20 December 1994

Book Project (I think)

This is a rather mysterious set of illustrations. I can't find an invoice to correspond with these, but my memory leads me to believe that this was for another book project for St Mary's Press that I'd been doing work for during '94-96. I'm guessing these were done somewhere late in '94. I kind of like the bold woodcut look of these, much better looking than most of the scratchboards I was doing around this period. (of course, there is also the outside chance that these were done for the Christian Reformed Church, who I was also doing a lot of work for during this period)

15 December 1994


The above illustration for the Christian Reformed Church was for a magazine article, something about 'seeing through the fog', if I remember correctly. I had done a few acrylics before, mostly as self promo pieces, trying to sell a new style that was similar to the light pastel look, but more durable for mailing. This was one of the earlier paying jobs with this style though. I ended up taking this painting with me to Minnesota the following summer to sell the idea of doing the next book project in acrylics.

I also had another batch of small black and white spot illustrations for Marriage Partnership (Christianity Today) this month. I don't quite remember the specific topics, but this was usually for a 'men's issues' column that I contributed to for a couple of years.

01 December 1994

Xmas Party 1994

Above is the outside cover of the invitation for our 10th Annual Xmas Party, and below is the interior. We discovered a stash of these old party invites in a keepsake drawer of my father's when he passed away in 2014.

15 November 1994

Newspaper and Book Work

The above 'same day' illustration was another one for Newsday. 'Same day' assignments at this time usually involved making a trip to the copy shop so I could enlarge the illustration as big as possible, and then faxing the enlarged version to the client to use as an 'original'. At least in this way, I was able to hang on to a lot of the original artwork, which otherwise I probably wouldn't see again.

Also, while researching the month of November, I came across another book assignment for St Mary's Press. I don't remember it much, and no artwork has survived that I'm aware of. I think I found the link for the book on Amazon, which still has a few used copies for sale. According to the invoice it looks like I provided about 8-10 illustrations for this one. I also had another book cover illustration for Baker Book House, although I don't remember much about it. (this link at Amazon might be the same book, but I'm not certain).

15 October 1994

Skeletons in the Closet

The above illustration was one that I did for the Chronicle of Higher Education this month. Something about the Christian Right's influence on the Congress, if memory serves.

I also signed on for another 'jokebook' for Dove Audio this month. What can I say? This one was even sadder than the last one. Same author, same theme, this one with 'lawyers' as the butt of the jokes. I grit my teeth and plowed through it, though not with much enthusiasm. Still available used for mere pennies on Amazon (link here).

This illustration below was one of several for the Christian Reformed Church's ongoing curriculum project.

15 September 1994

New Clients for the short term and the long haul

This was the first 'same day' assignment I got from the Long Island newspaper Newsday, who would continue to give me fairly steady work for the next 14 years (and beyond). I remember this one fairly clearly, as this was in the 'pre-computer' days, and I had to run up to the library to research this person's likeness (and a picture of the 'bordon cow logo'), run back home, sketch it up, finish the scratchboard, run down to the copy shop, enlarge it as much as possible and then fax the enlargement to the client, so he could then shrink it back down again to use as original art in his layout. And be on call to do the same thing again should he call the next day, or next week.

Also this month I had my first assignment for a children's newspaper sunday supplement, Kids Today. I got a few follow up assignments from this client in the coming months, before the periodical folded in the spring of '95. I also had my first assignment for Prevention magazine this month, and would receive a few follow ups from this client as well.

William S. Hart

Records regarding when I sent postcards and mailers out are very spotty, and I have to rely on clues in the postcard copy to base when I sent each of them out. This one above was probably sometime in the mid-90's but I'm only guessing. (it has an AOL email address on the back, but no web site address, so I hadn't started advertising online yet).

15 August 1994

Collaborative Book Project

This month I had a book project for Cobblestone Publishing, a client that I'd been doing magazine work for over the previous 2 years. This was a collection of Native American myths, legends and stories, and I was one of three 'scratchboard' artists assigned to different sections of the book. My illustrations take up the middle third of the volume and constituted about 25-30 illustrations. This book is still available on Amazon (link here) and was the winner of the 1995 Book Builder's of Boston Award for Excellence in Graphic Arts.

A few of the originals still survive (the frog, the wolf, the buffalo stampede), and others were scanned from a copy of the book in my collection. If I remember correctly, the image of the 'globe' below was reused by the client for xmas cards later in the year.

14 August 1994

Textbook Project

In the summer of '94 I had one of the biggest projects of my career so far. This was a catholic school textbook that would involve several color 'chapter opener' illustrations like the two color samples I've included here, plus a color cover spread across the front and back, plus several smaller black and white illustrations (something in the neighborhood of 30 or so), plus additional color inside pieces and a few large spreads. This project also involved a personal day long consultation and visit with the publisher in Minnesota, St Mary's Press, which was a new thing for me. A plane ride and night's stay in a local hotel, being shuttled around by the art director. Needless to say, this 'hermit in training' was a bit nervous. It wasn't nearly as bad as it would be today, as I still got out of the office occasionally to deal with local clients at the time, but I was still not quite prepared for so much personal face time all at once.

Most of the 'major illustrations' were roughed out on site during the board meeting (gave me something to do, and I have always been much better at communicating visually rather than verbally), and a recurring motif was discussed (the 'dove of peace') which popped up in one way or another in each of the main illustrations. I've still got most of the original artwork for this project, surprisingly enough, although I think I may have sold one of them to the art director as a keepsake (probably the cover spread). I've chosen a few of the better ones to post here by way of example. I no longer have a copy of the book, but it is still available on Amazon used (link here) or on eCampus (link here) where you can see a tiny version of the cover.

The black and white wash illustration below didn't scan too well. this was a two page spread illustration portraying a 'sustainable city' with wind generators, designer communities, etc, and was a late addition to the project, according to the invoices, being billed out nearer the end of the year while the rest of the book was billed out around this time.

13 August 1994

Children's Magazine Work

This was a story illustration for Cricket. I no longer have the original art to this one, but I've still got a copy of the magazine it appeared in, where these scans were taken from. This was a Native American legend that included a larger opening spread illustration, pictured above, and a smaller spot for the 3rd page, pictured below.

Below are a couple sample illustrations for the Christian Reformed Church's ongoing curriculum project that I did a lot of work for during the years of 93-96. (if my records are correct, these were from August of '94)

15 July 1994

Mystery projects

I could find no records for either of these illustrations. Judging from the style and presentation I would hazard a guess they were from the mid-90s, perhaps for Legal Times.

Also in July, picked up a couple new magazine clients; Inside Sports and The Futurist. Don't quite remember either of the jobs, and while the Futurist called back a couple times with repeat business, neither client hung around for long.

15 June 1994

Back to the Future

You know you are digging deep into the archives, when you find an illustration like this. This was for the Chronicle of Higher Education, and went with a story about libraries computerizing their 'card catalogs'. Hard to believe that we were still looking books up in card catalogs as late as this, but come to think of it, I do remember looking up some reference material in this way for a few of my earlier jobs. This was another of the originals spared from my regular 'purges of the flat files' returned to me by the client in the summer of '07 after languishing in one of their forgotten cupboards.

The piece below is a sample of several illustrations I did this month for the Christian Reformed Church's ongoing curriculum project.

12 June 1994

Mystery Spots

These are a series of four spots that I found in the archives, but I'm not really sure where they belong. From the style and presentation, I'd guess they were sometime from the mid-nineties. They might have been part of the St Mary's Press book projects from the summers of '94 & '95, but I could be wrong. The spots below were probably also from the same batch.

15 May 1994

Spring Spots

These spots were for a regular column I was illustrating for Marriage Partnership magazine (Christianity Today). These went with small 'factoids' geared towards their male readers, and since the invoices don't always give me enough of a description to pinpoint when specific spots were published, I'm just guessing on which to include here by way of example. These may have been from '94, or they very well may have been from '93 or '92.

I've decided to bunch them all together here in this post rather than spread them out month by month. I had spot assignments (usually 3 at a time) from this client in May, in March, and in January, and they can all be found here.

Also this month, I got a first assignment from Sign of the Times magazine, another evangelical publication out in Idaho. They would go on to be an infrequent regular during the mid to late 90s.

I'm not sure why I chose to use this unusual style for these spots, perhaps it was because the first assignment I had for them was a caricature assignment, and I just naturally stuck with it on subsequent jobs. These were done with a rapideograph, my art tool of choice back in my 'graphic art' days in the 80s.