Back when we were living in Dover, and the TMNT comic had yet to bring in enough money to allow me to focus on that and not worry about getting other illustration jobs to help pay the bills, I got a number of gigs doing stuff for local businesses. The Dan Gabriel Real Estate company had offices on one of the main streets in Dover, and as I recall, they were going through some kind of big change in their business -- I think they were becoming associated with Coldwell Banker, or moving to a new location, or both, or something like that. Anyway, they wanted to do a series of ads which would announce this change in an eye-catching way, and for some reason, they hired me. (I cannot at this point remember HOW I got the job -- did I approach them? Did they approach me? If it was the former, how did I know they needed some illustrations? Who knows? I wish I did.)
Anyway, this turned out to me a lot of fun to do. And I am pretty sure it was my idea to do the ads this way. The basic concept was this fanciful notion of elves carving the new offices of Dan Gabriel Real Estate out of one huge solid block of wood, and I drew four stages of this activity, starting with the block just slightly carved, and ending up with a fairly accurate rendition of what the Dan Gabriel office's facade looked like. (Unfortunately, I have not been able to find that last drawing.)
Here's the first one…
… the second…
… and the third.
And I did keep one tearsheet from a local paper -- the Rochester Free Press, I believe it was called -- in which the ads were run.
In my experience, it was rare to get a chance to draw something for a client like a real estate agency which had any kind of whimsical elements, and this one was just about ALL whimsical. -- PL
[10-18-14: UPDATE -- I've been reading some old letters that I wrote to my parents during the period when Jeannine and I lived in Dover, NH, and I discovered the reason why I got the gig doing the artwork above. Apparently, I had made a contact with Terry Dunn, the editor of the "Rochester Courier", the local newspaper in Rochester, NH, two towns away from Dover. I had forgotten that he had helped me connect with various local business who needed artwork for ads and such, providing me with much-needed opportunities to make some money. Thanks, Terry! -- PL]