Well, it is that time of year again. Every year, my brother, who owns a restaurant on the north side of Chicago, hosts a ‘Oscar Viewing Party’ (and before he owned the restaurant, it was held for many years in his home). Starting in 2004, I began doing an annual ‘Oscar Nominations Caricature Poster’ as a gift to him, and have kept up with it now every year for the past 12 years. I was seriously doubting whether I was going to have time to finish one this year, due to deadline crunches, but I was just too geeked about the concept, and somehow managed to create time to work on it after hours. Anyhow, here it is: #12 and ‘double sized’ from the format of years past, and includes every Actor, Actress and Supporting nominations and represents in one way or another each of the Best Picture nominees and a tiny nod to each Best Animated Feature film. (Click on the image above to see a larger detailed version)
A few moments to spare this afternoon, so I’ll post a few more samples from the past month. Above and below (in fact, all the black and white scratchboard pieces in this post) are from the annual ‘Witches Companion’ project that I’ve been doing for Llewellyn Publications for the past 8 or so years. (the color cover illustration I usually do in the fall of the year, and the interior illustrations are shared among several illustrators and tend to be due in January or February). This year I had a rather large batch of them (17 of them), but only a few of them were full page size.
This past weekend I had a few fiction pieces for The Strand Magazine (pictured below).
Since I came back from vacation, I’ve been too busy to post new work on the blog. Currently I’m working on 50 illustrations for a scratchboard color book for Dover (samples will have to stay under wraps until publication), two ‘Who was’ book projects for Penguin with 80 illustrations each (and, again, samples I can’t share until publication), and I just finished up a series of 15 or so illustrations for the Witches Companion series for Llewellyn (I’ll post some of these in a few days when I get the time). In the meantime, relatively short deadline work has been picking up the last few weeks (month? I’m losing track of time), so I’ve got a few samples of those to share. Above is an illustration for Main Line Today, and below are a few spot illustrations for the Chronicle of Higher Education and Farm Futures.
Also, did another series of cartoon ads for a local lawyer, which appears to be turning into a regular gig for a while, since they seem to be getting good results. They aren’t much different than the samples I’ve posted before, so I’ll just post a smaller thumbnail version this time. Another busy weekend ahead, so I’ll likely have some new samples of short deadline work to share next week along with the Llewellyn pieces.
Ring out the old year, ring in the new, ring a ding ding (in the words of one of my favorite New Year’s themed movie). A brief condensed work week between tropical vacations (Bahamas around Christmas, heading out to St. Croix tomorrow morning), and filing my usual ‘best of 2015′ blog entry before I take off. The year was slightly down from the previous year in terms of gross sales, but not nearly as bad as 2010-12. Seem to be doing less and less magazine/newspaper work and more and more book publishing work, which I am still trying to get used to. Going to be trying a new advertising technique this year (and next) by placing an ad in one of the illustration market books. I’ve got an online presence with them (and their european cousin) this year, while the actual print ad won’t be in art director’s hands until 2017. We’ll see how this works, as opposed to the postcards I’ve been relying on for years.
A mixed year for the band. We had our third album release in the summer, and shortly thereafter one of the band members suffered a hand accident which put us on forced hiatus for several months of the year. We are just now getting back to regular gigging, and talking about our next album project.
My son is still living in Chicago with his girlfriend, working a day job that he dislikes, and playing with several bands on the nights and weekends. Terri still works for a local travel agency, and has a bi-weekly gig as a programmer on a local radio station. Looking forward to new adventures in 2016.
Anyhow, here’s what I consider my best work of the year (more to come later, as several projects are still under wraps contractually until books have been published):
And here’s the finish that I just completed this morning. Last job before we take off for warmer climes over the holidays. Happy Christmas and New Year to everybody!