the Wall Street Journal, Human Interest

 all images, Kevin Sprouls

 During my time as on-staff illustrator at The Wall Street Journal, I produced a lot more than the iconic “hedcut” portrait illustrations. There is a curious front-page column which WSJ insiders and the cognascenti know as the “A head”. The reason for this appellation is a graphic dingbat taking the shape of an inverted “U” with three asterisks aligned horizontally within it, creating a square letter “A”, which umbrellas the column. The column was the fourth from the left, and had the distinction of carrying a human interest story in an otherwise financial and political newspaper. The reporters loved sinking their teeth into this column as a release from their usual beats.

This posting will briefly parade some of the illustrations I created for the A-head column.

Wow, what a hunk! This image could be straight out of the pages of the old Sears catalog. 1980’s cutting- edge technology for the betterment of our species.

Rietveld Chair. Pretty cool to look at. I wonder if it’s uncomfortable?

There is money in sneakers, apparently.

A very rare caricature from me. Don’t know if I’ve ever produced another. Reagan-era treasury secretary David Stockman committed the shocking act of telling tales out of school about the administration. Ba-a-a-a-d David!

Musician Skip LaPlante. Bet he’s a West Coastie. Lots of home-made gear in evidence. It’s pretty certain this man got his start in his mom’s kitchen. For those of particularly keen interest, look for my newly-coined “ks” logo just above the turpentine can, on the right.

Englishman Kevin Ashurst, a coarse fisherman. I believe that’s a “catch” he’s got there. Coarse fishing is not your usual angling. The man seems to be loving life!

Now for some big fish. Kind of a scary character. I enjoyed getting into the flowing background line-work that I hoped would evoke the underwater environment. In this digital age, I have discovered that horizontal work of this type can be problematic for monitors to display properly, so I usually avoid using the technique.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this offering, Dear Reader. I’ll dig into the files for more of the same next time.

Stay tuned…