Hogg Foundation Work

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

3 comments

    Congratulations on becoming a professional illustrator! I remember how I felt the first time I saw a magazine article published with my name on it. It broke through the fog and really boosted my confidence for awhile. I also had a bittersweet experience last year along those lines. 20 years ago I built custom pistols for a living. Last year I ran across one I built in an auction and it sold for almost $3000. My youngest brother tried to buy it but dropped of the bidding when it passed $2000. I felt some pride that somebody thought my work was worth that much, but felt even more a feeling of broken aspirations and loss that I am not able to do that anymore. I actually lived it Texas for 2 years and I really like your old west panel. I think the concept really works. All three are good and are well thought out concepts. Thank you for sharing some of your other works. Keep up the good work, It helps to see someone pursuing their dream and finding success.

    FML | 11 months ago Reply

      Forgot to mention that I had not even heard of Involuntary Outpatient Commitment, but I am not surprised by it. The largest provider of mental health services in the U.S. is the Los Angeles County Jail. That tells you everything you need to know about the current state of mental health care here.

      FML | 11 months ago Reply

      I kinda know how that feels. When I had given up on drawing someone came to me asking me to buy my originals, and I wondered why anyone would want to buy something that failed so much. But it did get me drawing again, and five years later here I am. So I hope you find that same inspiration.

      clay | 11 months ago Reply

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