My First Real Foray into Illustration

Posted by on Mar 3, 2013 in Blog | One Comment

My first paid illustration gig came in 2008, a full 12 years after my 9th grade art teacher told me that I could be the next Charles van Sandwyk. For some reason however, I never found the time to really put myself out there. Art was never practical. When you tell your parents that you’re going to do art for a living, there is a very good chance that one or both will tell you to bury your dreams and become an accountant.  So I studied science… which in time would lead me to the field of Medical Illustration.

One thing that I did learn in the meantime was that the old adage, it’s not what you know but who you know, is unfortunately a very real phenomenon. In 2008 I did know someone and so began an 8 month love affair with chalk pastels.

For the uninitiated, a typical chalkboard illustration is completed by hand, usually very quickly and in chalk pastel. My primary method was as follows:

1. Consult with the client
2. Draw a rough design on paper
3. Prime the chalkboard with a new layer of chalkboard paint (allow it to dry).
4. Rough in the basic forms with white conte crayon
5. Apply chalk pastels… this method works best if you do it the night before.

Oh and one more thing… it get’s very dusty. An excellent work around for this is to use a shopvac to clean up the excess pigment.

Some of the work seems a little rough to me now, but I remember being very proud of it:

My first work!

My first work!









And the last one I ever did… I’m most proud of this one. I think I was finally getting the hang of handwriting the typography and I managed to incorporate my sense of humour into the thing.


One last thing… A big shout-out to Dale and Julia Cedar my supportive room-mates in Nelson BC. You guys kept me going. Man that was a long winter… Texas is a little more hospitable.

1 Comment

  1. Heidi
    March 6, 2013

    Art and Science go together. The Egyptians and Leonardo daVinci would definitely agree.
    My parents told me not to major in Art because I would end up a “loser”. I went to school at first to become a nurse. I saw the Art in the human body.. Anatomy was fascinating and so intimidating to understand. I have much respect for science. I still ended up getting my Bachelors degree in Art because I can’t handle needles. Art helps people express themselves and in that way I can help people by teaching them about Art and Science.
    I have not really experimented with chalk pastels. I am inspired now to use them after looking at your artwork 🙂


Leave a Reply