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73726. Creaky Old House

I received this adorable book last week from my neighbor, Lori, and her kids, Nate and Jack, to cheer me up after my dog died. And it sure did bring a smile to my face! If you've ever embarked on a home renovation project, you will totally be able to relate to this very funny tale of a large family and their beloved home. Written completely in rhyme, this is a story about a small fixit project that grows into a complete house remodel.

Author Linda Ashman and illustrator Michael Chesworth are a perfect match to tell this story. There is a character for every member of the family to relate to and a darling surprise ending.

When a screw falls out of a doorknob, and a replacement cannot be found, the story takes off on a fast paced adventure to replace the doorknob and then the door and then the doorframe.....

"But then," said John, "the couch won't fit.
We'll have to shift that wall a bit."
"Fine," said Lou, "but if we do,
we'll have to move the stairway, too."

Well, you can see where this is all going....The characters are brought to life by Chesworth's whimisical drawings. The paintings were created in ink, watercolor and pencil on Arches hot- press watercolor paper. You can see more of Michael Chesworth's illustrations on his website www.crashbangboom.com. Even his website url is creative!

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend everyone!

1 Comments on Creaky Old House, last added: 5/28/2010
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73727. The Prince of Persia

The Prince of Persia opens today - girl's night out, woohoo!

6 Comments on The Prince of Persia, last added: 5/30/2010
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73728. 'Her' Again

Rough pencils:

Rougher still:

Rough as a bag of sand paper:

I was running out of time when I was working on the pencils and had to rush these roughs somewhat... I doubt anyone would have been able to ink these for me, there was a substantial amount of tightening up before I went to inks.

There was a slight change of plan with page one, panel four, after the Emperor made a suggestion about the two "heroes" perhaps falling together. Originally I'd conceived of a situation where the beheaded guy's head was resting between his eyes, but I think the reworked version is so much more successful as it allowed for the head to still be looking at Her... even in death, he is besotted with Her!


There is much to be happy about with these pages, alt

1 Comments on 'Her' Again, last added: 5/28/2010
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73729. illustration friday - 'early'

Camille felt most alive when she was up early.

I haven't posted on IF for a while now and I am afraid this entry is far from -early- which is this weeks topic.

6 Comments on illustration friday - 'early', last added: 5/28/2010
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73730. Alice, underdrawing 9/14

Note : I am posting the progression of these Alice pieces, start to finish. This stage is the underdrawing.


Next post, Friday : The Gryphon

2 Comments on Alice, underdrawing 9/14, last added: 5/29/2010
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A friend of mine is having a tea party themed birthday...so I figured what better time to do a team party themed illustration!

2 Comments on , last added: 5/30/2010
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73732. Imaginary Landscape II

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; } Imaginary Landscape II, originally uploaded by dain.

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73733. Japanese animated commercials online archive

Here’s one for the history buffs: a link to a fascinating online archive of fifty vintage Japanese animated commercials.

This site is part of an on-line exhibition showcasing domestic life in Japan during the “Showa” period (the Hirohito era, 1926-89). Japan’s Research Institute for Digital Media and Content (DMC Institute) digitized of a large collection of TV advertisements obtained from the Momoya Co., a leading food company. The collection consists of 218 animated TV spots that date back to 1953. Of the 50 pieces posted on-line, the earliest one was produced in 1958. These provide a glimpse at a rarely discussed early phase of anime history.

(Thanks, Carlo Guillot)

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73734. Chicken Stops by the office to help out with CHICKEN BUTT'S BACK

Erica Perl helps Chicken out with Henry Cole's Sketches

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73735. Imaginary Landscape I

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; } Imaginary Landscape I, originally uploaded by dain.

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73736. The man with no name

I know we've already got two that are similar, but by chance I had done this quick sketch awhile back and thought it perfect for this weeks theme.


1 Comments on The man with no name, last added: 5/28/2010
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73737. Portait illustrations for advertising agency

Here are 3 illustrations I've done for and advertising agency pitch presentations. They provided with the photos and I had to illustrate them with the same style as the one of Julian Opie

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73738. Bertie

The model had a masculine name, and a reddish masculine face.
Oil paint on paper 40cm x 51cm. Click to enlarge.

2 Comments on Bertie, last added: 5/29/2010
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73739. Flying Machine

This is Zucco's gas propelled flyer. I originally did a few sketches for the topic: Flying Machine and ended up submitting this one for the challenge instead. There's a gas powered machine in the works. Trying to get myself motivated to getting more illos of Zucco done lately and this blog has definitely helped with loads of inspiration!

Larger image here

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73740. Letters from a Philatilist

How nice to get a letter in the mail. So many times all that's in the mailbox is junk mail and, even worse, bills. It's doubly nice to receive a letter from a stamp museum. These letters are from Mr Henry Lukas is the education director at the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History where I did an author visit a couple of weeks ago. I love how he stuff the corner of the envelopes with all sorts of stamps. It like a little art museum on every letter.

Also during my visit I met lots of new friends including my buddy Nicholas who sent me this wonderful picture of a tarantula. Thank you Nicholas!!

BTW, if you are in the Boston area, the Spellman Museum is having another family day on July 4th.

1 Comments on Letters from a Philatilist, last added: 5/29/2010
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73742. Why I Promote the “Competition”

(Illustration by Brandon Dawley)

Here at Escape from Illustration Island, I spend a lot of time interviewing artists and sharing tutorials, books, blogs, podcasts, and other resources with the Illustration community.  I do everything I can to find and pass on useful and inspiring information to people like you.

Every once in a while, someone will ask me “Why do you promote your competition?”

I understand the thought behind that question.  After all, if I keep sending people away to other blogs, podcasts, and websites, how will I ever keep my audience at my own site, where I want them to be.

However, promoting the so-called “competition” is a big part of what Escape from Illustration Island is all about.

I take sharing resources seriously, and if I censored my information to cut out anything that would send people somewhere else, then I wouldn’t have very much to talk about, and I never would have built trust and formed relationships with the EFII community.

Escape from Illustration Island is a place where Illustrators and other creative professionals can come to break out of the isolation of their studio and connect with other artists, find useful tools, and hopefully learn to be even better at what we do.

Judging from the growth of this site and the EFII Podcast, there’s a big need for what I’m doing here, and it wouldn’t be possible without everyone that I might otherwise consider my “competition”.  I invite my fellow artists to share their ideas and join the discussions in the comments sections and Weekend Forums.  I work with my fellow podcasters to help bring our shows to a wider audience through reviews, cross-over shows, and the Visual Artist Podcast Network.  I collaborate with other bloggers to highlight useful posts and ideas.  And, like many of you, I pass on great links through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

At a base level, every artist, blog, and podcast out there is my competition.  There’s no doubt about that.  But one of the things I love about the Illustration community is the generosity of its members and a desire to help each other succeed and find inspiration.  There is such a thing as healthy competition.  That’s the kind that motivates us to improve, expand, ands always reach for the next rung on the ladder.  Not to mention, the more you assist and promote your fellow creators, the more they will do the same for you.

In short, if you see everyone else as your “competition”, you will never Escape from Illustration Island.

So, you can always count on me to promote my competitors in order to to achieve my two main goals:  to share resources and to BE a resource to the Illustration community.  If that means that I have to lead people away from my site from time to time, then so be it.

In the spirit of that, here is a collection of past articles that will send you away from EFII.  May you find something useful to share with your competition.

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73743. Intelligence in Lifestyle

Grain Edit / Intelligence in Lifestyle Magazine

Intelligence in Lifestyle, an Italian magazine and supplement to the Il Sole 24 ORE newspaper, is one tasty piece of work. That striking cover above initially grabbed my attention, but inside is just as compelling.

Under the creative direction of Francesco Franchi, the magazine uses a strong structured grid and nicely combines illustration, logo design, typography and plenty of amazing info graphics. The entire thing leaves me wishing I could read Italian to follow along.

Francesco Franchi’s Flickr has more spreads, covers and general awesomeness.

Via the always fresh Portland-based Colorcubic.

Grain Edit / Intelligence in Lifestyle Magazine

Grain Edit / Intelligence in Lifestyle Magazine

Grain Edit / Intelligence in Lifestyle Magazine

Grain Edit / Intelligence in Lifestyle Magazine

Grain Edit / Intelligence in Lifestyle Magazine

Grain Edit / Intelligence in Lifestyle Magazine

Grain Edit / Intelligence in Lifestyle Magazine

Grain Edit / Intelligence in Lifestyle Magazine

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Vintage kids book Mi Diccionario is in the Grain Edit Shop

Grain Edit recommends Colo Pro A font designed by Font Fabric. Check it out here.

©2009 Grain Edit - catch us on Facebook and twitter

73744. I don't quite understand this myself.

Somehow, I find myself the winner of a Daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Achievement on an Animated Television Series.
The award is for character designs I created for a show within a show on Sesame Street, called Abby's Flying Fairy School.
I'm very happy to get this award (hell, I'm happy to get any award) but it's still mysterious to me.
The Emmy's are like the Oscar's in that there are nominees who must wait for the evening of the event and the tearing of the envelope to see who finally wins. For some reason, my category, Outstanding etc., is the only one that is prejudged so I don't even get to look shocked, nervously unfold my crumpled speech and forget to mention my wife. I do, however, get the swell statuette as seen above.
The gig came about completely by accident when I bumped into an acquaintance, Ronda Music, at my local coffee shop. She told me about this show she was producing and would I consider doing some designs for it. I said, "Absolutely not! No Way. I'm busy working on my children's book and it would be suicide for me to try and do anything more."
I started work that afternoon.
I have always loved the Muppets (talk about pleasing character design!). If anyone has ever honed in on what makes a character appealing, it was Jim Henson and it was fun using his visual vocabulary. My only regret is that they aren't actual, real-life Muppets (the show is CG). I would love a chance to design one of them!



A Gerbilcorn ( a gerbil/unicorn)

Miss Sparklenose

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73745. Mystery Planet Night Creatures

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; } Mystery Planet Night Creatures, originally uploaded by dain.

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73747. Imaginary Landscape III

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; } Imaginary Landscape III, originally uploaded by dain.

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73748. london mcm expo starts tomorrow!

...and may The Force be with the Fleece Station. Just to get in the mood for MCM Expo this weekend, Lauren came up with this splendid film, starring all of our studio mates: Gary, Ellen, Lauren and me. Come look for The Fleece Station in the Comics Village at London's ExCel Centre! And The DFC Library will have a big booth with loads of stuff happening both days, with me, Gary, the Etherington Brothers, Dave Shelton, Neill Cameron, Emma Vieceli, Adam Brockbank, and John Aggs, possibly more. (Find out about us all over on the Super Comics Adventure Squad website!) Get the creators to draw in your copies of Spider Moon, Mezolith, and Good Dog, Bad Dog and watch the artists draw, collect badges, and a whole bunch of other great stuff. And I'm in a Draw-off competition, we'll see what happens there. ... So, are you going? :D

I'm going to be selling copies of the Birdsong/Songbird anthology, Dear Diary mini comics, You Can't Eat a Princess! and Morris the Mankiest Monster. Plus, last time Gary and I started making nutty little watercolour paintings on the spot and charging a fiver (festival extreme special price), so if we're feeling feisty, we might do that again.

Click the pic to see our oh-so-fab film

And here are some lovely faces from the Comica Social Club, organised by graphic designer Peter Stanbury which meets in London on the last Thursday of every month. The idea is that at least one person will always be wearing The Green Fez, so if people don't know anyone, they can find the person in the fez, who can then introduce them to other people. Here's the Facebook page with details.

One other cool thing, my friend Dan Brewer sent me a link to these fabulous Russian Hobbit illustrations. (Thanks, Dan!)

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73749. Illustration Friday - Slither

Another illustration from my picture book, DANCING DREAMS, to be published by Accord Publishing in Sept 2010.

9 Comments on Illustration Friday - Slither, last added: 5/30/2010
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73750. Poetry Friday: Jack Pine

Jack Pine is a book of poetry for children by Christopher Patton, illus. by Cybele Young (Groundwood, 2007).   It is about the Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana), an ubiquitous member of the pine tree family, seen in most parts of boreal Canada and the northern U.S.   It’s a gutsy, spindly, tenacious tree, that is hardy but not of particular use to humans.  As Patton speaks of the unlovely qualities of the tree, he adds “What matters more than all of this –/ he’s useless. Just useless. No good/for lumber, ships, shingles, or crates./Useless!” But this is not entirely true. The Jack pine has another name. It is often called the ‘nurse tree’ and slowly through the book, the poet reveals this inner quality of the tree.

Cybele Young’s wonderful “illustrations” are a bit of a misnomer since they were originally three dimensional collages of etched paper. The etchings show the Jack Pine in its various states of being — as a seedling or fully grown, juxtaposed against some of the settings where the tree is found. Other varieties of pine like the white and red pines, are also displayed and written about. The array of juxtaposed etched images convey a sense of the dynamic range of the Jack Pine in both setting and poetic ’story.’

Jack Pine felt to me to be a very Canadian poetry book, celebrating a tree most Canadians know well, having seen them from off the highway or in the woods and near farms. When I was young, our family used to go hunting for matsutake mushrooms in the Rockies, and it was under the loose sandy soils where the lodgepole pines (a close relation to the Jack Pine) thrive, that some of the best mushrooms could be found.  For us a stand of these particularly ‘useless’ pines was a sign of treasure for what they ‘nursed’ below!

This week Poetry Friday host is Patricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

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