21 January 2003

Sillouettes and Shadows


The full page illustration above was for the American Bar Association, and had something to do with private corporate jets, and their hidden dangers. Not a comfortable illustration for me. Airplanes are about the hardest thing to draw, and the curved hangar roof wasn't any picnic either. What saved this one, I think was the rough approach that I applied to everything to keep it dark and sinister, and the color choices, which help cover a lot of the perspective boo-boos.

Another odd assignment this month, was for a design firm on the east coast, who wanted a series of plumbing pipes to snake across a couple pages of their magazine layout, plus a small sillouette of an Amish buggy. I don't remember what this story was about, and I wasn't crazy about the concept, but I gave it my best shot, giving the only available rendered elements the best detailing I could give them. (I was remembering a card game we had as kids called 'pipeworks' or something, where you had to build an elaborate system of plumbing and add leaks to each other's 'pipes' and then fix them - the drawings of the pipes on those cards always fascinated me)


Another large full page assignment is pictured above. This was I think the second out of 4 auction 'scenes' that I would eventually do for this client, National Auctioneers. This one was probably the best one from a 'crowd' standpoint, although I didn't like having to put all that text and extraeneous detail on the signs and podium.

Newsday handed me a strange request in January. They wanted a rather stylized 'black sheep' for some reason or another. It turned out a little forced and awkward I thought. I don't quite remember the story behind this one.

The above illustration was another fiction piece for Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. There wasn't much to go on with this story as I remember. The story centered on a carton of guns, and I tried to focus in on that, while giving a little hint of mystery or menace through the cast shadow on the box.

17 January 2003

In the News


I don't quite remember what the above story was about, but I do like how this illustration turned out. Doing clear glass in scratchboard is always a tricky proposition, and I was tickled with my own solution to the problem here. A nice simple design and execution, and didn't get too fancy with the colors. Most of the illustrations in this posting were for the Wall Street Journal, unless otherwise noted.

The illustration above was a bit more complicated. Made extensive use of the 'copy and paste' feature, doing one 'slot machine' and a couple coins and cloning them as needed. Not bad, made the most of a rather static and dull concept.



Above are a number of small black and white spots that I had for the same client in January. The four 'health care' spots for the weekly column that I illustrate; topics were: band aids, face creams, chicken supplements, and laser treatments. Also a small 'horserace' border for a sunday chart accompaniment.


The piece above was for Legal Times, and concerned one of the 'gitmo detainees' and comparing his situation to some earlier historical precedents.

The illustration above was for the Chronicle of Higher Education. This one concerned miscommunications and crossed wires.

01 January 2003

2002 Year in Review

One of the busiest years that I've had since I started freelancing. It was this year that I began working for AG Edwards, doing illustrations for their quarterly investment newsletters and for other internal advertising promotions. This would be a nice 6 year gig before the company folded in 2008.

In extracurricular activities, I was involved with the local Little League in the spring, and continued taking cello lessons in my spare time, playing with a group of four other adult 'students' as a quartet.

I was resolving to 'work smarter, not harder' (advice given to me by an old employer), and I must have done something right, as I completed approximately 591 illustrations this year (about half the previous year's output), but the sales figures were improving, bringing my grand total since I've started up to 9,145 illustrations.

These are what I consider to be my best illustrations of 2002:

I am the Walrus


I'm not sure, but I do believe this is the first and only walrus I've ever had to draw. He turned out pretty nice, too. This was for a 'puzzle page' assignment that I've been doing for a while for Oddysey Magazine (Cobblestone Publishing). Most of the illustrations in this posting were of 'lighter and/or cartoony' illustrations I did in January.

The 'faux board game' illustration above was for Newsday. This wasn't the first time they asked me to do one of these 'board game' concepts, but this was the better of them. This one concerned celebrity malfeasance and the habit that courts have of 'letting them off easy' with community service. I had the most fun coming up with the little iconic pictures for the various spaces and cards (the drunk driver is my favorite). I notice that the perspective is a little off here and there, but it isn't real noticable.


I also had a series of four small cartoon spots for the same client in January. These all dealt with issues involving the children of divorce and various situations that arise.

Some turned out better than others. For instance, I don't particularly care for the one with the close ups of the parents hands. I put myself in a corner on that one, since I got so close to the hands, it looked odd if I just left them as simple outlines and color, to match the rest of the stylized cartoons, but it also looked odd giving them a little more detail than the rest.

Of course, with all the rest of the illustrations, I kept the main characters rather simplified, and put some soft detailed watercolor in the backgrounds (the park, the christmas tree, the living room with pictures on the walls). Which just seems to make that one with the close up hands stand out as the 'odd man out'.

I also had another cartoon illustration in a similar style. This was for US Catholic, and dealt with kids who are a little unruly in church. She looks a little like my niece I think.