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2576. Hartford MFA: Students

So one of the things that I do compulsively is draw people around me. My fellow students were wonderfully accommodating (and sometimes completely unaware)

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2577. Top Ten Ways to Deal with Curious Spectators

Yesterday's post about the challenges of curious spectators generated a lot of interest— 35 comments on the blog.....and on Facebook: 533 likes, 104 comments and 83 shares.

As promised:

James Gurney's Top 10 Ways to Deal with Curious Spectators 

10. Deflect questions by answering them in advance. There's the "Critic Be Gone Shirt," marketed by Guerilla Painter, which has a rather sarcastic tone.....
....and blog reader Christian shared this T-shirt design made by his friend Graeme Skinner for a friend Laura Young.

9. Place headphones on your head, so that you look zoned out, even if you're not listening to any music. Good way to overhear candid comments.

8. If you like to smoke, blow smoke out of cheap cigars. It keeps away mosquitos, too.
The only problem with these first three solutions is that you can miss out on the really rewarding encounters that can come from curious spectators. How do you make the experience work out better for both parties?

Let's remember that most spectators mean well. They're not as judgmental as we suppose them to be. They almost universally admire an artist who is courageous enough to bring their studio outside. Spectators often ask dumb things because they're shy and they don't know what to say to an artist.

If a person comes up and they seem unsure of what to ask, I usually have a stock line ready to help orient them, such as, "Hi, I'm working in casein, which is an old fashioned milk-based paint that people used before acrylic was invented."

In other countries, the language barrier often helps. When I sketched in China, people watched with quiet, respectful absorption, or they would just smile and make encouraging gestures. In my experience, Europeans tend to be really considerate and watch for a reasonably short time, and just saying a kind word or two.  In Ireland everyone is such a wonderful and witty talker that every encounter is great fun, so I love painting in public there.

In Africa, curious spectators have volunteered to be models. In Morocco, kids can't resist gathering very close and even blocking the view.

Most of the time when kids hang around, it make sketching much more fun. If you bring an extra sketchpad to loan to a really interested kid, you might change a life. Long-time blog readers may remember the time I wore a steampunk outfit to Amish country, and everyone totally accepted me.

But being inviting and friendly doesn't always work, and sometimes I get annoyed, especially by questions that obsess over sales and careers and money and commerce, and all the things that stop the wings of inspiration from flapping.

....so, let's continue the list:

7. Let them know it's OK to take a quick look, and invite them to come back later. That gives them permission, but it lets them know implicitly that you may not want them to park too long next to you. If you're in the middle of a difficult passage, and can't talk, just briefly explain that you'd love to chat, but you can't right now because your speech centers aren't working. People get that.

6. Change the topic of discussion away from you, your proficiency, or the price of your painting. Ask the person something about the place you're in or the thing you're painting. For example: "Do you know who owns that old building?" Or: "How high did the floodwaters get here in the last storm?" This often leads to truly interesting encounters, and it lets them do the talking so you can concentrate. I've learned a lot about many of my motifs this way.

5. Before you go out painting, create a web page or blog post with common questions and answers, including information about your galleries or your books, or whatever, and generate a QR code so that they can read your answers on their cellphone. You can put up a sign that just says FAQ and the code, and it will be fun for them to read it on their cellphone.

4. Bring a friend or a spouse along who doesn't mind fielding the questions from the spectators. (Thanks, Mikey!)

Andrew Wyeth en plein Jeep
3. Choose a motif where you can back up to a wall or a rosebush so that no one can get behind you.
Or sit up high. Andrew Wyeth would sit on the hood of his car, with his feet on the bumper so that no one could watch from behind. (image courtesy Making a Mark/Squidoo).

2. Wear a uniform shirt and surround yourself with traffic cones, or crime scene tape or "caution" barricade tape. If there's more than one of you, and you're wearing uniforms, spectators are so bewildered, they don't know what to say. That's what our sketching group, the Hudson River Rats does—we disguise ourselves to look like some obscure municipal department. The "Department of Art" patches add to the official effect. (Thanks, Steve).

1. I mocked up this T-shirt design to suggest a final thought. The challenge of spectators is just one of the things that makes plein air painting so exhilirating. There's also wind, rain, bugs, animals, traffic, and changing light. Dealing with all these issues helps develop our concentration and gives us a sense of urgency that makes us do our best work.

Winston Churchill said about painting: "Painting is complete as a distraction. I know of nothing, which, without exhausting the body, more entirely absorbs the mind. Whatever the worries of the hour or the threats of the future, once the picture has begun to flow along, there is no room for them in the mental screen."
Previously: Interview on Urban Sketchers

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2578. His Terribleness invades Print Magazine

Just found out a logo/t-shirt thingy I designed/illustrated will be in Print magazine’s Regional Design Annual! The root beer shall be flowing tonight!

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2579. LICENSING - it's a small world

Today's post features the wonderful work of Mary Blair and her 'It's a small world" creation. Her iconic designs are currently pleasing a new wave of fans through various different licences on products such as wall decals, teapots, and stationery. Mary created the designs for Walt Disney in 1964 and this year sees it celebrating 50 years with a talk of a full length movie being made. Licensees

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2580. Carlsbad Beach People

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2581. Hartford MFA: Dennis Nolan

Just got back from the first session of my Hartford University MFA Illustration program. Dennis Nolan was one of the instructors for the Advanced Illustration class. Can you guess what his mantra was? Go on, try.

0 Comments on Hartford MFA: Dennis Nolan as of 7/30/2014 8:32:00 PM
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2582. GHENGDU by Barney Saltzberg - GIVEAWAY!

You probably already know I’m a fan of Barney Saltzburg’s work. I interviewed him when ARLO NEEDS GLASSES came out. And I’m thrilled to have him back for yet another adorable creation: CHENGDU COULD NOT, WOULD NOT FALL ASLEEP (Disney-Hyperion). (As somebody with occasional insomnia, I can so relate!) Truly, this is a perfect night time read for a parent trying to put their little one to bed. Barney dropped by to tell us more about it…

Q. Barney, you’ve done it again! CHENGDU is adorable!!!

Q. How did the idea come to you? Are you also an insomniac?
The US State Department sent me to Russia and China to speak about my creative process. While in China, my wife took a 24 hour trip to Chengdu to see the pandas. After seeing her photos and hearing about one that couldn't sleep, I knew I had a book! As far as being an insomniac, I am far from it. I fall asleep very quickly and sleep through the night.

Q. This is a very different color palette for you. How did this book challenge you?
My editor and art director really pushed the look of this book. I had made the dummy in black and white. They had me draw (pencil sketches) half the size of the final art so that when the artwork was enlarged there is a toothy, grainy quality that I had never achieved before. I wanted some limited color with the bamboo so the green would pop against a completely black and white book.

Q. There are fold out (and down) pages in this book, and short, shorter pages - how was it to work with those?
I am a huge fan of Emily Gravett. She has opened my eyes to books that have the ability to surprise us. I find that having pages to unfold just adds to the rhythm of reading a book. I was thrilled Hyperion was open to these interactive flaps in a picture book.

Q. I adore the pages with the eyes - like great big Yin/Yang signs. Did that presentation idea come to you easily?
I honestly never thought of Yin/Yang signs until you asked that question. I think of my drawings from the perspective of how I would approach a scene with a camera. Zooming in and out, etc; We open with the long shot and see different pandas in the tree. When we hear that one panda couldn't sleep, it seemed like an obvious shot to zoom in tight.

Q. You are so prolific as a children’s book author/illustrator… This isn’t your only book coming out this year. The other is TEA WITH GRANDPA (Roaring Brook Press). I’m starting to believe you know the secret formula to creating great picture books (and selling them)! Can you share? :)
I'm lucky enough to have receptive publishers. I do seem to be exercising the creativity muscle more and more as the years pass. I'm delighted there is an audience for my work! Next year I have three books coming out!

Q. I’m positive you have more in the works… what’s next?
Speaking of three books. I have two board books coming out with Workman publishing. They approached me to create a series. In my book, Beautiful Oops, there are some red birds. My editor said she thought I could develop one into a character. REDbird was hatched! I also was concerned with contributing more 'concept' books to the world. There are so many. It took a really long time to find a different approach. I'm excited to have these books come out. I also used a different style of illustration for these books. Given the age of a board book reader, I knew I wanted bold lines and color. I painted pages of colors in acrylic paint, blending and mixing colors. I scanned the pages into the computer, drew the images on a Wacom Centiq monitor and dropped the color in. It was quick and I think a perfect medium for this series. The two books are, REDbird Colors, Colors Everywhere and REDbird Friends Come in Different Sizes. As a follow up to my Abram/Appleseed book, Andrew Drew and Drew, I have a new book called Inside This Book. It's loosely Russian Dolls in books. There's the book, and inside are three books, each about two inches smaller than the one before it. Three siblings are given blank books that their mother made them and we see how each child filled their book and what they ultimately do with them.
     Thanks so much for the visit.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Hyperion is kindly sending a free copy of CHENGDU by Barney to sign for one of my lucky commenters. Must live in the US to win - enter below!

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2583. Neue Grafik Re-Release

Neue Grafik on grainedit.com

In 1958, the inaugural issue of the Neue Grafik – The International Review of graphic design and related subjects – was launched by four Zürich-based designers. Led by Josef Müller-Brockmann, Richard Paul Lohse, Hans Neuburg and Carlo Vivarelli (LMNV), the journal became a catalyst for an emerging movement in design known as the Swiss School or International Typographic Style. Marked by its asymmetrical layouts, sans-serif typeface and strong use of grids, the International Typographic Style placed heavy emphasis on clarity and precision. Throughout the journal’s history, this rigid yet versatile approach to design was employed and readily adopted by the design community at large.

Original copies of Neue Grafik are scarce and rarely surface on the open market with single issues fetching three hundred dollars or more. With this in mind, I’m excited to announce the re-release by Lars Muller of this significant and sought-after periodical, with all eighteen issues now available as a facsimile reprint. Contained within a stunning red slipcase, the set also includes a 64 page booklet with commentary by Steven Heller, Lars Muller and Richard Hollis.


Neue Grafik on grainedit.com

Neue Grafik on grainedit.com

Neue Grafik on grainedit.com


Neue Grafik on grainedit.com

Neue Grafik on grainedit.com

Neue Grafik on grainedit.com


Copies are available at Lars Muller.


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2584. Manga Worth Reading July 2014

I mean, if we’re doing an anime worth watching each month, it only makes sense we do a manga worth reading as well right? So this is ultimately the feature of dreams. Manga is vast, and there’s certainly a lot of it to consume, whether it’s published in your country, or someone’s fan translating that one ... Read more

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2585. Your experiences with curious spectators

On Facebook people shared many more experiences dealing with curious spectators while painting outdoors. It's a rich topic. Thanks, everybody!

Carl Larsson -- Plein Air Painter, Winter-Motif from Åsögatan, Stockholm, 1886

Phil Mamuyac
"He's a drawer!"

Anath Sheridan
"I can't draw a straight line" is another... Always want to say "well neither can I, do you SEE that horizon line?!"

Timothy Atkins 
"What are you doing?"
"Playing tennis" is my usual half joking/half snide answer. After all, you never know who you are talking to!
I actually really enjoy interacting with people on the street, especially kids, but they have a tendency to turn up just when you're 3 seconds in to an important watercolor wash. And then all is lost.
I liken it to someone walking up to a DJ and ripping the needle of the record, only to ask "are you playing music?" and then you're left to find the exact spot on the record again.

Kathy Partridge
How long does it take you? Do you do sheeps? (Yes, "sheeps"!)

Arun VB
LOL ! "I can't draw a straight line" is very typical and usual question

Thomas Gieseke 
"My mom's an artist. She does macrame."

John Trotter 
HA! I did a fundraiser at Zoo Atlanta in June where a bunch of us worked plein air and the profits went to the zoo. A lot of the artists had never worked in such a public forum before and we got lots of stories. The camp groups and patrons were overwhelming but also very complimentary. (Although I did end up with a child mostly sitting in my lap at one point!)

Phil Moss 
'My sister's friend's brother's third cousin twice removed is studying art at university, you should meet him!' No, it's fine, really!

Sara Otterstätter 
Are those people Mennonites? And one particular story came to my mind:

I was at the local zoo, sketching the rhinocerosses - their anatomy is a nightmare - and in a short distance was an older lady with her grandson. She may have thought that it is better not to talk to me because I might be disturbed while fighting with the awkward rhinoceros-anatomy. So she talked with her grandson about me. But hell, in what way.

"Oh look how nice this lady draws! Does she not draw nicely?! Shall I pick you up that you can see how nicely the lady draws?!....." I really felt like I was merely an drawingmonkey at the zoo and wished she had talked to me instead of over my head. Maybe I should get a "Do not feed the Artist"-sign and put it next to me the next time I am at the zoo sketching.

Simon Schmidt
100% hit. Also the age distribution is nearly perfect. Usually there are a few more elderly people.

Eric Wilkerson 
My favorite is from a time I was painting with Garin down by the hudson. A man came up and said to him "If it comes out good I'll give you a hundred bucks for it".

Harmony Baudelaire Carrigan 
"I can't even draw a straight line" and "I can't even draw stick figures" are the two I always hear.

Laslo Iera 
a classic.

MeKenzie Martin 
That's exactly why I am afraid of painting in public. I'm deaf and that would definitely make an awkward situation where I would have to spend more energy on explaining the fact that I can't hear and have less energy for actual painting time. Awkward, I tell ya... but I guess it's also awkward in your world, having all people watch you painting and have those questions that shouldn't have been asked in the first place. Lol.

Andy Volpe ·
"Oh, can't you let my child/ren draw on the corner of your paper?! They're Master Artists themselves!". It's true, it takes a lot of energy and patience to work in front of the public…A…Lot. But for the most part comments and questions are fairly descent and genuinely curious. It's similar to reenacting/living history, and that "You're wearing wool?! Aren't you HOT in all of that?!" No, I'm pouring sweat because I'm cold….

Andy Volpe ·
I feel really bad for that Spanish artist trying to paint, I've never seen anything like that. It makes me wonder now if the Old Masters who painted outdoors scenes where there's only 2-3 people in the painting, had dozens of onlookers standing behind them that we don't see.

Jasper Patch "that looks good. What is it ?"
"are you painting that?"

Eran Fowler ·
I always get the stick figure comment. Usually accompanied with "I could never in a million years." Makes me wonder if they were too afraid to ever try.

Another case was the crazy dude at the bakery. I just put a link to my blog with the story. It was sort of really uncomfortable and one of the rare occasions where I refused to show my sketchbook:

Dougie Hoppes 
I love painting in public. It's where a lot of my sales comes from. I usually get the request: "Can I be in your painting?" I usually tell them "Sure... if you are willing to stand there for about 1/2 hour or more". I'm sure that, one day, someone will take me up on that!

Shenge Bana Gon Paja ·
Just smile

Ulrich Zeidler 
All the freakin' time

Destinie Janea Carbone 
Still trying to figure out what people mean when they say "Are you an artist?"

Barry Van Clief ·
Mostly people are friendly and pleasant, perhaps many of them would like to do art themselves. I've always thought plein air painting would be a good way to generate sales, if I were less shy and did it more often.

Joe Nazzaro 
'Did you do that freehand?'

Steve McInturff 
...yep...and ...when i set up at an art festival...i have my work on display...people like to ask ..'did you draw all these..?"..."..."...why yes i did"...."Dang!!...you're good.."...the tell me about a relative who draws or paints..."they ain't as good as you, but they're pretty good".....and then they walk away....

Richard Smith
I know I love it. "I can't even draw a straight line"... "no you don't understand I can't draw, I've tried."
I always tell people "good, if it were a straight line it wouldn't be art."
And as for not being able to draw or paint, I usually just say " the only reason you 'can't' is because you simply 'don't'. I try to encourage people..."You could draw or paint as well or better if you'd practice as much. It's not a magical power...talent = desire + discipline".
The world can never have enough artists

Weston Hobdy ·
"I saw a TV program on Ansel Adams a few nights ago, but you.... you do these freehand, don't you?"

Tim Vedel ·
when you blast a wall at 3 am with a spray can people usually keep their mouths shut hahah

Karalyn Johnson 
Them, "I can't even draw a straight line!" Me, " Me either, that's why I use a ruler."

Greg Newbold "did you just start that today?" Yea, like an hour ago. "How much would you sell that for?" In the gallery, about $900. "Yea, right. Good luck with that." Thank you for watching.

Carlos Castañón ·
I had a guy stand behind me for some solid 45 minutes, claiming he "just loves the smell of turpentine".

Danielle Nicole De Shane I still get a crack out of the people asking, "Did you draw that?" While you're in the middle of drawing. My friend had responded with this shocked expression, "OH MY GOD, what's this!? I didn't draw this! How did this get here!? My hand has a mind of it's own!"

Shannon Beaumont
At the Munich zoo people ask "Did you make that yourself?"... I usually say to them "Nope, bought it on Amazon.com..."

Jenny Wolfe First time I was plein air painting a lady stopped her truck in the middle of the dirt road, ran out, and asked "Can I have that? For free? My neighbors would adore that in my house!" Of course I said no, and told her her neighbors could adore it from where I'm painting. Some people.

Mervin LovesZbrush
I get lookers all the time at coffee shops. It turns up the pressure to perform lol

John Cullen
I don't mind curious spectators. If someone comes up to me and asks me 'did you draw that?' (while I'm in the middle of drawing something), I don't belittle them or talk down to them for doing so. They are merely showing curiosity in what you're doing.

Remember that it can be scary for people to approach and talk to complete strangers, so saying things such as 'did you draw that?' or 'I couldn't draw a straight line to save my life' are just easy ways for them to attempt to break the ice. It's the equivalent of starting a conversation with 'how about that weather?'

Yes, it can get a little annoying at times, but people mean absolutely no offense when they try talking to you. The amount of snide and stuck up comments here about such people truly disappoints me.

Patti Glynn Haarz
I am a magnet...that is one of the reasons I don't like plain air. However, I have always wanted to turn around quickly and say, "you can see me!!!" with a wild look in my eye or perhaps a tick.

David Cameron had most of those. I had a young lad say to me once,' wow did you draw that? do you know what, you should become a real artist'!!!

Eric Wolf
No, since I can't paint. But I do get similar comments when practicing archery or when reciting my poems to my girlfriend.

Chithra Mitra can add one more...." can u teach my 4 year old son,tony.......he paints exactly like u "!!! ...lols

Aline Schleger In art school (of all places) I was "in the zone" when I noticed some first years checking as I drew with pastels. I was shocked when turning around an hour after and still see them there (was wearing headphones). I blushed.

Lyn Lull oh yeah heard 'em all and more

Harvey McDowell "never show a fool a thing half finished"........

Cliff Cramp I got, "my 5 year old daughter is an artist too."

Mike Kloepfer 
Currently, 'Stick Figures' is tied with 'I can do that.'
My stock response: "I'll tell you a secret. My stick figures are terrible."

Angela Bell
lol I've had the stick figure comment so many times I've lost count. I also had neck-craners when I was sketching on a train, this lasses head almost fell off trying to see who on the train I was sketching whilst I tried my best to ignore her, then I realised after that she was holding a pose and looking to see if I was sketching her yet...I didn't.

Lyn Lull I took a workshop up in the White Mountains of NH last year. Trying to paint a waterfall and had a steady stream of tourists hiking by and saying many of those comments and many others like my friend, wife husband, cousin etc are artists too and they do this that or the other

Ricky Mujica 
"If I give you a photograph, can you draw it?"

Susan Fox 
"I wish I could do that."

Erik Pen ·
Spectators can be so distracting.

Patrick Hanenberger

Thijs Wessels ·
"Do you also have a real job?" When people ask me this I see it as a compliment

Tracy E Flynn 
you left out....
" my cousin is a natural artist, they never went to school for it "

Barb Cimity ·
Just proves art has a human connection for every person. We should cherish that.

Christopher Radko It's so rare to see ladies in dresses, these days....

Robert Paulmenn ·
i always think of myself as "public domain" when I'm on the street painting. I've had people purchase work on the spot, it's worth a little distraction from time to time.

Raven Amos 
Every. Time. Or "'What is it?' (I tell them) 'Oh...it's cute' !"

Mike Kloepfer 
It's a strange phenomenon, and I've had quite a bit of experience with it.
The way I look at it, most people never have the opportunity to see art being created. So I try to be engaging as possible.
Plus, It's not like they broke down the door of my studio. I put myself out there in public, doing something interesting. Most people are genuinely curious, and that's natural. It's counterproductive to be offended when they engage.
To the vast majority, the art-making process is a mystery, and there is a lot of 'myth' surrounding artists. So you get a lot of interesting, unusual, and sometimes totally unexpected comments. Some are downright hilarious.
For me, it really depends on the person, how they present themselves (some people are nice, some are just rude,) and other factors, like my concentration level, noise, weather conditions, etc. And sometimes I'm just not in a talkative mood. I'm human.
I've noticed that I'm not as talkative right after I've eaten. That's Mikey's quiet, inside-my-head, art-making time. LOL
It reminds me of something Jeff Watts said. (Paraphrasing....) Talking while making art is a unique skill. Some people like it, some don't.

Johnny Morrow
If I had a quarter for every time I heard, "I can't even draw a stick figure!" Oh man

Graham Nightingale
Hold on! you forgot the other inspiring comments James!!
What's that supposed to be?
You should see the stuff my kid paints its way better than that!
Nobody ever made money doing this son, why don' you get a proper job!
etc etc.

Mike Kloepfer Yes, Johnny - I could buy a lot more art supplies! LOL

Mike Kloepfer 
Hey I have an idea... I'll read the blog post. LOL

Virgil Elliott
I appreciate the idea that people are interested in art and artists, so I don't mind the comments. A sale or commission might result from any new human contact. I'm able to concentrate while carrying on a conversation, so it doesn't interfere with painting. Maybe I'll pick up a new student; maybe someone will buy my book.

If I want to paint without people around, I know a wild place that's full of rattlesnakes. They never bother me, and I don't bother them.

Peter Hoss
One of my favorites, "my aunt is an artist".

Leslie Jordan 
That's funny. When I see an artist on the streets like that, I take a quick look and move on. I know they are in a creative zone and don't have time for interruptions, though if I saw you on the street, I would at the very least just say hi.

Andy Volpe
Leslie - Yeah, I try to just say a quick hello, take a quick peak and move on, knowing they're trying to work.

Andy Volpe
The one peeve I have is when I'm doing a demonstration (i.e. Printing) and trying to explain what it is I'm doing, and then someone decides they're going to cut in and explain it to someone else for me. "What are you doing?" I'm inking the plate "See? He's inking the plate!"

Tommy Scott 
That face says, "kill me now."

Johanna Westerman ·
One reason I avoid it. Of course you say, "You realize who I am, don't you?"(haha)

Mike Kloepfer Wow, that guy in the video could sure use some traffic cones. LOL
I've got a plen air outing this weekend (which I am VERY excited about) and this got me to thinking about it. A lot. And a lot of good ideas came out of that thinking.
I posted at length about the subject in the comments on the blog post.
(Mikey said... "Wow. That guy sure could use some traffic cones. LOL " etc.)

Susan Rankin-Pollard
^I like the part of your comment where you suggest a liason. i do this at comic cons where I'm drawing so that I can actually do the work I've got in front of me and take more commissions. Helps A Lot!

Susan Rankin-Pollard When I draw in public, I take stock of how I'm feeling ahead of time and that determines where and how I sit. If I'm not open to chatting, i'll have my back to a corner. Most people are really good about respecting personal space. Earbuds/headphones help too, but I'll always talk to kids. To kids it's magic that they're willing to try without immediately tearing themselves down with I can'ts.

Monarchs Die 
Why are you drawing this you should be drawing bla bla bla ... Coud you draw me? I have a school homework would draw things for me? Etc...

Mike Kloepfer Chithra Mitra 
Maybe her son Tony's last name is Pro. You never know... LOL

Mike Kloepfer Susan - I agree. I was having this discussion with a fellow artist this weekend. We understand that what we do is applied skill, but to the lay-person, it has the same effect as a magic act.

Mike Kloepfer I'll try to gauge my mood and my audience, and if it's right, I'll go for the funny. However, I try to calibrate my humor to be entertaining, not insulting. I try to give them the same consideration I would like to receive.
(I've gotten pretty accurate, but even so, there's times... )

Mike Kloepfer 
Geez, gang - there's some great stories and anecdotes here. Got so entertained, I almost forgot...
Time for me to get drawing!!!

Blanca Plata Ortega
What about this one: if I had money I will bay it from you! But I'm just a kid! LOL

Aline Schleger James, ever thought of putting a printed F.A.Q. somewhere near you? With pamplets pointing to your books,prints,etc?

Eric Bowman ·
Aren't you that guy who wrote Jurassic Park?

Reginald Atkins 
yep.. several times. since taking up digital art and working on a tablet.. less so, since it's not as easy to see the entire thing over my shoulder as I focus on a small detail.

Arthur Machabee 
If I had a nickel for every time someone asked "Did you draw that?" while I'm still drawing, I could buy a whole new set of art supplies (which I wouldn't mind having).

Ed Redgrove ·
Yep, all of them, also while lying in a park, had a grandmother drag her screeching kid towards me with "oh lets see what this man is drawing" a graphic sword fight was what... she did not appreciate it

Mike Kloepfer 
Okay, Mr. G - ya got me thinking. A LOT. LOL
So I started a post on my own blog. Feel free to check it out.
http://mikeyzart.blogspot.com/.../making-art-in-public......See More

J Wm Lonnee "You should do this for a job!"

Carolyn McCully Yes, it really put me off trying to paint outdoors, also got "Is that a paint by numbers", that did it for me.

Maurine Starkey 
My favorite is. did you trace that?

Ed Nickerson ·
How about : my friends daughter is an artist too, she won a ribbon for the art in her 3rd grade class last week.

Rebecca England ·
all the time!

Raphael Schnepf 
I've done some outdoor murals and mostly got good comments. My watercolor teacher in high school used to flick her wet brushes absently to shoo the onlookers.

Cameron Davis 
"I can't even draw a straight line!" Har har

Jessica Boehman 
I couldn't get this to load to the site, but this was my comment: "The worst spectator I ever had was a goose that beaked the paint off the corner of my painting."

Kern Afton 
Those and "My son/daughter is also an artist. You should be friends, you might learn something!" and "So I have this cool idea for a comic book... but I can't draw, so..."

Linda Binkley 
I once had a German tour group surround me in Paris. (I had to leave it freaked me out)

Patrick Waugh 
Usually kids. One time while erasing a kid said "I thought artists didn't use erasers."
Previously on GurneyJourney

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2586. Man of war

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2587. Watch ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ Trailer

The first trailer for the mixed-media SpongeBob movie "Sponge Out of Water" was released today, and it's a real winner.

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2588. Nick Previews Its First Web Series ‘Welcome to the Wayne’

Nickelodeon unveiled the revamped Nick.com today, and as part of the new site, they offered a 90-second first-look at "Welcome to the Wayne," which is their first animated series made exclusively for digital platforms like the Nick App.

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2589. World Premieres of ‘Big Hero 6′ and ‘Parasyte’ Set for Tokyo International Film Festival

The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is putting a special emphasis on animation this year, and has announced that Disney's "Big Hero 6" will be the opening night film of their 27th edition.

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2590. Berry Tart

Its all done! Phew. I thought I'd never finish. Being sick is a drag (some kind of 'bug', requiring lots of naps and 'lie downs'). But I managed to pick at this in bits of being up and around and finally gone it done.

The paper is 11 x 17. I used Polychromos, Pablos, and Prismacolor colored pencils, on Fabriano Artistico Hot Press paper.

Not too much else to share. Its so #&* hot here, 100 or over for I've lost count how many days now. The cats have gone wild, insisting I keep the cat door open so they can roam around at night when it cools off. Charlie brought me a mouse, on the bed, at 3:00 am one night, which I did not appreciate. 

Sigh. Cats. Summer. Maybe I should eat this tart - its still in the fridge. 
Stay cool!

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2591. a peek at this sweet face....

©the enchanted easel 2014
on the easel this week!

i am currently working on a little scarlet haired beauty who i have fallen madly in love with. must be the red hair...or that's it's my ode to my favorite musical maven, the gorgeous and wickedly talented, ms. tori amos. i have MAD LOVE for this woman. always have. always will. 
is it the red hair? the fellow piano player? the fact that we're both leos? it's all of the above and so much more! just adore her! *enter plug for the new cd, "unrepentant geraldines"*...http://toriamos.com/go/music/#. this wins my top spot for favorite tori cd. seriously. this replaces my beloved "scarlet's walk". but, not by much. ok, let me stop because i could go on and on and on about her and her music. speaking of....

the song, "ribbons undone" (written for her daughter and located on the 2005 release, "the beekeeper") was the inspiration for the painting on the easel this week. such a sweet song...

{p.s. and btw, you can't be a leo and NOT be awesome...and we should know ;)}

laying down layers of color...
©the enchanted easel 2014
crimson colored lips...
©the enchanted easel 2014

strands of scarlet...
©the enchanted easel 2014

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A new "KING BRONTY" story is at your finger tips! As always, I hope you enjoy it!


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2593. Agent Looking for Clients

MarykAgent Mary Krienke: Mary joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2006 after receiving her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She now lives in Brooklyn.

Mary works with Sterling Lord and represents literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and realistic YA that pays close attention to craft and voice. She is especially drawn to new and emerging writers who seek to push boundaries of form and content, and she responds most strongly to writing that reaches great emotional and psychological depths. She is equally interested in work that illuminates through humor or by playing with genre. Her other interests include psychology, art, and design.

How to submit: You can email Mary with your submissions. For fiction, please send a synopsis and the first three chapters or a 50 page sample. If submitting non-fiction, send a detailed proposal.

Queries should be sent to info @ sll.com with “Attn: Mary Krienke” in the email subject line. Cover letters should be in the body of the email but send the actual submission as a Word document attachment.

You can find Mary on Twitter: @MaryKrienke.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Places to sumit, Publishers and Agencies, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Mary Krienke, Sterling Lord Literistic

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2594. The Writing Process: How we work...

Well, here is a fun thing.
Author/Illustrator tag!
Thank you Richard Jesse Watson for picking me to join this blog tour.

Fun facts about Richard Jesse Watson:
Besides being an award-winning children's book illustrator,
Richard roasts his own coffee.
He once dismantled a hotel window so he could
roast coffee for an illustrator pal without setting off the fire alarm.

Here's a stunning painting Richard created to go with one of my manuscripts.

Snow Queen
artwork (c) Richard Jesse Watson
Richard is also a folk dancer.
He loves  books, handball, anchovies, and waffles.
He can make or fix just about anything with epoxy. 
He has taught me much of what I know about art.
And he's my dad.
I'm inspired by him as an artist and a person.
Find him online at richardjessewatson.com.

Now, to the Q & A:

What am I currently working on?

Last week I shared with you the  driftwood of my life work.
Today I'll tell you about my other work - writing and art.
Lately I'm playing with picture book,
chapter book, and middle grade manuscripts,
as well as trying to work in some of that gorgeous momentum
I gathered from my UCSD "Illustrating Picture Books" course with Joy Chu.

I'm also working on creative discipline - how I manage my time.
Time is my huge thing. 
How to squeeze any more drops from days plumb full?

I drew a pie chart to see where all my spare time flows out
and to hunt for extra gaps I can curb into a writing / art habit.
I think it's helping. 

Why do I write what I write?

I write
to remember
the striking thing
about a day,
a shadow,
a loss.
to turn knobby memories
into strength and courage.
to spread adventure and creativity
like seeds
that will spark and sprout
in readers
and in me.

That's my why: remembrance. beauty. courage. hope. thanks.

 How does my writing / illustrating process work?

First, inspiration:

I keep notebooks, sketchbooks,
camera, pencils, pen
in car, in purse, in library bag,
in every place story lightning might strike.

Books!  I read like a sieve.
Not really sure how a sieve reads,
but I do
a lot. lot. lot.
(c) 2014 Faith Pray

Next, drafting.
I type manuscripts into a writing program called Scrivener,
and then write and rewrite until the manuscript feels just so.

I scribble sketches and move them around.
Sticky notes are brilliant for this.

Taping together mini books helps me feel how each story breathes.

And then I play with finishes.
Splashy ink and pen. Velvety oil pencils. Pooly paints.
I'm always playing.

When a story feels just so, I send it to my agent.
If he likes it, we work on changes,
and then he sends it out to publishers "on submission."

That's my writing process.
Next in this blog tour, my friend Carrie O'Neill
gets to tell you about how she works.
art (c) Carrie O'Neill

Carrie and I were friends in high school.
What a delight to discover her now at the SCBWI conference in Seattle!
Carrie is just as witty, talented and lovely as ever, and her art is vibrant and engaging.
I am excited to see what Carrie creates next, and I can't wait for you to meet her.

You can find Carrie at www.carrieoneill.com.
She'll be playing tag on her blog soon!


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2595. August 2014 Desktop Calendar

Firstly, I must send a HAPPY 11th BIRTHDAY shout-out to my awesome (and second oldest) son. YAY!
With August arriving tomorrow, I'm sneaking onto the computer to quickly post my August 2014 desktop calendar, and then it will be time to " Assemble the Trifle!!" My son's favorite dessert. ( *note- this must be hollered in an "assemble the minnions!" Frau Farbissina sort of voice, LOL).

  I have been experimenting with adding mixed media to my Plasticine illustrations, and this month's desktop calendar features an illo that has a fun Steampunk-y flavour. I used a mix of antique-y map papers, watch gears, burlap, metallic paints and polymer clay. Ever since I created the Steampunk-y Infinity Coil medallions for the covers of Marty Chan's YA novel,  The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles, Demon Gate, my head has been swirling with Steampunk inspired ideas. I have been working away on a picture book manuscript, featuring this little guy and his mechanical wings.  It's not quite there yet, but it will be one day...

I've also been working away on the pencil sketches for Gerbil, Uncurled(Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Spring 2015), written by Alison Hughes. I love this stage. Well,  I guess I love every stage of illustration :)  The studio is a flurry of papers. I like to hang up the sketches all around me, for easy reference- I am getting very excited to translate these into plasticine. Here's a pic of one wall of my studio at the moment:

(Yes, I've blurred out the images, 
we aren't quite ready to give any sneak peeks just yet. SOON!)

My day was made even more awesome when I saw that the first picture book I illustrated, Skink on the Brink( Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Spring 2013, written by Lisa Dalrymple) received a lovely review in The Deakin Review of Children's Literature. 

 I hope you are all having a wonderful summer so far. To download the desktop calendar simply select a screen resolution and right click " Save to desktop". Enjoy!

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2596. Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation

Iconic Book on grainedit.com

Designers are passionate about the products they use, so it’s no surprise that Apple has garnered an ubquitious yet cult-like status within our industry for their computers and hand-held devices. Jonathan Zufi, a mobility expert and self-proclaimed apple fanatic shares that sense of enthusiasm and has captured it in his latest endeavor. Over the past five years Jonathan has amassed an impressive collection of Apple-related products. Through thousands of photographs, an online site and the release of his book titled Iconic, he has documented Apple’s evolution and lovingly paid tribute to the company’s enduring legacy. Today we talk with Jonathan about his motivation for the project and the challenges he faced along the way.



Can you share a little bit about your background? What led you to become such a huge enthusiast of Apple’s products?
I’m a technology enthusiast and have been all my life. I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia and moved to Atlanta in 2005 when the mobile messaging business I was running starting to grow in the US market. I’ve used Microsoft and Apple platforms all my life, but my first Apple computer was an Apple IIc (1984). I’ve loved using Apple products for the same reasons that we all know and love about Apple – ease of use and elegant design.


Iconic Book on grainedit.com

In 2009 you launched Shrine of Apple – an online project which aimed to catalog every product Apple has ever made. How did that come about and what is its relationship to the book?
Growing up in Melbourne,  I used to play a game called RobotWar on an Apple II in the computer room of my old high school. In 2009 the game suddenly popped back into my head and I had the urge to play it again. I checked out some Apple II emulators but they didn’t cut it so I jumped onto eBay to look for an old Apple II to play with. After browsing through hundreds of vintage, I thought about the idea of creating a single place to go to see high definition imagery for the older, more retro Apple products with the goal of producing a fully comprehensive archive of everything Apple has produced since 1976.

What has been the hardest item for you to track down?
The Macintosh Color Classic II. I managed to find one in the original packaging for $2000. I think it’s worth a lot more to the hardcore collectors as this item is really quite hard to find.

Do you have an Apple product that is a personal favorite? If so, why?
I have to give two answers: my iPhone 5 and my Apple TV – I use both of these products every day, they both work seamlessly and I couldn’t work without them.

Iconic Book on grainedit.com

Over time Apple has introduced many prototypes and products that are now quite obscure. How familiar were you with these products previous to starting the project? 
I was completely unfamiliar with many of the products in my book before I started – it was only once I crystallized the idea of actually trying to get *every* product made in Cupertino. Finding the prototypes was a long journey that grew out of many relationships I fostered through multiple eBay sellers that I connected with during my (rather large) buying spree.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when preparing for the book?
The decision to self publish was the biggest challenge. I did massive research prior to coming to this decision – including costs, logistics, market appetite and potential – I eventually came to the realization that self publishing was the best path to take. Once I took this direction, I had to take on the role of publisher, editor, distributor, etc which was a really tough learning experience. As I come to the end of my first print run and prepare for a second, I’m proud that I met this challenge head on and overcame it, beating the odds that many self publishers come up against.

Another huge challenge was meeting the expectations of my target audience. To create a fine art photography book about a subject like Apple meant creating an experience that would not only make the reader excited, nostalgic and completely satisfied with their purchase, but also create an honorable, respectful tribute that would earn strong accolades from members of the Apple family – ex-employees, shareholders, and other people connected to the greater ecosystem around the company. When I look at the emails, tweets and Amazon reviews I’ve received for ICONIC, I am so proud and grateful that I’ve met that challenge head on.

I noticed that Steve Wozniak wrote the forward to the book. What was his response to the project?
I met Steve for dinner in Atlanta early 2013 and had the opportunity to show him a draft of the book on my iPad. We got through most of the PDF when he turned to me and said “Jonathan – this is incredible. How on earth did you do this?”. I was floored and obviously honored beyond words. I told Steve that I wanted to get his blessing on the book and asked if he would write a foreword – he happily agreed and has been a huge fan of the book ever since. He’s a very busy guy but he said that he’s a strong supporter of ‘passion projects’ and so he agreed to participate.



We would like to thank Jonathan Zufi for taking the time to share with us. We encourage you to visit his website, Shrine of Apple. The classic edition of his book, Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation, features 326 pages and over 650 images. In addition, a special limited-edition version complete with metal cover and foil-stamped slipcase is available.

Both the classic and the special edition can be purchased at iconicbook.com.  ***For grain edit readers Jonathan has graciously offered a 20% discount on all editions of the book. Enter the code GRAINEDIT2014 during check out to take advantage of this savings.


Iconic Book on grainedit.com

Iconic: Special Edition with Corvon® Metal-X cover and foil stamped slip case.


This Post has been brought to you by Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation.



Also worth viewing…
Mike Cina Interview
Brent Couchman/ Moniker SF Interview
Ty Mattson Interview

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2597. How Japanese Animators Use Flash to Create Amazing TV Animation

Science Saru, the new studio started by Japanese directors Masaaki Yuasa and Eunyoung Choi, has shared a behind-the-scenes look at how they used Flash in the recent TV series "Ping Pong."

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2598. Peter Pan Diamond Edition - You Can Fly Clip

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2599. Harts Pass No. 211

The fact of the matter is that we're ALL watching the skies and surrounding hills just a little closer -- sniffing the air to decide if the wind has changed and the smoke is settling in or blowing less obviously but still ominously to the east. Its going to be a long hot summer still ahead, and while the eight recent days of highest concern seem somewhat now at bay (including, yes the disposal of many a spoiled food item) it can't hurt to remain vigilant. Oh, and wolverines (of the mustelid family after all) do tend to smell a bit -- musty.

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2600. Welcome to the new world of street art..BANKSY can SUCK IT.

I have been at the Harborview Me3dical Center in Seattle for almost 14 days (court mandated) and was delighted to see that Tayfun Sarier and Guus ter Beek have done what I have wanted to do all year.  Namely, the two artists have redefined waht street art is by using GIFs in the real world.  Making GIFs part of the analog world is the whole fucking point.  THings are going to change bug time in the next few years in terms of advertising too.  I'm too tired to write anymore so i will just post a link to the article that mentions me....Thanks Tayfun and Guus for making the world more interesting for me.  I also own all the copyrights to my artwork and drawings which are done with ink pen and color dye marker on paper.  Maybe now I can get a fucking art gallery to represent me since i'm tired of the interweb. READ ON...
Duo takes street art to the next level....

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