I've been a full-time freelance illustrator since 1994. Stylistically, I was more of a technical illustrator when I started, doing a lot of networking diagrams, cutaways, how-to drawings and the like. I used to illustrate the user's guides for HP's entire line of deskjet printers. Over the years, my style gradually shifted. In 2004, I sent out a Christmas promo (below) that opened up a lot of doors.
It was the dawn of the "mock airplane safety card" style, and at the time, I was one of the very few doing it. I became known for this look and, to this day, still mostly do this type of work. The selling point is adding my warped sense of humor to an otherwise serious-looking style.
Several weeks ago, things came full circle. I got a call from American Airlines. They commissioned me to re-illustrate the in-flight safety cards for their entire fleet, along with US Airways and American Eagle. It's easily the biggest job of my career.
The downside is the timeframe. The goal is to have everything wrapped up (i.e. hundreds of illustrations) by the end of October (20 days from now.) Consequently, I'm turning down all other job inquiries until this project is put to bed. Speaking of bed, I've seen less of it than I'd like. There will be no days off this month. Hey, it's work! Work is good.
So, having spoofed these cards for half of my career, I'm now doing them for real. Irony is sometimes...ironic.