The trend for the next few years was higher paying jobs with less frequency. It was okay with me. I could spend more time on each assignment and get better results when I wasn’t rushed quite so much. I also found myself with a bit more free time as a result. Took up disc golfing (actually going so far as to take a ‘disc golf cruise’ to the Bahamas, playing with the “pros”). My son was entering his junior year of high school in the fall, and we are starting to see the looming specter of college in the distance. A new client this year, who would keep me quite busy for several years, was a subsidiary of the Wall Street Journal, called the “Far East Economic Review” out of Hong Kong. The working relationship was a little odd, as they would frequently assign jobs over the weekend (being on the other side of the world as they were, and a day ahead of us, or behind us, or something like that). I was still doing the ‘Aches & Claims’ column for the Wall Street Journal, only by this time they were all in color.
The Chronicle of Higher Education was using me more often and for larger projects by this time, but with the extra exposure, came some strange situations. The illustration below with the ‘gags’ elicited quite a few angry letters, not for the article, but for the art, which touched a raw nerve (why, I’ve long since forgotten, but it shook me up quite a bit at the time).
Had a few assignments this year for Cidada (the literary teen magazine, affiliated with Cricket), and on one of the pieces, I went back to a style that I hadn’t used since my early days, a sort of pen and ink crosshatch technique. Little did I know that in ten years, this would be nearly all I would be working in.
The above illustration for US Catholic would later become a greeting card design (one of many) that I would use on a fledgling site called Zazzle, generating a trickle of ‘reprint income’ in my golden years. This would be one of the more popular images (along with a certain ‘fall books’ illustration I did for the Jesuits five years previous).