Last week Nicholas Blechman called requesting an illustration for an article about squash, the sport, not the vegtable, written by Tad Friend in The New Yorker.
The article is about Mr. Friend's relationship to the sport and also the mental side of the game as an antidote to midlife malaise. The editor sent along a note about the Hourglass Analogy, an idea that in middle-age a weaker player may occasionally beat a much better player. Sketch 1 is in color, because I wasn't sure the pencil sketch would communicate my thinking clearly.
Sketch 2 was chosen and I sent over two color options. In re-reading the article I also realized that Mr. Friend is left-handed.
They went with the red one. It's always great to see a piece printed, surrounded by that distinctive New Yorker typography.
I’ve been doing a weekly piece for The New York Times Science Section to accompany Jane E. Brody’s Personal Health column. It’s been a pleasure working with Art Director Catherine Gilmore-Barnes on these and it’s been nice to work on series of images that are building a consistent visual style for the column. Also, it’s nice to hear from my mom each week that she saw my drawing in the paper.
The Sunday New York Times Book Review is the section of the paper that hangs around our house the longest, it’s usually still on the dining table when the next week’s edition arrives on the front porch. Nicholas Blechman calls the best illustrators and if they are like me, they always say yes to his assignments. So when he called last week to ask if I had time for a cover illustration I was in.
This was for a review of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism” by Bill Keller. Nicholas’ only request was to avoid a portrait of Teddy Roosevelt and focus on the turn-of-the-century journalism aspect of the story, and that maybe the image should include some headlines. I made a list of things that appeared in Keller's review and designed a collage that carried some of the pounding-typewriter-vitality of the era. Blechman recently sent out a Twitter communication that said “Illustrators: you don't need to add texture to your images, there is already enough dirt in the newsprint itself,” so I kept to flat colors on this one. I was surprised the reporter’s cigarette and office bottle survived.
I got a call from Christopher Smith at Desert Companion Magazine to do 16 spot drawings for a timeline of Las Vegas. The list of events to be illustrated was a lot of fun to research and I tried to bring a Vegas-mid-century vibe to the drawings.
Christopher sent me a rough layout to show where the drawings would fit, and designed a beautiful five-page spread.