12 December 1998
Outside the Envelope
Most of the illustrations in this posting were departures from my usual 'style' as I played around with the different options available to me through this new digital medium. Not all were entirely successful, but I relished the chance to try something new every time the opportunity presented itself to me, and I'm sure I learned something with each triumph and failure. The piece above was another 'food' illustration for Newsday. I had been doing these throughout '98 and would continue to provide illustrations for this repeating column over the next few years.
In a similar style, but less successfully (I thought) was the 'football' illustration for the Chronicle of Higher Education (left).
Sometimes different digital mediums could be combined in new and interesting ways, like the above 'twister' illustration for one of Cobblestone Publishing's titles. An accompanying 'map' is pictured below for the same article on 'tornado alley'.
I also had more technical map assignments, which probably would have been much harder to do prior to 'going digital', and, while they weren't nearly as interesting from a 'concept' angle, they did give me a nice break from the routine and a chance to let my batteries recharge. The illustration to the left was one of several 'locator' type maps that I would frequently be asked to provide with each map assignment. I usually don't include them here in the blog, as they tend to look quite similar to each other, but this one was a nice overall example from this time period. The map below was an info map to show where 'Kurds' are concentrated in the Middle East.
The border illustration below was another for the same client and went with an article about 'campire songs'. This one was a combination of colored pencils and watercolor washes.
Similarly, the above two illustrations for an article on Jane Adams for the same client was a combination of watercolor, pen and ink and scratchboard techniques. This was a technique I wasn't overly happy with and didn't come back to it again much.
The above illustration marked my first assignment from America magazine, a Jesuit publication that I would have a long relationship with over the coming years. Previously, they had only purchased reprints from me, for illustrations that I had done for US Catholic, but they began to branch out and commission original work around this time. The budgets were initially quite low, but I compensated by keeping the illustrations simple and quick, until they were able to start offering better rates (which came later).