Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Art & Reference

As I was cleaning off my desk I can across an initial sketch from Gulliver's Travels. It was just a mere outline of where I wanted to go with the profile of Gulliver, but all I could see at this stage was Logan, who I used for a model. It got me thinking about how artists use reference material. So be sure to check out the links below. And Happy Birthday Logan!
started as this...
and this...
and came from this shot...

Here are some interesting links to a few artists that I admire, and how they use models, props, and photo reference. Plus, a little sneak peek into their studios. (For Ruth Sanderson click onto her name for an indepth "Artist at Work" page from her website.)


Ruth Sanderson 



Mike Wimmer



Christopher Bing 


Friday, October 19, 2012

Before Classics Were Classics

Here's a article that will get you thinking. Many books considered masterpieces today, received brutal reviews when they first came out. The list in this article mainly has novels, but you will find a few children's books. One being a book that is now a classic example of the best in illustrated picture books...Where the Wild Things Are.

Publisher's Weekly, 1963

“The plan and technique of the illustrations are superb. … But they may well prove frightening, accompanied as they are by a pointless and confusing story.” — Publisher’s Weekly, 1963

One year later...

In 1964, the American Library Association awarded Mr. Sendak the Caldecott Medal, considered the Pulitzer Prize of children’s book illustration, for Where the Wild Things Are. "In simple, incantatory language, the book told the story of Max, a naughty boy who rages at his mother and is sent to his room without supper. A pocket Odysseus, Max promptly sets sail...There, Max leads the creatures in a frenzied rumpus before sailing home, anger spent, to find his supper waiting." 

 nearly 50 years later...

“Each word has been carefully chosen and the simplicity of the language is quite deceptive.”

#1 Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963) "Arguably the single greatest picture book ever created." – Hotspur Closser — Top 100 Picture Books #1: Where the Wild Things Are 

 and 19 million copies, and counting, later...

"A signed first edition of "Where the Wild Things Are," the classic children's book by late author Maurice Sendak, has fetched an eyebrow-raising $25,000 on online book retailer, thus making it one of the most expensive children’s books sold in recent memory." 
 New York Daily News

"Abe Books spokesman... Richard Davies told the Daily News that for "Where the Wild Things Are" in particular, it was rare for these books to go for so much because a lot of the 1960s editions were mass published. To date, 19 million copies of the Caldecott Medal-winning book have been sold."
CBS News June 1, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012


A little fun with type...

my fun that is. I love working with type and wanted to brush up a bit just for fun. While fun, it is still my work, my design. Like the rest of my art it is copyright infringement to just start using this without gaining permission. Come on, let's all play by the rules here. They're pretty simple rules. Just ask. Just give due credit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Links - Pinterest Simple Guidelines

I love Pinterest! It such an amazing way for us visual people to not only organize all those images we find inspiring, but also a great way to discover new images and websites through other people who have interests similar to our own.

The one thing I did wonder about when I first stated "pinning", was free reign. I mean it seams like anybody, can pin anything, from the whole world wide web without asking the creator if it's OK. How do you know who is using your art, and are they recognizing you as the artist? How can an artist hold on to the copyright when they have no idea if there is infringement or not. 

Sometimes I find images I want to "pin", but can't because the board I found them on didn't credit the artist. I will forgo pinning an illustration I love if I can't give the artist who created it due credit. If there are any clues I'll try to find out who the artist is first. But sometime there just aren't any clues. I wish everyone would follow these simple rules. Thank you Dani Jones for posting these great simple guidelines! Follow that link I just gave you for Dani. She has more detailed info on exactly how to do this on her blog.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Back on Track

My quest to become published took a slight detour. Going from working on my books and art full-time, to working a full-time job doing something else, and spending any time I could find working on my books… happened.

During this time something had to give. I spent what little “online” time I had researching, staying current on the industry, networking, reading others blogs and looking for inspiration. There was little time left for me to join message boards or even post on this blog. I stayed involved with any conferences and workshops I could. Unfortunately, I had to miss some.  I went to the library less often. Yet I still managed to come home with arm loads of books.

Along the way I got an agent, completed illustrations on two books by other authors, and received one very exciting package in the mail. My very first published book! It didn’t happen the way I expected, but it did happen. I didn’t get to share it here like I wanted. There wasn’t a lot of hoopla. My family was blindsided with tragedy around this time. But one thing I will never forget was having the opportunity to hand a copy of my very first book to one of my biggest supporters, my mother-in-law.  She not only knew how to praise, she knew how to be a critic. The type of critic who truly critiques your work in a way that helps you to improve. 

Sadly, sharing that book was our last visit. This leads me to today. I want to continue this blog and show the reality of what a long, hard path this journey to publication can be. I also want to share the many joys the journey holds.  The roadblocks aren’t over, but I’m back on track. Recently I took a huge leap of faith, quit my day job, and will give this all I’ve got. So come back and visit! I will be adding new posts, as well as posting from the “archives” of the last couple years. The studio doors are open again.