Getting’ Witchy Wi’ It

Llewellyn, WSJ

Continuing on with the interior illustrations for an upcoming Wiccan almanac. Several examples from this week, and the previous post contains samples of more that I did last week, and I’ll have 5 more to post next weekend. These cover a variety of esoteric themes and subject matters, and range in size from 1/4 page spots to full page illos.

I also had a few small spots for the Wall Street Journal in the middle of the week, these were both dealing with the upcoming tax season.


Barrons, CFO, Llewellyn, Uncle Goose Toys

Had a fun little assignment from one of my local clients. He knew I was a fan of the old ‘Wacky Packages’ stickers from the seventies, so he asked me to try my hand at recreating the style and parodying one of his best selling ‘wooden blocks’ sets. For those of you who are younger and may perhaps not remember these stickers, they were madly popular during the early 70s, and sold with a stick a gum similar to ‘baseball cards’, and would parody the various product packaging of the day. (example here) I used to try creating my own versions of these when I was a kid, so it was a real treat to try it again.

Also, earlier in the week, I had another assignment for Barrons, this one having to do with the sorts of ‘bailouts’ that we’ve seen recently with the banks and auto industries, and comparing them to the sorts of funding that ‘opera houses’ receive. Additionally, I had another health care spot for the ongoing column in the Wall Street Journal (pictured below)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve also been working on a series of small icons for a new client, CFO magazine (pictured below).

I’ve also been working on a series of interior illustrations for the upcoming ‘Witch’s Companion’ almanac for Llewellyn publishing. I’ve been doing the covers over the past several years, and the interior illustrations get shared among several illustrators, and I’ll be doing about 15 of them this time around. The first five are pictured below, and more will be posted in the coming weeks as I get them completed.

Off and Running

AHMM, Barrons, ChronicleHE, Farm Futures, Uncle Goose Toys

Hitting the ground running this year, and had a pretty busy week here in the second full week of January. The above illustration was a rush job for Barrons on Thursday, and below were a couple of back to back illustrations for the Chronicle earlier in the week.

I also had a color cover illustration for Farm Futures magazine over the weekend (pictured below). A tricky one that involved two of the more difficult things to draw combined into one image (corn fields and shopping carts).

I also found myself drawing several ‘map’ assignments over the last couple weeks. I’ve been working for Dell Magazines for twenty years now, and they were one of my very first national clients back in 1989. I’ve been providing illustrations exclusively for their title ‘Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine’ in that time, but this past week I actually got my very first assignment for one of their sister publications ‘Asimov Science Fiction’. This was a map of a planet from two sides showing particular landmarks in the story.

Also, I did a rather complex aerial view map of Washington DC for a local wooden toy manufacturer. This is still part of that ‘presidential blocks’ project that I did last summer, and this image will go on the back of the blocks and form a sort of ‘puzzle’. I had to take some liberties with the sizes and placements of several of the landmarks, mostly to keep them in a grid pattern that would work for the project, and to emphasize certain places and keep others in the background. (you can click on the small image to see a more close up view)

I also have been working on several small icons for a new magazine client, but will post them later.

Starting off the Decade

Business North Carolina, Dover, Harcourt Brace, WSJ

Starting off the decade with a post of leftovers from assignments I’ve been working on over the past several weeks. The illustration above and the one below were for a young adult fantasy book, of which I’ve posted other samples last week.

I also had several ‘presidents’ for the sticker project that I had neglected to post. The last six for that project are pictured below. The rest of the presidents from this series have been posted here over the past several weeks, or you can see all of them at once (along with the other ‘president set’ I did earlier in the year) in the reprint galleries (see the top link on the sidebar — the presidential gallery in under ‘portraits’)

Earlier this week, I also had a portrait assignment for North Carolina Business, where they wanted an ‘atlas’ situation. (plus a small spot for the interior of the article)

And then I also started off the workweek with another health care spot for the Wall Street Journal. This one was on ‘bed sanitizing specialists’ who come into your house and kill your bedbugs with UV rays and then vacuum up the residue.

2009 Year in Review

Year In Review

Been an interesting year. Had two projects where I got to draw each and every president (once in a straightforward simplified scratchboard style, and again as a set of color caricatures), and I had two board game projects where I drew overhead views of two European cities. (and in looking back through 2009’s output, I also got a lot of practice in on ‘bugs’ on several projects, and several chances to hone my skills at ‘pirates’). New clients included Dover Books, National Geographic and additional ‘game projects’ for the designer in Finland.

Despite the dismal economic situation in the country, I managed to keep my head above water for most of the year, but I have a feeling that I’m whistling in the dark, and the worst may be yet to come.

On the personal side, I had the good fortune to get a chance to act & sing on stage this summer, in a local stage production of ‘Woody Guthrie’s American Song’, along with my son, home from his first year in college (and in the bargain, sing the national anthem at our local AAA ballpark on the fourth of july with the same small group of performers). This had the added benefit of jump starting my interest in music once again, and I made several contacts and friends with whom I’ve enjoyed performing with in the time since. I started attending a monthly songwriter group, which got me writing songs once again on a regular basis. In addition, I joined a small local adult string orchestra, in order to get the cello back out of mothballs.

Still living in the same green house on the Grand River, and our son is halfway through his sophomore year at college in Chicago, and looking forward to the next decade after 20 years at this illustration career.

These are what I consider my best pieces from 2009 (click on the thumbnails to see a larger version):

382 illustrations approximately this year, bringing the grand total up to 11,914 since 1989.