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Michael Sloan
January 2012
The Zen of Nimbus #2
posted:


The Zen of Nimbus #1
posted:


Political illustrations
posted:
The election season is heating up and my thoughts are turning to political illustration. Here are some published favorites:
Cover art, Weekly Standard

The dumbing-down of political speech writing. NY Times letters column.
Aftermath of an election. NY Times Letters column.
Political gridlock. The American Prospect.

Election year issues. Cover art for The New York Times regional sections.

The tenor of political talk in Washington DC. The NY Times letters column.

Has America lost its way? The NY Times letters column.

Hypocrisy in Congress. For The New York Times / nyt.com

My 2011 Top Ten Illustrations
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Here's a selection of some of my favorite illustrations and related work from the year 2011. Many thanks to all the art directors, designers and editors who I had the pleasure to work with this past year:
#10 - Investing in cities. For the JP Morgan Chase employee magazine, a long-time client. The topic inspired a vibrant city, a favorite theme of mine:
#10

#9 - Global warming and insect-borne diseases. For Yale University School of Public Health. The article begged for a frightening image and colors to compliment it:
#9

#8 - Art about the environment. For The Washington Post's Green Lantern column. I've completed over 50 of these assignments with art director Brad Walters. The topics are always interesting to me, especially those related to weather. Here's one about tornados:

How Siberian snow cover affects the severity of winters in North America:
#8

#7 - The Christian Science Monitor.
#7
 
The Monitor has become a steady client, and I always enjoy working with the art director John Kehe. The illustration above is about omnipresent scan codes.
 
The illustration to the right is about home finance and interest rates.
#6 - Professor Nimbus and the Arctic Horror.
#6

A rogue scientist, the hazards of genetic engineering and a recent trip to Scandinavia inspired this latest Professor Nimbus adventure. The setting of a scientific facility on a remote Arctic island seemed a perfect location for a sinister plot involving the breeding of carnivorous plants poised to overwhelm the planet. This comic was accepted into The Society of Illustrators 54th annual exhibit, sequential category. You can view the entire comic here.
#6

#5 - A birding adventure. For OnEarth magazine, Gail Ghezzi is the art director. A mother and daughter volunteer to take the mid-winter bird census. I enjoyed researching the bird's plumage:
#5
#4 - My Town series.
Wait 'til next year.
 
 
Although I haven't lived in NYC for ten years the city is still a tremendous source of inspiration for me. Fortunately I'm able to visit often, and when I do I always walk past the shoeshine stand at Grand Central Station pictured below.
#4 - Shine or floss?

#3 - Oil paintings. I always have a painting in process on my easel. They take up to 4 months to complete and are a nice contrast to editorial assignments with quick deadlines:
The Night Train.

My Town, based on a brush and ink illustration that appeared on The New York Times Op-Ed page in 2009.

#2 - My Venice sketchbook.

 
 
Sketches from a five-day trip to Venice, Italy in April. This trip rekindled my love for Venice and also reminded me how fun it is to travel with my children. The weather was perfect so we were able to sketch outdoors every day. You can see more sketches here.
#2

#1 - My Extraordinary Dream.

This comic is an account of an unusual dream that occurred one night this past spring. When I awoke I realized that I had to record my dream right away before I forgot any of it. I immediately went to my drawing table where the entire story poured out of me before I came downstairs for breakfast. Later I developed my sketches into this comic.
 
My Extraordinary Dream was awarded a silver medal from The Society of Illustrators 54th annual exhibit, sequential category. You can view the entire comic here.
#1

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