Tuesday, October 2, 2012


A few months back, I was contracted to do a wraparound cover for UNO Magazine, the alumni journal for the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  It was a complex project, as the art was not only to be used as the front and back covers, but sections of the illustration were to be utilized as interior spots accompanying a number of articles and features.  Several buildings and landmarks from the UNO campus needed to be depicted on the front cover, and slice-of-life scenes would be interspersed throughout the piece.  All in all, a few dozen specs were assembled into one large cityscape scene.  Of particular importance was the style of rendering.  The Design Director of  The Emspace Group, the remarkable Heidi Mihelich, UNO Mag designer extraordinaire, requested I draw all of the characters in this somewhat fanciful Omaha as humanized animals, reminiscent of Richard Scarry's children's books, particularly the very busy "What Do People Do All Day?".  I employed my usual cartoon line art style with color tones and textures added digitally.  It was great fun creating the animal characters.  I chose to stick mainly with mammals and generally naturalistic, human-like proportions to clearly depict the intricate interactions.

Included above are a small image of the entire cover, including areas that were covered up by the logo and mailing address graphics, larger versions of the front and back covers, and a couple of large details to better show the line quality and textures.  All for your viewing pleasure!  The entire issue, including the cover, of course, can now be seen online as a flipbook or a free downloadable PDF file at the UNO Magazine website.  Many thanks to Heidi for finding me at my PictureBook gallery and for her invaluable help with this massively complex visual project.  In closing, here is the image from a 1995 book cover I drew that inspired the whole thing.  As always, click on each image to see a larger version.

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