Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to do some work for the Hogg Foundation in Texas. Basically I was to do some illustrations for articles on mental health: they would send me an article and I would draw a picture. I did three illustrations in May and June, but they have as yet to appear anywhere as far as I know. I guess these things happen in the world of illustrations, where you do the work and get properly compensated but the images aren’t used. So I will share them here, and if I ever find out where these are used I’ll link them here accordingly.
Since I was hired because I did depression comix, I thought all the work should be done in a similar style: greyscale. Looking back I should have maybe tinted it or something, because while monotone works in depression comix they don’t really make impactful illustrations.
For the first one, I was given an article about the lack of mental health care professionals in Texas. Naturally, being completely naive about Texas I decided to do a strip about the Old West. Although my initial sketch was approved, the final version was considered inappropriate by an author of the article so I had to go back to the drawing board on this one.
I decided to simplify the idea and came up with the image of a patient on a psychiatry couch next a chair that had “Position Available”. This was a better idea and it did get approved, although I haven’t seen it anywhere as of yet.
The last image deserves some explanation. This was for an editorial against Involuntary Outpatient Commitment as it was just another way to incarcerate African-Americans, who were disproportionately the subject of it. I decided to go for it full editorial style and I think it turned out really well. My initial sketch had a judge locking up the patient but it was suggested to change it to Uncle Sam, who I was just itching to draw anyways.
In the end it was a learning experience. Illustrating articles is not that easy, especially when you’re looking for an angle for visual interest. The simpler the idea, the easier it works. Plus for a while, I was a professional illustrator, and that did wonders for my confidence.