18 December 2003

Big and Bold

An appropriate and timely assignment from Newsday is pictured above. One of several larger sized illustrations I did this month, this one to accompany a lifestyles section article about 'christmas pageants'. I returned to an old style that I haven't used in quite a while, soft pastels, and much darker than I usually dare myself to go. The dark/light contrast really helped focus the central point of the illustration and helped pop out the little girl in the angel wings at the front of the stage.

Above is pictured another one of my 'fiction pieces' for Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. I don't recall the story on this one, other than the fact that it featured an old spooky house.

Another large sized piece in December was the one above for the American Bar Association. A full page illustration in which I believe is the very first time I used this particular technique in portraying a curved surface (I would get better at it with practice over the coming years). It involves taking a series of parallel lines and opening them up in photoshop and using the 'spherize' filter on them, and then bring them back into my paint program and manipulating the curved lines, either colorizing them or overlapping several layers of them and using the airbrush to doctor them up a bit. It is a bit more work, but well worth the effort.
The above map was another 'larger sized' assignment I had this month. This was for Cobblestone and concerned the Lewis and Clark expedition, focusing in on all the 'wildlife' they encountered along the way. It is too hard to see on this small reproduction, but I had several small vignettes along the 'path' indicating many different types of fauna in the regions where they were likely to be encountered. This map appeared in the magazine as a two page spread.

12 December 2003

Bible Stories

In addition to all the rest of the work for the month of December, I also had due another of my 'bible study' curriculum projects for the Christian Reformed Church. This batch contained about 25 illustrations, mostly large poster sized images (11x17 or larger) of particular bibles scenes or activities related to this period's topics. I've chosen some samples to give a feel for the project. A lot of crowds of bearded individuals wearing robes. I do believe I have a pictoral representation of nearly every scene in the bible somewhere in my archives, once you add together all the projects I've done for this client and a few others.

06 December 2003

A few for the kiddies ...

The above illustration, while not for a 'children's publication', featured a kid in a classroom setting. One of two 'blackboard' illustrations I had this month (funny how these things frequently come in groups), this one for US Catholic magazine (I don't remember the slant of the story).
The other 'blackboard' illo was actually a portion of a logo for a NY designer, something to do with some sort of medicine or supplement for a corporate client.

02 December 2003

In the News

One of the charming aspects of encroaching old age, is the memory problems that creep up. I pulled the above illustration out of my archives yesterday, but now I can't remember which client it was for, whether it was for US Catholic or America magazine. Anyhow, this was one of my favorites for the month, accompanying an article about 'rebuilding the priesthood' in the aftermath of all the scandals. A nice elegant simple concept, and the rendering makes nice use of solid blacks and whites.

Then, the above 5 illustrations were for my weekly 'health care' column gig for the Wall Street Journal. Oddly enough, the priest in the top illustration looks a bit like my young neighbor Scott, and the gal in the 'lip balm' spot looks a little like his wife Sarah. I wonder what year they moved in next door? I don't think it was deliberate. Anyhow, the topics this month were; 'high tech headache relief gizmos', 'carb blocker medication', 'nasal sprays', 'lip balm' and 'health benefits of nuts'.

The same client also handed me a few other assignments this month, pictured below. A piece on Argentina's export economy, a piece on a 'tuxedo rental service' and a rather complex narrative on 'fund management' (combining my favorite illustration elements, buildings and lots of explanatory text).

Newsday handed me a few same day black and white assignments in December, one on the 'Iraq Exit Strategy', and another one about planning and designing the '9/11 monument'.

18 November 2003

Misc November Work

The above illustration was for the Chronicle of Higher Education, and was a long horizontal that stretched across the top of a newspaper tabloid sized page.
Below was an illustration for what was once a regular customer of mine back in the 90s, Legal Times, a newspaper out of Washington DC. I used to do pieces almost on a weekly basis for this client, but then a change of personnel diminished that workload to an assignment once over couple of months, and it gradually dwindled down to nothing by the following spring.

Above are four 'health care' column spots for November for the Wall Street Journal. The topics this time were; 'hand sanitizers' (sneaking in a self portrait in hiking gear), 'fountain of youth medication', 'safe sealants for children's play areas' and 'foot care'.

I also had a series of very tiny black and white spots for this same client during the month of November. I dont' quite remember what they were all about, but I suspect they were for some sort of article discussing various 'economic indicators'. The were quite possibly the smallest spots I've ever had to do, most of them only measuring 3/4 of an inch square in size (enlarged slightly here for this blog).
The only somewhat 'large' assignment this month from this client, was a piece on 'online dating sites' pictured below.

A piece for US Catholic about different versions of the painting 'Madonna and child', gave me an opportunity to ape a couple of artistic styles, and do a couple caricatures to boot.

The piece below was for Newsday, a lifestyle section piece about holiday preparations (who sits where, having enough tables for a large crowd, etc).

And then, finally, another fiction piece for Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. This one was a departure for me and my usual 'dark' treatments for this publication. A rather sunny and bright illustration about a woman who moves into a house with a pool where a murder was committed by the previous tenants. At this time in the magazine's design, they would frequently include the title and author text in among the illustration, thus the white space at the top, fading out.

November Kid Stuff

Above was another of my 'puzzle page' assignments for Oddysey magazine (Cobblestone). This looks quite complex, but it was actually a lot of fun to put together; an arial view of a bunch of city buildings and streets, numbered for some reason that had to do with the accompanying story problem.
It sort of reminds me of a computer game I designed for my son to play back in the early nineties where you had to drive a little yellow vw bug around town, making stops at various locations in order to 'do your errands'. It was called 'Bugsy Goes to Town' and I'm not sure if you can still find it in the freeware libraries of AOL, but it was a very crude attempt on my part to learn the 'C' programming language.
The spots sprinkled around are from a series of 20 or so spots that I was asked to do for Adventure House Publishers to go in a textbook of some sort. Most were quite small (the examples here are actually increased in size from the originals), and had to do with various activities and story problems.

Also this month, I had a small illustration for Footsteps magazine (Cobblestone). This magazine specialized in African American history, and this was a story about a slave who would go around spreading news to farm workers through coded songs and verse.

12 November 2003

Christmas Card

These two cartoons were for a christmas card for a private law firm client in New York.

06 November 2003

Quarterly Newsletter Work

These were a series of illustrations for AG Edwards, for their quarterly newsletter. These generally had to do with investing and savings, with only slight variations from quarter to quarter depending on the current financial situation. I have been saving illustrations from this particular client to post until a 5 year window has passed, due to usage arrangments I made at the time these were contracted.

05 November 2003

Bible Stories

Another 'bible study curriculum' project for the Christian Reformed Church came due in November. This one was about 20 ilustrations, of which I've included several by way of example.