Car Show

More from the archive; a magazine illustration done while living in JAPAN, for a story about the TOKYO CAR SHOW (in ball-point pen and water colour).

The article claimed that the prestigious CAR OF THE YEAR award was won not on the merits of the car itself but on how much money was spent in the media campaign to win the award.


I used to do illustration as a side job while still working in the animation industry and I kept it up for several years, mainly because, back then, I didn’t think my animation career was going to last. Almost from the day I began working in animation, it appeared that the business itself was done for. All the older artists said so, and it was hard to disagree when looking at the quality of the work that was being done; not just by us, but at the best studios in the world.

Of course, a few years later everything turned around. We started to see things like THE FAMILY DOG, ROGER RABBIT and then the renaissance of DISNEY, which led to the founding of Dreamworks, Pixar and a host of other successful studios. But before that happened, I had to think what I would do if, as everyone was predicting, the biz was not going to last. And illustration was my PLAN-B.

I started doing small illustration jobs while still living in Sydney and continued, even when living in Asia. In Tokyo, I had a few magazines that I would do spot illustrations for each month and I really looked forward to those assignments because, as I said, the quality of the animation I worked on back then was not very good. The illustration assignments were my chance to have some fun.

These days I channel most of that extra energy into pottering about with personal projects but I sometimes think about doing some illustration again someday…

3 thoughts on “Car Show”

  1. Ironically, it’s the illustration field that seems to be on it’s last legs these days. It’s been slowly disappearing as a profession since the start of the 60’s. Certainly, the the best work in the field was mostly done by that time. So now, if a kid has drawing chops, he will probably use those skills in the animation field, or other parts of the film or game industry. Sad that there will never be another Dean Cornwell or Robert Fawcett. Perhaps the digital book thing will find the value of drawn images and blossom into a field that hires lots of artists, but I don’t see that coming for a while. As it is, print illustration seems dead.

    On the upside that is a sweet illustration! Love the economy of line on the girls!

    • I know what you mean, Benton. It is astonishing to open ANY magazine from before 1960 and goggle at the quality of the drawing, done by artists who are NOT famous, let alone those who we know.

  2. At the same time there are still tons and tons of children’s books, illustrated books for kids, and adult illustrated covers (although the adult crowd illustration book cover market seems slim). The audience seems to respond well to graphic novels and elaborate comics, and yes, lots of artists end up working in film and games. It is true we don’t see illustrations in magazines very much anymore, but that might be in part because print illustration on the whole is diminishing due to online and apps demand. I think illustration will move there as well.

    And certainly mobile applications and games is on the rise. Lots of opportunity for work there at the moment.


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