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What I do

I draw and write for a living.

As both an illustrator and engineering manager I rely on drawings and writing to communicate ideas.

In my engineering role I create hand drawn sketches of products, process flow diagrams, timelines and data plots that are used to create formal engineering drawings, PowerPoint presentations or Excel charts.

As an illustrator I follow the same process.  I generate ideas by creating hand drawn sketches that lead to a final drawing, using traditional materials, digital tools or both.

Writing complements technical visual information in presentations and reports.  It is also used for explanation, persuasion and communication in emails, memos and performance reviews.  It is meant to be clear, concise and neutral.

Creative writing can be like that, too, but there is much more freedom to play with words and use them any way I like.  Although creative writing is still a hobby for now my outlets are:
  • Stories and tales written in my notebooks (unpublished to date)
  • Prose and humorous verse for personal cards
  • Text (usually rhyming) for my occasional comic, “Mull & Cull”.
  • Blog posts at
  • Letters to friends.
  • Jotting down notes, thoughts and word play in sketchbooks.

I grew up in Green, Ohio and graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree in mechanical engineering.  I fulfilled my creative urges by providing cartoons for the campus newspaper, illustrations for "The Looking Glass" poetry publication and numerous T-shirts and newsletters for various organizations I was involved in. 

My formal art education outside of high school is a smattering of drawing, watercolor and graphics classes at the College for Creative Studies, Oakland Community College and the Birmingham Bloomfield Arts Center.  Informally my education in art has been and continues to be a lifetime of practice, reading, studying and experimenting.

After graduation I moved to the metro Detroit area and have been freelancing as an illustrator since 1995 for numerous clients in southeast Michigan, and continue to work as an engineering manager in the automotive industry.

  • Thomson-Shore Publishing
  • University of Michigan - Spanish Department
  • Latino Health Communications
  • Beaumont Foundation
  • Global Design
  • Inner Circle Media (now Color Hive)
  • Huron Pet Supply, Inc.
  • Patriots of the American Revolution Magazine
  • Biker Bob's Motown Harley-Davidson
  • Powerhaus Creative
  • Eventures - Adventures In Advertising
  • The Ann Arbor Ad Club
  • The Big Idea Magazine (now defunct)


What's with the "Big Tall" thing?
A: I'm 6'7" tall. Big Tall Ken was a fun nickname from a friend of mine.

Q: How can I make your webpage bigger on my smartphone or tablet?
A: I have not learned how to make a responsive webpage yet and probably won't in the near future.  However you can use the finger gestures native to your smartphone or tablet to enlarge the page and images.  It works for me on my smartphone.

Q:You’re an engineer? You should do a Dilbert comic strip! You can draw better than him!
A: Yes, I am an engineer and could create more dynamic or detailed characters, but any attempt to do so on my part would come across as a pale imitation of Scott Adam’s work. He has a very specific world view and his art complements it well.

I tried my hand at submitting a comic strip called “Arctic Circle” three times back in the mid to late ‘90’s. I learned just how hard it is to write humor. To do so consistently daily for years on end is a feat and gave me an appreciation of the art form. If you’re interested in the art form check out the documentary, Stripped: A Revealing Look At the World's Greatest Comic Strips.

shim 20x20 © 2018 Ken Eaton ~ All rights reserved