Back from Vacation

Barrons, Carus Publishing, ChronicleHE, Newsday, Niche Media, WSJ

After we returned from our ‘disc golf tour of Wisconsin’ during the second week of August, we had planned on taking a few days at home and then spending the rest of the following week on our boat on Lake Michigan, but weather conspired against us, and we ended up staying home for most of the week, and doing a few short daysails when the weather cleared. Plenty of work was waiting for me when I got back. A set of 4 illustrations for Cricket magazine about whaling in New Zealand and an interesting human/killer whale cooperation that took place there for a time. This is a client that I’ve been working for since my first year in business (back in ’89), although the original AD has moved on during the past year, and the new AD seems to have me pegged as the ‘historical nautical’ specialist. I’ve included only one of the four illustrations (above), as they are unusual shapes that spread across two page spreads, and this one I’ve chosen is probably the best of the lot.

The Wall Street Journal (and affiliated publications) took up the lion’s share of the rest of the workload over the following few weeks. My bi-monthly ‘health column’ (pictured left) regarding some sort of herbal remedy for night sweats. Then a ‘chart accompaniment’ illustration in black and white later in the week. (pictured below right) Something to do with the market gyrations, ups and downs, etc. And then there was also a piece on ‘bullies’, which I don’t quite remember what the story angle was, that was also for the same paper at a different time of the week.

And, for Barrons, who I’ve been doing more and more work for lately, I had an assignment that I had the good fortune to convert from a single illustration to an additional spot thanks to the client enjoying both of my sketch ideas. The story was about some banking scandal where the institution didn’t have the requisite funds in the vault (or something like that). The larger spot is pictured below and the smaller spot is below that to the left. (one of them ended up being used on the contents page as a ‘teaser’)

And, then, in addition to all the ‘financial’ subject matter, I had an assignment the Chronicle of Higher Education, who wanted an illustration to accompany a story about study programs abroad, and the government’s interference with them (or at least that’s how I remember the story – memory is a bit fuzzy on this one). I liked how this one turned out. I usually have trouble with ‘shoes’, but these turned out quite nice. I especially like the background shading that I used, I tend to go a little too light on the backgrounds, perhaps that is why I always feel like ‘color’ tends to diffuse the power of the scratchboard medium. Maybe I’m just being too wimpy with it.

Also had a quick spot for one of Niche Media’s regional publications regarding tongue in cheek etiquette advice for fine dining, more specifically, not fighting over the bread plate. Did this one in a bit more of a ‘cartoonish’ style, something I used to do a lot more of, but has fallen by the wayside of late.

Around this time I also had a same day illustration for Newsday (pictured below). Something to do with sluggishly slow progress on urban development projects in the area.

Little Packages

ChronicleHE, Highlights, Newsday, Niche Media, WSJ

A lot of little spots during this period just prior to our planned family vacation in the middle of August. The regular bi-monthly ‘health column’ spot illustrations for the Wall Street Journal came in a bunch in order to free up the time later in the month, thanks to the generosity of the client. This piece on the left is actually from the end of July, about some sort of dental device to combat sleep apnea. Then shortly thereafter I began work on the upcoming weeks’ column which was something about minerals to prevent wrinkles (if I remember correctly). I don’t quite remember what happened here, but I think I got okayed to finish one of the ideas I presented, but then the editors changed their mind and went with another idea. Anyways I’ve got two illustrations for the same date, and I don’t remember which one they eventually used (though it may have been the black and white one)

A quickie little border cartoon for Highlights magazine to go around a MLK quote on racial harmony, was another of the ‘smaller sized’ assignments I was doing around this time.

A same day illustration for Newsday, to accompany an essay by a doctor on differing ‘bedside manner techniques’ came in the middle of the week (pictured below). Had to do a little research on ‘hospital gurneys’. Amazing the things you see often in your life, but never really take a good look at.

The piece to the left was for another for the Wall Street Journal to accompany a chart on the market fluctuations. Seems as if the bear market and bull market were teetering back and forth at the time. I’ve lost track of how many bears and bulls I’ve done over the past ten years, but I’m sure it is an impressive number. The illustration below and to the right was for the Chronicle of Higher Education, something to do with college accreditation. Don’t normally enjoy drawing buildings but this wasn’t too bad, as I was able to hide quite a lot of it behind the hands and tape measure (and of course a generous dose of ivy helps sell the ‘university’-ness of the building).

Around this time I also got an assignment from Niche Media, for one of their regional publications, that needed a caricature of Michael Moore for an editorial piece on his influence and co-opting of the democratic party. Didn’t quite enjoy this project so much. Aside from finding the editorial disagreeable, and being an admirer of Mr. Moore (fellow Flint-oid that I am), I also didn’t like the cheap shot of playing off his weight for the humor. But I rarely get to do caricatures and really enjoy the challenge, so I just grinned and worked through it. (didn’t think the donkey turned out all that good either).

Anyhow, a lot of small pieces over the past few weeks, which I really don’t mind at all. But, like popcorn and junk food, a steady diet of this could get a little monotonous.