I will attempt to contain my excitement while writing this post but if you know me then you know that working for ESPN, The Magazine, has been a dream client of mine for as long as I’ve been an illustrator.
The first issues I ever bought came when Michael Jordan was in his last year as a Chicago Bull. I remember one issue chronicled Jordan’s playing career and his impact on the game, illustrating the article with full page art by some great illustrators. I forgot about that issue for a few years until I was in school for illustration. I remember mentioning it to one of my teachers who replied, “I should have been in that issue!”
Then not too long ago while living in Brooklyn, I was living half a block away from Walgreen’s. Every week or two I’d check in to see if they had a new issue of ESPN and I’d flip through to see what illustrators has work in the issue.
It is definitely a career highlight, one name marked off on my Dream Client List and one of my favorite assignments of 2012.
So, here are a few portraits I worked on for them of some former sports stars. I was asked to portray them during specific times in their careers (and not smiling).