Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quality Education

I did this illustration for the Oregon Education Association magazine, art directed by Deb Pang Davis. The story was about the effect environmental conditions in schools has on the learning success of the kids attending them.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tasting Menu

This was the last illustration I did for Gourmet magazine. The article was about tasting menus at restaurants. The magazine had changed since I'd started doing art for it twenty years earlier. Looking back on it, most of the art I did was cartography, fun illustrated maps, because Gourmet was as much about places as it was about the food. But I'd also been a great fan of Marvin Friedman, a longtime contributor whose wonderful line illustrations captured the interior spaces where food was prepared and eaten. This image is very unlike his, more like Bemelmans, really, but it's an homage of a kind, a celebration of the kinds of places we like to spend time in.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Deck O' Cards

Earlier this year I did a set of 52 playing cards illustrated with reasons people should still have a checkbook for everyday emergencies. A really fun project. Lots of art, lots of great ideas to illustrate. The client was Deluxe Corporation; the agency was Modern Climate; the creatives were Matt Maly and Johnny Slocum.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wired-Part Two

Another drawing from yesterday. Reading postcards from friends at the beach puts me in mind of jellyfish. Jellyfish, vases, lampshades and women's skirts are all designed around a central axis.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Illustration is a superior tool for describing a thought process, a choice in this instance. How do we choose to live? How do we travel? Do we travel light, or heavy like a princely household? For this illustration, painted for the back page column in the Macalester College magazine, I played with proportions and reality a bit. Most people's cars aren't small enough they can throw a leg up on them. And sure, the new bikes are pretty light, but I needed to equalize the two vehicles a little to clarify the issue. I kept the palette minimal but bright. A nice image, I think. Brian Donahue art directed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Clean Slate

A brand new client opens up new doors, new subject matter. New eyes get to see your art. A clean slate. A new continent. What will I write on it? What are the possibilities?

I did this for Kiplinger's, an old client of mine. Art directed by Cynthia Currie. I love doing art for business magazines because illustration evokes the creative dimension of money matters, the individuality of the issues. There's a thoughtfulness to the painted image that a photography seldom touches. (Much as I love photography.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Magic Hand of the Market

I studied economics in college, not only in Econ classes but in History classes, where economic forces play themselves out in the rise and fall of individuals and of empires. I read Adam Smith, whose elegant explanations made a young idealist almost believe there was a kind of magic guiding our lives. I've never stopped reading, and because I'm an illustrator the reading conjures pictures, diagrams, visual analogies. This is one of those. It appears in the September issue of the Atlantic, art directed by Jason Treat.

My point in this simple drawing is that the so-called "Magic Hand of the Markets" does indeed direct and correct the forces that determine our fates. What should be obvious, though, is that the magic hand of an unregulated market corrects some fates more than others, protects some more than others, favors some fortunes more than others. Larger fortunes are more buoyant already but the market tends to nurture and support them. The fortunes of little people have less juice in them, less upward trajectory, they're buffeted more, given less favor, fewer advantages. We see it every day, every year, but we are taught not to believe it because in America everyone is supposed to have an equal chance. It's our national religion, even if we can see it isn't true.