Outdoor Science Classroom

Instructional Fair

Around the turn of the century (hmm, still sounds strange to say that), I did a number of black and white children’s workbook projects for a local educational book publisher, Instructional Fair. These usually involved a series of 20-30 small spot illustrations, mostly cartoonish in style, on a variety of subjects, depending on the book title. I mostly worked with one editor, and we did a number of books together, but then after a few years, the company underwent some shake-ups and reorganizing, and the projects started drying up. Occasionally one would trickle in, the company now called ‘Carson Dellosa’ and with different editors, and this one that I did in the fall of 2004 was the last one that I worked on.

When I first posted this blog entry, sometime around 2008 (backdating, since the blog started in 2007), I only posted a few samples of the illustrations for each project. It is 2018 now, and I’ll be going back and posting all the illustrations for the first time since publication.

These were usually quite fun to do, for the most part. The pay wasn’t all that great, but the sheer volume of illustrations meant a substantial paycheck at the end of the project. They were fairly quick and easy, and gave me a lot of practice in perfecting my ‘cartoon line work’, and most importantly, kept me busy.


This particular batch of illustrations was for a book on ‘outdoor activities for children’. The quantity was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 illustrations, ranging in size from full page to small spots.

There was usually very little in the way of art direction or changes to my sketch ideas, so working with this client was usually pretty painless. Looking back, though, I wish I was a bit more strident in negotiating the contracts, as there were a mountain of illustrations involved. This was the last project I had from Instructional Fair/Carson Dellosa, and the art director/sometimes writer was Kate Wheeler, who was always a delight to work for, and she seemed to take a real shine to my son Keenan, who would frequently tag along with me to meetings. Unfortunately, Kate passed away several years later, and I was thinking of her this weekend as Keenan got married.


Anyhow, here’s all the illustrations from this particular workbook. The book is still available on Amazon (link here).