Posts Tagged ‘Illustration’


Before the internet most illustrators collected reference images ,usually cut from magazines, which were put in categories. I have five five drawer file cabinets of reference folders of many things. I started this reference collection in the 1960’s. I’m beginning to throw these cut out images away. I decided to share some of these images on my blog. This page contains magazine advertisements from the 1960’s that showed women working in an office as a secretary before computers.I was an illustrator at a Maritz Motivation Company in the 1970’s. I remember scenes like this. I think when I started working at Maritz in 1969 there were two woman artists and one African American male artist.


The latest technology in the 1960’s-1970’s


This is a “clip art” drawing of a secretary from the 1960’s. I have never liked this style of illustration. I think it has come back into favor .


Book cover design and concept by Carolyn Dyess, Illustration by John Dyess

This book cover was a joint project with both John and Carolyn. St. Louis author and  therapist, Doris Wild Helmering, employed the couple to visually represent her creation, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World”.  The E-book is now available on Amazon and iTunes. John did his iconic black graphic line work and texture to render the darkling beetle. Carolyn came up with the “world” map idea coming through the body of the beetle, and designed the bold typography that pulls the whole cover together. The variance in size, case and color, using the ever dependable Helvetica Black Condensed, with the black pseudo drop shadow, “contains” the bug from escaping off the page.

John did 6 full color illustrations of various bugs and worms used as vignette art throughout the chapter openings of the book. Those illustrations will be featured individually in upcoming blog posts.

For more information about Doris Wild Helmering visit:


Illustration of pirates by John Foster Dyess,1970.s

I created this illustration while employed as an artist at Maritz Motivation Company. I don’t remember the name of the client. I believe this illustration was created in 1976,or 1977. I had several Maritz artist pose as pirates. The illustration  is  pen and ink and water based paint. The map was printed on a black and white copy machine , hand colored and glued on the illustration.  The pirate chest and money were copied on a color copy machine  from a book, cut out and glued on the illustration. Copy machines in the 1970’s and 1980’s ,for me, were a great tool. Now I would work traditionally on part of the illustration and then add the map, money and chest on a layer in Photoshop.


map detail from pirate illustration


pirate chest and coins detail from pirate illustration.



travel illustration  by John Foster Dyess 1974

For the next few days I’m going to be posting illustrations I created before I began using a computer. Most of these illustrations were created while I was employed as an illustrator at Maritz Motivation Company. I will be talking about techniques I used that were the latest  technology in the 1970’s .
I purchased my first personal computer, a MAC Quadra 650, in April 27, 94. The total cost of the computer, software, printer and cables was $5,975. I think the monitor screen was about 10″.

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 9.07.51 PM

Macintosh Quadra 650 was introduced in February 1993.



detail 1 of London Illustration.

I wanted to combine a painting of musicians with a photograph. I painted on a photograph. This was before photoshop which speeds up the process when combining illustrations and photographs.


detail 2 from London illustration

This detail is an example of a technique I used in the 1970’s. I think this was a 3M product. I found images of English history in books and made high contrast black photostats. I sent the photostats to a service bureau  which took the black and white images and using a photo process placed an emulsion of the black and white images on a sheet of clear acetate. This emulsion could be colored with ink. I laid the hand colored acetate over my illustration. My illustration was photographed with the acetate over it by a offset print company. This was used as a poster and on the cover of a direct mail brochure that was  sent to participants of a sales incentive program, for a company called British Leyland


“puzzle? ” a digital collage design by John Foster Dyess

I have been a professional illustrator for over fifty years creating illustrations for corporations,design studios, magazines and text books.I have been a adjunct teacher at
Washington University from 1975 until 1980 and since 1997 I have taught at St.Louis Community College at Meramec.  For the past 15 years I have been creating art
that is not for a client or even to sell, but for the joy of creating.
Here is the step by step process  that I took to create”puzzle”.


I have a collection of things that I save to use in traditional and digital collage designs. This project started out with this crossword puzzle that I found in local newspaper. I had also saved a sticker page after my grand children had used all of the stickers that were in a circle format.


I liked the circle shapes that remained after the stickers were removed. I had an idea to create a design using the squares of the crossword puzzle and the circles of the sticker page.


I scanned the crossword puzzle and the sticker circles and placed them on layers in the software Photoshop. I added this texture from a file of textures I have created to use in collage designs. I placed this in the document that I had originally titled “circles and squares”.


I merged the crossword puzzle and circles and selected words from the puzzle to highlight in color using the brush in photoshop. I combine words when I look at the design,and I hope you chose your own words to make a phase. This design has more meaning to me with what is happening in the United States recently than it did when I created it in 2012.

In 2012 I was signing my personal art with the name JoDye.

Read with Me

Literacy art by Tom Eaton

The art on this post was created by two of my art students at St.Louis Community College at Meramec,for an assignment to design art that promotes the importance of learning to read and reading books.This art,the literacy art and designs by other Meramec art students and the illustrations of illustrator Jeff Weigel will be part of a gallery show in  “The Gallery Within” at  Webster Groves Christian Church.


Literacy art by Chelsey Farris



John Dyess monster fish illustrations

I was honored to have four of my illustrations that I created for the the National Geographic Museum’s  Monsterfish ” In Search of the Last River Giants” exhibit
selected to appear in the Communication Arts Illustration Annual 57. I received my copy last week. I would like to thank the jurors that selected my work. The jurors were Joel Arbez, Monte Beuchamp, Shanti Marlar, Jose Reyes and Ellen Weinstein. A minimum of three out of the five votes was required for a project to be awarded in this year’s competition.

Michael Treis

Seattle by Michael Treis

This post displays the designs of my students in the Drawing for Graphics class at Meramec Community College in St. Louis Missouri.Below is the assignment.

Assignment: American City Tourism Advertisement
Assignment description: Create a full color design of an United States city of your choice, except St.Louis.
The style of your design will be flat shapes similar to the samples I have presented.
Your design must be contained within a circle, but some elements of your design can extend outside of the circle.
Your design must be constructed of at least 1 square, 1 rectangle , 1 circle (within the circle border), 1 triangle, and a free form shape .

Purpose of this assignment: To create a design that catches the viewers attention by it’s
simplicity and boldness of color.

Katlyn Brown

New Orleans by Katlyn Brown

Desiree Cothrine

Chicago by Desiree Cothrine

Daniel Neville

Phoenix by Daniel Neville

Eliabeth Ramirez

Southlake by Elizabeth Ramirez

Scott Sandifer

Denver by Scott Sandifer

The Lion and the Mouse by Amanda Goodman

The Lion and the Mouse by Amanda Goodman

The next few posts will show the illustrations of the Illustration 1 and 2 students, I teach at Meramec Community College.
The assignment was to illustrate Aesop’s -The Lion and the Mouse.

The lion and the Mouse by Katerine Lam

The lion and the Mouse by Katerine Lam

The Lion and the Mouse by Katerine Lam

The Lion and the Mouse by Katerine Lam


Miles Davis Jazz Track

Miles Davis Jazz Track

This is a continuation of my previous post showing covers of vinyl albums ,most of which my father,a radio engineer, brought home from radio station WTMV,after these albums were discarded. Stamped on the back of some of these albums is, not for sale. Most are from the 1950’s and 1960’s. I chose to show the albums which interest me for their graphic design, illustrations, and paintings.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet album cover 1962

The Dave Brubeck Quartet album cover 1962


Jazz,Folk,Pop 1957

I like the graphic design of this cover.

back of album Jazz,Folk,Pop

back of album Jazz,Folk,Pop

This is the back of the album Jazz,Folk,Pop with notes written by an unknown DJ. I mentioned in yesterday’s post,that WTMV was an entry station for “black” DJ’s,during the 1940’s and 1950’s.