I don’t remember a lot about 2001, except that the Wall Street Journal continued to grow as my number one client, and the Cobblestone projects started becoming more and more complicated (with no increase in compensation, of course), and the Instructional Fair jobs, while still hanging in there, were starting to wane just a little bit.
I was also finding that many opportunities to fill larger areas of space were being presented to me, but that I was usually unable to handle it. I loved doing spot illustrations, 2-4 inches square and I was in heaven. But when I had to fill a full page or (gulp) double page spread with an image, I seemed to get very overwhelmed with the choices and the freedom. The scratchboard style, especially, seemed to convoluted and detailed to have the same impact on a full page than it did on the smaller stage.
I also received a couple odd projects this summer, which both ended up being a lot of work, but with little or no chance for repeat business. A golf event for the Gary Player Group hired me to do a large poster image of Gary Player and Nelson Mandella. A perfect example of how lost I was when it came to a large image. I was also asked to do a ‘creation myth’ poster (and accompanying spots) for a graphic design firm (also in scratchboard, but black and white). This one was a little more successful, but probably because it felt like a bunch of spot illustrations crammed together.
After a few years of his presidency, I was finally getting a good handle on George W. Bush’s face, and there started being a lot more work as a portrait artist, especially for my Newspaper clients.
The events of 9/11 had a big impact on the subject matter of many of my subsequent illustrations for the remainder of the year, but I don’t remember seeing much of an impact on sales or volume of assignments. The later ‘Housing Bubble Crash’ in 2008 was another story entirely.