Sunday, July 02, 2023

On the Digital Drawing Board: A brief drive-by

Happy Summer Solstice.

I'm stopping in, and taking a few minutes away from the studio, after catching up from family vacations (more on that later) to post a few recent things on the drawing board.

I'll start with a few 'New Yorker' cartoons...

(with some color added for their inclusion in Cartoon Stock's collection).


 Link to cartoon download


 Link to cartoon download


Here are a few pieces in process for a large book illustration project. I'm working directly with the author, in concert with his publisher. I won't identify him, but he's a charming fellow with scintillating insights. As a former exec with Dream Works, and consultant to Apple, Adobe, Google, and other Silicon Valley notables, he has years of wisdom regarding prioritization, and its practical application to companies and organizations.

I began by reading the book manuscript, and then began writing material to highlight key concepts. The book is going to press soon, and will publish in Spring of 2024.

An illustration to accompany the author's interview with recording artist Rosanne Cash


Another ongoing book illustration project - this is from a book about online dating...



 One of a series of cartoons for National Grid, in London.

Lastly, I was surprised and thrilled to take home 1st place for the Editorial Cartoons in the Society of Professional Journalists 2023 awards, for the Rocky Mountain States. The annual contest covers newspapers and media in four states; Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming.                                   

The reason I was surprised is that I didn't submit my work for the contest...and I didn't know about this until it was awarded. (A newspaper editor submitted some of my political cartoons on my behalf.)        

One sample, published this past November: 


Update: Some additional blathering and pics from a summer trip... We went to see my Mom and my brother (and his family), rendezvousing in Chicago, and then heading way North, to Manitowish Waters Wisconsin, a place where my family had a vacation home for many years. We haven't been back there in over 18 years, and I campaigned to go back again, so that our kids could see what all the fuss was about.

We rented a house on Clear Lake, right near our old stomping grounds, and arrived ready to become water creatures. We kayaked, canoed, and hiked. I also rented a ski boat for tubing and water skiing, as well as a large pontoon boat. The latter helped with allowing our entire group to travel and sightsee comfortably, as there are nine lakes which are connected to each other.

After a few vacations over the years that involved tubing behind a boat, our daughter Julia decided she'd like to learn to water ski. So, I began the process of teaching her...which involves an array of things to consider, rope grip, how to curl up in the water, arching your back and bending your legs when being pulled up, (and to not fight the boat or try to pull yourself up.) And then, if/when you get up, you need to suddenly shift to a fully upright position and lean back to water ski. (the opposite of snow skiing's need for leaning forward over your skis).

The rule of thumb (as we were reminded by the natives and the purveyors of ski equipment in that area) it usually takes a first-timer an average of 30 to 40 tries to pull themselves out of the water successfully, and then balance long-term with stability on water skis. It seemed like Julia was going to approach that number, but then at around #15 she got up briefly...and by #20 managed to stay up. It seems like perhaps her bountiful time on snow skis helped.


Next up was my niece, who had been water skiing many times over the past two years with friends with a lake house near her home. She had been trying to slalom ski (one ski) over the past few months, but thus far hadn't been able to do it. My brother and I worked with her, and after demonstrating it, she did it! We were all thrilled with their aquatic milestones. Very exciting stuff.

I had a few runs, too. This was my first time on water skis in nearly 20 years, and the first lap around the lake was a little rusty. Over the next few days, it all came back, and I was able to kick off a ski and do some slalom laps. (Old dogs, old tricks.)

We saw bald eagles float and soar above us, and also watched loons dive into the lake, and call for their mates in their distinctive manner. It was an incredible week in a stunningly beautiful place - and I've found myself thinking about it over the past few days since getting back. It was like seeing an old friend again after many years. I get the feeling that my Dad was smiling from above while we were there.