Newspaper Spots


All the illustrations in this blog posting were for the same national newspaper client in May of ’03. The above piece was a same day assignment, but I don’t quite remember the slant of the story.

I also had my usual quota of ‘health care’ spots. A weekly column that I had been contributing to for about a year at this point. These were usually stories about ‘dubious health claims’, and the columnist would weigh the pros and cons of each. I usually provide 3 sketches for each story, some of them more outrageous, some of them rather conservative, and the editors pick which one for me to finish. The topics this month were: ‘pesticides and kids’, ‘tooth extraction’, ‘sugar substitutes’ and ‘virus attacks’.
The ‘trained falcon’ illustration to the left was another spot for the same client. I don’t quite remember the topic of this one, but I liked how it turned out. The ‘lawyer’s desk lamp’ made a nice perch for these ‘attack lawyers’ (if that’s what they were supposed to be).

Another one for the same client, was the illustration below. A rather dull (I thought) concept involving microchips swarming over a portion of the globe. I wasn’t completely happy with how this turned out, but strangely enough, I got a call from someone at the corporate offices of the company pictured in the illustration after the illustration ran in the paper, and they wanted me to send them either the original (which doesn’t really exist, since I draw digitally), or a signed print (which I happily provided them with).

Another quickie piece for the same client is pictured at right. This one of an investor doing the high dive into an improbably small bucket. I don’t remember the concept for this one, but it was probably about ‘long shots’ or ‘taking risks’ or something like that.

And then, finally, another piece for the same client, this one no doubt about scrutiny or accountability, or something along those lines.


Carus Publishing, Cobblestone, Newsday, US Catholic

I had a couple maps for my children’s magazine client in May. The one above was a two page spread having to do with dams or locks along the Nile River. Type was supposed to overlap certain portions of the illustration, thus the ‘sandstorm’ along the left edge of the spread.

Then, another map, for a different magazine, but the same client, was this map of the southeast United States, having to do with a certain indian tribe and their area of concentration.

Then, same client, but again a different publication, this one a science magazine for kids, that I provided a ‘puzzle page’ illustration for every month. This one had to do with a series of rooms and surveillance microphones placed in certain locations.

Then I had a couple cartoon illustrations for a couple different clients during the month of May. The one pictured below, was for a catholic publication, and was rather fun in a strange way. This one involved families getting personally involved in every aspect of funeral planning, and they wanted something a little lighthearted in approach to this somber subject.

Then, for an east coast newspaper client of mine, I had the illustration below, something for the lifestyle section about dating or relationships or something (I forget exactly what the topic was). I don’t know what it is, but I particularly liked the layout and character design of this one. Fun expressions and body language, a simple design and execution and nice colors. I didn’t ‘overwork it’ for once.

Different Strokes

ABA, AHMM, ChronicleHE, Newsday

The piece above, was a full page illustration for an east coast newspaper client of mine. This was a piece about the ‘road to home ownership’ (if I remember correctly). A lot of suggestions from the client as to things they wanted in the picture, and it made for a rather cluttered layout, but it didn’t turn out half bad. I did something a little different (for me) with the ‘sun and sun beams’ in the background, which seems a little out of place with the style of the rest of it, but not greatly so.

For the same client, I had a smaller, more iconic illustration about ‘home barbeque’, in which I tried to simplify my rather cluttered style to as simple a format as possible (I wasn’t sure how small they were going to run it, and I didn’t want the lines to ‘muddy up’ at smaller sizes). Kind of fun and stylized, and a little different from my usual MO.

Then, another piece for the same client, this one having to do with children an reading about the war in Iraq. Rather simple concept, but the newspapers took a bit of time. I’m always fighting with myself about how to handle things like portraying ‘newspapers’ or ‘money’, and debating about whether to try and ‘draw’ them in a sort of stylized fashion, or to do it more of a ‘collage style’ with found imagery. I kind of like how this hand drawn newspaper page style turned out, but it doesn’t always look as good – depends on the project.

The piece to the right was for an educational publication. I don’t particularly like to include ‘text’ in illustrations, labelling items for easy identification, but sometimes when it is the specific request of the client, it is unavoidable. I don’t like how I handled the text on these ‘trophies’, in retrospect. Perhaps hand lettered would have turned out better (but not necessarily more readable at this reproduction size).

I had a rather unusual ‘fiction’ piece for my long time ‘mystery digest’ client. A short story about a vivid nighttime out of body experience (if I remember correctly). I kept it rather dark and simple. In retrospect, I think I should have exaggerated the perspective on the body a bit more and perhaps tilted the city down below to give a bit more drama.

I also had a rather straightforward caricature assignment for a midwest University client. I don’t remember the subject of the caricature, but I think it was either a speaker at the college, or possibly someone on the staff of the college.

Another One For May

Advertising Age

Ran across another illustration for May of ’03. This was for a new client (and so far, it has remained a ‘one shot’ assignment), and I seem to remember it had something to do with a ‘graphic arts assembly line’. Of course, many of these graphic arts techniques are no longer actually in use, as most of this sort of work is done on a computer nowadays, but it was fun to portray a piece of my own personal history, as this was the sort of work I started out doing back in the late seventies.