17 January 1998

Out of the Mold

The above illustration was for Newsday, a supplement cover assignment regarding phone service and carriers. I tried something a bit different with this piece, working in various mixed medias, some paints, some watercolors, some layered transparent washes. Around this time, I was trying a lot of different techniques, as there was something refreshing and exciting about working in this new medium, almost like starting my career over again from scratch, breaking out of the rut, breaking rules and trying anything and everything that occurs to me. Not too surprising that I eventually found that rut again, but I try and break out every once in a while with something totally unfamiliar. Not often enough, though.

These two pieces were for National Business Employment Weekly. Working in oils for a change of pace. Oddly enough, with most of the assignments from this client, I ended up liking the smaller spot illustration (below) I was assigned better than the larger cover illustration (above), and this one was no exception. I think it is something to do with my fear of working on a 'larger scale', which I'm getting (a little) better at these days.

Cobblestone's assignments were others that I felt comfortable trying out new styles on. Probably because the rates were so low, and the deadlines not quite so short. The above map was for one of the 'geography' publications (Faces), and was for a special issue on the 'Basques' of Spain. The map below was for a 'history' publication on World War I, and I remember this one being a big headache, as the colors all were pre-assigned, and each color border had a special meaning, and there were numerous reference materials being used concurrently. Add to that the fact that the map had to be squeezed horizontally to fit the page size, and you have the formula for one messed up looking map. But hopefully it served its purpose. Below that were a few two page spreads for the same issue.

16 January 1998

January Cartoons

The illustration above, the one to the left, and the three below were all for Gemini Publications (Grand Rapids Magazine & Parent) in January (some for the 'city' magazine, others for the 'parenting' magazine). The transition from traditional media to digital was smoothest with this cartoon style, and especially with this particular client, as the style basically underwent the fewest changes. These three illustrations pictured here are nearly indistinguishable from illustrations done the previous year using brush and ink on bristol board. It was only gradually throughout the coming years when I started simplifying the linework and toning down some of the more 'cartoony' aspects of the style.
The black and white illustration below was for Metro Parent magazine out of Detroit, this one through my agent at the time, and had something to do with Valentine's Day. Below that was a 'puzzle page' illustration for Zillions magazine (Consumer Reports), in which you were to match the pet owners to their most likely animal companion.

04 January 1998

Scratchboards for January

Had an assignment from Sailing World magazine for the first time in almost 8 years this month. This was the first 'digital' assignment for this client. The article was about two approaches to sailing, advice from an 'old salt' and from a 'brash young upstart', and I was asked to do a caricature of each person interviewed in the article. I'm still struggling with color assignments around this time, trying to figure out the difference between what the colors look like on my computer screen, and what they will eventually look like in print. Looking at these ten years later, I think I was a bit dark and pink on the skin tones.

Of the two, I think I like the way the 'old fellow' turned out better. On the 'young skateboard punk', I think I was trying too hard to be 'extreme and in your face to the max' with the layout (probably a request from the art director), and it just feels out of sync with my style.

For Legal Times this month, I had a set of illustrations about Bill Clinton and his legal troubles with Paula Jones. This was on a 'boxing' theme, and the three illustrations were to be spread across the page in different corners, and with the blindfolded referee somewhere in the middle.

I also had another 'Bill' illo for the same client, this time duded up in a King outfit. (below)

I also had a couple of color assignments this month from the Chronicle of Higher Education (above and below). I don't quite remember the story behind either of these.