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Five Ideas: Jeffrey Middleton

Five Ideas is a collection of work from GOOD's favorite artists, illustrators, and designers. Some of the of the work you've probably seen, some of it has never been published. Each week, we'll showcase five pieces of work that tell a short story about our most creative friends.

Jeffrey Middleton is an illustrator and librarian living in Arizona. His work can be seen in publications such as SEED, Newsweek, and the Merriam-Websters dictionary. He did work for GOOD's Issue 007 in an article called If It Ain't Broke....

Client "The N" network (now TeenNick)

I like drawing birds, especially a dark, menacing bird such as this. I also like drawing cartoony bird feet, although I couldn't say precisely why.

Client "The N" network (now TeenNick)

I also like drawing skulls. Like most things I draw, this is very simple, but I think it shows elemental skull-ness. Skeleton structure is always interesting to me, perhaps because I also love to read about archaeology.

Client Newsweek, for a Richard Dawkins article

This is a fronkey: a frog/monkey combination. While this is obviously nothing you'd find in a zoo, it somehow seems to make sense to me. Creatures of any type are fun to draw, but the odder the funner.

Client (killed)

This is part of a project that I was asked to do a few drawings for that never came to fruition. The mouse is clearly very distressed, but is a survivor, and I like that.

Client SEED, for an article on GMO foods

This is a "frankenfood" creature. I like the idea of genetically altered foods looking like this and waving to shoppers from the grocery shelf.

Inspiration I am inspired by the patterns and shapes that are found in everyday life—in animals, body structure, plants, rocks, etc. I like the simple images and shapes you can also find if you look at patterns and swirls in wood, water, or even in ceiling spackle—faces, animals, strange creatures. I used to sit for hours as a kid and find faces and shapes on the ceiling.

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