Ivan the Taciturn

Robo Call

P is For Politics.

La Gatta’s Lovely Ladies

I knew John La Gatta. Ok, knew might not be exactly the right word. But I was in the same room with him on a number of occasions. I was a greenhorn student at The Art Center School in Los Angeles in the early sixties, fresh out of high school and had delusions of becoming […]

The Art of Cakes and Pies: Famous Illustrators

Famous illustrators rendered mouth-watering art of cake and pies in glorious color. In the early part of the last century, almost all food advertising had to use art work, not photography. Color photography produced dark images that were not suitable for the printed page. Hams, canned vegetables and fruits and especially baked goods were illustrated […]

James Williamson: The Second Arrow Shirt Man

Everyone remembers Joseph Leyendecker’s square-jawed Arrow Shirt Man. He was an American icon through the Roaring Twenties. Leyendecker’s illustrations became a distinctive image representing the country’s prosperous Jazz Age. However, with American economy in the midst of the Great Depression in the early 30s, manufacturer Cluett Peabody began a new ad campaign for Arrow based […]

Peter Helck: Trucking On

The illustrator Peter Helck was known for his masterful renderings of machinery, especially trucks, cars, trains and aircraft. When he was a boy in New York City around 1900 he would watch steam locomotives near Grand Central Station. That lead to a life-long fascination with engines and machinery. He became a commercial artist, but his […]

Decorative Food Art of Rene Clarke

Nobody drew and painted food like Rene Clarke. He joined the advertising firm of Caulkins and Holden in 1912, where he remained for 44 years. He became Art Director and served the last 7 years as President.  While his given name was James Alfred Clarke, he admired a French artist by the name of Rene […]

Austin Briggs: His Advertising Illustrations

The artist Austin Briggs was rightly celebrated for his masterly editorial illustrations for magazines through the 1940s and 50s. His art drew the reader right into the stories with a sense of drama and anticipation, like a good movie trailer. Somewhat ignored is the advertising work he did for clients like American Airlines, General Motors […]

Artists who illustrated in the CEREAL WARS

Advertisers put illustrators to work painting adults and mostly children scarfing down all kinds of grains in all kinds of shapes. The idea of pouring milk on a bowl of cereal was a convenient and appealing answer to the problem of breakfast. Here’s some of the artists who succeeded in making it an everyday fixture […]

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