02 February 2000
I was approached this month with an interesting assignment from my long time children's magazine client. This was a mystery assignment for their 'teen poetry/prose' digest and was a story written by an author I was quite familiar with, and I was tickled to be able to illustrate one of his short stories.
Like many of the stories by this author, this one was once again set in the British horse racing community. I decided to take advantage of greyscale in order to add a little depth to the normally static black and white scratchboard style (I now recognize this as a shortcoming in my technique that I needed to go this route). I had a lot of fun with this one, and got a lot of valuable practice at drawing horses (something my repetoire was a bit lacking in).
Mystery fiction was a rarity around this publication, so it was also a nice chance to do something that showed another side of my talents to this long time client. The story (if I remember correctly) had to do with a horse doping, and an attempt on a jockey's life.
In addition to the above 'mystery' story, I also had another one for my long time 'mystery digest' client this month. This was the first assignment I had gotten from them in a couple of years, having worked for many years for this magazine back in the early to mid-nineties. I had since changed over from traditional materials to totally digital, and this was the first 'digital assignment' for this client.
I continued to get regular black and white assignments from my new national newspaper client, which was nice because the work was fairly steady, and challenging and fun, and generally paid much better than most of the work I had been doing up to this point. The quick turn around time was a small price to pay for a more steady income.
The 'identity thief' to the left was one of the small spots this month for this client, as well as the 'treasury bond' illustration pictured below.
One thing I would get much better at portraying, thanks to this client, were men in business suits. These early ones look like I'm still stumbling around with how to portray them effectively.
It is also interesting to see a little 'idea crossover' going on between a couple of clients this month. The above 'treasury bond' concept seems eerily familiar with the illustration below for a jesuit publication.
For the most part, though, the assignments for the new national newspaper client were still confined to small black and white spot illustrations like those pictured to the right, and below to the left. It would take another year before larger format illustrations and color assignments would start coming from this corner of my client base.