Thursday, December 31, 2020


Another of my complex educational illustrations was the above piece which was featured in a spread in NEA Today, the magazine of The National Educational Association.  For this piece, I was contacted by Jay Groff of Groff Creative, a terrific design studio that produces the magazine.  Jay had seen an illustration I did years ago for a series of McGraw-Hill adult education books called "Short Cuts" on my page at the apparently now defunct, and wanted something similar for an article on how the results of the mid-term elections could impact schools.  

This was once again an intricate illustration depicting all of the classes, departments, and issues that could be cut or diminished if the wrong candidates were elected. Funding for libraries, art classes, cafeterias, transportation, and much more was at stake. There were many details to include, from the school nurse's facilities to a transgender restroom. I managed to include some cameo appearances by family and friends, including my oft-depicted friend Dave Leblanc (seen here in a very old Niles Nemo adventure) and my wonderful High School art teacher Frank Petronzio. Once again, the results were a success. NEA Today Magazine can be accessed here: As always, click on the images to see the larger version.


Actually, it was more like Oxford came to me. On a few occasions over the years, I've had the pleasure of producing art for Oxford University Press. Sometimes, that has happened through the auspices of design studios. Last time around, I was  contacted by Blue Bamboo Studios, a London firm that was packaging an educational textbook for Oxford. The art was an approximately 2/3 page image featuring a whole lot of goings-on in a shopping mall. One of the major points of the lesson was demonstrating proximity. Stores and mall-goers needed to be shown directly across from, or next to, or above other shops, restaurants, etc., even including an ice skating rink full of skaters. So, to that end, I decided it would be necessary to eschew my usual oblique perspective approach, which I usually use when showing large complex scenes and use parallel perspective instead. That way there would be no confusion as to what was where in relationship to everything else. I plotted out the perspective in blue line before penciling the finished sketch, which is something I very rarely do. As you can see from the illustration above, there was a lot of detailed information to fit into the scene, and I spent a lot of time tightening up the signage to make it as legible as possible. Friends and family made their usual cameo appearances. I missed angling the vertices like I usually do, but everyone was quite pleased with the results. I was paid in Pounds, and once again fancied myself a Rhodes Scholar, having tended to, if not attended, Oxford University!