This week, I present some examples of the illustrations I created while at The Wall Street Journal. These WSJ art pieces were produced by me in the 1980’s, while I was lead illustrator at the paper. Back then, The Journal prided itself on being printed only in black ink on white paper. Quite a novelty! But it was a token of its tradition and credibility. It was considered a serious and reliable newspaper.
Here is an early hedcut portrait, of President James Madison. Because we sent art out to a few different printing plants around the country, sometimes via telephone lines, the artwork had to be drawn in such a way that it would hold up after being transmitted. You’ll notice the coarse texture of the stippling and line work used here. And, there’s my signature in the bottom right corner.
This reindeer ran on the front page. I assume this ran around Christmas-time. The drawing has a good range of white to black. I reinforced the outlines of the creature to make it stand out from the background. My name’s on this one, too. Bottom left.
This illustration of a shark also ran on page one. I was happy with the light I captured in the drawing.
Here is a somewhat rare example of my using a solid black background. A kindly reporter offered to pose in his wingtips. This illustration appeared in the newly created Section Two of the paper. We could now expand into larger-format artwork.
Lastly, here is a historical portrait, Billy the Kid. I had fun with this one. Lots of interesting detail, and a dash of romance! This ran on the front page, too. It’s an example of a hedcut beyond the ordinary. He has a wonderfully steady gaze.
More next week…