I help you do what you do.

You work hard to provide an excellent product. I’ll work with you to accomplish that goal. I illustrate storytelling, editorial, and educational materials. I offer a range of styles with an emphasis on fun, kid-friendly art. I work as a freelance illustrator with publishers, designers and product developers across the United States, mostly for the juvenile market. I do grown-up art as well. I’ll do my best to help you do your best.

I’m located in St. Louis, MO and work nationwide. Contact Me or call 314.504.3478.

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314-504-3478

11820 Tesson Ferry Rd. #205
St. Louis, MO 63128

Art and Whimsy

07/05/2015

Crouching Tiger, Talking Penguin

 

Tony the Tiger © Kellog Cereal

Tony the Tiger

© Kellog Company

Are Saturday morning cartoons still popular? In my youth they were the indispensable kick off to the  weekend reprieve from reading, writing, and arithmetic. My earliest visual and narrative memories are cartoons. Perhaps like you, I have a catalogue of favorites. I curate this list by category: Funny, Really Funny, Low Brow Funny, Sophisticated Funny, Well Drawn, Uniquely Drawn, Goofily Drawn, etc. etc. The earliest I remember was Tom Terrific. Tom was drawn in simple line art. He had a funnel on his head and a pet named Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog. Manfred (mighty, though he was) seemed to sleep a lot, with all four legs sticking straight up in the air, which I found quite funny. I loved Tom and Manfred. They get categorized as Goofily Drawn.

Very high on my list is Rocky and Bullwinkle.  Jay Ward’s whole cartoon kit and kaboodle was packed with Sherman and Mr. Peabody, Fractured Fairytales, and Aesop’s Fables. The main gig involved Rocky (a flying squirrel) and Bullwinkle (a moose), companions who lived in Frostbite Falls, MN and who were, for various reasons, regularly set upon by the unsavory Boris and Natasha Badinoff, archetypical cold war nemeses.  Routine were bowling ball shaped fuse bombs, cold war destructive devices and cliff hanger serial episodes. They’re organized under Really Funny, Goofily Drawn, Sophisticated Funny and Low Brow Funny, all at the same time. Such was their genius.

Another personal favorite was not actually a cartoon show, but a cartoon commercial. Tony the Tiger was the spokes-cat for Kellog’s Sugar Frosted Flakes. There have been many iterations of Tony, and as time went on Tony became more and more a typical cartoon animal. My Tony the Tiger was created by Eugene Kolkey for the Leo Burnett Agency. He was not a cute cat so much as a hep cat with a 1950’s  jazz vibe. The Tony of my youth was very graphic, with an anglular face drawn in a chalky kind of style. His body stripes were stenciled onto a rough orange coat with considerable confidence. This early Tony the Tiger did, and still, guides my artistic sensibility, along with those Byzantine mosaics from last week’s post. Well Drawn is his category.

As I grew into adolescence, Tennessee Tuxedo became a favorite. I mentioned in an earlier post that the whimsy of the penguin has always brought me great delight. Make a penguin talk, have him wear a fedora, and give him an “uncomplicated” walrus friend, and you’ve got my attention. Tennessee and Chumley (the uncomplicated walrus), would regularly leave the Megapolis Zoo, venture into society, and invariably fall into some situation which necessitated going to Phineas J. Whoopee, the reigning authority on everything. Phineas J. Whoopie provided the educational moment that fed my mind as the frosted flakes sated my appetite. He was, as Tennessee would always proclaim, a genius.

There is a long history of cartoons being joined to education. My illustration career is built on making art for story books and curriculum. From the earliest days of cartooning, there has been realized value in using light, whimsical, memorable images to get and keep the attention of children. I’m honored to be a part of that tradition and am really glad that humor is not at odds with the serious business of education.

So these are some of my favorite childhood cartoons, what are yours? If you go to my home page you can click Contact Me and share yours. You may help me remember some long forgotten. I thank you in advance.

 

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