19 December 2008

Journal Week


Got back from vacation last Saturday, and jumped right back into work. Had a few revisions to an Adventure House project over the weekend, and a few pending projects with long deadlines to work on in the meantime. Otherwise, this first week back has been mostly Wall Street Journal assignments. The large Washington dollar portrait above will be the cover for the weekend edition (and appears quite large). Did this one a little differently than my usual scratchboard technique, working with a pencil tool and trying to emulate the original etching technique, while also trying to keep it loose and somewhat illustrative. Did a little manipulating of subtle textures and coloration using a few other tools from my 'painter toolbox'. There wasn't much in the way of sketching, layout or design with this assignment, as I was given the layout from the designer.



Above is another of the bi-monthly 'health care' spots for the same client (usually appears in Tuesday's paper, but not always in color). This one was regarding Calcium as a PMS remedy. Out of the three sketches I provided for this one, this was the one I thought least likely to get picked. Sometimes they surprise me.

For the same client, as a rush job, I was handed a trio of small icons for a story about bank examiners and new policies in the shadow of the recent bank failures. This one came in around 2 in the afternoon, and the whole job was out the door by 5.

And then mid-week, I had another assignment for the same client, a smallish illustration spot for an article about new stringent loan policies. My original sketch had the banker looking just as worried and scared as the loan applicant, but the editors requested that I make the character more of a 'Mr. Potter' type businessman.


01 December 2008

Clean Up


Wrapping up the last few assignments before taking off for a short vacation. It was a hectic couple of weeks, but it is nice to know that I managed to get a lot of work under my belt before leaving, and nice to know I have a few more assignments lined up to keep me busy once I get back. The illustration above was for Barrons, and the one below was for the Far Eastern Economic Review, both of which have been put on hold for the time being due to various circumstances.


And I also had a couple of my ongoing 'health care' spots for the Wall Street Journal over the past three weeks. A couple of unusual topics, one on a bowel stimulation device (above), and another on eye canal procedures.

Another new development when we return in a few weeks, is that we've been talking about updating my computer system, which has been a faithful workhorse for the past five years, but is starting to show signs of age. Hopefully the changeover is relatively painless.

Fiction and Nonfiction


Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I had a series of illustrations to go with a fiction piece for Charleston magazine, a new client this month. The story was sort of a tongue in cheek espionage tale, and included a couple larger illustrations (below) and a smaller spot (above). I emulated a 'pulp fiction' style from the old magazine covers of the thirties, ala HJ Ward or Norm Saunders. The only tricky one was the 'daylight scene' for the opening spread, which was hard to make look suspenseful or menacing in the brightly lit downtown summer setting.


In addition, I also had a black and white fiction assignment from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine last weekend, this one featuring the theft of a first edition 'Maltese Falcon' during a 'B&B Mystery Weekend'.

And for the American Bar Association, I had a cover illustration regarding Canadian trust laws.

A few more assignments to go and then I'll be taking a short vacation during the first few weeks of December.