One of my favorites things to do is create characters for branding or mascot purposes. This is the area where I consider myself to have a unique
expression. Many of my characters have been used as the centerpiece of a campaign or identified with product. My first character was a basset hound named "Spencer." He was used for an ongoing recycling campaign for the greater Cincinnati area.
Another character is "Buster" the bus. He is being used by the Cincinnati Metro to communicate with children through a variety of promotional avenues. "Super Sudsy" is a character I created for a school program promotion for Safeguard Soap and Pert Plus for Kids. This was a series of educational materials done through a Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Nortlich, Stolley, Lawarre. "Super Sudsy" was a big bubble character with a cape who fights off the evil germs and bacteria. This was used to teach children good hygiene.
The campaign with "Spencer" has been highly successful. We used him in print, billboards, television, and radio, among other things. Children and
adults really love him. I would say that is a common occurrence with my characters. They are timeless and have lasting appeal.
Illustrating greeting cards is what I did first after graduating from Miami
University. Gibson Greetings hired and trained me to be a humorous
illustrator on a freelance basis in 1976. I really loved this period working
with Gibson Greetings. I learned a tremendous amount, which is the
foundation for what I'm doing today.
Three years there, I branched off and did cards for other companies
including, Current Greeting Cards and Amberley Card. This led to creating my
own line of cards. The cards are based on a thirty-something female character named "Zelda."
Doing greeting cards gave me a great opportunity to explore and develop my style. I still use greeting cards as a key reference source and inspiration for new ideas and techniques.
This is where the bulk of my business has come from over the last few years. My style works with children's products to create a simple sophisticated adult look. I've been used for projects ranging from ads and
direct mail campaigns, to packaging and television. I've worked for Pampers and Puffs Tissue as well as Chili Tortillas One of my favorite projects was doing a twenty page children's book for Proctor & Gamble's Pampers Diapers.
Children's books are an area I have always enjoyed. My style lends itself well to the children's market and doing books in this area is a natural
expression for me. Over the years I've done a total of four completed children's books. My first one was for Standard Publishing in Cincinnati,
which was geared toward a religious subject matter. I also did two books for a former Chicago publisher named Children's Press. One was titled "Fast Draw Freddie" and the other was "Pancakes, Crackers and Pizza" won a
couple of awards. The last book I have illustrated was a small counting book for Pampers Diapers. It was included in a direct mail campaign as a bonus
item. This was a counting book for very young children that distinguishes between wet and dry items. It is one of my best pieces of work.