Saturday, March 07, 2009

Cavalcade of Food & Restaurant Review Illustrations

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In these really hard times I am so grateful to have 2 restaurant review columns to illustrate each week. For the past 7 1/2 years I've illustrated more than 1000 newspaper columns for both The Miami New Times and also The Broward/West Palm Beach New Times in Florida. Thank God for Pam and Michael Shavalier for always keeping me as the illustrator of those columns. I've had to draw everything from sushi to pizza to crawfish to vegetarian dishes and the entire gamut in between. Asian fusion, to french bistro...The corner Deli to very high end cuisine. Half of the dishes I haven't a clue about. I have no idea what they look like and taste like. I usually google to find it or check to see if the restaurant has a website. Sometimes I just focus on the atmosphere and the overall experience. All in all, I do love illustrating for a regular column. Over the years I have illustrated for 13 newspaper columns and some end early and some last a very long time. When I illustrated for Joe Bob Brigg's column "Joe Bob's America", it ran for 10 years and went from Creators Syndicate to the New York Times Syndicate. Sadly, the NY Times Syndicate had no idea how to promote a humorous column like Joe Bob's and they ended it after a 10 year run. they only had it for I think about 2 years. I've also illustrated for an astrology column, a psychotherapy column and a DIY column. But as time wears on, I worry about the newspaper industry and as cartoons get cut, and the fat gets trimmed so they can stay alive, I worry that the columnists will lose their columns and I'll get dropped along with them. My fingers are crossed that newspapers will make the transition to the internet and find a way to survive and eventually thrive.


Lori B said...

I have often wondered about newspapers and the longevity of them. I don't personally read the paper, but I go online to read. I hope to, as I have a good friend whom is a journalist, that things transition to an online base. They have even started moving some aspects of The Leo online, which makes it fun I think. Awesome artwork BTW...Lori

Joe Rocco said...

It's been a scary year for some of my clients as well as for myself, because many have lost their jobs. The art department is one of the areas that get cut first to save the paper money. I hope newspapers can transition to an online subscriber base, but I'm not so sure how that would work since people read their news for free at so many sites like Google news or Yahoo news. But, those online news sites aren't very solid journalistic news sites. Many cartoonists have been cut from the alternative papers, like Life in Hell, and Ernie Pook's Comeek among others. Syndicates are cutting back on their newspaper clients too. I'm curious to see how The Kindle at Amazon sells and if people do subscribe to the NY Times on that device. If that works, then maybe there is a future for newspapers in the cyber world.

hawk krall said...

yeah I lost a regular column gig few months ago.
now we just have to convince art directors to pay freelancers for web content instead of just lifting something from flickr. anyway-
I never knew you did all that food stuff, looks great!

Joe Rocco said...

I get some money for web content, but the rates are really small. Thanks for commenting on my blog post Hawk. I see you've done a whole lot of great food illustrations too. I'm sorry to hear about your column being cut. I've been through that quite a bit and I fear it happening right now, since I'm watching so many of many regular clients fall one by one.

I'm gonna go check out your bloggie!