I’ve been working with illustrator David Cowles longer than almost anyone I know. We started working together when I was a peanut art director at the Village Voice in the late 80s, and he was just starting his illustration career while still working as an art director at the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle newspaper. David has contributed to just about every magazine I’ve worked at, including a memorable weekly series at Entertainment Weekly and a cover for Fortune's 75th anniversary issue, among many highlights. I've followed his family's growth on David's brilliant annual Beatles LP cover homage Xmas cards, and we connect with each other just about every day through Facebook and Tumblr. We even did a joint online series a couple years ago commemorating the female celebrity crushes of our youth. In the late 90s I was working at Details and we were enthusiastically ripping off every vintage cultural design we could find and re-imagining it for the magazine. One day a couple big boxes showed up unannounced in the mail. Inside was a treasure trove of vintage delights: LPs, paperback books, posters, toys, games, 8-tracks, auto maps, pamphlets, and many more graphic delights, all of them pulled from David’s extensive personal archives (aka his basement) and sent to help inspire the Details staff to higher heights of retro glory.
David’s illustrative talents are too great to fit into a tiny Facebook space, so I’ll just say that he’s a master at everything he does, whether it’s his brilliantly original portraiture, his ability to mimic anything stylistically, or his amazing animations (my kids have spent many hours watching his They Might Be Giants videos). And he’s also a heck of an art director and designer! I’m honored that David has contributed three illustration prints to the Friends of Bob Newman online benefit auction, including one portrait of me. You can bid on his super cool illustration of The Beatles here.
Thanks to David and everyone else who has donated artwork to the Friends of Bob Newman auction. The bidding deadline is June 11.