April showers bring May flowers... as well as some interesting illustration opportunities.
And since it's spring cleaning time, I figured it's a good time to dust off some files.
So here's a sampling of recent work, as well as some related images from the archives.
Depicting more of a downpour than a shower, this illustration was created just a few weeks ago for a consulting firm's report that examined the deluge of consumer-focused digital advertising, and how one might find escape from it.
Another illustration hot off the press, this was done for the cover page of the LA Times Spring Arts 2018 section—the paper's calendar of upcoming arts events that includes stage, music, dance, and other performances. The patterns on the butterflies' wings are formed from musical notation symbols... notes, clefs and rests.
2018 wasn't my first time illustrating the LA Times Spring Arts cover. Here's one from 2016, which was adapted from a book cover I'd previously done.
Spring is a time for renewal, recovery and growth, and that was the theme I was focused on for a Johns Hopkins' magazine article on peer support for doctors who've faced traumatic incidents—for example the death of a patient or a misdiagnosis leading to an unfavorable outcome. The program is comprised of a volunteer network of doctors whose main goal is to listen to fellow doctors and clinicians who've experienced such trauma, and who, in the absence of such a program felt compelled to keep their feelings to themselves. The mask represents their silence, while the growth—subtly connected to both ears—suggests their healing. I did a cover plus one inside illustration for the magazine, which is not yet published (honoring my client's first-time publishing rights, I cannot yet post those images); this is an unpublished illustration that I created from one of the sketches that was not selected.
Seeds of Success
Spring is also a time for planting. This is a recent piece which I did for the National Labor Federation's annual theme-based calendar. The theme: how migrant workers can help themselves climb out of the cycle of abuse and poverty. The calendar image is a pro-bono job I've done for many, many years for the organization, joining a dozen other illustrators each year who contribute artwork.
"Cherry Blossom Festival"
If you're anywhere near DC, spring arrives hand in hand with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Not long ago I was honored to do the poster for the festival. This image met with a lot of success, including the Society of Illustrators annual show.
Umbrellas are designed to keep your head dry in the event of a downpour, but they can also come in handy as a metaphor in a pinch. I try to use well-worn metaphors sparingly, and when I do, my goal, always, is to take the "instant read" a metaphor's language provides and modify it with a unique element or twist. Failsafe was created for the American Society for Industrial Security. The article dealt with a type of "failsafe" data protection system, which is designed to download and protect data in the unlikely event a breach.
The Lawn Guy
An experimental piece I did for myself after spending several seasons watching a local fellow who mowed the neighbor's grass every week. He sported a precision flat-top, which seemed to perfectly mirror the lawn he had just finished mowing.
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Michael Glenwood Illustration 3018 Floyd Avenue, Richmond, VA 23221 703.502.3400