The New York Times Illustration Portfolio Review 2023

The New York Times Illustration Portfolio Review 2023

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The Reluctant Illustrator

My Inner-Cactus trying to fit in.

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Reluctance has an illustrious history.

The Reluctant...


Such a lot of reluctance – and with good reason – It's crazy out there!

I'm in good company.

In early 2021, I signed up for Seth Godin's The Creative Workshop for a creative boost. I had signed up on a whim, with not a shred of a plan, a bit reluctantly. On day one, I made a little sketch as a response to a comment about 'embracing the prickly parts of ourselves' or perhaps it was something about finding 'comfort with that inner discomfort'.

My first sketch in Seth Godin's The Creatives Workshop

I found myself drawing a response to another post, and the same again and soon enough I was wearing the hat of an illustrator, a chronicler of the observed, reflecting the world back through the hall of mirrors that is my mind... and the feedback loop of eye/hand/pen. I was enchanted by the simplicity, immediacy and minimalism – I threw my hat into the ring.

Like Alice, falling down the rabbit hole, I had come to this curious new place by falling in sideways. A hundred days later I was deep in the terrain and my reluctance had become just another cheerfully prickly companion at The Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

Many of these illustrations (approx. 50 here) are drawn from writing – things read, and things written. Some are drawn from observation, some from the stray reflections of the prisms of the mind – and some are simply figments.

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The Long Road

Inspired by: "A Bend in the River" by V. S. Naipaul. 1979

Inspired by "Swimming Against Time, Ignoring the Finish Line", NY Times, By Alexander Carlisle, Published Dec. 12, 2020.

Inspired by "Small Car" by The Legendary Marvin Pontiac

Inspired by "What a Tiny Masterpiece Reveals About Power and Beauty" NY Times, by Jason Farago, April 2, 2021

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Things in my Head

Inspired by: "An Ode to Low Expectations", by James Parker, The Atlantic, March 2021

Inspired by the song "Here", by David Byrne

States of mind.

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Impostor Syndrome (and donuts)

Donut encounters impostor syndrome

Donut and Bagel get acquainted.

Flat Earthers and Sphere-ists find common ground in the shape of a donut.

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Being enterprising

Nothing like...

Keeping things on the down-low

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Maxims (yes, the bakery on Keefer Street)

Inspired by: "The Story of the Blue Snow", by Oceanvs Orientalis

A writer's workbench.

Half full. Half empty.

Inspired by: Timothy Morton: What If Art Were a Kind of Magic?, Art Review


Gucci vs. Fennel as a meme?

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Non-Human Beings

Weed whistles softly in the crack of a sidewalk.

A takeaway from Italo Calvino's Six Memos for the Next Millennium

All that scratching is making me itch.

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A comment on burning Banksy, and the NFT debacle

No place like home.

Sketches for an incomplete (as yet) video project on Laurie Anderson's Oh Superman

sketch for Laurie Anderson's Oh Superman

Sketches for an incomplete (as yet) video project on Laurie Anderson's Oh Superman

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A badge for 100 days.

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Alrighty then! Let's have some cake and tea!

The Mad Hatter's Layer Cake

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Or some refreshing bubbly water!

Thanks for scrolling this far!