The Illustration Conundrum

by Omatic Design

AS I WORK to get momentum on my new site, I run up against what I’ve done and how to represent it. This is a vexing résumé issue: I have admittedly been and even represented myself as an illustrator.

It’s something I’ve always done in the course of my work, an extension of the creative pursuit. Sometimes it’s straight commission, sometimes an extra somethin’-somethin’ I bring to the table. But I’ve always been uncomfortable with the greenhorn-ish implication, “I’m a designer…and an illustrator!” If I was the client, I’d roll my eyes. Then hang up.

I never planned to be an illustrator proper. I thought of it as an engaging disciplinary and monetary supplement to my core skill set. I love it, mind you. I’ve done some lovely advertising work and editorial (even for the New York Times, one of my proudest moments). And the conceptual exercise of creating illustration is a singular thrill. It’s a fabulous skill to have when comping, and has led me to be more adept at constructing type and creating standalone graphics. And I surely hope to be asked to do it again. It’s part of the rich creative stew. But sometimes you gotta focus on the potatoes.

So I keep it on the side streets. It’s not in my book, except for a couple of pieces that include my “drawrins”. I’ve posted a couple here already and I believe I’ll continue to do so.

What can I say? I enjoy them. They consistently amuse me as if I wasn’t the illustrator, just a viewer dropping by.