I was contracted to parody Norman Rockwell’s famous “Four Freedoms: Freedom From Want” illustration (better known as “Thanksgiving”) for the good people over at Chicken Soup for the Soul. The book is titled, All in the Family: 101 Stories about the Fine Line between Comedy and Tragedy in Our “Dysfunctional” Families.
Almost everyone thinks their own family is “dysfunctional” or at least has a dysfunctional member or two. These stories of wacky yet lovable relatives, holiday meltdowns, and funny foibles, along with more serious stories about abuse, controlling family members, and flare-ups, show readers that they aren’t alone. All in the Family is a quirky and fun holiday book, and a great bridal shower or wedding gift! Norman Rockwell’s famous “Freedom from Want” Thanksgiving family painting appears on the back cover and is lovingly parodied on the front, driving home the point that all our families, no matter how much we love them, are just a little dysfunctional!
This is a full page portrait of Norman Mailer. It was for an article detailing Norman Mailer’s enduring influence. It was selected for the Communication Arts Illustration Annual 48.
Quite often, when I get an assignment, the idea has already been conceived. So when I am asked to come up with a concept (not simply to execute a final illustration) it imparts a level of confidence in my ability that I take great pride in. I enjoy doing conceptual work thoroughly, so this was a treat.
For this spot the problem was, “A new study by some big name group shows that Americans aren’t reading as much as they used to.” So I offered some thumbnail concept solutions.
This is another one of my illustrations that generates many requests for re-use on a variety of projects throughout the year.
Back in February 2009, Bill Gates unleashed a swarm of mosquitoes at the TED conference in California. It was apparently a noble effort to highlight the dangers of malaria. It scared the (rich and famous) attendees and resulted in my receiving an illustration assignment from Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, so all’s well that ends well! (I’ll even go so far as to add that more celebrities should act out in similar fashion, so long as it will end up as a steady stream of interesting work for illustrators like myself.)
This is my latest illustration for an article in Vegas Seven Magazine written by David Figler titled, “What’s Tea Got to Do With It?” Mr. Figler writes, “In the Cocktail Party, we understand that Nevadans want answers. And the answer is ‘Yes.’”
Here is my new illustration for an article in Vegas Seven Magazine written by David Wrobel titled, “Higher Learning.” Mr. Wrobel contends that, “When it comes to Las Vegas, sometimes the best and brightest just don’t get it.”
Seattle Metropolitan Magazine’s Art Director, Benjamen Purvis contacted me to illustrate this article about the Mayor of Seattle’s efforts to provide wi-fi access to the Emerald City. “Is the mayor’s dream of municipal broadband a viable vision for America’s most techie city?”
Vegas Seven is a new magazine that just made their debut. They were kind enough to invite me to contribute to their very first issue. The article touched on the ongoing (and contentious) relationship that Las Vegas has with the NFL—and the silliness that results from not being allowed to license so much as even the name of the “Big Game.”
This is a double page spread for The Las Vegas Weekly’s “Who Wants to be our Governor?” article in the October 1-7, 2009 issue. I had fun with this parody as I was asked to draw seven different faces, including Jim Gibbons and Oscar Goodman.
This Illustration for the Las Vegas Weekly comes in response to the city’s desire to build and promote a museum in honor of the mob’s history in Las Vegas. The theory being: if a Mob Museum is acceptable, then why not a museum of Celebrity Misbehavior? A result of this line of thinking concludes with OJ Simpson being immortalized in a museum exhibit where his riveting audio tape (recorded during a robbery where he held up a sports memorabilia dealer in a Las Vegas hotel room) gets replayed.
What, you’d rather see an exhibit of Paris Hilton peeing in a potted plant?
Apparently, President Obama declined a meeting with the Governor of Nevada (Jim Gibbons) during his trip to Las Vegas on May 26th. In response, the Las Vegas Weekly contacted me to illustrate this “snub” by contrasting his cozy relationship with Senator Harry Reid to his indifference to the seemingly powerless Governor.
This illustration is for an article in the April 2009 issue of The Capitol titled, “Those who would succeed Andrew Cuomo begin to emerge.” Besides learning about the New York Attorney General and some New York State politics, I also learned that the “shoe thingy” is called a Brannock shoe measuring device.
When Cuomo ran for the office it was to succeed Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer was very effective and there was an ad floating around at the time of Cuomo’s run that showed him holding the shoe measuring device with a tag saying something like, “These are some big shoes to fill.”
This week the Las Vegas Weekly posed the question, “If Las Vegas ever prints its own currency, what will it look like?” Their question was factually based on the recent trend in several cities in which scrip is printed in an effort to keep tighter control of the local marketplace. While I was brainstorming ideas, I recalled a video that Penn Jillette made about being an Atheist Dad:
So there is my small homage to Penn Jillette—because I think he (& Teller) are money.
This is a spot I did for the March 12 – 18, 2009 issue of the Las Vegas Weekly. Here is a tearsheet of the printed page:
This is a cover I illustrated of Governor David Paterson for The Capitol magazine. The subhead reads, “David Paterson tries to find his inner governor.”
This was a private commission for a businessman in Houston who’s family owns a large longhorn cattle ranch. It is a parody of the famously kitschy painting titled, “Waterloo” but is better known simply as “dogs playing poker.” The unheralded artist is Cassius Coolidge.
The approved sketch:
You can’t go wrong with a headline like that! The Las Vegas Weekly enlisted me to do a satirical take on the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, with God as Santa surrounded not by Angels, but elves.
The final layout of the cover:
Luxury Las Vegas magazine asked me to illustrate a full page image depicting the popularity of the date July 7th, 2007 (7-7-07) for weddings.
It must have been a popular image, because it was reprinted in the Review Journal!
Snakes on a Plane—or as I see it, a chance to draw Sam Jackson!
Apparently, Martha Stewart agreed to sell her name to a home construction corporation in Las Vegas—clearly in an effort to add some Martha style clout to their brand. This was my snarky take on what Martha might actually bring to a home building project.
Star Jones was in Las Vegas for a book signing—so the request was to draw her eating several copies of her books as though they were a delicious sandwich. I think this is one of those cases where mean = funny!