Forging Ahead as a Freelance Illustrator

How I set out to become a freelance illustrator.

Lobster Cracker Thumbnail | Freelance Illustrator

When I quit my day job as Head Illustrator at The Wall Street Journal, I was anxious to continue my artistic efforts on my own terms. Although I originated the iconic WSJ hedcut style that became so widely celebrated, I wanted to branch out into more diverse assignments, and I knew that my best chance was as a freelance illustrator.

This post focuses on one particular client, Thermador, and some work I did for them. The Ad Agency who tapped me for the project was Ketchum Communications. Among other illustration work I provided to this top-tier stove maker, there were several distinctive images I did for use in two print ads.

Illustrating two ads for Thermador

One ad featured poultry, the other, lobster. I created three illustrations as spots for the lobster ad. I like the graphic quality of these drawings…

Lobster Pot - Spot Illustraton

Pot & Lobster Stipple Illustration

Buttering Lobster Tail | Food Illustration

Lobster Tail Stipple Illustration

Lobster Cracker | Food Illustration

Lobster Cracker Stipple Illustration

Here is left page of the ad showing how they were used:

Thermador Ad

How to boil a dinner that’s not in a bag. | Thermador Ad


The poultry ad used a similar format. Here are three more illustrations from that ad —-two of these were a bit more complex than the lobster drawings, and required more care in capturing the detail:

Food & Wine | Spot Illustration

Food & Wine | Spot Illustration

Cutting Vegetables | Spot Illustration

Cutting Veggetables

Cooking Scssors | Freelance Illustration

Cooking Scssors

The final illustrated ad pages.

The ad pages looked like this:

Left page of Thermador ad

Left page of Thermador ad

Right page of Thermador ad

Right page of Thermador ad

I hope you enjoyed viewing these Kevin Sprouls Illustrations as much as I did creating them. They were fun to draw, and successful.

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