Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Some Thoughts Regarding My Colored Sketch


Latest sketch and some thoughts before I colorize my artwork in Adobe Photoshop. The sketching process can be a lot of fun creating something new from my imagination. This can always be a surprise viewing the final results. You can visit my Youtube channel for more about the thought proess at http://youtu.be/H-ZRHbfNyZw

Monday, September 15, 2014

Latest Calendar Artwork For Publisher

Here is another one of my calendar illustrated months for the year 2014. This was created for Star-Brite publisher. I had a lot of fun creating this piece placing all the figures and animals so the composition was balanced. The colors were kept on the the warm side even thought November is a bit chilly at this time. The line art was created with Adobe Illustrator and brought into Adobe Photoshop for final coloring.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Creating My First Picture Book Dummy

The picture book dummy idea came to me while reading message posts from the Thursday night’s group (illustrators and writers) called Kitlitart. I wasn’t sure where I should start my picturebook dummy but this group offered some valuable insight into the process. Two reference books mentioned at one of these kitlitart Thursday meetings was Writing With Pictures by Uri Shulevitz and Writing Picture books by Ann Whitford Paul. Both of these books offered alternative styles as to what a storyboard is and how to finish a picturebook dummy from your storyboard.


The roughs above (fig._1) are my first attempt at creating a storyboard for the children’s story Thumbelina by Hans Christian Anderson. I was constantly refining my sketches and reworking my image placement before deciding on the sketches above. The storyboard is important because it allows me to visualize the whole book and what may or may not work. This allows me to determine how the book flows and what sketches need to be adjusted. I reworked my storyboard numerous times until I felt my illustrations and text were flowing smoothly. Once the storyboard is finished, I am able to view any similarities and differences between the most outstanding components for the pictures and the text. When I am satisfied, I start the next step. This process involves creating a three dimensional model or picture book dummy. The dummy will convey how the book will read when printed. There are several ways to make a book dummy. For example, you can staple or sew 8 sheets of white paper together through the middle and then fold them in half to make a 32-page booklet. To make a 48-page dummy, use 12 sheets of paper. Mark the page numbers on both sides of each side, from 1 to 32. (fig._2)



I concentrated on creating an actual size dummy (11” X 17”). I wanted my black and white sketches drawn as close to finish as possible. I felt this would assist in how the work would appear overall. Two of my finished sketches from my book dummy for Thumbelina are shown (fig._3 and fig._4). Working on these sketches is an important process for visualizing the completed work. I am able to change the sketches quickly and fix parts of the sketches that are not working. If you look closely at the sketch with Thumbelina and the fishes (fig._4). I made numerous attempts so the composition was balanced between Thumbelina and the fishes below the lily pads. There was a lot of thought that went into how the character of Thumbelina would appear. I wanted the fishes to jump out at the viewers and offer contrast to little Thumbelina sitting on the lily pad. My next step with completing my book dummy will be to complete a double page spread finished painting. I plan on finishing the double page spread with Thumbelina and the fishes below her. I will post the completed painting when I finish it on my blog.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Exciting Calendar Project

I am currently working on a series of illustrations for a calendar at Star-Brite Learning. My responsibilities involve creating eleven pre-school monthly illustrations for the calendar year 2015. This is such an exciting project, illustrating monthly themes for pre-school children. The art coordinator is very friendly and has given me ample freedom with the illustrations as long as I stick with the monthly themes. I was given permission to show one of my completed illustrations and the process to create it.


Each assignment starts with a rough sketch that I submit for client approval. Once the sketch is approved, the coloring process begins. This involves scanning the sketch into Adobe Illustrator and creating the individual layers for the images that need to be colored (fig.1)

When the vector artwork is finished, I bring the completed image (fig.2) into Adobe Photoshop for any minor changes. I then email the finished png file to the Publisher. It is so rewarding to have the opportunity to work with such a great company and to create some exciting digital work.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Online Exposure Pt.2 (repost)


Linkedin
One of my favorite social media websites is Linkedin. This site differs from Twitter and Facebook because these sites are solely for the professionals and business community. On Facebook you can have a separate page for your friends and a fan page for your business interests. Twitter has no distinction between personal and business issues and you can tweet for both. Linkedin is for the professional person so it's best you keep your personal comments to yourself and on a business level. Linkedin has a very good research tool for contacting other companies and professionals for possible job positions. You are able to post your profile, experience and have a connected portfolio with some sample images.

Limit Your Time Online
You need to decide what is a fair amount of time for using the internet and when to return and complete other important business activities. There are times when I loose track of my time while surfing the web and should probably be working on my creative projects. I usually set a certain amount of time for online activity and when to quit. I enjoy being creative and using social media to advertise my latest completed artwork with friends.

Remain Positive and Productive
To be a successful artist takes more than just talent. It requires a lot of hard work especially during an economic downturn. You need to know yourself very well and decide when things are not going right and take a break. You might consider a walk around the block or clear your head at your favorite park. Once recharged and refreshed return to your goals with a positive outlook. For a lot of creative professionals starting out takes patience especially with all the social media promotion, website advertising and business activities you need to accomplish. I realized after many years that I wasted a lot of energy and was not very patient. I now realize that there is a lot about the creative profession that is out of my control. I am now using my time effectively while pursuing my love for the illustration profession. Remember to be patient and strive to be creative.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Increase Your Online Exposure (past article)


My online presence and success has improved since I started using internet resources available to the creative community. Placing a blog on my website makes it possible to be actively involved by displaying articles that other creatives should find useful. Joining social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have professional benefits. These websites have increased my networking with colleagues, increased my knowledge about business aspects and increased sales. I send out e-mails with attachments periodically that keep me in-touch with my database clients. I have used a site named,"Your Mailing List Provider" , but recently switched to MailChimp. The web site provides an easy and convenient way to store my clients information. They have a feature that lets you input your html newsletter code and send directly to clients. Creatives should also consider exploring the variety of free and inexpensive websites that exist on the internet. I am currently a member of Jacketflap.com, CreativeShake.com and IllustratorsInk.com. I find it exciting to be experimenting with a number of websites and discovering the possible benefits. It's obvious that creatives need to get their work out in front as many viewer as possible. 

Use Your Website 
Having an online website is very important and unless you promote it no one will know you exist. If you read the information above , you can try some of these websites. I continue to rework my website with new images, new links and blog articles to stand out from my competition. Exploring the internet is a great way to find new professional groups to join and interact with. I search out blogs to leave my comments and opinions on websites. You should make an effort to interact with your peers so that it increases your exposure as a professional. 

Offer Your Help 
It has been my experience that "What goes around comes around". What I mean by this statement is that we should be willing to offer our advice without expecting something in return. You will find that when we offer our assistance our efforts probably will be returned in kind. We are all in this together and as a creative collective we need to enrich and keep our creative community growing.