30 December 2005

Dead Guy Specialist

For a while, Newsday seemed to consider me their 'go to' guy for quick portraits of the recent famous deceased. I had done a portrait a while back of Pope John Paul, and Billy Graham, and this month I got one of Richard Pryor (which has been the most fun so far). I don't mind this continuing trend whatsoever, I really enjoy doing portraits, and wouldn't mind doing little else.

And, while, technically, the other portrait I received this month from the same client doesn't actually depict a 'dead guy', it seems to follow in the general spirit of the previous treatments. I remember getting direction from the client after seeing my sketch, that they didn't want the new pope to look 'quite so evil'. I remember this being quite a challenge, because I couldn't find a photo reference for the guy that DIDN'T look 'quite so evil'. Well, I tried.

18 December 2005

New Children's Mag Client

In December I heard from a new children's magazine client, 'Clubhouse' (Focus on the Family) and I got a few assignments from them for an upcoming issue. A cover and inside full page illustration for a story about the young Jackie Robinson, and a series of tiny spot illustrations to go with a 'rebus' activity in another part of the magazine. It was interesting working in both of these extremes of available space. I thought they both turned out quite nice, although of the two JR pieces, the one above, I felt turned out more successfully than the one below.

10 December 2005

Holiday workload

The rest of December was mostly made up of my regular clients. The Wall Street Journal kept me pretty busy. The above illustration had something to do with the US Congress (for a quickie, I really liked how this one turned out, nice simple concept, and a powerful image, even if I can't quite remember what the topic was exactly). I had a few 'health care' column spots over the course of the month. December seems to routinely bring an article about 'winter colds and flus' (and my dog 'Lady' made another guest appearance - actually two this month, as you will see further down the page).
The 'health care' spot to the right had something to do with hoodia cactus as a weight loss treatment.

A couple small black and white spots came across the desk from the same client. One of a stop watch, (again, don't remember the article to which it pertained), and another one about hybrid cars (both pictured below)

Also, from the same client, was a color spot that also featured my dog 'Lady'. And once again, I'm afraid the subject of this illustration escapes me. Perhaps it was something to do with 'working at home'. One of those topics I'm quite familiar with (and this could be a daily scene here in the Foley household, except that I don't work from the dining room table) (pictured below)

Barrons gave me a series of assignments in December, two having to do with 'target practice'. One of them concerned the commercial real estate market, and the other was about the Chinese Yen. The 'shooting arcade' illustration turned out the best of the two, I thought. I liked how I used a single tone to separate the foreground character from the busy decorative background. The 'yen' arrow seemed a bit of a stretch on the other illustration, and it just felt a bit awkward to me.
The 'changing of the guard' illustration to the left was another assignment from the same client, as was the 'ship christening' illustration below. Once again, I don't quite remember what the article was about with either of these illustrations.

The illustration below was for Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. This was a departure from the usual 'noir' pieces I usually illustrate, this one being a somewhat tongue in cheek mystery set in a travelling carnival among the world of the 'carnies'. (this one prompted a nice note from the author). This was also a bit different than my usual scratchboard technique, where I also used a bit of photo manipulation and collage (in the stuffed animals, and in the ferris wheel in the background), a bit of different textures here and there (the ground, the lettering of the sign), and the incorporation of more 'text' than I usually use.

25 November 2005

Those Crazy Kids

In November, I had a nice opportunity to provide the wrap around cover for Cricket magazine. This client has been providing me work since my very first year in business back in 1989, and this is the second cover illustration I'd done for them since that time. This one turned out much nicer than the first, I'm happy to say. The overall theme of the magazine was given to me as "music and butterflies" and it was up to me to come up with a cover (I could do one or the other, or as I chose to do, both). Since I was active with an amateur cello quartet around this time, I used that as inspiration, and our local botanical garden here in Grand Rapids has a 'butterfly event' every spring, so I imagined a concert given in an indoor garden, with a sprinkling of 'musically inspired' butterfly designs hovering in the air. The illustration to the left, was for the inside contents page, as a tie in to the cover design. (I almost liked the small spot better than the more busy spread on the outside). (the original for the cover measures approx 17 x 10)

This was certainly the month for oddball children's assignments. I also had a quartet of spot illustrations for Highlights, on a variety of subjects. The piece to the right was about 'studying bugs', and there was another one about the 'milky way' (pictured below left)>

Then, in addition to these spots, I also had a couple of awkward ones for the same client, one of them having to do with US states along the mexican border, somehow woven into a decoration on a sombrero. And then a 'hidden picture' spot, in which I was to hide a drawing of the Mayflower in a bouquet of flowers. This one was tricky. I've never been much good at these 'hidden picture' assignments, I'm never sure how much 'hidden' is 'hidden' enough for the age group that I'm drawing for. You don't want to treat the kids like idiots, but then again, you don't want to make it impossible to find, either. (both pictured below)

My son turned 16 years old this month, so in honor, I worked up this illustration to go on a birthday party invitation. A homage (and apologies to) Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth, whose wonderfully demented 'hot rod' cartoons I grew up admiring as a child, was the inspiration for this 'monster version' of my son driving his 'dream car'.

My son also turned up in an illustration this month for the Chronicle of Higher Education (in his trademark hoodie pullover and mussy hair). This was to accompany an article about making voting and political issues more appealing to high school kids.

And although it may look like an illustration for the same client, this one below was actually for a new client during November, Westchester Magazine.

18 November 2005

A Thanksgiving Bounty of Financial Spots

A busier November than usual this year, thanks to a generous helping of assignments from two of my regular financial clients. The piece above was for Barrons, and concerned the ongoing attempts to 'fix' Social Security.

The piece to the left was no doubt an illustration depicting the 'bull market's attempts to push the holiday season ever earlier in order to make up for a lackluster retail year. This one was for the Wall Street Journal.

The spot to the right was for the same client, and was probably having something to do with the global 'food' market. One of earliest times I believe that I used this technique in portraying the globe like this (with the curved parallel lines).

For the same client, a quick black and white illustration to accompany a chart in the Sunday edition. This was no doubt bad news for investors at the time (storm clouds gathering, prepare for the worst, etc etc)

The above illustration was another one for Barrons. I don't quite remember the slant on this article, but I ended up with a nice little illustration in the bargain.

The illustration to the right was another for the same publication, another one I don't quite remember the slant on. If I had to guess, it was something about bad stocks ('dogs') that unexpectedly bounce back when you are about to dump them??

The piece to the left was another for the Journal, something to do with the stock market, but other than that, I don't remember. Looking at it now, I should have taken a closer look at the perspective of that letter that is lying down. It looks a little awkward. (nice colors though)

Another spot for the same publication at a different time of the month; this one having to do with keeping your calm in the office meeting environment when others aren't. I thought I did a nice job of fitting a crowded scene into a tiny little package without it looking too busy.

The next spot, for the same client, had to do with British investors putting their money in European stocks. A rather awkward concept, provided by the editors, but I did the best I could with it. I never like using 'text' to explain something in an illo ('investment money' on the briefcase, in case the viewer is confused) Some nice eye popping colors on this one.

Then I had my regular 'health care' spot illustrations that come every couple of weeks. These two, were presumably about 'children's ear care' and 'laser surgery'. I have to say, this is one of my favorite ears that I've ever drawn.

12 November 2005

Investment Client

Throughout 2005, I did a great deal of work for AG Edwards, both for a quarterly investor's newsletter, and for several in-house advertising projects. The nature of the agreement I had with them was for a 5 year unlimited usage, so, up to now, I've been waiting until the 5 years are up before posting these samples on my site. (I'm actually posting this one in 2010) But since the company is no longer in operation, I'll be posting the remainder of the artwork for this client. Much of it is of an investment/money/savings subject matter, and in the last few years I started doing more and more with a 'nest egg' theme, since that was their current 'marketing concept'.
Anyhow, the ones in this post were illustrations I did for them in 2005.