18 February 2007

Mortarboards and Luxury Items



A couple of assignments for the Chronicle of Higher Education came through in February. The one above concerned tenured professorships in some capacity (protecting tenure perhaps?), and the one to the left involved federal funds. One of the better Uncle Sams I'd done in a while (another staple of the editorial illustration cliche playbook, and I've lost track of how many I've done - right up there with cigar chomping fat cats, mortarboard wearing profs, bears, bulls and the perennial favorite, the bag with a money symbol printed on the front). I particularly liked the challenge of drawing someone upside down, I thought I did a rather nice job on Sam's pants.

Had another assignment for Barrons, a publication I've been working with for a year or so now. Love drawing sailboats and water, any excuse will do. This one had to do with navigating rough seas ahead for certain stocks. Fun and challenging trying to fit in a lot of information (and a sailboat and rough seas) into a fairly tight little image area. Kept this one fairly simple despite the busy nature of the composition and it seemed to work ok.


Had an illustration assignment around this time for Christian Home and School. This full page went with a story about making new students feel welcome. One of the rare chances lately where I've been able to draw some children who are actually a little closer in age to my own son.

Did a series of tiny spots for the Wall Street Journal around this time period. These spots were to accompany a story about luxury items and I needed to do one on 'fine art', one on 'sports cars', one on 'homes', and another on 'watches', and then as a last minute addition, they needed a few of these items squeezed together into an 'overview' spot. Alert readers will notice that on the 'fine art' spot, I reuse an illustration that I did for a Sexuality College Textbook that I did back in the beginning of my career (although filtered through the software's 'Van Gogh' cloning tool).

I'd done a similar series of spots for this client before (perhaps more than once), as it seems to be an annual story around tax time for this publication. I don't normally like drawing cars, but for some reason, all the times I've been pressed into service lately in this capacity, I seem to actually like the finished product. Perhaps I'm finally learning how to draw the pesky things.

Here's one of the spots a little bigger to see the detail a little better. Another assignment from this client (which I haven't bothered to include here for reasons that will become clear), was a rather strange one. I was asked to draw a 'family tree' regarding various tv dramas and sitcoms and tracing each of their spinoffs. I was required to include photos from each show, and somehow fit all their branching and overlapping limbs into a rather small spot area. It didn't turn out too bad looking, but really didn't involve a heck of a lot of actual drawing, it was more of a logistical problem solving exercise.

Also around this time got a job for The Far Eastern Economic Review, out of Hong Kong, with another of my favorite (?) subjects to draw - buildings and architecture. This one was about the modernization of certain banks in China. Needed to fit in a horizontal space which made things a bit tricky layout-wise.

In addition, I also had my usual small spot every other monday for the WSJ, a 'dubious health care' column that I've been providing tiny little drawings for a number of years now. This one seemed to be about either temperature checking devices, or looking into your child's ear canal. I can't quite remember now what the exact topic was.
I usually provide a trio of sketches for each article, running the gamut from very conservative scenes involving the product or claim, to some very strange playful takes on the overall topic. This would be a good example of one of the more conservative concepts.

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