2004 – Highs and Lows

Year In Review
Raspberry Records, 2004

This was a year of highs and lows for me, in many respects. The biggest year I would ever have, financially, with some new high profile clients, and plenty of repeat business from long time clients. In the spring of the year we were confident enough in our finances that we purchased a used sailboat and began sailing Lake Michigan in the summer months. My son was leaving middle school and was about to start high school in the fall. Then around the beginning of summer the other shoe dropped.

Cricket, 2004

My Dad was experiencing a lot of back pain, and when we were finally able to rescue him from his winter home in Arizona, he was in pretty bad shape, unable to walk, and with no clear diagnosis of what was wrong. Turns out he had Multiple Myeloma. He began chemotherapy in the summer, and, since our house wasn’t suited for wheelchair accessibility, we moved him to my sister’s summer home in South Haven, and I moved in there with him for about 6 months, working remotely from a computer on the kitchen table. These were rather dark times, but the work remained mostly steady, and helped keep my mind right.

Spot for an Instructional Fair workbook, in which my father makes an appearance, as well as myself, my son and my wife.
Highlights, 2004

One new client of note this year was Highlights Magazine, which was something I remember reading as a child, and, in fact, one of the first reasons they called me was to try and come up with an updated look for one of their classic features “Goofus and Gallant” (but unfortunately, they went with another artist). I did get several assignments out of them in the following years, however.

Highlights, 2004, Hidden Picture Puzzle

I had several workbook assignments for Instructional Fair (Quarasan) this year, but it was probably my last hurrah with those projects. Meanwhile, many of my regular clients stuck with me during this difficult time.

Chronicle of Higher Education, 2004
Newsday, 2004
AG Edwards, 2004