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Blog: Fantastical Childrens Books (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Nature's design, art, artist, create, images, imitate, life, mixed media, painting, Add a tag
Blog: Kid Lit Reviews (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Children's Books, Debut Illustrator, Favorites, Illustrator Spotlight, Interviews, artist, digital medium, illustration, kidlit, Reyes Rosas, Add a tag
Today, Kid L it Reviews is pleased to bring you an interview with Reyes Rosa, a sixteen-year-old, up-and-coming illustrator. He is here to also showcase some of his work which I think you will enjoy. (All art copyright © 2014 by Reyes Rosas.)
Hi, Reyes. Let’s start at the beginning. How old were you when you began seriously drawing?
I’m 16, now. And I began seriously drawing last year.
The illustrations here, how old were, Reyes when you created them?
I drew most of them recently.
What is it about illustrating that you like so well?
I find it fun and exciting to give characters life.
Is there anything you don’t like?
I love everything I do.
Reyes, who is your favorite artist and why?
I do not have a favorite artist. I don’t watch other illustrators.
Has a piece of art or character that influenced your art?
This is Kirby and he was my inspiration to start drawing when I was younger.
Kirby is your muse. How does Kirby influence you?
At the time, he seemed so fun and lively. And he could become anything he wanted, simply by inhaling it!
How old were you at the time?
I really don’t remember, but I think I was about 11
Until Kirby came along, how much did you draw?
Before that I really didn’t draw at all.
I love the interesting character study you did of a Kirby. I really like all the expressions and positions you included.
I love your art I have seen. The digital illustrations are fantastic an on the level of much I see today in picture books. How did you learn to make digital art?
I am a self taught artist and the program I mostly use is Colors 3D for digital art.
Did you have any help? Maybe a book on drawing?
I didn’t use any outside sources, I just started drawing.
Some of those art programs have a large learning-curve. No one helped you learn any of it?
No. I have done everything on my own, thru trial and error.
Color 3D is a new one for me. What are the advantages/disadvantages of using Color 3D?
Some of the advantages are that it is a very comfortable, easy to use program. It isn’t cluttered by any unnecessary options. And some of the disadvantages are that the program is a little limited in terms of image resolution and tools.
Was Color 3D difficult to learn?
The program itself did not take long to get comfortable with, but acquiring the skills took quite some time.
Have you tried using any of the usual programs illustrators like? (Illustrator, Photoshop, Manga 5, Corel Draw, or the open source Gimp)
I have not used any others because this one is the most comfortable for me to use. I have tried Gimp, but found that it is a little overcomplicated. And the others, I just don’t have the funds for.
Do you use a graphic pad?
I do not have a graphic pad, but I have wanted to try one. I use a stylus.
What is your normal process when creating illustrations? Do you sketch and then scan, paint and then scan to finish other areas? How do you get such great looking illustrations?
I usually just sketch within the program and then build the drawing from there.
Which part of the process do you enjoy most – sketching, painting, or digital illustration?
I love sketching and digital illustration. I don’t like the initial starting process of getting a rough sketch down, but I love the process of coloring and shading.
I know you would like to illustrate children’s books. Have you any experience?
I have worked with my mother on her kids cookbook doing the illustrations for it.
What you interests you about a career illustrating children’s books?
I like working in the children’s market because it’s more creative and less limited and lets me have more freedom in what I create.
Reyes you are a young man with lots of time ahead of you. Have you decided the life path you will take? Will it include art?
Yes, it will definitely include art and I would like to do 3D rendered animation in the future.
Have you thought about college and the art programs they have?
I have not thought about it yet, because I am only 16. But, my mom has thought about sending me to the Art Institute Of Chicago.
You’ve got to love moms. They are always one step ahead.
What do you do to relax?
I like to play video games.
What would be the most important advice you would give to young artist following you?
Never give up on any drawing, it might look bad at the start, but that’s only part of the process.
What would you like to get out of this interview?
I would like for you to share my art with others.
What is the next step for you and your art?
I want to take my art to where I can do this professionally and have someone represent me.
Thank you for stopping by Kid Lit Reviews. In kids lit, an up and coming new artist interested in creating children’s books is exciting. Your innate talent is inspiring. I hope you become and accomplish all you wish to achieve.
Reyes is a self-taught digital artist and
pencil illustrator with a focus on character
art for video gaming and children’s literature.
He has been drawing since he was old enough
to hold a crayon. Reyes is a passionate guy who is
ready to take the next leap by pursuing art as a career.
Reyes is off the grid, but as been encouraged to build a blog so others may find him and his art.
Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews
Filed under: Children's Books, Debut Illustrator, Favorites, Illustrator Spotlight, Interviews Tagged: artist, children's books, digital medium, illustration, kidlit, Reyes Rosas Add a Comment
Blog: Bob Ostrom Studio (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Blue Sky, Childrens Books, For Kids, Illustration, art, artist, Bob Ostrom, Cartoon, cartooning, children's book illustration, illustrator, summer vacation, Add a tag
Hope everyone is having a great summer! Last week I headed down to the beach here in North Carolina for a short little summer vacation. Unfortunately it rained harder than I’ve ever seen it rain. It was one of those rains where you think it can’t possibly rain any harder but then it does….all day. Just as we checked into the hotel it started let up. The sun popped out for about an hour and half so the kids and I grabbed our boogie boards and headed down to the ocean. Right about the time we decided to to get out of the water the rain came back. And so it went the following day. Two hours of sun at the beach in the morning (with the darkest storm cloud I’ve ever seen on the horizon) followed by a torrential down pour. Since we don’t live too far we decided enough was enough, jumped in the car and headed back home. All in all everyone had a pretty great time. I think maybe we’ll head down another time before the summer is done and see if we can’t get a little better weather.
The post Summer Vacation – lllustration by Bob Ostrom Studio appeared first on Illustration.Add a Comment
Blog: Bob Ostrom Studio (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Blue Sky, Childrens Books, Illustration, adobe, art, artist, Bob Ostrom, Cartoon, cartooning, children's book illustration, illustrator, superhero, Add a tag
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Blog: Illustration Friday Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: artists, art, artist, illustration, interview, jack hudson, Add a tag
Post by Chloe
Jack Hudson is an illustrator from East London whose retro style has attracted a lot of big clients such as Google, Channel 4, Toyota and many press publications. He is inspired by fashion, photography, mid-century design and adventure. His illustrations are textural which really makes them pop and feel warmer rather than flat vector images. The colours used are usually bold and work beautifully together.
Want to explore more of Jack Hudson’s world? Visit his portfolio here.Add a Comment
Blog: Colorfly Studio (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: artist, colorfly studio, jennifer dedonato, julia child quote, quote art, Add a tag
Blog: andrea joseph's sketchblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: AJ, andrea joseph, Andrea Joseph drawings, artist, cassettes, cross-hatching, Etsy, for sale, illustration, illustrator, tapes, Add a tag
Blog: Bob Ostrom Studio (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Blue Sky, cartoons, Childrens Books, For Kids, Illustration, adobe, art, artist, bicycle, Bob Ostrom, Cartoon, cartooning, children's book illustration, crash, illustrator, mouse, photoshop, picnic, Add a tag
The Blue Sky Folder
Deep in the archives of my computer there is a small beacon of light that shines brightly through the darkness. It’s called the Blue Sky Folder. Inside is a collection of sketches, experiments, new styles, new techniques, story concepts and a bunch of projects in various stages of completion. This folder is basically a resting place for all the ideas that rattle around inside my head long enough for me to get them down on paper or into various stages of digital completion. Like many other artists I’m always restless to try new things and this is my outlet.
This is a Blue Sky piece I began almost 3 years ago. I wasn’t quite sure where I was headed with it at the time so I put it in hold to work on other things. I had totally forgotten about it until I was leafing through the the folder recently and it caught my eye. One of the main reasons I had put this one on hold was that the techniques I’d used to create it were very time consuming and a bit unrefined. Looking at the piece again I realized that the solution was sitting right in front of me. I didn’t have my Cintiq tablet when I started so any digital freehand drawing was pretty much out of the question? As I popped the file up on my screen I realized that was no longer an obstacle. It only took me a few hours to finish the piece and I’m psyched because now I finally have a great way to save time and paint right on the computer.Add a Comment
Blog: A Year of Reading (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: art, artist, picture book, Theme, Add a tag
The Artist and the King
by Julie Fortenberry
Alazar Press, due out April 7, 2014
review copy provided by the author
Daphne is an artist, but her art -- an honest portrait of His Crabbiness -- does not please the king. Daphne's punishment is to wear the picture, rolled up, as a dunce cap, instead of her beloved red artist's beret.
Almost immediately upon donning the dunce cap, Daphne's Art kicks in. She begins to add decorations to customize the cap. "Soon she was getting compliments." And she began to sell the hats. They became all the rage.
Which enraged the king.
He banished all dunce cap wearers to the wilderness. Even his own daughter, who threw the extra cap she was carrying at his feet and walked with the others into the woods.
Daphne goes back to rescue the flung cap and discovers the king crying. They share a moment of apology and self-realization, then discover that the cap was intended as a gift to the king from his daughter. Together they bring all the villagers back from the woods, and Daphne is given back her beret.
In the current (March/April 2014) issue of The HornBook, the final essay (Cadenza) is "Reading Picture Books 101" by Robin L. Smith. I'll walk you though her seven steps with The Artist and the King.
1. Look at the cover. The cover illustration of The Artist and the King lets us know it's a windy day. This is absolutely necessary for the plot development.
2. Take the paper jacket off and see whether the board cover is different. Nope.
3. Now examine the endpapers. Plain blue.
4. Peruse the title page. The story actually starts here (I love books that do this)! Daphne is painting a picture of His Crabbiness, and the villagers who are her audience are appreciating her art.
5. Read the book all the way through without reading the words. Pay attention to page turns, white space, and pacing. This is a fascinating way to read a picture book -- thinking about the design process, movement in the illustrations, artistic decisions made by the illustrator. The story absolutely is told coherently through the pictures in this book!
6. Read the book with the words. Think about how the words and pictures work together. There are two places where the words in the illustrations interact with the words in the story. I might not have noticed that if not for this list of steps! When read on its own, the text has a nice flow, with long and short sentences and accessible vocabulary peppered with words perfectly chosen for the story: regal, mockery, banished.
7. Go back and check every gutter. Now that's something I'm SURE I've never done, but how smart to make sure that the art matches up across the gutter and that nothing important gets lost there where the left page turns into the right. In The Artist and the King, when the gutter is not used to divide the pages into separate scenes, there is very intentional movement from one page to the other across the gutter. Fascinating!
These seven simple steps make me want to dive into a study of picture books with my students! One savvy reader noted recently that hardly anyone reads from the picture book shelf in my classroom. This may be a way to get some buy-in from fifth graders who are "too cool" for picture books!
The Artist and the King will definitely have a place in my classroom library, as well as in a study of picture books, and in our discussions about theme. Three cheers for a character who stays true to her passion, her art, and who helps the unfair and crabby king to soften up and be more accepting! Add a Comment
Blog: Bob Ostrom Studio (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: cartoons, Childrens Books, Illustration, art, artist, Bob Ostrom, Cartoon, cartooning, children's book illustration, illustrator, Add a tag
Illustration Work in Progress
Every once and a while it’s fun to post a little illustration work in progress. Here’s quick sneak peak at my latest:
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Blog: Michelle Can Draw (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: virtual animators, disney, artist, character design, class, online class, review, illustration, self improvement, james lopez, animation, small class, ctnx, ctn, connect, industry, Add a tag
Last fall I took a class with Virtual Animators (http://www.virtualanimators.com/) taught by James Lopez. I’ve had quite a few questions from the internets about what I thought, so I thought I’d write a note about my experience.
About the class: Character Design with Disney Artist & Animator James Lopez is a 12 week course taught online. See his IMDB here or amazing work here. The class is viewed through Adobe connect once per week for 12 (12!) weeks. You log in and the VA team, James and your classmates are online. You can ask questions via a chat box, and the VA team does a great job keeping track of the chat and bringing questions to James. The class is not structured, giving James the freedom to teach the class to the group’s skill level. You are also invited to send it work weekly to have it reviewed by James online.
What I thought:
1. The cost: usually where I’d start when considering a class. I didn’t have to consider the class cost here, since I won this class in a contest, but even if I hadn’t it would be a great deal. (As a note: this is not an endorsed post, haha). All of these courses are so affordable- This one was $250, which is really a couple of trips to the grocery store. For 12 weeks, that breaks down to $20/ class- for an experienced teacher at James, who teaches at Cal Arts… it’s beyond a bargain.
2. The class size: SMALL. There were under ten people in our class, which allows for everyone to ask questions and see James visually explain the answer. You can send emails with questions and receive individual attention.
3. The talent & experience of the instructors: I’ve only taken one class with VA (I am planning on another class this spring/ summer) and the instructors are so experienced and knowledgeable it’s unreal to have this sort of individualized attention. James is a friendly and giving individual who really cares about paying it forward and working with artists of all skill levels. He’s got so much knowledge and information it’s a thrill to see him visually work out problems and review your work.
4. The Virtual Animators team: Usually I wouldn’t touch on the “customer service” aspect in this sort of thing, but it was so amazing it needs to be mentioned. The small group who runs this online class system are probably the most genuine and friendly team ever. They’re focused around making a good experience for everyone involved, and keep up with their students. If I had a question or concern I would have an email back super quick. Also, as I mentioned above, they are in the classes with you running the sessions and keep on top of questions for the instructor.
5. Work Review: You send in your work, it gets a review online that week or the next. James was thorough and incredibly professional when reviewing work- it sort of felt like I was working with him at a studio! I learned a lot in such a small amount of time.
6. Recorded Classes: Classes are recored and posted on vimeo so you can watch later, or if you miss a class you can catch up. This was really helpful to me, watching in the midwest where the class time was late. Also, if you miss something, you can re-watch the class too!
7. A Personal Connection to the industry: As I mentioned above, I’m located in the midwest. It’s sort of like being on my own island, far away from the sunshine and talent network of California. Being involved in this class allowed me to connect at CTNX to the VA team, including founder Bill Recinos (who has an impressive IMDB himself), meet James Lopez and be involved in the community.
Ok, so, that’s a lot of writing. I guess you can see that I really loved the class. Negatives include the regular things of online classes- difficult to connect to classmates, really late live class times because of the time difference- but the benefits far outweigh these small points. I’m going to be completely honest, if you’ve ever thought of taking an online class, don’t think twice about this one, or any with these guys. This class is definitely the best online class I’ve taken based on the personal attention, small class size and the amount of information I learned in a short period of time.Add a Comment
Blog: Miss Marple's Musings (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Biography, nonfiction, Perfect Picture Book Friday, A SPLASH OF RED, activities, African American, artist, Horace Pippin, Jen Byrant, Melissa Sweet., picture book, self-made, Add a tag
Title: A Splash of Red, The Life and Art of Horace Pippin Written by Jen Bryant Illustrated by Melissa Sweet Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2013 Ages: 5-8 Themes: biography, Horace Pippin, artist Awards: A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book Winner of … Continue readingAdd a Comment
Blog: Leslie Ann Clark's Skye Blue Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Art is FUN!, dream, Work is Play....?, artist, imagine, sketch, Add a tag
Oh what fun it is to sit and sketch. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, even if it’s only for me. When you were born to create, nothing else satisfies. In the old days, artists were reveered. They were sometimes supported financially so that they might go on creating. What a leap we have made to this century where artists are often misunderstood to be lazy and dreamy-eyed. Who would not be dreamy-eyed with all the ideas we have rolling through our heads!
All of that to say, if someone wants to support me while I sketch, step on up to the plate! Haha! back to.sketching!
via PicsArt Photo Studio
Filed under: Art is FUN!, dream, Work is Play....? Add a Comment
Blog: Leslie Ann Clark's Skye Blue Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: how to write, Kicking Around Thoughts, artist, cartoons, children's books, illustrate, rejection, sketch, Writing, Add a tag
Funny words. It suggests that there was something wrong with the first invention something that needs fixing. I suppose that is true. When something isn’t working you should look for another way. You should fix the thing.
I began working on a new set of children’s books. I was hammering away at a story, trying to get something good down in order to illustrate it. Everything was flat. Nothing was working, nothing felt right. My characters were looking at me like I was crazy. They were all yawning! Try writing when your characters are shaking their heads!
It was then that I realized I was going about it all wrong. As an artist, I need to star with the art!!!! …the story would follow.
I sat with sketchbook in hand and began drawing little cartoons. One thing led to another and star was born! I will share more. This is a discovery for me. I will let you know how I make out in the days to follow!
For now, I’ll just keep sketching!
Filed under: how to write, Kicking Around Thoughts Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Writing and Illustrating (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: authors and illustrators, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, Interview, Process, Artist, Illustrator Saturday, Kirsten Carlson, Montery Bay Aquarium, scientist, Add a tag
Kirsten’s career combines what she loves best about science, art & design. She is dedicated to creating illustrations, graphics, logos and stories that inspire connections between people & nature.
After volunteering and working for over 10 years with Monterey Bay Aquarium, Kirsten now works out of her own studio. She is a children’s book illustrator & writer, as well as a visual science communications consultant. Kirsten collaborates on projects with scientists, educators, educational institutions, private companies and publishers to tell people stories about nature and science.
Kirsten illustrations style ranges from whimsical watercolor paintings to scientifically accurate pen & ink illustrations. The project’s audience dictates the style and medium. Her illustration work appears in scientific journals, greeting cards, posters, books, aquariums and brochures. Her design communication projects include logos, print and online collateral.
Kirsten brings her enthusiasm and skills as artist, scientist, and designer to every project she works on. She finds inspiration in nature and knowledge and strives to communicate that in her work.
Kirsten is the SCBWI Regional Advisor in Germany+Austria. She started out on AdCom in WA for 2 years (designing newsletter and conferece materials and the traveling booth use at different events in the USA like ALA). After she moved to Germany, she took over as Illustrator Coordinator for 1.5 yrs before taking over the RA position there. She just became an SCBWI board member and the International Illustrator Coordinator last fall, but has to retire when her family moves to hawaii (IIC must live on international soil).
She and her husband Dave, along with their two cats and two dogs, currently live near the Black Forest in Southern Germany.
Here is Kirsten:
I worked directly with the author, Joni Sensel, to create the design for the cover. Because it was going to be the 3rd in a series we wanted to incorporate some elements so it echoed the previous covers, I knew I wouldn’t be able to copy the illustration style of the previous covers so I suggested scratchboard because I know well from my scientific illustration work and I wanted to create in image with strong contrast.
- clay-coated board
- scratching tool(s)
- permanent ink (ie. india ink)
- permanent ink pens (for adding lines)
I did some very loose thumbnails and we quickly chose three compositions that I sketched in more detail. We ended up combining two of the sketches into one composition, and I did a preliminary sketch.
I kept the background, people and knife elements separately.
My assistant (aka husband) made a knife specifically for me based partly on Joni’s description of the knife in the story. Then all I had to do, was draw it from the real-thing.
I uploaded a video showing the process but it didn’t turn out well (learning curve. newbie mistake stuff) but maybe it will help visualize the following. https://vimeo.com/67728895
1.transfer art to clay-coated board (usually using Saral graphite paper in blue)
2.ink the areas that will be ‘mostly’ black
3.wait for it to dry (blow dryer speeds up the process)
4.scratch and blow off the dust (it is better to use a brush to wipe the scraped powder into a pile, but I either blow or tap the art on the table)
5.the more you scratch the better it gets. I am a messy-scratcher, some ppl are very precise.
6.repairing problem spots is easy—scrape away excess ink or add ink with pens or brush.
7.two tips: make sure you let the ink dry completely before scraping, if the clay is damp from the ink you won’t get a nice clear line; it’s better to apply ink to thinly and have to do multiple layers than add it too thick and get a thick-spot on the illustration (if you buy pre-inked clay board you skip this problem)
The final cover is a Black and white illustration in scratchboard with digital color, using the same font as the first book (and edition) in the series.
I used gouache to paint the cover and the publisher added the background from another spread to go behind the giraffe head) and added the text and border.
How did you end up moving to Germany. How long have you been there? Do you plan to go back to the states in the future?
I fell in love with a military man while living in Monterey, California. We arrived in Germany five years ago (Sept 08) for his job and were supposed to stay in Europe until 2015. However, the military made some unexpected changes and we are moving to Hawai’i this summer. I wasn’t ready to leave but I’m super excited about being near the ocean again.
I see that you have a BS in Biology.
How and when did you get involved in art?
I’ve have been artistic since childhood, but I didn’t start pursuing it professionally until I was in graduate school for marine science. For two months, I spent many hours diving underwater doing research in Antarctica with icebergs, amphipods, penguins and seals. That experience changed my life forever. I was blown away by the unbelievable and unfathomable things I saw and it inspired me to reach beyond science in search of a way to communicate what I experienced to other people.
I found a graduate program that combined science and art—graduated with a Science Illustration Certificate from the University of California, Santa Cruz (the program is now located at California State University, Monterey Bay) and have been illustrating professionally ever since.
Did you ever take any art lessons?
Absolutely…and I still take art lessons whenever possible. I’m definitely addicted to learning. I took one art class as an undergraduate, but much of my illustration training is from the Science Illustration program and the amazing instructors that are still teaching there. I’ve pondered whether I should go back to school for a degree in Children’s Book illustration.
What was the first art related thing you got paid for?
This Kelp Forest illustration for a brochure on diving in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It was a work-for-hire project. Graphite, but printed in one-color (blue).
How did you get your first picture book assignment? Which book was it?
My first picture book assignment was a story called “You Can’t Untie a Knot of Toads.” It’s a concept book about what groups of animals are called. A friend wrote it and wanted me to illustrate it, so we could submit it to publishers (we didn’t know about keeping writing & illustrating submissions separate). We got rejection letters from Chronicle and Houghton Mifflin and I have since lost touch with the author.
You have quite a resume with books, posters, greeting cards and magazines. Which one got you started?
I started with t-shirt designs and logo designs while still in high school. In my 20s, I did an internship with a group called Friends of the Sea Otter and they put my artwork on boxer shorts and sold tons of them. I think that officially nudged me in the direction of wanting to do more illustration.
Do you think you will start submitting to the Children’s Magazines out there?
Yes. There are so many amazing magazines for kids and I think a few of them might find my illustration style appropriate. I submitted my work to Ranger Rick in the 90s but was rejected.
What types of things helped you develop your illustrations and style?
Going to graduate school for scientific illustration was a huge catalyst, and taking classes from people who inspire me through SCBWI and other informal educational groups. But, listening to feedback from fellow illustrators and sketching as often as possible have been the most valuable resources in developing my style. I’ve been consciously working on developing a more narrative style, like the character for Sleepy Seal.
Have the materials you use changed over the years?
Most definitely. I’ve migrated from doing everything by hand to integrating the computer more and more. I still use pencil (and think it is integral to my style) as my primary drawing tool but I’ve expanded coloring my works digitally.
Have you ever tried to write and illustrate a children’s book?
Yes. I’ve actually been taking a break from illustrating to work on my own stories and strengthen my writing. I am currently working on three picture books and one middle grade illustrated novel. One of the picture books is called Pool Shark.
It looks like your first children’s book was “The Giraffe Who Was Afraid of Heights” by David Ufer and published by Sylvan Dell. How did you land that contract?
I was contacted by the publisher after attending the SCBWI NY conference in February 2005. The publisher saw my illustration of a polar bear and sent me the text for a story about a giraffe. I said, “Yes, please!” and I signed a contract two months later. I had six months to complete the artwork.
What types of things do you do to get your work seen by publishing professionals?
I have primarily attended SCBWI events and conferences—participating in portfolio and/or illustration showcases, and signing up for critiques. At the SCBWI LA conference, I won 1st place for Realistic Portfolio, two years in a row.
Do you have an agent? If so, who and how long have the represented you? If not, would you like one?
I do not have an agent and am definitely seeking someone to represent me.
How many books have you illustrated?
I’ve illustrated three picture books and one activity book.
Did you self-publish your new activity book, “Where the Land and Sea Meet”? How do people order it if they want a copy?
No, but I am the illustrator, author and art director. The activity book is an education outreach project that a team of scientists published through their universities. It is currently available in English from University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska Sea Grant: http://seagrant.uaf.edu/bookstore/pubs/SG-ED-74.html
And is available in Italian from Pisa University Press:
It’s also been translated into Spanish but it’s not yet published.
Talk about doing research and your homework. Kirsten takes it to the next level.
What types of research do you do for your illustrations? It looks like you snorkel. Do you take pictures or do any research before you start a project?
I love to do research, sketch and photograph extensively for projects. I enjoy learning as much as I love drawing. I will sketch in the cold & snow and even underwater to research my subjects.
Who is Taylor Trade Publishing and how did you end up illustrating Sea Secrets: Tiny Clues to a Big Mystery for them?
They are the parent company for the imprint, Moonlight Publishing. They are printing and distributing all the educational picture books for a scientific group called The Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. I was contacted by the Education and Outreach Coordinator for one of the LTER research groups because she like my illustrations for Ocean Seasons. I designed and illustrated the book for a flat fee, and worked with Beth Simmons, the Education and Outreach Coordinator on several more really fun education projects (but not kids books).
I see Ocean Seasons just came out in paperback. Was it previously printed as a hardcover?
It was published as a hardcover in 2007. Sylvan Dell also offers it as an eBook in Spanish & English.
How do you keep your illustrating talent on the minds of your clients?
Ideally, I would be sending out postcards a few times a year, but I have a lot of opportunity to grow in this area. I’m becoming more active in social media as a way to stay connected to clients that are also using social media.
Have you gotten any work through networking?
Most definitely. Meeting people in person and showcasing my illustrations at conferences are the primary ways I’ve gotten work. Specifically, at conferences involving the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, National Marine Educators Association, and Western Society of Naturalists.
Do you do any art exhibits to help get noticed?
I’ve done one every few years, they are a great motivator to produce work and it’s a great way to reach out to the local community.
Do you ever use Photoshop?
Almost every day. I haven’t decided if I will continue to use them since they are going to be subscription-only, but for now I use Adobe CS5 for 99% of my digital work.
Do you own a graphic tablet? If so, how do you use it?
I have and adore my Wacom Cintiq display and Bamboo tablet. They are fantastic tools for working digitally. I use them primarly for touching up work.
How much time do you spend working on your illustrating?
In an ideal week, I spend 20-30 hours on illustrating. However, I’ve invested a lot of time in the last two years to writing and networking. The last year has been less than ideal creatively because my husband was deployed to Afganistan, and I had to juggle several things solo. But now he’s back and things are getting back to normal. As soon as we’re settled in Hawai’i, I look forward to getting back to my ideal week.
Do you still do your greeting cards?
Yes! I did a greeting card as a promotional mailer for Valentine’s Day this year. The company that originally distributed my cards went out of business and the copyright has reverted to me, and I’d like to continue doing greeting cards as part of my income stream. They are fun and enjoyable short-term projects.
What is the most important tool or material that you use?
I love my sketchbook bag with my beat-up watercolor set, waterbrush, pen and sketchbook. All my art supplies and the computer are tied for a very close second place.
Any exciting projects on the horizon?
No contracts at the moment, but I’m working on several self-motivated projects.
What are your career goals?
My goals are to work on creative projects daily — to do a combination of authoring and/or illustrating children’s stories, creating illustrations for licensing and selling ocean wildlife art in a gallery setting. I have an income goal to make between $10,000 and $1,000,000 annually, dependent on production. I fell far short of that this year.
What are you working on now?
I’m focused mostly on the writing-illustrating projects I mentioned earlier.
Are there any tips.(Example: Something you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, materials etc.) you can share that work well for you? Technique tips?
I’d recommend trying out a medium you’ve never used, because I did that and it affected me in an unexpected way. I recently took an abstract-art class, created something that was completely outside my style and it helped me loosen up so that I could create a more spontaneous whimsical piece of work (a triptych on wood) that is one of my favorites.
Any words of wisdom you can share with the illustrators who are trying to develop their career?
Stay committed. No matter what.
Keep creating and surround yourself with supportive friends and colleagues, reach out and mentor folks that can learn from you and ask for help from folks you would like to have as mentors.
Thank you Kirsten for sharing your process and journey with us. Boy, you really do go the extra mile holding alligators, swimming to the bottom or the ocean, and weathering the cold and snow to get close to nature and your subjects. I enjoyed doing this post and wish you much additional success. For those of you who would like to visit Kirsten you can find her at: www.kirstencarlson.net and www.artsyfishy.com Her twitter name is: kirstencarlson
Hope you will take minute to leave Kirsten a comment. It is appreciated.
Filed under: authors and illustrators, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, Interview, Process Tagged: Artist, Illustrator Saturday, Kirsten Carlson, Montery Bay Aquarium, scientist Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: From the land of Empyrean (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: perspective, handicap, charity, differences, artist, abandonment, Add a tag
Story Four of the 2013 One series is now available.
My friend Sudè returns to the One series with a touching story of how we define ourselves and how we view others in our life. What we get is a tapestry of ideas flowing together with her unique way with words. If you have ever seen her paintings, the way she writes is an extension of that energy. It is easy to identify with the narrator of her story. However, as a father, I saw the conclusion a little differently. A lot of this piece is about inner strength and how we react to people in our life. Do we run away screaming or do we embrace our differences?
100% of the author’s proceeds will be donated to Bridge to Ability Specialized Learning Center, a not-for-profit organization serving the educational and therapeutic needs of fragile children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. www.BridgeToAbility.org. The authors, creator and publisher are in no other way affiliated with this organization.
Mark Miller’s One 2013 is a spiritual anthology examining True-Life experiences of Authors and their Faith. As the series evolves expect to discover what it means to have faith, no matter what that faith is and no matter where they live. Remember that we are all part of this One World.
Story Four is a touching look at us all. This story could take place at any time and to any person. It is a story of love lost and life abandoned. The author asks us if our imperfections can be seen as beauty. She also explores where we find strength and hope?
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: artist, creative life, creativity, Art, Culture, Inspirations, inspiration, interviews, video, Add a tag
One of my favorite things is Terry Gross’s show, Fresh Air, on NPR. I especially love the interviews with actors and writers. Lately I’ve been listening to the podcasts while I’m doing something boring, like folding laundry.
Sometimes there just aren’t enough of Fresh Air interviews, though, so I’ve been looking for more conversations with authors and artists. Here are a few good ones I’ve found:
This Creative Life, created by YA author Sara Zarr (who btw also blogs here). There are interviews with a lot of writers and other creatives about how they work and live. I especially enjoyed the one with author Andrew Auseon (who is also a video game designer).
Mini studio-tours with artists at Little Scraps of Paper make me smile so much. The one above is of three collaborators who make these wacky wonderful costumey-snuggie-kind-of-things. Trust me, you just have to watch it. The videos are so beautifully filmed and just the right size for a quick pick-me-up. Thank you to Blair Stocker of Wisecraft for this hot tip.
Here’s a video of young fashion blogger/ Rookie magazine editor Tavi speaking at TEDxTeen about the strong female characters she’s looking for, and not always finding. YA writers, if you don’t know Tavi, you SHOULD!
What about you? Do you have any favorite creativity-related podcasts?
And by the way, are you on Twitter? I’ve been on it for years but am really just now learning the language and getting into it. I’m discovering all kinds of things there, including some of the above links. Meet me on Twitter @emilysmithpearc
A few other random things:
-Speaking of talks about art and writing, if you’re in the Charlotte area, check out the April meeting for the Women’s National Book Association (yes, men, you can join us, too): Monday, April 22, 6:30 – 8:30 PM at Consolidated Planning. The talk is titled “Latin American and Latino Women Writers and Literature in Translation.” More details here.
-Did you hear about the break in the Isabella Stewart Gardner art heist case? Soooo exciting. I used to work down the street from this lovely, one-of-a-kind museum.
-Saw Natalie Merchant the other night with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Great show. Her new material is as complex and thought-provoking as ever, though I have to admit my favorite part was the 90′s set she did for an encore. The nostalgia factor is hard to beat. Seriously, what pipes she’s got—and what a talented songwriter.
What’s got you inspired these days?
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Blog: Emily Smith Pearce (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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I’m very excited to introduce Dawn Hanna, artist and photographer. I’ve admired her work for years and am so glad she’s pursuing her art full-time these days. She was kind enough to agree to an interview, and also, to offer a giveaway to my readers! See details at the end of the interview.
Dawn was born in Rhode Island but has lived in the south for many years. She’s recently left a 17 year career in social work to launch Dawning Day Studios, her photography, layout, and design business. She is a freelance photographer for Getty Images and Arcangel and has been published in Artful Blogging and Time magazine. Currently, Dawn is working on a soon-to-be-published e-book of artist self-portraits from around the world.
So, Dawn, how did you get started with photography?
I have been an artist my entire life….I think I came out of the womb staring at the colors and shapes around me. I picked up a Brownie Instamatic camera when I was 11 years old. From there, I learned how to develop and print in a darkroom (during prehistoric times…yes I am old!) in high school. In my early adult years, I worked a lot in the darkroom at The Light Factory in Charlotte and showed in juried shows here and there. Then life took its course and I found myself a mom and growing a family. I bought my first digital camera in 2007 and learned Photoshop from a dear friend of mine. Digital expanded my mind into the kind of work that I had always wanted to do and found myself totally immersed in it from that point on. I joined flickr and found daily inspiration from fellow photographers and artists who fed and continue to feed my soul on a daily basis. With the exposure and power of the internet…..I gained recognition for my work from book designers, art directors and stock photography agencies. It has been a steady and amazing growth since then.
What do you do when you get low on inspiration?
I have found that getting in the car and traveling somewhere does the trick for me. Sometimes I think our eyes get tired or they overlook the beauty in everyday that a new perspective can regain.
What do you recommend for someone who’s just getting started in photography?
I would highly encourage you to jump onto the many photo sharing websites such as flickr, instagram, google + or 500px and see what the world is doing with a camera these days. There is infinite inspiration on these websites and people are generous and encouraging to all. When I first joined flickr, I was scared out of my mind to put my work out there, but I will tell you that it has been nothing short of an incredible journey and led to my growth as a photographer and an artist.
What are you working on currently?
Currently, my partner and I are working on a book layout and design for an upcoming publication that is near and dear to both of our hearts. It has been a labor of love and we can’t wait for the book to be published.
I would have to say that my current obssession, like many others…is exploring the world of iphoneology. The possibilities are absolutely endless and it is so exciting to be on the beginning curve of an incredible piece of technology and artistic trend as the iPhone and iPads are.
As I mentioned, Dawn has graciously offered to give a print to one lucky reader from anywhere in the world. To enter, go to Dawn’s etsy shop, then comment here on the blog about which print is your favorite.
You have until 12 noon Eastern Standard Time on March 14, 2013 (one week from today), at which time I’ll use the random number generator to choose a winner. You won’t be added to a mailing list, but I hope you’ll like Dawn on Facebook and favorite her etsy shop.
Personally, I’m in love with the barbed wire piece. You have to go check it out!
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Blog: Diana Levin Illustration (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: All posts, art, artist, artwork, creating art, drawing, painting, Add a tag
Like with every artist, my brain sometimes gets plagued by a disease called self-doubt. Sometimes it’s so subtle that i barely realize what is happening. Symptoms might include comparing myself to other artists, procrastination and hiding out from the world. We all experience it from time to time, even the best of us. I just have to remind myself that thoughts in my head are not real and self doubt is only natural when confronted with pressure to perform.
So how do you treat self-doubt? Put down your phone, shut off facebook and stop looking at other people’s artwork. Go to your studio and start working. Throw yourself into your art. You will have terrible paintings. But with every 3 bad paintings, you will create that one good one. We all have those bad paintings that we don’t show anyone. Bad paintings are a sign that you are taking risks and pushing yourself beyond whats comfortable. If you never have any bad paintings, you are not challenging yourself enough. Let yourself evolve. Take risks, fail miserably and be extraordinary.Add a Comment
Blog: warrior princess dream (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: palette, supplies, brushes, prismacolor, pentel, eraser, drawing, sketchbook, canson, materials, strathmore, watercolor, art supplies, studio, paint, artist, pencils, arches, Add a tag
Ever wonder what I work with?
I am always curious to see other artists' studios, the tools they use, even down to how they brush the paint on. It fascinates me.
You can find commentaries on blogs, forums, and Facebook about how one artist will voice their favorite pencil, while another artist in the same field will swear by another brand. Call it the sport of art if you like (I'm sure there's an artist out there with a rabbit's foot).
Most of my tools have a story or memory attached to them.
The oldest tool I've used every day in the studio is my kneaded eraser.
My dad is an art teacher most of my life, so I grew up with this wonderful tool laying around his art studio coiled up or made into small pyramids. Something to do while thinking or working. I was introduced to it very young.
The next tool oldest to me is a retractable Tuff Stuff! The moment I discovered this eraser years ago I fell in love and haven't gone back. It gets into the little spots and is always a clean erase. I don't go anywhere without it!
My pencils are newer to me. I have worked with mechanical pencils for at least 15 years now, but the one I used as a teenager...well....was great for a teenager.
Two years ago I did some research and tried Pentel GraphGear 500 on a whim. Love them! Great body weight, good lead selection, amazingly priced! The green Pentel is their most standard. Pentel P205...still a great drawing pencil!
Sketchbooks are personal, in every sense, like a diary. I have always favored the large Strathmore or Canson spiralbounds, 9x12 inch. I have several moleskines too that are smaller....and I adore them, but I like space for my hand when I draw, this allows it.
Color Theory wasn't around in the beginning for me, so I just picked colors that worked to my eye. This did not help in finding the best palette for me, or how to lay it out even.
All of my palettes up to several years ago were rectangle and felt rough to me. Nothing progressed fluidly for me, only manageable.
There was a teacher of watercolor where I work (The Des Moines Art Center) who had a round palette out during one of her classes, and I was introduced to the Stephen Quiller Palette. A circle! Imagine color on a wheel!
I took her class, several times, and have since learned how to better use my palette effectively.
The paints I use are a blend of Daniel Smith and Winsor Newton. I always have a messy palette, it's cleaned maybe once every two months. I also paint on primarily Arches Hot Press and Cold Press 140lbs. It's a comfortable inbetween weight and their brand is one of the oldest. I'm open to other papers, but I'm a snob about Arches. The brushes? Cotman series 666.
First it was FW liquid acrylic. I would brush it on, but it cakes easily. Nowadays I usually water it down.
The other partner in crime is the white gel pen. Discovered this while watching watercolor videos on YouTube. Genius! I don't think I use the best one, your basic Gelly Roll, but will be ordering a UniBall gel pen and I'm looking forward to seeing how it works!
Last but not least, the infamous indigo colored pencil.
Tangerine. I was first introduced to Verithin Colored Pencils by Prismacolor a couple of years back. They're fantastic because of the harder lead with less wax. Because I'm not a colored pencil artist, this worked great for sketching!
The indigo was an accident. I was sketching with it, and as I added color (without thinking of the muddiness it could create) I noticed how it's more dulled tone worked. After Tangerine I continued to sketch with it. The hue is attractive to me, mixed with graphite or color. It helps to provide me my shadows.
Although indigo can create mud very quickly (it's not for the inexperienced), it does create a more earthy visual of color hues in the painting. I trust it so much I paint with indigo as well.
I try to sharpen always with a blade so that I don't go through the pencil as fast (taught by my dad), and the electric eraser was a gift to me. Never knew I would have a need of it until I discovered it erases the indigo colored pencil wonderfully!
Do you have a favorite pen or material that you use a bit religiously? Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Leslie Ann Clark's Skye Blue Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: art, artist, baby chick, cartoons, computer, fun, goals, inspiration, Lae Dee Bugg, memory, Newton, Peepsqueak, Add a tag
2 1/2 years ago I bought my trusty little Apple laptop. The other day I was working on it and up came a window telling me I had about 100 GB of information on it! This memory includes programs that I run, but most of it is ART!! Fabric design, product concepts, children’s books and more. Peepsqueak and his friends, Newton my lamb and his friends, a friendly new elephant and monkey, some babies, some clowns, Lae Dee Bugg, Snofolk, and more! Always more. What great fun it has been to look back at the last 2 1/2 years! It has me wondering just how much art will fill this computer by the end of 2013! I have some ideas right now!!!!
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Blog: Steve Draws Stuff (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: steven, buy, professional, author, self-published, design, pre-made, purchase, cheap, quality, sale, novak, artist, cover, illustration, indie, Add a tag
So, here's the deal.
I do a lot of covers for a lot of people these days. Sometimes when I whip up something for a client it doesn't exactly work for their book and I have to give it a second go. It's all part of the process. It happens.
Unfortunately, this means that I'm left with a pretty decent cover that doesn't have a home.
Covers are just like people, right? Every cover wants to be loved and every cover deserves a home.
Also, I'd like to at least get my money back for the stock images. That's a part of it too.
With that in mind I've decided to implement the First Annual Pre-Made Cover Extravaganza! (You know it's important because it's in caps.)
Here's how it works: Have a look at the covers below. If you think one of them might work for something you've written all you have to do is drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org (or leave a comment in the comments section) and it can be yours.
I'll remove the novakillustration.com watermark, plunk in your title and your author name, and even putz around with the fonts a bit if you think you'd like to try something different. If you like most of the concept but want to make some changes I'm sure we can work out a price that'll make every happy.
I'll do all of that for a measly $40. (Payable through Paypal)
Come on, that's a serious deal. Final images will be sent to you in printable 300dpi quality, as well as three sizes for all of your online needs.
Deal city, people. Deal city.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
COVER 1 - AVAILABLE
COVER 2 - AVAILABLE
COVER 3 - AVAILABLE
COVER 4 - AVAILABLE
COVER 5 - AVAILABLE
COVER 6 - AVAILABLE
COVER 7 - AVAILABLE
COVER 8 - AVAILABLE
COVER 9 - AVAILABLE
COVER 10 - AVAILABLE
COVER 11 - AVAILABLE
COVER 12 - AVAILABLE
COVER 13 - AVAILABLE
COVER 14 - AVAILABLE
COVER 15 - AVAILABLE
COVER 16 - AVAILABLE
COVER 17 - AVAILABLE
Blog: Leslie Ann Clark's Skye Blue Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: My Characters, Peepsqueak!, artist, Book, cartoons, chick, chicken, chickies, children's book, Children's literature, fun, goals, home, inspiring, merry makers, Peepsqueak, proto type, proto types, toys, wholesale orders, Add a tag
For as long as I can remember, I have LOVED toys! To have a toy made from one of my cartoons is my dream come true! It will help the world see my character the way I see him. REAL!! ha ha! This series of plush Peepsqueaks in the pictures above, were the first proto-types that came to my home. Merry Makers is the toy company we worked with. It was so fun to see my little Peepsqueak transform from page to puff! He is such a cute little plush!! Merry Makers did such a good job! You can buy Peepsqueak now if you go to their website. They welcome retail orders online at http://www.merrymakersinc.com and retail and/or wholesale orders at 888-989-0454 or via email at email@example.com.
Below is the final Peepsqueak. I just love him! Isn’t he cute!!! I brought him to a preschool yesterday and the children loved him and all wanted to pet him…. so they did!!!!
So order your Peepsqueak now! He is waiting to live in your home!!! Don’t forget, the books, “Peepsqueak”, and “Peepsqueak Wants A Friend” are at your bookstore waiting for you too. They would all make great gifts for the kiddies on Easter.
Filed under: My Characters, Peepsqueak! Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Art & Drawings by Dain Fagerholm (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: dain8), tumblr, society6, dain fagerholm, gif, artist, merch, Add a tag
Blog: Art & Drawings by Dain Fagerholm (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: tumblr, dain fagerholm, gif, drawing, merch, art, dain8), eyes, society6, blue girl, artist, print, hollow, Add a tag
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