26 November 2014

Website Facelift and Blog Relocation


Three years since I've relocated this blog to my new website. I've been fairly happy with the new platform, and I've been slowly moving the older posts from this site over into an archive at the new location (as of March of 2017, I've managed to move almost 9 years worth of posts over to the new site, and the process continues). The art samples are much bigger, and the interface is much cleaner and integrates directly into my personal site. New posts are now found at www.timfoley.com, with the most recent blog post on the main menu page, and various archives available under the menu bar.

09 May 2007

Steady Diet of Spots

One of the rare 'larger' pieces during the early part of May, a same day project for Newsday to commemorate the landing on Plymouth Rock (pictured above). Had to do a little research on 'pilgrim shoes', since I wanted to make this the focal point of the illustration and wanted it to look good and accurate. And my regular 'health care column' gig for the Wall Street Journal continues to keep me busy for one day of every other week, at least. This one was on 'ultrasounds', and while I wasn't crazy about using a 'found image' for the 'ultrasound screen', it looked much better than the drawn version I originally planned on using.

A lot of small spots during this time for the Wall Street Journal. The 'credit monkey on your back' illustration accompanied a chart on mounting credit debt (pictured right). The 'laundry' spot was for the same client, but I'm afraid I can't quite remember what the topic of the story was about (other than laundering shirts) (pictured below left). I really enjoy doing these tiny spots, they give you a creative workout, usually because the size is so restrictive, sometimes you are given odd sizes to work with, and trying to condense a lot of information into a single image can be quite challenging.

I really ought to get better at saving all the 'rejected ideas' that I generate on a daily basis, they would probably come in very handy further down the pike. But the real challenge would be in keeping them organized, as I've tried saving them before, and they quickly pile up into an ungainly mess of disorganization. It might be interesting to post a few in future installments as a way of comparing the 'sketch' to the 'finish'.

This rather tiny spot the right is a good example of how I sometimes have to fit an idea into a restrictive available space. This one was on brokers, and rather than try and fit an entire person into the space, or even head and shoulders, it worked out much better just using the hands to get the point across.

Another small spot for the same client during this time period. I don't quite remember what the topic of this particular one was. Getting more practice on drawing globes, this time in black and white. Using a series of layers, and manipulated parallel lines from photoshop I'm able to simulate the curvature of a sphere, and this technique I've been able to put to good use during this past year, and came in real handy in the following couple of months (both in color and in black and white).

Another of my regular clients, the Chronicle of Higher Education, handed me a spot illustration assignment, something to do with student loan improprieties, where some loan companies receive kickbacks from loan officers at schools. Always a challenge drawing the 'overweight' character. Clothes don't seem to fall the same way on them, and the facial structure is a bit more tricky. Need to do more research in the future to make these work a little better. Around this time, aside from the staid and true 'regular clientele', I also started receiving a little bit of return business from a newer client that I only started working for this year. Niche Media, a parent company of a series of 'regional publications' across the country, and they started sending me some work in more of a 'humorous vein' which allows me to stretch a little bit out of the 'scratchboard rut' that I seem to be mired in lately.

This quarter page illo for Niche gave me a chance to both practice my 'cartoon' style and also get a head start on caricatures of the then Republican front runners. The author of the editorial seemed to think that Romney was the 'best bet' at the time (and you'll notice how the 'front runner' later in the year is pictured way in the back here). The 'used car' idea wasn't particularly original, but it seemed to do the job. Also, for the same publisher (but a different publication on the other side of the country) was a tongue in cheek 'etiquette' article, for which I went back to a modified 'scratchboard' technique, though keeping the overall feel a little lighter and humorous.

The trick on this one, was that I was required to portray the author of the article based on a few photos provided by the publisher. I hope I did him justice. I always wonder what the subjects of these 'mystery portraits' think of them when they see them. I rarely ever get feedback from the authors or subjects of my illustrations - sometimes a good word from the ADs, or a note from a writer is passed on to me occasionally. I usually judge repeat business as a good indicator of how my work is going over. Sometimes I wonder though if my appeal is always how the work looks, or if other factors are coming into play (fast turnaround, reliability, cost). Living and working in a vacuum like I do, it is frequently difficult to judge what's going on outside the bubble.

06 April 2007

April Showers

Around this time, in addition to the regular bi-monthly 'health care' column for the WSJ (pictured right), I received an assignment from America magazine, a jesuit publication I've been doing a fair amount of work for over the past few years (although this would end up being one of the very few I would get this calendar year), something to do with communion and breaking bread (the exact topic escapes me). (pictured above) The nice thing about this client has always been the freedom to experiment in different styles, for instance, on this one, I played around with a combination of light washes and colored pencils, and adding different transparent layers over the whole thing to add depth (all digitally of course).

Also in the mix during this time period, were a few spot illustrations for Barrons, a publication I've been doing more and more work for this year. The piece on the left was for a story about carbon taxes - my least favorite things to draw, cars and buildings, but in this case I thought they turned out rather nice (a little research goes a long way). And the one below is yet another visit with our old cliche friends the bull and bear. This time ringing bells for some reason, a reason which has now been long forgotten.

A same day black and white assignment from Newsday came through around this time (pictured below). The topic was a story about improper teacher/student romantic relationships.

Another portrait for the Far Eastern Economic Review, a Hong Kong client, also came through around this time. More practice on both portraiture techniques, and on asian faces in general.

30 March 2007

Spring Break Mailing

Sometime around our spring break vacation, I put together a mailing postcard to go out when we got back from the trip. Recycling some recent art that I hoped would showcase a style outside of my usual scratchboard techniques, and also to push the 'spot illustration' idea, an area of my business that I felt could use a little pushing. Two of the spots were from the bi-monthly 'health column' gig that I'd been doing for years, and the others were for the same client, but different sections of the newspaper. The larger colored pencil rendering of the hand and snake was from a series of illustrations I did for a jesuit magazine earlier in the month.