30 September 2008
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
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
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.
15 September 2008
I had a rather large assignment this past month from the Chronicle of Higher Education. This would be for a special supplement and would require 10 illustrations on various articles all on a similar theme. Once I hit upon the concept of using 'crayons' as a unifying theme, I sent off several ideas to the art director for approval. They liked the ideas, but requested that instead of my usual scratchboard style, they would prefer to see something a little looser and less finished, much like the sketches (many of which I supplied in color this time, just to help sell the idea). This was an interesting experiment. I had only recently begun using the 'pencil' tool as a sketching medium (previously just using the 'scratchboard' pen tip for rough sketches), but I hadn't really tried using pencils in a finishing capacity. I made use of my wacom stylus' 'eraser' tip (which I rarely use), by assigning a 'blending stump' tool to the other end of my 'pencil', and went back and forth with the two, keeping the linework as loose as I dared, and sometimes doing a little light blending and scuffing to emulate the 'rough pencil' look. Finishing off with 'watercolor' to add the needed color, and then adding just a touch of highlights at the end with the pencil and blender again. These turned out quite nice, and I may experiment a bit more with this style in the future. Perhaps pushing the 'looseness' a bit more, as I tend to stiffen up when faced with new and unfamiliar territory.
09 September 2008
After a strangely quiet August (aside from a few ongoing projects I will post at a later date, once the dust clears), I had a few projects from some of my regular clients. The fiction illustration above was for Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and, due to a goof-up, I actually ended up doing this illustration twice, with two different configurations (the unused illustration is pictured below). I was mistakenly given the wrong dimensions for this illustration, and it somehow got through the sketch phase without anyone noticing.
Over the course of the Labor Day weekend, I had a series of three illustration assignments come across my desk from the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong. A travel piece, a piece on entrepreneurs, and an overview illustration about the electric power industry. (all pictured below)
Around the same time, I had a caricature assignment featuring the Trumps (well, actually, the client wanted the building to have equal importance) for a Chicago regional magazine.
And finally, a few more pieces for the Wall Street Journal, a few of the 'health care' spots from the past month, and a few black and white spots for the Sunday Journal done during the past 30 days or so. Some of these were actually completed 'on the road' in coffee shops or wherever I could find internet access, since we've been kind of busy settling the boy down in Chicago to start college. There was also a recent 'health care' spot that I did three finishes for as a precautionary measure, due to being 'out of the office' at the usual deadline date, but now I can't seem to find any of them to post here (maybe they ended up on my wife's computer...).
The new postcards should start hitting the mails in a few days, followed by another one in a few weeks, and I should have some further samples to post here when my two other 'big projects' wind down.
ADDENDUM - 9/15: Well, I tracked down those three spots that I did while on vacation, all for the 'health care' column, something to do with treating 'bad breath', and they are posted below. (I believe they went with the one with the guy with the clothespin on his nose)
05 September 2008
Last month (or it might have been back in July) I had a CD cover assignment from a musician on the west coast who I had done a cover for once before several years ago. I wanted to wait and post the samples until I was sure the cd was out. Last weekend, I had the good fortune to hook up with this client at their summer place in Douglas and receive a few copies of the finished product and share a few glasses of lime-ade. One of the few times I've actually met a client face to face (I can count the times over the past twenty years on the fingers of one hand). Below and to the left and right are a few of the 'additional pieces' for this project, the illustration above being the 'main image', and the others used in more of a 'supporting role' in the design.
The music is a nice laid back blues/folk/protest mix and can be purchased online here.
The past month has been pretty busy, but the projects are of an ongoing nature, and I probably won't have new samples to post for a few weeks until after the dust has cleared.