Here some pictures from my new picture book by Elena Folkerts.
Apropos of "Star Wars Day," our carbon outputs have a direct relationship to the state of climate change. We (and the Arctic) are trapped in a vicious cycle -- ahem, ala Mr. Solo -- and we should support the President and his plans to limit emissions. May the 4th be With You!
by Deborah Marcero PART 1: PATH TO PUBLICATION
I have always loved writing and drawing. My love of making art took me to art school, then to New York City for a few years, which then led to me to an MFA in Poetry.
In all those years of my twenties I collected many tools, but even after my MFA, I still wasn’t sure how I was going to use all that I had learned to build a creative life. After a few years of freelancing, I decided to take another turn altogether and dedicated myself to teaching.
I worked in the Chicago Public Schools as a reading and writing lead teacher for three years. This job, with all its rewards and hardships, gave me an incredible gift: it re-introduced me to the books I fell in love with as a kid, and showed me NEW books I wished were around when I had been in fifth grade.
I led enrichment programs, one of which was “Young Authors," where I stayed after school and helped my students publish their works as authors and illustrators. Working with them, made me realize, I want to do this. For real. That was 2009.
In between then and now, I stopped teaching, started my own photography business, moved to a small city in Michigan and began to dedicate half or more of my time to writing and illustrating. In Ursa’s Light, my debut picture book, so much of my journey to publication is in her story. Ursa is a dreamer and a scientist. She embodies one of my favorite quotes from Thoreau:
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
It is through being a dreamer and a pragmatist, that I found my path. And like Ursa, I have failed many times. Each of those failures shaped my journey and forced me to be even more determined, creative and patient.
Ursa’s victory isn’t just that she becomes a shooting star in the play. It’s more than that. Her dream, her amplified study of the world, her taking risks and making embarrassing mistakes and ultimately being brave enough to be HERSELF in front of everyone - is her shining moment. To be her true self, to be seen, to be vulnerable – flaws, oddities and all – to follow the beat of her own drum, to forge her own path is Ursa’s journey, and it’s mine too.
I am now writing and drawing every day. I wake up every morning to a life I am truly grateful for. I am still failing and learning and growing. But all those tools I’ve picked up along the way, from 1000 hours of figure drawing in art school to studying poetry, to teaching narrative writing to my fourth graders – all those tools are on my table now. They are in use, and helping me build the creative life I have always wanted. PART 2 : ILLUSTRATION METHOD FOR URSA’S LIGHT
Once the manuscript was approved, I composed and paced all the spreads in detail with a very fine pencil (2H 0.3 mm lead).
Once the sketches were approved, I inked in all the lines with Black Cat India ink and a dip-ink pen.
Then, before I moved to color, I decided on a color palette for the entire book (this is the MOST important part!). I was also given the option to create a font for Ursa (which, consequently is one of my favorite things to do) so of course, I said YES.
Ursa’s palettes of rusts, mossy greens, sometimes-heavy blacks, brick red and navy anchor the story in a gritty pull-yourself-up-with-your-own-bootstraps kind of tone, and avoids (for example) saccharine pastels, which could have turned Ursa’s tale into something different altogether. Not that I don’t love pastels – I DO! Just not for Ursa.
After I established the palette, I created a stack of potential textures – woodblock cuts, ink lines, watercolor, gouache, etc. on my drawing table. Then, finally, I digitally layered, pieced and collaged them into the ink line-work.
A little more behind the scenes development of my illustration style for Ursa’s Light can be found on my blog here: http://deborahmarcero.com/coming-soon-ursas-light/
We are sticking with Blue Print for this next post with a selection of single flyers for designers who will be represented at the show by the Cinnamon Joe Studio, who are also the organisers of Blue Print. Here we see gorgeous designs from Balakrishna Madana, Rachel Westhead, Rosie Maddocks, Helen Black, Kim Hawes and Luan Thomas.
Harriet Mellor is a British artist and designer based in Germany who will be exhibiting for the very first time at both Surtex and Blue Print and is represented by Brenda Manley.
Medieval flock. #100daysofoilcrayon #the100dayproject 17/100 #matsbootcamp2016 #medievalmotifs #lisafirke
Just scribbling. #makeartthatsells #matsbootcamp2016 #lisafirke #medievalmotifs
How would you like a private look into the creative journals of all your favorite concept artists and fantasy painters? Award-winning art director Jon Schindehette is kickstarting an art book with work by artists from a variety of backgrounds.
Each artist gets a spread, and they can combine words and images any way they want. Here's the spread by Spectrum Grand Master Gerald Brom.
This one is by John Harris. The goal is to give everyone a chance to lure the viewer into their own creative vortex.
My spread has the sketches and ideas that led up to the giant robot painting "Aftermath."
Participating artists include Iain McCaig
, Allen Williams
, Laurie Lee Brom
, Gerald Brom
, Sean Murray
, Karla Ortiz
, Sterling Hundley
, Craig Elliott
Bill Carman,Jon Foster Ron Lemen Vanessa Lemen Mark A. Nelson Tony DiTerlizzi
Filippo Vanzo, John-Paul Balmet
Petar Meseldzija, Rob Rey Stephanie Law Reiko Murakami John Picacio
Kinuko Craft, Alyssa Winans, Andrea Sipl, John Harris, Bastien Lecouffe Deharme, Bud Cook, Chuck Lucacs, Elizabeth Leggett, Eva Widermann, Filippo Vanzo, Galen Dara Smith
, Grahame Baker Smith,George Pratt
, Henrik Uldalen, Ian Miller, J.A.W. Cooper, Jessica Shirley, Kelly McKernan, Micah Epstein, Mike Yamada, Nekro, Richard Anderson, Rob Rey, Rovina Cai, Samuel Araya
, Sho Murase, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, Tommy Arnold, Tooba Rezaei, Tracy Lewis, Tuna Bora
, Yukari Masuike, and me—and that's not even everybody.
Jon is doing this to benefit the artists and to give the backers a thing of true beauty and mystery.
This is the kick-ass campaign that you'll be glad you kickstarted, and if you miss out, you'll kick yourself later.ArtOrder Invitational on Kickstarter
Look for the Scholastic RV this summer! Honored to have my art on this massive bookmobile. Find it on the #SummerReading road trip!
Sigurður Oddsson, also known as Siggi Odds, is a designer and illustrator currently living in Reykjavík. Having grown up in Vancouver, Odds is highly influenced by Northwest Coast aboriginal art and its use of limited forms and colors. He is currently an art director at Jonsson & Le’Macks and has pursued numerous side projects such an interactive music composition entitled The Infinite String Quartet, collaborating on a line of quilts, designing album covers, and creating a series of posters using the phone app Doodle Buddy.
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Thanks to this week's Sponsor // RetroSupply Co. - the #1 online marketplace for retro inspired effects for Photoshop and Illustrator.
I gave a presentation to the New Richmond, WI community last night. I love that they had my childhood favorites on sale! Thank you, Valley Bookseller!
I've almost finished illustrating Jinks & O'Hare Funfair Repair! I ought to celebrate by tidying my desk.
Happy Children's Book Week! Grace Lin, Lisa Yee, "Dan Santat" and I kicked it off with lunch.
Friday is School Lunch Hero Day! You don't need elaborate plans, just a simple thank-you card to spread some joy & gratitude.
Zesti - aka designer Ine Beerten) will be exhibiting at Blue Print in booth 35. Ine is very excited to be doing her first solo show after exhibiting with the Forest Foundry Collective at Surtex for the past two years. If this colourful kitchen collection (above & below) is anything to go by then you will see wonderful things from Zesti at the show and Ine's portfolio is certainly not to be
A while back I'm sketching on the street in San Juan, Puerto Rico, not far from a fancy hotel. A guy wearing old clothes comes up and sits quietly near me.
We don't talk much at first. But after a while he tells me he's an artist, too. I ask if I can sketch him, and he says, sure. He says he played bass in all the jazz clubs from New York to New Orleans.
This is the kind of spontaneous encounter that I'll be documenting in my next video called "Portraits in the Wild," which should be finished in a month or so.
Homework was to write about a famous woman. My kid brainstormed this list. She couldn't choose one, so she's writing a book called Famous Women that I Like! #prouddad
Rose window 16/100 #100daysofoilcrayon #the100dayproject #medievalmotifs #matsbootcamp2016 #lisafirke