The journey continues

JULY 10, 2019

As I occasionally look back on my so-called career, I marvel at the circuitous path it has taken. From the beginning as a clueless artist who stumbled into New York City with no clear direction, I have found myself in a myriad of disciplines inextricably bound to what the market desired. First, it was lettering, icons and adorable spot illustrations for a wide variety of publications. Soon afterwards, I found myself immersed in book covers and packaging design followed by a hefty dose of magazine illustration that morphed into an ongoing succession of magazine covers. For a while, I had a thriving business in stock illustration and gloried in the bounty of regular weekly newspaper assignments. I have watched curiously as one source of work dissipated and another came into being and, with some trepidation as business began to decline in the evolution to digital publishing. A font I designed for my wedding invitation led to monthly royalty checks and a spectacular stroke of luck got me engaged in an ongoing packaging project that continues to this day. I am eternally grateful to continue to be employed, albeit with less frequency but, no little satisfaction.


My favorite part of all of this still lies in examining the process so, herewith: a brand new project for the delightful Kelly Tedrick at Exhibitor Magazine. 

Incomprehensible scribbles that only the bravest of art directors will show to an editor.
Ripoff of the Great Seal that betrays my lifelong desire to be a counterfeiter.
That's amore. Adding festive color while the printer insists that all the fine hatching must be 100 K to avoid a moiré.
I never tire of trying to fit long headlines into narrow spaces.
Hoping the reduced size seal doesn't self-destruct.
Cheating some process tints into the hatching because, come on!

A bit of Ancient History

JANUARY 17, 2019

Early in my so-called career, I created many illustrations using pen & ink, managing to accumulate a nice collection of previously-owned, repro-quality black and white spot art. Serendipitously, I began to hear from art directors with impossible deadlines asking if I had existing images they could get immediately. This prompted me to assemble my very first Stock Cuts catalog. This was not a new idea. Even before W.A.Dwiggins invented the term graphic designer, printers and layout artists relied upon pre-made art to interrupt the dreary tedium of pages of solid type.
Sensing something of a trend, I placed ads in Communication Arts Magazine, gleefully sent out free catalogs and ended up making up to a quarter of my income from stock for a number of years. When a request came in, I made a high quality photostat from the original and sent it same day via messenger. As time went on, my first collection of 201 images expanded to a second catalog now including 453, to an insert adding 300 more, finally culminating in the third and final edition featuring over 1000 images, by this time fully digitized and delivered in file format.


In a short time, and certainly not due to my influence, photographers and then illustrators fully exploited the world of stock imagery for better or for worse. My foray into stock became an anachronism and fond memory.


Oh, by the way, I still have a handful of the Third Edition and will gladly send you one if you simply supply a postal address.

Catalogs 1, 2 and 3