved research and period costumes, and you would think that it would be an interesting, challenging assignment. It wasn’t. I cranked them out seemingly on autopilot, and they ended up looking rather dull and uninspired (see the other posting for October). But for the same publisher, the same month, different publication (geography this time), I was asked to do a rather straightforward topographical map of Taiwan. Rather dull, one would think, but I jumped right at this assignment, in the zone the entire time I’m working on it, completely unaware of how much time I’m spending at the drawing board. Ended up being one of my favorite assignments of the month.

Another map assignment for the same client is below, this one having something to do with Europe (but I don’t remember the particulars). Not quite as nice as the one above, but I seem to remember having fun with this one too.

I also had a companion piece to the Taiwan map above, this one having something to do with showing the different ethnic regions in the country (if I remember correctly). This one wasn’t quite as much fun, just a matter of copying the reference materials in a colorful manner.

I also had a couple ‘puzzle page’ assignments for the same client, for their ‘science’ periodical. The one below was sort of a ‘story problem’, having to do with an archaeological dig, and the one below that was something to do with penguins.

Also this month, for the same client was the ‘rose border’ seen below. I don’t remember the story behind this one, but this was a departure for me, stylewise, and I was kind of pleased with how they turned out (although the background wasn’t the best choice).

This month I took another ‘departure’ piece for my east coast newspaper client. They wanted a faux ‘monopoly’-ish game board designed to illustrate the problems that the UN inspectors were having in keeping tabs on Sadam’s weapons developments. (the ‘Osama who?’ space on the right was my own subversive addition to the concept). I had a lot of fun with this one, trying for more of a photo realistic look than I usually do, also doing some fun little iconic cartoon designs on the game spaces. This one would go over so well, that I was asked to do another one for another topic the next summer.


ChronicleHE, Legal Times, Newsday, WSJ

Above is one of my favorite illustrations of mine this year. This was for an educational publication client of mine, and dealt with ‘demonization’. I was looking over November’s work output, and lamenting the fact that most of the work that month looked ‘sub par’, and was speculating that perhaps it was because of an unusually high workload. But now here I am looking over October’s assignments for 2002, and the workload looks as high, or maybe even higher, and the quality seems way up there for the most part. I don’t know what happened, perhaps I was just in a better frame of mind this month, or perhaps the jobs were a bit more stimulating. Who knows. Wish I could turn it on and off like a faucet when I need it.

Another fun piece, with a strong ‘conceptual base’ was this illustration at right, for my east coast newspaper client. I don’t quite remember the story that this accompanied, but it had something to do with innovation, or the period of invention following the industrial revolution (?). Anyhow. I liked both the idea behind this one, and had a bit of fun with the execution, using some different techniques than I usually do when finishing up a scratchboard assignment.

Another ‘balloon’ scratchboard illustration was for my national newspaper client. The idea wasn’t quite so strong with this one, (I don’t remember if this was an idea supplied by the editors, but I think it was, considering all the ‘flags’, which I don’t usually lean towards in my idea generating) but it turned out better than I feared it would (the overlapping flags almost make it a bit busy and confusing).

Also, for the same client, was this spot regarding California politics. I dont’ quite remember who the subject of this caricature was. Governor? Senator? Anyhow, another illustration where I have to include text to ‘explain’ the concept, which I usually don’t like doing, but when it is a specific request of the editors, it is kind of unavoidable.

Another illustration where I had to include a lot of text, was this piece below on the ‘sex offender registry’ for a legal newspaper. That looks like my old Apple G-3. Always hated doing anything featuring ‘computers’ or ‘tech gadgets’ as they always seem to be quickly dated. Looking back on this from the future year of 2018, it seems like something that belongs in a museum.