20 December 2001

Holiday Mailing

The image above was one that I did recently for a national newspaper client that garnered a few nice phone calls and emails when it appeared in print, some asking for the chance to either buy the original (which, unfortunately, there isn't one), or to get an autographed copy of. I thought I might use this image as a postcard, since it seemed to touch a chord with a few people. The postcard that I sent out, was actually a color version of this illustration, but I've since misplaced the 'color digital file'. This would be one of the last postcards I would mail out for a number of years, until 2004, when a situation arose that prompted me to go out and 'rattle the bushes' in order to keep work coming in. I try not to let that much time pass between mailings these days.

18 December 2001

December Cartoons

I had a series of cartoon spot illustrations in December Oxendine Publishing. These all concerned 'student government' in one way or another.

These are all good examples of my cartoon style circa 2001. As the years passed, these would get less and less 'cartoony' and the characters would become more realistic. I actually prefer these older ones, and should try to get back some of the loose and playful qualities of these earlier works.

I also had a series of smaller spots for the same client in December. These were to accompany little 'factoids' - little mini-articles on a variety of student/college topics. ( I see I managed to sneak in a reference to my old high school transportation here, a chevy vega, although mine never had an anarchy symbol on the hood) - the topics were (if memory serves): parking problems, feeding the homeless at the holidays, and rating your professors.

I also had a cartoon assignment for Newsday. This was for an article about 'working at home', and this could very well be a self portrait, except that it looks very little like me. (I also rarely work in my PJs) - The dog and the computer and the Fed X truck are all pretty accurate though. Back in those days, the Fed X truck was usually a major highlight of my day - not so much these days with everything handled by email.

The above 'sahara desert' border was for one of the Cobblestone Publishing family of magazines. I forget what the story was about (the desert, obviously, but other than that ...). Below is another assignment for the same magazine family, this one for a regular 'puzzle page' assignment that I frequently contributed to. A rather oddball 'story problem' assignment this month that involved music in some fashion. My goodness, look at those boots.

14 December 2001

Shadows of 9/11

9/11 continues to influence the editorial output, and I had a few Osama-ish illustrations for clients in December. The above illustration had something to do with disarming the Afghanistanis, and I had a 'whack a mole' type illustration for my national newspaper client. On the other side of the coin, I had a portrait assignment of our president, who was getting a lot of bad press due to his affiliations with his previous employer. Not a bad likeness on this one, but there's something goofy looking about his neck.

And from an economic standpoint, 9/11 still seems to be influencing the markets, as we can see from the illustration below. A lot of uncertaintly about the future, whether it will be a bear or bull market, and how we're 'not out of the woods yet'.

But elsewhere, time marches on. I had a rather dull 'computer' cover illustration for a special interest magazine. Rather poor color choices by me on this one.

Much better color choices in this rather unusual assignment to the left for a new client in December. This was something to do with the idea of 'harvesting medical talent', and was one of my better 'trees' in a while.

I also had a couple pieces for my educational publication client this month, both black and white, one of them to do with fraternities and the other one (with the crutches and broken bones) I don't quite remember what the story was about.

I also had an assignment this month for a jesuit magazine. This one was something to do with marketing and demographics.

20 November 2001

Scratchboards in November

America is still getting used to those new long airport security delays since 9/11, and I had an illustration from my east coast newspaper client on this very topic. We also seemed to be worried about computer viruses, which led to this black and white illustration for my national newspaper client. (pictured left)

I don't quite remember what the deal was with this rather strange 'french dude' below, but it was for one of my more infrequent magazine design clients in November.

The illustration above was for an east coast legal newspaper client. I thought it was a particularly nice job with the portrait and frame on this one.
The illustration below was another for my east coast newspaper client. Another early attempt to emulate those wonderful 'pulp detective' covers that I've been studying around this time.

More 'stocks, bonds and investing' spots for my national newspaper client this month. My favorite of the bunch being the 'teacher' to the left. I seem to do better with limited available space. Keeps me from overworking the concept.

I also had a 'technology' illustration for the same client, in another unusual space requirement, a long horizontal (pictured below). And then a piece on tax preparation (for the same client) is pictured below that.

The piece below was another for my east coast newspaper client. I don't quite remember the story, but I got a nice image out of it.

13 November 2001

Portraits and Maps

I got an assignment in November from one of my children's history magazines for a story about 'literary ladies' which required a number of portraits arranged in a collage format. Additionally, I had a background illustration to provide (text to overlap the letter and around the 'writing hand') for the same article (I think). Some interesting experimental techniques in this one, mixing mediums and playing around with some different color schemes.

For the same client, but a different publication, I had a multi page story about Cesar Chavez. They requested something looking a bit like those old WPA murals, and I thought I captured the style fairly well in the opening spread (above), but sort of backslid back into my own comfortable styles again on the inside (below and right).

Also, for the same client, different magazine, was a large two page spread map of the ancient 'silk and spice' trading routes, along with the obligatory small decorative vignettes sprinkled around the map.

03 November 2001

Additional November Assignments

The above illustration was for a legal magazine client. I don't quite remember the angle of the story, but it was a nice finished piece. I kept it rather loose, so I didn't have to worry too much about drawing all these difficult objects (planes, buildings, cars, semi trucks - all my least favorite topics squeezed into a single image).

The illustration below was for a children's version of a large national magazine. This was to accompany a short article about 'different occupations'.

The 'medals of valor' illustration above was for a catholic magazine in November. Below is a rather strange illustration for another of my children's magazine clients. A rare chance to draw a portrait of Britney Spears combined with floating heads of Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and other various historic figures (I forget who the rest of them were). I really don't remember what this drawing was about, and it is probably just as well (I think she's supposed to be 'juggling' the heads).

The above illustration was for my east coast newspaper client, and was about preparing for Thanksgiving. I see I've included my cat Ripley in this one (don't know who the dog is, but it is unusual for me not to have included my own dog).
Below is another illustration I don't quite remember all that clearly, other than the fact that it was for a jesuit publication.

01 November 2001

More Life Drawings

More life studies from that last class that I took at our local community college. As I mentioned in another posting, this class was plagued with model difficulties (not showing up, very little variety), and we were frequently relegated to either drawing the 'class skeleton' or fellow students (like the poor fellow below).