Holiday Spots

AHMM, ChronicleHE, Newsday, Washington Post, WSJ

The above color spot illustration was for my national newspaper client and accompanied an article about the wild ride that a certain company’s stocks had over the course of the year. The piece to the left was probably about retirement ‘nest eggs’, although I don’t really remember exactly the angle of the story. A fun piece though, and the egg came out nice.

I also had another piece for the same client having something to do with the holiday shopping season (the melting snowman, pictured below)

Also, for the same client were a trio of ‘health care’ spots that I do every week for a regular column. The topics this month were; exercising for bone health, tooth coating, and quitting smoking for new years.

Another piece for the same client in December, was this ‘percent sign’ illustration below and to the right.

I had a few assignments from other semi-regular clients in December, including the ‘armed forces’ recruiting station picture below for an east coast newspaper client, a ‘snoozing dean’ for my educational publication client (also pictured below), and a fiction piece for my long time ‘mystery digest’ client (this one involved a notorious criminal that gets recognized at an old age home by a young television reporter).

I also landed an assignment from a new client this month, a large east coast newspaper that wanted a black and white editorial piece on ‘internet espionage’. A few other assignments came my way from the same client over the next several years, but they are far and few between.

Corporate Assignments

AG Edwards

A large national corporate client of mine has been handing me assignments since early in 2002, and I’ve been avoiding posting examples of most of the illustrations, due to the nature of the usage contract that we agreed upon. However, since five years have passed since these were commissioned, I’ll be posting this batch of illustrations. These were for an in-house advertising brochure on savings and investments, and most carried a nautical theme, with a few exceptions (like the tightrope walker above)

I don’t quite remember the text that went with these drawings, but I’m sure most of them were of the ‘planning your future’, ‘charting a course’ variety. At this time I hadn’t yet decided to take up sailing, but I had been doing a lot of reading on the subject, and it was definitely on my mind while planning out the concepts for these illustrations.

On the lighter side

Newsday, US Catholic

I had a few ‘cartoon’ assignments in December. The one above, was for an east coast newspaper client for their ‘lifestyle’ section, and concerned family squabbles at holiday time. I had a bit of fun with this one, I always like doing these ‘crowded’ scenes where you can fit a lot of little details in.

I also had a trio of illustrations for a small southern campus life magazine. These would prove to be the last assignments I would have from this long time client. I had been doing lots of work for this client over the years, but I could no longer justify the amount of work that went into the assignments against the low rates that they paid. I miss the art director though, he was always fun to talk to.

These three small spot illustrations were on various short ‘mini articles’ that sprinkle throughout the magazine, and the topics included; evaluating your faculty, campus surveys (I think), and something or other to do with online travel arrangements (if I remember correctly).

It is interesting to see how my ‘cartoon style’ has evolved over the years. The very earliest ones I did had characters with huge bulbuous noses, spindly little arms and legs, and barely looked human at all, and gradually the people started looking a bit more realistic, and the lines started getting more controlled and clean. Even in the past 5 years the cartoons have evolved even more towards the ‘realistic’ end, and the linework has evolved a bit as well.

The above illustration was for a catholic magazine, and went with a story about ‘overpreparing’ children, and not allowing them to ‘play and enjoy their childhood’. I believe I was still coaching baseball around this time (in the spring anyways), so more and more baseball images should start creeping into my illustrations like this.

Maps and Flytraps

Carus Publishing, Cobblestone, Newsday

The above map was for an article about the Civil War for a children’s history magazine. I also saved a couple larger examples of the small thumbnail sized spots that went with the map for easier viewing. Sometimes the little ‘spots’ ended up being more work and trouble than the map itself in projects of this sort.

I also had another map for the same client, but a different periodical. This was a geography magazine for kids, and the map was pretty straightforward, delineating different population densities of a particular group of people (the heugonots?). These ‘map assignments’ were usually quite large, spread across two pages in most cases, but with type overlapping certain ‘dead’ areas.

I had another ‘puzzle page’ assignment for the same client in December. This was for their science themed magazine. This one was more along the lines of a ‘story puzzle’ than others of this series have been. I particularly liked how this one turned out. The hands and fly turned out real nice, using a watercolor technique, if I remember correctly.

Another ‘odd technique’ that I experimented with this month, was a rather dry story about the health care profession. My concept was to arrange a stethoscope so that it resembled a heart. I thought scratchboard would make this look even duller than it was, so tried it in more of a soft pastel approach.