I have done a number of cartoon commissions, for a variety of clients that include government departments, not-for-profits, and media groups. Most of these commissions originate from people seeing my non-fiction comics about social issues. After seeing these comics, they realise that they have a sudden urge to commission me to draw cartoon artwork for them!
Below, I have listed my major commissioned cartoon projects. Click on the large illustration to read my description of the project, and to see more artwork from the project.
In late 2020, I was approached by Nicole McCabe to create the artwork for her podcast A Community in Isolation, about the history of Canberra’s queer community. As well as drawing a logo for the podcast, I drew a detailed scene of a rainbow-crested cockatoo flying over Canberra, along with illustrations of members of Canberra’s LGBTIQA+ community.
Read about how this project evolved from concept to final illustrations.
In late 2019, I was approached by the comedian Greg Larsen to design a poster for his 2020 comedy show This Might Not Be Hell. My cartoon of Greg shows his character of an unemployed man sitting on a couch, worried about the state of his life.
See how this poster evolved from concept to final illustration.
In mid-2019, I was approached by my accountant Scott Maughan to design a custom logo for his music industry accounting business: LineCheck Accounting.
This commissioned illustration used imagery relating to the music industry. See how the logo design evolved.
MCM Comic Con runs the UK’s largest pop culture events, with expos held in seven UK cities. Ahead of the May 2017 London Comic Con, I was commissioned to illustrate scenes of people participating in cosplay as part of their everyday life.
The idea behind these commissions was juxtaposing the colourful cosplay costumes against the ‘boring’ black and white scenes that they were drawn into. Read more about this commission.
I drew artwork for my brother Andrew McMillen’s podcast Penmanship, featuring a glimpse of a writer’s cluttered office desk.
The vast majority of this scene was drawn with the greyscale / black and white ‘look’ that my comics are generally known for. But deep within the detailed illustrations, I placed colourful sticky notes on the computer monitor: the square logo for the podcast. I describe the entire artwork creation process here.
I created a cartoon fact-sheet poster for Dovetail. The poster encouraged retail employees to refuse sale of inhalants to family members who will use these products.
This was an educational comic that was designed to inform employees about how they should behave when confronted with a tricky situation. Using comics was intended to make this message as understandable as possible. Learn more about these commissioned comics.
I created cartoon illustrations of a parable used to explain the harm-reduction approach to drug recovery. I was approached soon after releasing my two drugs-themed comics.
These cartoons were commissioned by a community group, who frequently use this ‘long spoons’ analogy as part of their classes. They hoped that having an illustrated version of this ‘long spoons’ parable would allow their participants to better imagine the concept and learn the lesson. I describe this cartoon commission here.
I created cartoon illustrations for a publication which celebrated 20 years of the ACT Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and Environment.
Knowing that I had a track-record for covering environmental issues with my comics, the department commissioned me to draw scenes that illustrated the concepts of sustainability that their publication covered. I describe this environmental cartoon commission here.
I created illustrations for an educational animation about earthquakes and tsunami. The animation educated Papua New Guineans how to react to these natural disasters.
This animation was a supplementary piece that accompanied the printed booklets that were distributed to schools in Papua New Guinea, about natural disaster safety (see below for the other part of this project). Learn more about my role in this commissioned animation project.
I illustrated three booklets about earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunami. These booklet commissions educated Papua New Guineans how to respond to these natural disasters.
My cartoons were full-page scenes that were designed to complement the text of the booklet. We hoped that the eye-catching illustrations would convey the messages on their own, thus ensuring that people with low-literacy still understood the messages.
Learn more about this commissioned cartoon project, illustrating geological and natural hazard risks.
I drew logos for the sustainability networking events Green Drinks Canberra and Green Drinks Brisbane.
These logos were a quick and dirty representation of the concept of Green Drinks, hoping that the event would seem like a friendly destination for newcomers to visit. Learn about the different Green Drinks logos that I have drawn.
Dr Nick Barter from Griffith Business School and I worked to adapt one of his research papers into a comic. The Metaphors comic questions the way we conceive businesses and organisations.
Nick gave me a large degree of latitude to explore the concept using my own writing and artistic style. But it was also a collaboration, with ideas flowing in both directions throughout the creative process. Learn about this cartoon collaboration.
I was commissioned by CSIRO to draw a promotional postcard for National Science Week. Featuring Queen Street Mall with lots of ‘sciencey’ things happening.
The artwork of this postcard looks a little unfinished, because we wanted it to look like a half-finished child’s colouring page. Learn about this cartoon collaboration.
I drew cartoons for the backdrop of Nick Crocker’s TEDxDarwin talk about behaviour change.
These served as simple, cartoony illustrations that he could use as a distinctive illustrated PowerPoint presentation during his TEDx talk. Learn more about how I approached illustrating slides for a TEDx talk.
I created a design for ‘fast fashion’ retailer Made in the Now, responding to proposed changes to logging laws by the Brazilian government. The design was titled Lungs of the Earth.
The design was only available for a 24 hour period during the initial run during 2011. I later printed a second batch of t-shirts during my 2012 crowdfunding campaign for Rat Park. Learn more about this commissioned project.
To discuss a commissioned illustration project, please use the Contact Stuart form.