Football Season

...This is the cover for the prep football special section. The feature story addressed the trend in local high-school coaches being wooed to take jobs at schools that are in the same area or even possibly at schools considered football rivals. It's really cut-throat, I guess. (The lettering on the signs refers to the different divisions, or so I was told.)
...The concept was nailed down ahead of time and I tried to come up with an interesting design. Eh, it's okay. I had fun with it until I had to start thinking about the headline and making room for text. Sometimes you just don't want to face it.
...I did worry that maybe it doesn't say "FOOTBALL" as boldly as perhaps it should, but must every football related design package be so blunt and obvious? Must it be about pigskin, eye-black, blood and dirty uniforms? I say thee, nay. It can be about bright colors and chubby cartoon characters parading about in a leisurely manner. Can't it?
...What would Dick Butkus say?
The End

Another A&E Cover

From the beginning this cover was a tough assignment. Most often, it doesn't take too much effort to come up with an idea that relates to the story but in this case I was wrestling with it up until the very end.
...The article is about how the biggest trend in the latest crop of new TV shows is fantasy. With the success of shows like "Lost" and "Heroes" there is interest in the fantastic as opposed to the more "realistic" shows that have been in favor the past few years.
...I turned to the internet and watched the trailers for all of the new shows mentioned by the writer. I saw the common thread, but I didn't have the concept to tie it all together. Desperate, I watched the clips again. I decided that the show I was most interested in was "The Bionic Woman."
After several viewings of the trailer and associated teasers I realized I was just watching them over and over because I liked looking at the cute gals-- so I stopped because it wasn't helping me with my problem.
...When I'm stymied by the conceptual phase of an assignment my typical strategy is to just start in on it anyway. So I did. But In this case, I started a couple of times and got nowhere. It just wasn't happening.
...The solution I went with is an old concept that I'd been saving for the right moment. I listen to Old Time Radio programs-- The Shadow, Suspense, Gunsmoke, Dimension X, etc.-- and I've had this picture in my head, an illustration of an old radio sitting in a rocking chair telling stories to people sitting around, listening intently, as though it was story time.
...With the deadline looming I appropriated that concept (figuring we weren't likely to do a cover story on radio theater in the future,) threw a TV in the rocking chair and hoped it would work. It sorta did.
...I'm not really tickled with the execution of the drawing, it seems to be a slightly confused, indecisive blending of two different cartoon styles, neither one handled particularly well. If I'd have had time to revise it I think I could have made it a better presention, but at least I finished it in time.
The End


Hello, I'm typing this from the very top of on-line journal entry #100. It is, more likely, #110 or so due to some deletions along the way, but the number on the post list says 100, so this is where I must put the plaque. I don't believe that a pedestrian activity should be revered for its numerological significance but those two zeroes, side by side, are staring me down and not blinking. I must take a moment to twitch, to smile and to drink a celebratory beverage. My morning coffee, of course.
...I never thought I'd get this far. I'm not good at keeping a sketchbook, I'm not good at keeping a regular journal, and when I started this project I thought I would be too self conscious to keep at it for very long. There are more than a few posts in the wake of this one that I would like to swim back to and push under; I've done it before. Deleting posts, however, feels like it goes against the aesthetic current of the blogging enterprise and I will try not to do it again. I might edit some of the text, though – there are shrill whining sounds leaking from some of those floating corpses back there that are unappealing to the living/breathing September-2007-editor in me.
...I was writing the Hawkbot Berserker entry when I took notice that 100 was coming soon. I thought I should work up something really fun! I've enjoyed creating the slightly goofy sci-fi paintings I've done in the past and it's been a looong time since I've made one, so I thought I'd start turning that crank. (Some examples here, here, here, here, here and here)
...Well, it's over a month later and I'm still cranking, with a good deal of cranking left to go. It will have to wait. This is what I have. It is not the "special" event that I was aiming for, but as I said at the beginning, it's not about numbers. I suppose, in my eyes, it's about doing something I like to do and nailing it on the wall for other people to see. Hope you like it.
...Pencil, Brush, dried out Pitt pen on yellowish card stock.
The End.

Sex On TV

For this assignment I was given the ticklish task of illustrating a concept without, you know, illustrating the concept. Oh! how many captivating-yet- vulgar little doodles were squelched during the brainstorming phase by the restrictive tethers of taste, tact and fear of losing one's job by offending everybody.
...When dealing with a subject carrying a heftiness of cultural contention I find that it is sometimes safest to smile, wink and be as cute as you can possibly be.
...So, by golly and by gum, here 'tis. Ta daa!

......Having decided upon a light, cartoon-ey treatment, I put on my clown nose and my clown wig, and I did my preliminary drawings while listening to a jaunty calliope version of "Turkey in the Straw," which I played over and over until I could not stop laughing! Ha! Ha ha ha! Ha! (help.)
...I took those sketches into Illustrator and polished them up while improvising a humorous-- although slightly naughty-- conversation between the two characters with the aid of many deep puffs of helium. And I ended the performance with a rousing chorus of "Turkey in the Straw," also fueled by helium.
...I took the finished drawings back into photoshop and laid down the color scheme, no doubt getting my inspiration from the morphing spots and blossoming swirls of psychedelic colors brought on by excessive exposure to helium and to "Turkey in the Straw."
...Seriously, it only took a couple of hours from start to finish, while I attended to several other tasks on a busy day in the office. It sure is nice when it goes so smoothly, although it felt very frantic at the time.
The End.