12 November 2008

The Usual Suspects

Most of the work in these first few weeks of November were courtesy of a few of my 'regular clients', and I thank my lucky stars for them every day. The illustrations on the top half of this post are all for the Wall Street Journal. The illustration above was for the bi-monthly 'aches & claims' column which I have been doing for going on seven years now. This was a rather nice one, so I've posted it a little bigger than usual (they normally appear in the paper around the 1x2 inch size - not always in color).
The illustration to the left, for the same client, was one of two illustrations for an article about Medicare and drug plans. The other was a small 'logo/icon' to go with the title 'the medicare maze'.

And very soon after, for the same client, I had a black and white 'collage' illustration, also having to do with medicare and elder care. This was a longer horizontal, and ran along the top of a couple of columns (pictured below)

I also had a few assignments over the past few weeks for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The first one had to do with internet access and providers who are starting to police and restrict usage amounts. The next two, which are appearing in a special supplement, have to do with University Professors and salaries.

03 November 2008

October Wrapup

One of the more interesting illustration assignments I had over the past week or so, was an assignment for Barrons about hedge fund managers. I haven't had a Barrons assignment since early in the year, so it was nice to work with them again. For some reason, a lot of my favorite illustrations of the past few years have been for this client. This was an interesting one, in that I did this one completely without taking reference photos, and the figures turned out quite nice.

Over the weekend, I had an assignment for the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong. This was another travelogue assignment. I also had a puzzle page assignment for Highlights come due earlier in the week, and despite the cartoon style, this one was quite labor intensive. The actual layout has these groups of three panels side by side, but I have split up the layout to show more of the small details. Using visual clues, you are supposed to put these six panels in chronological order.

Been doing quite a bit of this cartoon style over the past month, as I had a larger assignment from Adventure House publishers for an upcoming textbook. Many small spot illustrations on various topics (I've posted a few samples of the previous batch earlier in October), and may post a few samples from the second half of the month later on.

25 October 2008

Witches again for Halloween

Had another Witch's Companion cover for Llewellyn Publishing this fall. Similar in layout to the one from last year, but I liked how this one turned out a little better. The leaves were a lot of fun, and I got to do a little field research every time I went out to play disc golf at our local park, picking up interesting leaves for reference materials.

I had a series of four spot illustrations last Thursday for the Wall Street Journal. A tighter deadline than usual for this one, with the job coming in at 3 in the afternoon, and finals due by 5:30. I don't mind tight deadlines, but sometimes when conceptualizing is also part of the deal, it can be a little stressful. I managed to get it done with ten minutes to spare.

This past weekend, I had a series of three illustrations for the Chronicle of Higher Education. One in color, and two in black and white. I also spent a great deal of the remainder of the week on another series of spot illustrations for Adventure House Publishing (but will post a sampling of these later on).

14 October 2008

More Market Woes

The financial crisis continues to get a lot of play in recent illustration work, as the example above for the Wall Street Journal shows. However, the world continues to turn regardless, and other news worthy topics also get some attention from time to time. The small spot to the right was another in the series of 'dubious health care claims' that I do on a bi-monthly basis for the Journal, this one regarding new 'baby swaddling' blankets supposedly able to better simulate the womb environment. The illustration below, also for the Journal, was regarding business people who are taking a chance on going back to school to earn MBA degrees, only to face an uncertain job future when they get out of school.

Got an assignment from Newsday, a client I hadn't heard from in a while (was a steady client for about 15 years, with 2 or 3 jobs a month, until the beginning of this year when the paper started making cut-backs). This one was a sunday editorial, something about non-profits, and organizational strategies (the article used a metaphor regarding the planting of oak trees instead of flowers).

Below is another fiction illustration for Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. The setting this time was an 1880s style boxing match, where a spectator is killed, seemingly in error (meant for one of the boxers). Some nice figure work in the last two illustrations, both done with very little visual reference, aside from some costume research on the boxers, and a photo reference taken of my own hand for the hand in the foreground.

09 October 2008

Back to School

All the illustrations in this post were for the Chronicle of Higher Education over the past few weeks. The illustration above was something to do with 'colleges weathering tough times" (tough times seems to be the overriding theme to most of my work this fall, no surprise really). I also had another series of black and white spots for the ongoing 'election year topics' series that I've been contributing to since early this year. This group focused on health care issues (all pictured below).

30 September 2008

September Wrap Up

September is coming to a close, and it was happily a much busier month than August. Two postcards went out, and a few more are planned to go out this coming month. My son's been at college now for a month, and we are gradually getting adjusted to the empty nest.

The portrait above was for the Far Eastern Economic Review. The illustration below was for a new client, The American Lawyer, something to do with non-competition contracts for employees.

The illustration above, and the illustration to the left were both for the Wall Street Journal. The one above was a small sunday spot regarding the 700 billion bailout, and the health care spot to the left was about shoe inserts for treating foot pain.

I was also asked by the Chronicle of Higher Education to modify one of the illustrations from the 'crayon' series a few weeks back, because one of the articles got held back and put in another issue, and, since the 'crayon' theme didn't seem to make sense out of context, I was asked to change the layout to be a bit more generic.

26 September 2008

Hank Paulson and the One Eyed Trouser Pyramid

About six months ago, I had a project for the Miami Herald regarding the 'weak economy' in which I submitted as one of my concepts, a parody of the old Charles Atlas ads (in the original, the US Dollar was being kicked around by the Euro). When it wasn't selected, I set it aside, and sent it along to an associate of mine, who I had done a few editorial humor pieces with (and a faux children's book earlier this year). I thought it might make an interesting graphic later on down the road, perhaps with a different subject matter. Well, this week, with the $700 billion buyout story dominating the news, it finally seemed to fall into place. The call came on Wednesday, and by Thursday night's LA deadline it was shipped off to the Los Angeles Times for inclusion in the Friday paper. (click on the image above for a larger, easier to read version)

One disappointment though. The original bathing suit design I had put on 'Hank' ended up getting nixxed at the last moment. They thought it was too.. um.. racy.

19 September 2008

Books and Newspaper work

The illustrations above and below were all for the Wall Street Journal over the past few weeks. After a slow August, it was nice to get a flurry of illustration assignments to start out the fall season.

I finished up a large batch of illustrations recently for Adventure House. This was another of the 'large projects' that I have been mentioning since early in August. This was a set of around 40 spot cartoon illustrations for an upcoming textbook (I'm guessing it has something to do with Language, based on the various situations I was asked to illustrate). It had been a while since I've gotten the old 'cartoon style' out of mothballs, so it was fun to take a break from the usual scratchboard assignments.

Another quickie illustration that crossed my desk over the past few weeks, was another book cover assignment for Barnes and Noble. This was for a book of 'founding father quotations' and needed a trio of portraits (Washington, Jefferson and Adams), done in black and white scratchboard.