Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Zoo (for Illustration Friday)

This image is part of a series of illustrations that ran in the The Bergen Record's travel section a while ago. I'm throwing it up now because it ties in with this week's theme over at Illustration Friday.

This illustration (as well as the others in the series) was loosely based on Works Progress Administration Posters.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

An Island Holiday

This Illustration ran on the front page of this morning's edition of The (Bergen) Record. It accompanied a news story on the easiest ways in and out of Manhattan for all of the holiday festivities beginning with Thursday's parade and continuing through the festivities in Times Square Dec. 31. Also running was a column on the pitfalls of driving and parking in New York City. One would think people who live on the Jersey side of the Hudson River would be well versed in navigating the streets of Manhattan, especially the large portion of people who commute there during the week for work. Who knows, maybe they need a reminder of how to do these things when there is an influx of tourists and shoppers around the holiday season.

I think this was a great opportunity to use illustration. What was the alternative? A file photo of the tree in Rockefeller Center? I think a fresh image trumps a year-old photo most of the time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


NO!SPEC is a web site dedicated to exposing and encouraging creatives to avoid the unethical practice of speculative work.

In no other field are professionals asked to invest time and effort only to be rewarded with the possibility of being paid later. You can't go into a restaurant and pay only if you enjoy your meal. You can't hold a contest for accountants to prepare your taxes and pay ony person who does the "best" job. You won't find a surgeon who will operate on you because you can provide them with "great exposure." Creative individuals shouldn't be offered work this way either.

Any artist, illustrator or designer who values their work should be opposed to speculative work, design "contests", the low paying jobs that offer "great exposure" and. Giving your work away for free or for below market value not only devalues your work, but the work of everyone else in the field. The time spent on spec work, entering logo design "contests" or working for "exposure" would be beter spent on self-promotion, networking or honing your skills.

Whne it comes to doing work without getting paid, follow Nancy Reagan's advice and just say no.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hot Stove Baseball

The waiting 'til next year kicks into high gear Tuesday. Nov. 13 is the first day teams can discuss money with free agents. Hopefully, the Mets will begin putting together a team that will help fans (like myself) forget that they blew a 7-game lead with 17 to play.

They need to improve their starting rotation and bullpen, both of which were awful the last month of the season. While Johan Santana would be nice, I doubt that the Mets have the prospects to trade to get him.

There are holes at Second Base and Catcher. I wouldn't mind seeing Luis Castillo and Paul LoDuca return. While Castillo is a good bet to return, LoDuca isn't. How are they going to replace the fire he brings to the team? Of course, he is a 34 year old catcher. Getting younger is a good idea, meaning they shouldn't pursue Jorge Posada, who is older than LoDuca, even though he is coming off a career year.

And of course, there seems to be all sorts of rumors regarding A-Rod. I really don't think they need him, unless you can unload Carlos Delgado and slide the throwing error-prone gold glover David Wright to First Base. I doun't think that is going to happen.

That's the great thing about baseball. Even afetr a disastrous end to last season I'm now beginning to look forward to next year. Beginning to build up hope. Hope that will reach its zenith around April and ebb and flow until the early fall when it will inevitably be crushed again.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Everglades

By day, I am employed as a Staff Artist by The Bergen Record , a newspaper based in Hackensack, N.J. Between illustration assignments the work isn't terribly exciting; lots of charts, graphs and locator maps with the occasional news or business page design assignment. But when the bosses decide to go with an illustration its usually an opportunity to shine, but very rarely do those opportunities include a full section front and a center spread.

Unfortunately, we don't quite have the ability to print double trucks

I worked with Elaine Isaacson, one of our super-talented page designers. She had the idea of illustrating this wire feature on the hidden treasures in The Everglades when the photos accompanied it were less than stellar. At least they made for half decent reference. That is a snowy egret, zebra-wing butterfly and Florida panther pictured above. (Although, neither the bird or the cat are nearly as cool looking as Nancy Stahl's work for the USPS.)

This is a sketch for the cover that was rejected. Elaine wanted to really focus on the gator's head. I think she was right, as in print the gators eyes appeared above the fold and looked kind of scary. There is something about the angle and shape of this that I like. Perhaps when I find some time I'll go back and finish it.