More WSJ images, beyond the Hedcut that I produced while at the Wall Street Journal. Like I said, aside from the straight portrait, or “hedcut”, the paper ran a lot of illustrated common interest stories. Here is a collection of my illustrations that ran in the paper in the 1980’s (how time flies, My Readers!), with commentary…
You’ll notice the notations surrounding the art— We had a kind of filing system to keep track of the art. If a piece of art had a single alphabet-letter prefix, it indicates the inceptive series of our illustrative output, i.e., early- ’80’s. Note the “orientation” line. I used to include this informative dingbat on the art to give the camera guys an indication of how to put the art on their production camera’s copyboard.
A bit loose, but, it tells the story.
This illustration is about depth-of-field. I made a good effort to give the athlete good clarity, while using my eye to take the background out-of-focus, as it was in the original photo reference. It was a challenge to translate soft-focus into the precise realm of pen-and-ink line art, but, in this piece, I think it’s working.
The extreme sport thing was just taking hold. I thought it weird that one had to wear a helmet just to ride a 20” two-wheeler, but what did I know?
I was checking out, and admiring, the work of illustrator Elliott Banfield. His superlative work was appearing regularly in the New York Times Review of Books, and I noticed he made regular use of parallel line-patterns. I thought I’d try my hand at it, and made my own template in the side of a “C-Thru” plastic template by carving indentations into it with an Ex-Acto knife. Placing the template against a T-square or adjustable triangle (Oh! So Old School), I could draw wobbly lines with precicision …like Elliott. So, Patient Reader, the background texture contains this wobbly linear effect, with the necessary jots and dots for fine-tuning.
This sad image portrays an all too familiar feature: the Homeless Soul. Gotta give the Journal (of its time) credit for giving news-space to an unfortunate like Jim here.
The inversion health kick was all the rage in the old days. Actually (so I’ve heard), Hippocrates himself advised hanging upside-down from the heels on a daily basis to promote overall good health. The Ancients used a crude ladder for this. I prefer the inversion table.
These baby harnesses were the new thing in the 80’s, and the Journal ran illustrated coverage to report on what we boomers were up to!
That is quite a bit of history recorded. I lay down my pen, ’til next time…
This post is one of a three part series.