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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: illustration, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. SkADaMo 2014

Attention shoppers! It is now 9:00 and our store is closing.
9:00! Great Scott! The store is gonna close!
Santa can’t wait all night.
Come on up on Santa’s lap.
Get moving, kid. Quit dragging your feet.

santaeyeoutsanta
And what’s your name, little boy?
Hey, kid, hurry up, the store’s closing!
Listen, little boy, we got a lot of people waiting here, so get going!
What do you want for Christmas, little boy?
My mind had gone blank.
Frantically I tried to remember what it was I wanted.
I was blowing it, blowing it.
How about a nice football?
Football. What’s a football?
Without conscious will, my voice squeaked out:
Football.
Okay, get him out of here.
A football!    Oh, no. What was I doing?
Wake up, stupid, wake up!
I want an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot… range model air rifle.

You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.

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2. Target sightings

I just ran to Target to do some last minute shopping and found two holiday items with my designs...
First, I found Christmas cards with my fox design - there is also a giftwrap which I blabbed about earlier on Instagram and Facebook, if you want to see it.


The other is a winter design on paper plates...




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3. SkADaMo 2014 Day 21

catfishes

A pretty obvious one, but hey…

Wondering what SkADaMo is, check this out.


6 Comments on SkADaMo 2014 Day 21, last added: 11/26/2014
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4. Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson is an Illustrator represented by Heart Illustration Agency. He is inspired by folk art, 1930s studio photography and secondhand bookshops. His clients include; Penguin, Creative Review, Radio Times and The New York Times to name a few.

To see more of this great illustrators work: Visit his website and blog

Posted by Jessica Holden

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5. The 'Stars on Canvas' Auction Results - Wow!!


Thank you SO much to all those who bid on my little bear canvas. On the final morning of the Stars on Canvas auction, I looked to see how it was going and he was still at £74, so I was blown away yesterday when I discovered that he finally sold for £296.45! That's fantastic, isn't it? It's loads more than I expected, as the last one I did, an illustration from Class Two at the Zoo, sold for £155, so I am delighted.


I don't know who got my little, growly bear in the end, but I am sure he has gone to a good home. If you bought him, thank you, and thank you to everyone who bid on all the various canvases. Let's hope The Willow Foundation made shed-loads of spondoolies!

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6. SkADaMo 2014 Day 20

jeerkat

What is SkADaMo? Check this out.


2 Comments on SkADaMo 2014 Day 20, last added: 11/26/2014
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7. SkADaMo 2014

kill ralphie
The light was getting purple and soft outside.
Almost time for my father to come home from work.
What’s the matter? What you crying for?
Daddy’s going to kill Ralphie.
No, he’s not.
Yes, he is, too.
No, he’s not.
I promise you Daddy is not going to kill Ralphie.
Why don’t you come on out of there?
Would you like some milk?
You would?
Here you go.
All right?
I’ll see you later? Okay. Bye.
I heard the car roar up the driveway, and a wave of terror broke over me.
He’ll know what I said, the awful things that I said.

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8. Calendar 2015



Calendario 12 mesi

edizione limitata di sole 50 copie
Carta patinata, 30x24cm

Monthly calendar, limited edition of 50 copies only
Matte Finish paper,  11,81x 9x44 inch. Italian language.

Price € 15,00 + spedizione (shipping)

Shipping/Spedizione
Italia                           raccomandata   € 3,00

Europa                       priority mail (not registered)   € 7,oo

                                   registered mail € 9,50
                          

for more info contact: blog.aris.blog@gmail.com

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9. Freelancing for Free?

There it lies in my inbox, another tantalising proposition for illustrators. Carefully written, brimming with enthusiasm and creative aspirations, how this wonderful project will be seen by all kinds of important people.... it all looks very exciting.  So I scroll down for the important details: what's the brief? When is the deadline? And, crucially, what is the fee? But oh, how strange, there's no mention of fees. And then comes the fateful line, usually in small print right in the last paragraph...

"Although there is no fee for participation this will be a great opportunity for exposure"

Well, as has often been repeated, people can die from exposure. And yet nowadays we constantly hear in the creative industry of projects and "opportunities" for artists and other creatives that offer no pay at all, but are, bizarrely, nevertheless supposed to be good for us. Now, feeding myself and my daughter and maintaining a roof over our heads is good for us, it keeps us alive, that's for sure. But working for free? Erm, no! 

It used to be the case that low fees were undermining the business of illustration, that is bad enough in itself. But now we hear tales of no fees at all! Generally these so-called opportunities fit into one of two types:


The "Good for Exposure" Project

The client needs creative work, but say they don't have the budget for a fee.  Instead they attempt to persuade artists by saying it will be great "exposure" for your work, or a great addition to your portfolio. They might tempt you with "this one is free but it will lead on to other work" (probably also free!). They might add "all our other contributors are doing it for free". Often they don't have funds because the business model is fundamentally flawed. Nomatter how well the illustration is packaged there is no respect for the illustrator and the project has not budgeted for creative content, only for production. So the printer gets paid, the distributor gets paid, and maybe the publisher gets paid. But not the malleable contributors.

Sometimes the projects are worded as if they are charities, artists are thanked for "donating their services" - well that's great for philanthropy, sometimes I do offer my work for free to a worthy cause I believe in, a registered charity that will benefit people or environments in crisis. That's my decision, because I want to support the charity. But a commercial enterprise is not a charity. You're selling a product or service? You pay the printer? Then you pay me!

Good for your portfolio? No it's not, because if it's free, the chances are it's an unprofessional job that will mean nothing to a respectable art director. If you want to improve your portfolio work on your own projects!

The client (especially self-publishers) might suggest a profit-sharing agreement "If the project is successful the contributors will be paid royalties". If you're a writer considering this, don't! - this is dragging your contributors into your gamble. Speculation means risk - only offering payment if the project/product sells is obliging people you employ to take on your risk. Freelance illustrators are not in a position to gamble on other people's ideas.

It's not only published material, the same principle applies to speaker engagements - if you're asked to speak at an event you should be paid, unless it's a group you yourself is involved with and want to freely volunteer for.  


The Speculative Pitch

The other type of "free" work is when major clients ask illustrators for spec work to compete for a job. Juried competitions for illustrators have been around for a long time - freely submitted works are selected by a jury for an important exhibition or a notable prize, the winners get the prize, those rejected - well, better luck next time. I don't go in for this kind of thing, but I can understand the appeal for others if the prize/award/exhibition is big enough to warrant pursuing. However in recent years this practice has been twisted into use by companies for nothing more substantial than an illustration commission. The word is put out, artists are commissioned or invited to pitch by creating a sample piece of free artwork, the client just picks the one they like, the rest go hungry.

A friend recently shared this fun animation that spells it out very clearly.

I've even seen some some competitions that require artists to pay submission fees, with nothing more substantial to offer the winner than a poster commission. Not only is this an appauling way to treat artists, it's an invitation for unscrupulous clients to use whatever they want from the rejected artwork as well as the chosen piece.

Supporting Start-ups


But what's that you say? Having to pay contributors prevents cash-strapped entrepeneurs starting worthy projects? Ground-breaking, start-up initiatives with great ideas will have to sell out to find the funds? Well there are innumerable ways that new projects can raise money, ranging from applying for Arts Council grants to staging benefit fund-raising events, from selective sponsorship to distribution deals. All things that should be established before commissioning writers and illustrators. Attaining backing is not a simple task, no one is saying it's easy, but many of these start-up enterprises don't pursue funding, it's so much easier to just say "no fee" and push the pain down the chain onto their contributors.

Collectives and collaborations are another possibility - in a collective everyone shares the risk (and the profit if it's a success), the contributors control the project, it's a group share. Like writers collaborating with illustrators, submitting their manuscripts as joint authors to publishers it's your project, not a client's. Neither of these are the same as asking artists to work for free on a commercial concern they don't own.

I once ran a music fanzine back in my post-art college days. The first issue cost very little to produce, was badly printed and was entirely created and distributed by me, but it sold out with a small profit, which enabled issue 2 to be better printed and have a bigger print run. That too sold out, which funded more improvements in issue 3... and so it grew. Gradually it evolved into a fine little journal, in the end there were other contributors, all paid a moderate but acceptable fee for their contribution. I'm not saying every project should work this way, but it goes to show how new ventures can get going, grow and maintain their integrity, without "selling out". The trouble is a lot of these non-payers are not interested in looking after their contributors, they regard them as the weakest, most flexible part of the production chain. Or due to the parameters of the job they are unwilling/unable to put time and effort into growing something from a small acorn to majestic oak.

These kind of unethical proposals have always been around, in the past they were in the realm of unscrupulous outfits and beginners, but nowadays the "unpaid gig" is creeping into every aspect of mainstream creative media and the arts, from small entrepeneurs to the biggest publications and corporations. These practices are becoming more and more prevalent from companies who should know better. And of course they do know the score, but they also know that for all the professional artists who walk away there will be a bunch of young illustrators desperate for work, any work, who leap at the chance to get into print. Paid or unpaid.

No, no, no, no NO! I will not work for free, and I will not stand by and see fellow illustrators taken advantage of. "This opportunity may not be right for every artist" says one no-payer. Believe me, it is not right for any artist, it's not something we can ignore, free work is undermining the industry, not only for those who undertake such work, but for every freelancer. Free work is sapping the life out of the creative business, it's not an opportunity, it's an abuse, and it must be stopped!

So I'm taking a pledge. From now on every time I hear about or receive one of these bad practice "opportunities" I'll warn all the artists I know, I'll post on Twitter and wherever necessary. I won't just let it pass.

Some further reading

There is a lot of material on the web from artists and other creatives standing against no-fee assignments, here are a few good articles:
Emmeline Pidgen article against working for free
Lauren Panepinto post on the differences between Spec Work, Working for Exposure, and Competitions
The Business of Illustration on Working for Free, including a link to Harlan Ellison's much shared but timelessly hilarious rant Pay the Writer.


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10. SkADaMo 2014 Day 19

Gobbull

Ok, I know, I know… I’m reaching now. So, here ya go, a feeble attempt to keep with the holiday theme.

What is SkADaMo? Check it out here.


8 Comments on SkADaMo 2014 Day 19, last added: 11/26/2014
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11. SKETCH TIME/PLAY TIME


I spent the afternoon exploring ideas for a deer themed illustration/painting for my husband and I's joint fine art venture (Slumberland Studio). We will attempt to collaborate in the art-making process, but first we need ideas! We each have to come up with three composition ideas to show each other and then we'll settle on one to develop further and bring to finish---with actual paint---imagine that! I only got through one of my 3 ideas today. More to come!

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12. In a Puddle


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13. SkADaMo 2014 Day 18

stink 2


6 Comments on SkADaMo 2014 Day 18, last added: 11/24/2014
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14. SkADaMo 2014 Day 17

quackoon use

Not unlike a platypus, but ya know…


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15. SkADaMo 2014

fight
Deep in the recesses of my brain…
a tiny red-hot little flame began to grow.
Something had happened.
A fuse blew and I had gone out of my skull.
I’m telling my dad!
Hey, Ralphie!
Beat him up! Beat him up!
Did you hear what he said?
I have since heard of people under…
extreme duress speaking in strange tongues.
I became conscious that a steady torrent of obscenities…
and swearing of all kinds was pouring out of me as I screamed.

Ralphie!

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16. fancy mail

Today's package is a bit intimidating, and not only because of it's size.
Voila: my page in this year's Directory of Illustration!!!!!!!

TaDa!

I submitted this last spring, and while there are things I would do differently today, (you know how it is) I'm pretty proud of it. It's a nice big book, I wonder where all the other copies are heading out to today...

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17. forgive me

I can only apologise, profusely, for what I'm about to do. I hate myself for doing it, but I am about to mention the C-word. 
Yes, as soon as you know, Christmas will be upon us. Well, for once, I've been thinking ahead and I've put this bumper pack of AJ goodies together just in time. This includes my book, 3 zines, bag, badges, postcards, greetings cards & stickers.
You can get your little mits on it HERE.
Sorry, again.

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18. Umizoomi – Children’s Book Illustration

Children’s book illustration – Working with Licensed Art

umizoomi children's book illustration cover art christmasA few years ago I teamed up with a good friend of mine to work on some children’s book illustration for Random House and Nickelodeon. We were hired to create two different Umizoomi books, one for Christmas and one about a lost kitten. Umizoomi was completely new to me and when the request came in I actually had to look the characters up on line. When I was younger my children used to watch all the kid shows so it was easy to get familiar with them. Now that my kids are older I have to watch them all on my own. I must admit it’s not nearly as fun but I do still enjoy working on the books.

Putting together illustrations like these was a bit of a challenge because they were originally created in 3D animated and I work mainly in 2D. Even though we had to imitate a 3D look the creation process is basically the same no matter what kind of book it is, starts with sketches, ends with finished art. To build each illustration requires me to become familiar with the characters, the sets, their personalities, how they move, the mannerisms they use and all the other little things the animators masterfully build into the property to bring it to life. That means reviewing each episode over and over again until I’m sure I’ve got it right. By the time the project is complete I’ve probably watched each video 50 times or more but it all pays off when I get to see the printed book sitting on a shelf in the book store. I love working on licensed properties and am always looking for something new. Each one holds a separate challenge and requires a different skill set. My ultimate goal is for my work to match the original so closely no one can even tell it was illustrated by me. Unlike my other books the best compliment I can receive when I working with a licensed property is when someone looks at it and says, “You did that? That doesn’t look anything like your work.”

 

Umizoomi children's book illustration 7 Umizoomi children's book illustration 2 umizoomi children's book illustration cover art christmas Umizoomi children's book illustration 5 Umizoomi children's book illustration 3 Umizoomi children's book sketch1 Umizoomi children's book illustration 4 Umizoomi children's book sketch 2

The post Umizoomi – Children’s Book Illustration appeared first on Bob Ostrom Studio - 919-809-6178.

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19. Illustrator & Designer Jon Contino

I discovered Jon Contino by following the work of Jessica Hische and Drew Melton (the typography world is very small). The first two things that resonated with me was the fact that he, like me, didn’t go to art school, and that he also used his musicianship as a passageway to his passion for design. As much as I’ve grown to love digital illustration and type design, I’m always the most drawn to analog aesthetics–and Jon prioritizes them in his work.

Jon Contino is an award-winning designer, illustrator, art director and self-professed alphastructaesthetitologist. His style is strongly inspired by contemporary street art, his native stomping grounds of New York, and the grit of hand-drawn type. He’s worked with clients like Ogilvy, Nike, Whole Foods, McSweeney’s, Target and The New York Times. He’s also an ADC Young Gun 9 winner to boot, and happens to possess a heartwarming Long Island-born accent.

Jon cites his family as being vital in governing his design and illustration aesthetic. His mother and grandmother happened to be artists, both supporting and assisting in his pursuit of his craft by bringing home reams of butcher paper and instructional drawing books (more about this in the wonderful Shoptalk interview here). He discovered that the lettering he was seeing in movie posters and baseball adverts still counted as typography–even at a very early age. It took me much longer to figure out that illustration and beautifully drawn words weren’t just for books–the marks of our handiwork can truly be found anywhere, if you just slow down and take the time to look.

As a teenager, Jon got his freelancer chops very early on. As a designer geek and drummer in a hardcore band, he was constantly relied upon by his band (and friends’ bands) to supply flyer designs, gig posters and the like. Soon enough, he realized that he could actually “make money at this thing,” and he was preparing invoices and freelancing by the ripe old age of 15.

In 2006, after working for a few different companies and design houses, he opened his own creative studio and has been working for himself ever since. He’s constantly turning pet projects into mini-businesses–most recently, he started up Contino Brand. And even amidst his successes, he’s learned the art of saying no for the sake of self-preservation.

Jon has spoken about how his preference for modern minimalism and his hand-drawn gritty aesthetic meets with a clash. That clash has governed a unique vision that brings the best of clean design and true-to-form drawing together. I’m enthralled by this intersection, and so clearly see the passion and determination that stands solidly behind Jon’s work. His personal history only continues to illuminate it.

Website

Facebook

Blog

Twitter

I also highly recommend his interview with The Great Discontent and his podcast interview with Shoptalk.

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20. Royal Mail Stamps



Last summer I was lucky to work on a design proposal for Royal Mail and their Christmas stamps for 2014. It was a dream job!

Working in such a small scale was a real challenge for me as my work is so detailed. I was pleased with the final result, but my designs were not adopted in the end... Of all the opportunities and jobs that I have missed, this is one of those I still feel sorry for, even after a year. This is part of our work as illustrators though. Not every project and every sample is used or published.

Royal Mail gave me permission to include the illustrations in my portfolio. They own the full copyright to the images though, so please, share the link if you like them, but don't take them or use them in another blog post! Thank you.


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21. Weekend Re-Cap

It’s been quite a busy weekend full of baptisms and weddings and creative events. So exhausted, but it was all worth it.

This past Saturday we attended the Carousel for Kids event at Dixon Place (NYC) which was hosted by R. Sikoryak and Neil Numberman. It’s a yearly event where these wonderful writers and illustrators read their zany comics and other creations to kids of all ages! It was pretty entertaining!

unnamed-6

The best part was when they picked some kids in the audience to help them read their comics. And most of the kids were so gung-ho about volunteering.

unnamed-4

unnamed-3

 

This past Sunday I attended my first ever CBIG portfolio review where we were all given the opportunity to speak with 2 editors or art directors of our choice and share our work with them one on one. What a great experience!

unnamed-10

 

An editor from Penguin Group suggested I venture into drawing for older kids and experiment more with lettering. It’s actually something I’d been meaning to explore a bit more so you might be seeing more tweens  and tween themed illustrations in the coming months.

My favorite part of the afternoon was seeing other peoples work and book dummies. It was all so inspiring. Here’s hoping I get inspired enough to write a story myself soon!

Oh and don’t forget to check out the December issue of Highlights for Children to find this little dittie I did over the summer!

unnamed-11

Wishing you all a Happy &  Creative Week!!

 

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22. 2014 stamps

Just ordered my new stamps for the holiday season.


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23. SkADaMo 2014

The weeks of drinking gallons of Ovaltine, in order to get…
the Ovaltine inner seal to send off for my Little Orphan Annie…
secret decoder pen, was about to pay off.
decoder-ring
Remember, kids, only members of…
Annie’s secret circle can decode Annie’s secret message.
Remember, Annie is depending on you.
Set your pins to B-2.
Here is the message.
12. 11. 2…
I am in my first secret meeting.
…25. 14. 11. 18.
16. 23…
Pierre was in great voice tonight.
I could tell that tonight’s message was really important.
…3. 25.
That’s a message from Annie herself. Remember, don’t tell anyone.
Ninety seconds later I’m in the only room in the house…
where a boy of nine can sit in privacy and decode.
Ah! “B.” I went to the next.
“E.” The first word is “be”!
“S.” It was coming easier now. “U.”
“T. O.”
“Be sure to.” Be sure to what?
What was Little Orphan Annie trying to say? Be sure to what?
I was getting closer now.
The tension was terrible. What was it?
The fate of the planet may hang in the balance.
Almost there! My fingers flew.
My mind was a steel trap.
Every pore vibrated.
It was almost clear.
Yes!
Ovaltine?
A crummy commercial?

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24. A New Picture Book with Julia Jarman!


Remember a while ago, I mentioned that Julia and I were talking through her ideas for a new story? Well, Julia has put in a lot of work since then. The text has undergone several rewrites and the various drafts have been back and forth to our publisher, but all that work has finally borne fruit - Hodder have given us the go-ahead. Yippee!


The book is another in the series with Class Two at the Zoo and Class Three all at Sea. This one is to be Class One Farmyard Fun and involves similar levels of chaos. This time though, the action revolves around a bull on the loose. The teacher is,  once again, hopelessly ill-equipped (she ends up getting tossed into a tree) and it's the kids who save the day.

This will be our 6th book together. I love working with Julia - we have exactly the same silly sense of humour and her texts are so incredibly visual, the pictures just leap straight into my head!


I'm delighted about this one in particular, as Julia has been trying to get another in the series published for some time. The other two have been so popular and successful, it seemed such a waste not to. 


I can't start on the artwork until half way through next year, as I have too many other irons in the fire, but will certainly share my sketches with you as soon as I get going.

Well done Julia!!


.

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25. sweetness

I received a package in the mail this week, and now I can finally show you a sweet assignment that dropped in my lap this summer. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen the whole thing in excruciating detail, but it always takes me a bit longer to come over here. Well, here goes:

Here I am on the table of contents, mine is the seal juggling Oreo truffles - of course.
 I got to do a feature for allrecipe magazine, and although I'm playing it cool, it was pretty exciting.

For this holiday candy recipe layout, the Art Director chose to photograph the confections in a watercolor Candyland landscape. The candies would become part of the picture, and turn into something else. I got to invent a storyline, paint the scenes and come up with ways to "disguise" the candy, which was a lot of fun.




These are a few of my favorites.

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