Illustration Daily – Day 91: Nurse

It was difficult to settle on a topic to write about today. There is a lot of cool history and trivia related to nurses. For example: did you know that Walt Whitman was a nurse? And then there’s the morbid draw of killer nurses. But I thought to finish of the month of occupations it might be better to feature someone inspiring. To that end, we have Mary Mahoney, the first black woman to complete nurse’s training in 1879. Mahoney’s drive to serve went beyond just the needs of her patients. She was also an advocate for civil rights and one of the first women to register to vote. So that’s it for this month’s theme of occupations, tomorrow I’ll begin on March’s theme: Children’s Literature.

091Nurse

Nurse, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 90: Pilot

The final set of clothing for my paper doll! A printable set will be available soon! These outfits are based on Amelia Earhart, and Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock both ground-breaking women in aviation. Earhart holds the record for first solo navigation across the Atlantic Ocean though she is probably most famous for her disappearance in her attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Jerrie Mock never came close to having Earhart’s name recognition, but she did achieve the record the cost Earhart her life. In 1964 the homemaker with only 750 hours of flight time became the first woman to fly solo around the world in just shy of 30 days.

090Pilot

Pilot, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 89: Police Officer

Police officers often have to run on the job, but Paul Swan an officer from the UK, takes running to a whole new level. In 2011 he set the world record of the fastest marathon run in full police uniform in 3 hours 9 minutes and 52 seconds in a bid to raise money for cancer research. Following this feat Officer Swan began a personal challenge to run 1000 continuous days which he completed in July of last year running a total 9,312 miles.

089PoliceOfficer

Police Officer, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 88: Musician

Musicians have a reputation for wild behavior, and having a rock-star attitude certainly predates rock music. Take Mozart and his percent for vulgarities and somersaulting indoors.  But even stranger musicians have graced the smaller stage, that of the freakshow. Many sideshow performers with physical anomalies would work to develop a talent in order to add interest to their acts. Two different sets of conjoined twins Millie and Christine McKoy (billed as the Two-Headed Nightingale), and Daisy and Violet Hilton were all accomplished singers and musicians. But freakshows weren’t just home to those with deformities. They also gave a stage to those with quite unique abilities, such as the musician and comedian Joseph Pujol. Pujol, billed as Le Petomane (loosely translated – “the Fartist”), had such precise control of his bowels that he could use his rear to produce distinct notes and even play an ocarina with the aid of a hose.

088Musician

Musician, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 87: Chef

Canned pasta is mediocre at best. So it’s weird to think that the most ubiquitous brand, Chef Boyardee is the creation of an actual chef, and a good one. With the given name, Ettore “Hector” Boiardi changed his name to “Boyardee” in order help Americans achieve the proper pronunciation. Boyardee’s many achievements included running the kitchen of the Plaza Hotel at the tender age of 17, overseeing the catering for Woodrow Wilson’s second wedding, and receiving a Gold Star from the US Department of War to commend his efforts in providing rations to the troops during World War II. And what does any of that have to do with this little dragon toasting a marshmallow? Well, they’re both chefs . . . right?

087Chef

Chef, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 86: Scientist

Scientists are inquisitive by nature. Perhaps it is this innate curiosity that gives rise to the trope of the “mad scientist“. So despite all the amazing things that we learn through the efforts of scientists, it is the weird and unusual that stands out. (At least to me.) Even the fictional archetype of the mad scientist, Dr. Frankenstein, is based on a real scientist, Dr. Johann Konrad Dippel. Dippel was rumored to experiment on corpses and doggedly pursued the “elixir of life” brewing a toxic concoction of animal bones, hair, and alchemical ingredients that killed him.086Scientist

Scientist, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 85: Driver

I love urban legends so I was excited to learn that in Japan a new version of the “vanishing hitchhiker” story is beginning to be circulated amongst taxi drivers. The drivers are reporting that they are picking up fares that disappear. These ghost-passengers are claimed to be victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and in some instances inquire, “Am I dead?”. It’s a great creepy story and served as a bit of inspiration for this weird little illustration.

085Driver

Driver, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 84: Writer

More clothes for my paper doll, this time inspired by some famous writers! These outfits are patterned after the styles of Jane Austen, and Emily Dickinson. There are too many interesting things to say about these ladies so I’ll settle on the fact that both of them had a book illustrated posthumously by the Caldecott-medal winning illustrator Helen Moore Sewell.

084Writer

Writer, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 83: Lumberjack

Of course, lumberjacks are viewed as rugged and manly, though Monty Python famously took a jab at that. This reputation is hard earned. Early lumberjacks are estimated to have burned at least 7000 calories a day working, which is probably why if you order a lumberjack breakfast you’re going to receive a great deal of food. Logging is also extremely dangerous and and even today lumber workers have the highest on-the-job mortality rate (nearly 30 times higher than average). Hopefully though, the fellow in this illustration will escape the perils of his work.

083Lumberjack

Lumberjack, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 82: Hairdresser

Hooray for history! This illustration is clearly inspired by the extreme hairstyles of the 18th century. First popularized by a hairdresser called Madame Martin this towering style spread from France throughout Europe. French hairstylists maintained great popularity as they consorted with the elite and dictated the heights of style. Legros de Rumigny was named the first official hairdresser of the French court styling among others Madame de Pompadour (who inspired the hairstyle that is her namesake). Eventually de Rumigny opened Academie de Coiffure establishing the profession even more securely. Taking hair to even greater heights was Marie Antoinette’s hairdresser Leonard Autie who managed to arrange her hair into elaborate styles reaching up to four feet tall.

082Hairdresser

Hairdresser, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 81: Mechanic

When I was making the list of daily topics for this month I thought I was going to illustrate a car mechanic for today. But honestly, I don’t know anything about cars. I don’t even own one. So today we have a bike mechanic, because I love bikes. This one is inspired by my good friend Jes (who I also love) over at MJ’s Cyclery in San Diego. Bike mechanics are awesome, want proof? Visit your local bike shop or consider that Orville and Wilber Wright were bike mechanics before they ever built their gliders and airplanes. (P.S. Sorry this one was late . . . I opted for a full night of sleep.)

081Mechanic

Mechanic, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 80: Librarian

Besides home, the library is one of my favorite places to be. It should come as no surprise then that I have a great fondness for librarians. Librarians are great at helping you find just the right book or resource, and if they don’t have just the thing for you, they might write it. Jacob Grimm, Lewis Carroll, and Beverly Clearly all worked as librarians. And there are plenty more librarians that have contributed to society and culture. (I think being around all those books just stimulates creativity.)

080Librarian

Librarian, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 79: Doctor

By popular request, here is more clothing for my paper doll, this time she’s dressing as a doctor. So, it seems a good time to talk about the first female doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell. Blackwell received her medical degree from the Geneva Medical College in 1849. On receiving her application the faculty put the decision of Blackwell’s admittance up to a vote, believing that the all-male student body would reject the idea of a woman studying alongside them. As a joke, the students voted ‘yes’, and Blackwell was allowed to attend. After she graduated, Blackwell proved that her abilities were no joke: treating patients, writing books, and ultimately establishing an infirmary and medical college for women.

079Doctor

Doctor, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 78: Janitor

Because I love neatness, but hate cleaning I truly appreciate the work that janitors and other building cleaners do. Occasionally though a janitor can be too good at their job, just last year an installation that mimicked the leaving of a boozy party in an Italian museum was tossed out by cleaning staff. And that isn’t even the first time that artwork has been mistaken for refuse. On the other side of the coin there are cases of janitors that are also artists (like the one pictured here). I highly encourage you to check out the work of Henry Darger, and Gataro both real janitors that created truly interesting bodies of work in their off-hours.

078Janitor

Janitor, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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Illustration Daily – Day 77: Actor

I had to do Hamlet for my actor today, it’s just so iconic. But, of course, I had to balance out the drama somehow. Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet has attracted a slew of famous actors to play its title role over its 400-year history, including: Edwin Booth, Sir Laurence Olivier, David Tennent, and Jude Law. However, the complexity of the Prince of Denmark has also attracted women to the role. The first woman to play Hamlet was Sarah Siddons, an 18th century actress who took on the role for the first time in the later half of the 1790s. Her groundbreaking performance in the role paved the way for other women such as Sarah Bernhardt and Maxine Peake.

077Actor

Actor, 5″x5″, ink, and watercolor on illustration board

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