05 April 2006

Busy Newspaper Month

April ended up being a busy month as far as assignments from the Wall Street Journal. They kept me on my toes nearly every day with same day assignments, spot art for chart decorations, feature page illustrations and inside spots in a variety of sizes and shapes.
The piece above had something to do with the chinese economy, but don't quite remember what the story was about exactly. I remember the space available was very tight and extremely horizontal which made it tricky fitting the whole dragon in.

The piece to the right had to do with taking work with you on vacation (another tricky one for fitting a lot into a tiny space.

The black and white piece to the left was probably for the sunday paper, for a chart accompaniment illo. Another one where I have forgotten what the original topic was about. Either changing boats in midstream, or straddling two investment portfolios. Anyhow, I liked how that one turned out, nice and simple, with a nice design for the small space.

Another assignment along nautical lines, probably having to do with 'navigating rough waters' came through around this time. I thought the colors and design worked well on this one, giving the 'feel' of a boat, with only a few little hints of it with the railing and rope ladder. Not sure if it actually printed in color though.

The piece above was regarding Mexican workers leaving their jobs with US companies below the border to make better money working across the Rio Grande. The piece below, is another one that I have forgotten what the topic was. I remember having to do a series of apples as stand alone spots to accompany this one, so they could sprinkle them throughout the layout. Colors turned out nice on this one. I used a color technique that I use from time to time when I'm able to leave mostly a white background. I give everything a slight yellow 'glow' around the outside, and it seems to help make the blacks 'pop' a little better, and brightens the whole color scheme in a subtle way.

The piece to the right was a little less successful, I thought. I tend to not like anthromorphizing objects like this, it seems like a cheap solution to the problem, and the cliche 'sherlock holmes' investigator doesn't help matters. But it seemed to do the trick, and with all the nice pieces I got out of this month, there was bound to be one dud.

The piece below, having something to do with water purity, I actually reused a layout that I had used for another paper a year or so ago when a similar story came up. This one was in color, and I redrew the thing from scratch, so it technically was a 'new illustration'. This one in fact turned out much nicer than the original. I don't normally consciously 'reuse' ideas, but this was one of those rare cases, where I remembered the old layout, and offered it up again among my sketch concepts, and it just happened to be the one that got chosen.

And of course, also during the month, I had a few of my 'health care' column spots. The one on the left, I ended up recycling into a postcard later in the year. I don't quite remember what the topic was for each of these, but the one on the left, I seem to remember had something to do with 'rewiring your brain'.

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