Magazine Illustrations, Part 1

All images, c. Kevin Sprouls

This week, a survey of some of my magazine illustrations. I like for my work to appear in popular magazines, because I know I’ll get a large audience to view my illustrations. In this post, I present art that has appeared in Garden Design, Esquire, and The New Yorker.

Let’s begin with Garden Design. This top-quality periodical was published by S. Christopher Meigher, III, a prominent name in publishing. The magazine had about a 10 or 12 year run. My Art Director was Chris Gangi, with whom I maintained an excellent relationship. We had fun creating illustrations together. There was a great deal of top-notch photography and illustration work in every issue. Here are some of my contributions:

I was mainly involved in the Garden Glossary feature, a sort of dictionary of gardening terms. It’s nice to make drawings and learn something at the same time!

For example, I have an orchid blooming in my living room right now, here in the mountains of North Carolina. After reviewing this illustration, I now know how to tend to it.

I wanted a gentleman gardener for this definition. Note the Wellie boots.

This illustration was used in a special edition compilation issue of the magazine, hence the deviation from our usual format. Good, informative how-to gardening basics.

Here is a plan for a simple fountain. I enjoyed making a clear, easily-read diagram showing a how to build a creative feature in the garden. Note the above-ground and below-ground textures.

Next, two of my illustrations from The New Yorker:

I worked on a regular basis for this great magazine for a couple of years in the 1990’s. The pay was dreadful, the assignments were always last-minute rush jobs, but, Hey, it was The New Yorker! I still receive The New Yorker in my mailbox every week. It’s an indespensible read, a must have! Above, an illustration announcing the screening of a classic movie.

I like the graphic quality of this image. It was meticulously crafted by hand, like all of my work. A drawing like this would require a solid 8 hours to complete. Note the stippled outline framing this illustration. My time at the WSJ helped me carrying off this illustration successfully.

Finally, a style piece from the pages of Esquire…

How to wear a watch.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this ramble through my magazine illustrations. There’ll be more next week. So, subscribe to this blog and never miss a post!


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