26 September 1998


As usual, all of the maps this month were for different Cobblestone titles (Faces, Cobblestone, Oddysey, etc). The El Salvador map above was for a geography magazine. There were a trio of maps for a story about the city of Jerusalem for another publication (pictured below)

Then, for the same client, I had a battle map for a Civil War article (below).

25 September 1998


I find myself experimenting with different techniques quite a bit in this first year of working digitally. Some are more successful than others, and sometimes I just plain fall flat on my face. The above illustration was one of the better ones. This was on the subject of software piracy for The Recorder out in California (how quickly the idea of 'floppy discs' has gotten dated and stale).

The illustration below was another 'computer' concept, and was a rather unusual one, both in technique and subject matter. The client wanted a sort of M.C. Escher image where snails would transform into computer mice as they travelled across the square. It was a bit of a challenge to work out logistically, and I wish I'd had the time to try and work out a way to combine the positive and negative spaces in a more creative fashion. This one was for Innovision (Critical Care Nurse), who would be giving me much more work over the coming year.

I found myself playing around with the oil paint brush tools for Oxendine (Student Leader). Most of the other illustrations for this client can be found in another posting this month (and they were very experimental too, in their own way), but these two illustrations (the ethics compass illustrations to the left and below) were for a different article in the magazine, and the designer wanted something that looked a little different from my 'usual fare'.

Below is an illustration for Newsday, for the lifestyle section. This one was about relationships involving older men and younger women. Almost the same style as the 'ethics' pictures above, but with the addition of what looks like colored pencil added into the mix.

22 September 1998

Everything, Including the Kitchen Sink

Since going digital in the fall of '97, my approach to most of my work was to try and keep the transition as quiet as possible. Many of my 'scratchboard' clients didn't realize a change had taken place, aside from the switch from sending work through the mail to sending email attachments (and in fact, some of my clients never quite got their minds around the idea of 'attachments', like the art was somehow inferior to what they could get if I sent it to them on a disc). Other clients, however, wholeheartedly embraced the idea, and encouraged me to try every tool in the toolbox. I'd been doing work for Oxendine Publishing (Student Leader) since the early nineties, and during this year, I began experimenting with a different style for the small 'factoid' type illustrations that this client frequently assigned me. I was all over the board with these, trying out different combinations of tools, different background textures, and, while the client seemed to love this new 'look'. I found that I was spending way too much time on each individual spot illustration, and I wasn't entirely happy with how this style looked. I thought it was way too 'computery' and didn't look like 'me' at all. I kept at this style through a couple projects for this client, but eventually settled on a compromise late in '98 and did them more in my conventional 'cartoon' style.

12 September 1998


The above illustration was for the American Bar Association, and dealt with a specific rule of law, with an example given about a moonshine still situation (I don't quite remember all the details). I remember being really pleased with how this turned out at the time, but I don't quite see the attraction now.

The illustration to the left was for Legal Times and was about corporate crime and punishment.

And on the west coast, I had an assignment from The Recorder, this one about legal points of law being derived from an obscure old California law book. (I don't remember why the people reading it are dressed up in 'clean suits'.

Meanwhile, the news of the day continues to influence the daily workload, and makes going through this old archive a trip down memory lane. Kenneth Starr is presenting his 'Starr Report' to congress, and below, McGuire and Sosa are winding up their summer 'home run race' (which of course, many years later, we would learn it wasn't quite what it was cracked up to be). The top illustration for Legal Times, and the one below for Newsday.

The illustration above and to the left were both for Newsday. The one above on Russian politics, and the one to the left was something along the lines of 'getting a tax check-up'.

The illustration below was for the Chronicle of Higher Education, and was something to do with 'navigating the math fog' - about how incoming students seem lacking in math education. (I notice I may have stuck a self portrait in the background (I'm frequently in a 'math fog' myself).

02 September 1998

September Funnies

The above 'puzzle page' illustration was for Oddysey (Cobblestone) during the month of September. The idea was to rearrange the photos so that the story is in chronological order, based on clues within the photos.

The illustration below was another for the same client, but one of these was actually from October, only I missed it when researching that month.

The cartoon above and the one below were both for Gemini Publications (Grand Rapids Magazine) this month. One of them was about home improvements (and this one could almost be a self portrait, as daunted as I am by 'fix it' projects), and the other one was about prom dresses, if memory serves.

The illustration above and the three spots below were all for Interpretor in September. I'm frankly amazed, looking at the illustration above, that I spent so much time on all the faces in the congregation. I'm not sure that mixing the two styles was such a good idea.

27 August 1998

Workbook Project

I had another black and white workbook project in August for Instructional Fair (in later years known as Carson Dellosa). This one was something to do with Phonics and I had about 200 or so small illustrations, of which I've chosen 9 examples to post here. I'll be posting more samples from this book at a later date, and also try and dig up an Amazon link if the book is still available.

05 August 1998

August Odds & Ends

Oddly enough, there were very little 'scratchboard' illustrations this month. Most jobs were 'cartoon-ish' in nature, and the rest were experimental in style. The above 'food' illustration was for Newsday. This would become a regular feature that I would contribute to for a year or so. Below is another assignment for the same paper, this one had something to do with navigating the 'downtown maze'.

The illustration to the left was for the Chronicle of Higher Education. I probably shouldn't have used a collage technique on the 'dollar carpet', because of the curve. One of the temptations of working digitally that has tripped me up with during these early years.

The rest of the illustrations this month were for various Cobblestone publications. The 'aztec calendar maze' below was a fun challenge, but I think I should have 'curved' the type, or hand lettered them.

The following illustrations were all for the same 'article' in the same title. Something to do with stolen Nazi gold, and for some reason I did each illustration in a different style.

23 July 1998


The above illustration (and one of the rare times I've done a likeness of Ronald Reagan) was for Legal Times in July. I also had a series of small 'president head' spots for Cobblestone Publishing. They wanted to dress up the rather stale portraits with something a bit more 'energetic', so I played around with some design elements to try and jazz them up a bit. The 'design elements' were then used by themselves with a big question mark in the middle for a quiz, something along the lines of 'name that president'. A bit out of character for me, and something I rarely ever did again, but anyways, the portraits came out pretty nice (and I saved another version of each president's head as a black and white version without all the window dressing).

And, while strictly not a 'president', but more along the lines of a 'king', I had the following quickie cartoon for Grand Rapids Magazine (I don't remember the gist of the article, though).