|Disaggregated Accreditation by Gemma Robinson|
|Disaggregated Accreditation by Gemma Robinson|
Call me, don’t be afraid you can call me,
Maybe it’s late but just, call me.
Tell me and I’ll be around.
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“Welcome to the studio, Dahlia! I am so glad to meet you! Your entrance made me smile! Now let’s get down to business! Tell me about yourself? “.
When I create a new character I have to find out who they really are and what makes them tick! Will they be loud and boisterous? Will they be shy and hold back? Will they run to meet the world or hide behind trees and bushes? It’s great fun to imagine!
Since Dahlia is new, let’s walk this process together. Let’s get a good look at her and ask ourselves some questions.
Here she is, in her great BIGness. As you can see, Dahlia is running! That gives us our first clue. She is ready to meet the world!
(Another little tidbit you can use when creating a character. It is a link to writing a character profile. I can get your wheels turning!)
In order to decide WHO Dahlia is, I look into her face. Her eyes are not like our eyes, but expression and body language are quite helpful.
Dahlia is running. Dahlia is laughing. Dalia is carrying a flower. Dahlia is practically leaping off the ground! I can almost hear the ground shaking! So, she is a “ground shaking” happy elephant.
But wait! She has no tusks! That tells me she is a baby elephant. My imagination is taking off now! Dahlia tromps! … but no… I found out that tromp is not a word… (hmmm…it seemed so fitting). So, Dahlia thumps, stomps, tramples and plows through! Thank you dictionary.com! Love all those words!
Looking again at this picture, I see that Dahlia is also clumsy. She trips, stumbles, tumbles, plunges, sprawls and topples. Even so, she is not bothered by falls. She simply rolls over and gets back up to her feet laughing! “What great fun!” she gigglies, “Let’s do it again!”
This tells me that Dahlia does not take herself too seriously. She is playful, but is she smart?
More of her qualities may surface once the other characters in her story emerge. Bring on the monkeys!
Filed under: My Characters
I got to draw her a few times. I added a bit of colour when I got home. I can't decide whether I like it or really dislike it, but hey ho - that's the way it goes.
Q Where has your work appeared?
My first book was ‘Long Live Us’ written by Edel Wignell and published by IP Kidz in 2011. Since then I have been focussing on my own illustrations and writing my own children’s book. I was part of a SCBWI Illustrators Exhibition at the Brisbane City Library in 2012 exhibiting my illustrations from Long Live Us and other projects.
Over the years I have volunteered my services as an illustrator to gain more experience, this was helpful in building my portfolio.
I have Illustrated Artwork for Aurealis Australian Fantasy & Sci-Fi Magazine www.aurealis.com.au. This has been exciting as you have to sum up a whole story into one illustration which can be a challenge. But these are the challenges that make being an illustrator worth it for me. Anything that allows you to be creative should be encouraged.
Q What children’s books have you illustrated?
In 2010 I finished illustrating my first children’s book for Interactive Publications, Pty, Ltd. “Long Live Us!” was written by Edel Wignell and published by IP Kidz in 2011.
Q How long did it take to complete your picture book project, “Long Live Us!”?
As I was working fulltime it mostly worked on the weekends and whenever I had spare time, from the character inception, storyboarding, final illustrations and adding colour in was approx. 15 to 18 months.
Yes, I would encourage any illustrator to attempt this. Apart from it possibly turning out to be a published book, it also gives you insight into the processes of how a book is developed. I am working on several ideas at the moment, I will be happy to share them once they are closer to completion.
Q Which Aussie children’s book illustrator do you admire most and why?
I believe Shaun Tan has opened up a lot of doors for illustrators in Australia and inspired many to pursue their craft. He combines his mastery of painting and illustrating with new perspectives in storytelling. Plus he’s just a nice guy.
Q Name one ‘I’ll never forget that’ moment in your illustrating career so far.
Professionally I’m not surprising anyone by saying that when they send you a copy of the book you have just illustrated or written and you see it the first time with your name, it is one of the best moments in your career. On a personal level though I completed an illustration I was very proud of and still am to this day. I looked back and said ‘did I do this?’ That is also a great moment for illustrators because you know all your long hours and work have paid off.
Q What is on the storyboard for Peter?
This year I will be attending and volunteering for the CYA Conference for the 8th Year in a row. I would encourage anyone considering becoming an illustrator, writer, or both to attend this conference. It gives you a great set of skills and understanding of the industry to start you off. Apart from that I would like to start another book and illustrate some of the photographs I took in Japan or Sweden last year. I am always open for new challenges and will add any of my new work to my website www.peterallert.com.au.
Have a look at this charming little trailer for Long Live Us! featuring some dubious fairy tale folk and one very hungry troll. (just click on the link)
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Lynne Chapman's house. Lynne was planning a workshop that she was giving at last year's Urban Sketcher's Symposium and used some of our Sketchcrawl group as guinea pigs.
I struggle to decipher my own handwriting. I can barely make a stencil look decent and my attempts at creating hangman stick figures always fills my opponents with pitiful glee. This is why I admire anyone who has even an infinitesimal amount of artistic flair.
The process of anything emerging be it writer, illustrator, butterfly, and to a lesser degree, human baby is a beautiful thing and deserves some examination.
Our doodler today is Peter Allert, whose artistic flair, I am happy to announce is anything but insignificant. In fact Peter’s drive and dedication to his craft are so great; they have filled more than one post can cope with alone. So here is Part One of my interview with Peter Allert, illustrator of children’s books (Long Live Us!) and bona fide gentleman to boot.
Q Who is Peter Allert? Describe the illustrator in you and what sets your work apart from other Aussie illustrators.
I was born in South Australia and moved up to Queensland in the 1980’s with my parents, I spent time living in Sydney but have made Queensland my home for the last 13 years. I have always illustrated in one form or another but have become quit driven in my 30’s to discover my potential.
I believe I am an artist at heart who has found I express myself best through illustrating with watercolour pencils and ink. My strength is illustrating animals, capturing their fur or feathers, bringing their eyes to life as if they were looking at me. I am most proud of this work. I have also illustrated a variety of other subjects including fairy tale and children’s book characters and Science Fiction themes.
I think what sets me aside is that I use watercolour pencils rather than straight watercolour paints, therefore I am able to apply the detail I am comfortable with. I also mix my love of photography with my work so I can capture a natural realism in my subjects. I like getting out and about and seeing the world, I feel this helps bring perspective to your illustrations. I am still finding myself as a writer and poet but draw inspiration from my other writers and close friends.
Q What is your favourite colour, why and how does it influence or restrict what you illustrate?
I guess like a lot of illustrators it is hard to choose just one but if I had to it would be green. To me it’s a very nature colour with so many ways it can be applied. It can be applied to illustrations not just as a straight green but also through using other amazing blues, yellows…etc. It influences my work as I like illustrating natural subjects and I find they always have an element of green in them. It may however restrict me if I had a dark subject matter, I would always want to add a brighter colour to inspire hope.
Q When did the coloured pencil drop for you? What, whom persuaded you to illustrate?
When growing up I guess coloured pencils were all around me, in school, at home, they were inexpensive and there was always a colouring book that needed my attention. After seeking feedback about my work I found the straight pencil a little limiting. With water coloured pencils I could enhance and bring the colours to life, with the right paper I could add other dimensions and finishes to my work. It just displayed and continues to display great potential. I also like detail and I can accomplish that with pencils.
Deep inside me, even when I was younger child I wanted to create and be artistic. I didn’t exactly know what it meant for me personally or that you could possibly make a living out of it. But when I decided to make this profession part of my life I was inspired by Shaun Tan, Gregory Rogers, Narelle Oliver, Maurice Sendak, & and many of the illustrated children’s books I grew up with.
Q Are you a natural or have you had to study and suffer for your craft?
I have had some study in art and illustrating over the years but I would have to say I am mostly self-taught. That said, in the beginning I was finding my work lacked some fundamental things and I knew I needed advice and training. I took some basic classes, attended conferences and researched other artists. I started diversifying my subject matter, built my portfolio and over the years improved my craft. I wouldn’t call it suffering I would call it dedicating yourself to long hours of improving your skills and yourself.
Q How do you develop your illustrations? Do digital computer programs feature significantly in what you produce?
If I have a particular idea or theme in mind I will simply start drawing small sketches and exploring ideas. I’ll make notes and over a period of time, this may take days or weeks, I will then start the main illustration. With most of my illustrations I will lightly draw it first with pencil on pressed smooth watercolour paper. I then slowly add layers of colour such as a yellow base, followed by a light green or blue then to add some dimension I will add variations of the same colour. Indigo makes a great darker colour to use when additional shading is required, I will very rarely add black unless there is a reason. Once I feel it is ready I will apply water with a brush, mixing the colours and bringing the illustration to life. I include more layers or shading to add depth, and then use an ink pen if required.
I will often note the pencil number and photograph different stages of the illustration to remember how I reached the final stage. A lot can happen in the creation process so if you end up liking the final piece then remembering how you got there is important. Remember that when illustrating a picture book you want the illustrations to be consistent in both colour and appearance. This helps me anyway. I do not use any major software programs as such but I do scan my images and clean them up in order to send on to publishes.
Q Do you draw every day? What is the most enjoyable part of your working day?
To be honest no, but the enthusiasm is there. Like all illustrators who are also working it is a constant juggling act. The best part of my day is the morning; I have been probably stewing on an idea and have all this energy and want to put it down on paper.
Q It’s accepted that writers often scribble ideas on the back of takeaway menus, napkins, bus tickets, whatever they can when ideas strike – is this the same for illustrators? When you get a shot of inspiration and desire to draw, what do you do?
You draw it anyway you can. I once started illustrating on a napkin because I made the mistake of leaving my notebook behind. If you have an idea, write it down, draw it, and make a note of it because it will disappear. Too often have I laid in bed with an idea or two thinking it is such a great idea how could I possible forget it and when the morning comes it’s no longer under my pillow.
Join me again soon for Part Two where we learn a little more about Peter and his work in the fractured fairy-tale, Long Live Us!Add a Comment
Karey Lucas-Hughes 2011
November was a busy month! Not only did bloggers and writers churn out pages for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), but illustrators and artists also took part in NaNoDrawMo, which challenged participants to produce a minimum of 50 new works between November 1 and 30.
In honor of NaNoDrawMo, we’ve highlighted some illustrators and sketchers in our community. Take a look:
Currently in Northern California, Pete Scully sketches the world as he sees it — and his visions are unique, intricate, and oh-so-fresh. (His sketches above prove this, don’t you think?) We love Pete’s style, as seen in his drawings of pubs, bookstores, and urban neighborhoods. Browse his sketchbook images of San Francisco, London, and more; and be sure to follow along on his NaNoDrawMo journey. His black-and-white header adds a personal touch, and his substantial blogroll of fellow artists is worth checking out.
Pete’s blog uses Twenty Twelve, an elegant, readable theme that’s fully responsive — content looks great on any device. If you’re curious to see how other artists use this theme, check out cartoonist Chuck Cottrell’s blog Sketches from Memory and follow along on his Sketch a Day series. (He’s also participating in NaNoWriMo. That’s dedication!)
You’ll find art projects, sketchbook pages, and works in progress on Paula Knight’s blog. What we love best is that we get the sense of an artist at work — series of sketches, quick doodles in spiral notebooks, commentaries on older drawings, and personal reflections. Be sure to check out her comics, which comment on fertility and childlessness. Also a writer, Paula has published children’s books and is currently working on a graphic novel for adults called The Facts of Life.
Paula’s blog uses Twenty Eleven, the third most popular theme on WordPress.com (and our default theme in 2011). Versatile and full of features, Twenty Eleven is a tried-and-true theme on which you can experiment with various post formats, a light or dark color scheme, and different layouts. For more inspiration, check out how cartoonist and writer Ulises Farinas uses Twenty Eleven as well — the Brooklyn-based artist creates imaginative, super-detailed worlds of heroes and beasts.
For a dose of politics, current events, education, and culture with your artwork, don’t miss the comics, portraits, and maps of Aaron Guile. Aaron’s visual style is very distinct, and his commentary is sharp. Unlike the other illustrators in this list, Aaron doesn’t use much color. He eschews color for bold, black on white illustrations that convey potent ideas.
Aaron’s blog uses Forever, a simple and modern theme originally created with weddings in mind. But, as you can see, Forever works with different kinds of content — it’s really up to you to transform a theme into something that works for you!
Avid drawer and architectural historian Joanna Moore compiles drawings created on location — if you’re in London, you may find her sketching frantically on a street corner. Check out her mixed media drawings of Gothic cathedrals and sketches of castles, or browse her category archives at the top of her front page.
Joanna’s blog uses Imbalance 2, a modern, sophisticated theme that can easily turn your blog into a professional portfolio or online magazine. Imbalance 2 is also appropriate for collaborative projects — check out Illo Confidential, a group blog of about 20 illustrators.
Gareth Cotter serves up wonderful sketches, illustrations, and comics that show his passion for architecture. His drawings inspired by a fall trip to Gdansk, Poland, are worth noting, as well as this comic/graphic story about a “cyclical city.” We’re waiting to see what whimsical little world he’ll illustrate next.
Gareth’s blog uses Blogum, a clean and minimalist theme — with a touch of modern — that lets you focus on your content. Its simplicity allows for images and illustrations to take center stage.
How can you not enjoy the drawings at Easily Emused? They’re colorful and quirky, and complement the blogger’s musings perfectly. (Read “Earring Aids,” a recent post about piercing one’s ears — it’s a nice mix of storytelling and illustration.)
This blog uses Balloons, a lighthearted theme that effortlessly creates a playful mood.
Photographer and student Jessie Vittoria loves to draw, and she uses Creative Stuff to compile her illustrations, greeting card designs, comics, and doodles. Her artwork is airy and playful — you can see this right away in her blog’s header image. We like how she keeps it simple and makes her different types of artwork easy to find, and how she uses built-in features to add color and draw visitors to her popular content.
Jessie’s blog uses Yoko, a theme that’s simple and elegant, yet customizable. We asked Jessie about the features she uses.
The full-size images in my posts allow viewers to see my art without having to click another link, while the slideshows present smaller, less prominent images. For example, I use the slideshow to quickly give an idea of a certain type of drawing. I really like the images in my sidebar; I am a very visual person, and for an illustration blog, it makes sense for users to click on images — rather than text — to navigate the site.
I was looking for a simple way to display my art with easy navigation, and Yoko seemed to have everything I was looking for. The sidebar makes it easy to find specific pages. I can display my work in the header to immediately show visitors what I do as an artist — even before they click on my posts. I also like the scroll-and-load feature – you don’t have to click “next” to view older posts. Overall, I like how clean the theme is, which doesn’t take away from the art itself.
Looking for more advice on how best to showcase your art on your blog? Head on over to The Daily Post for our Q&A with two illustrators — Thomas James and Mark Armstrong — who share their design tips.
(By the way, she’s got a Tumblr. Follow her now.)Add a Comment
It's 7.37am Jan 1st, 2013. I'm at the desk, drinking tea and nibbling blueberry pie. Well, it is still a holiday! I'm thinking on how we humans need touchstones and wondering why that is. Reflection and thinking forward seems our peculiar fate.
Finding the right illustrator can be a challenge. Whether you decide to use Bob Ostrom Studio or someone else it pays to know what you’re looking for. If you’ve never had the opportunity to hire a professional before here are a few tips that will help you find the best possible artist for your project.
Know What you are looking for.
Every artist has his or her own style. Many artists are versatile but no artist works in every style. Look for the artist who specializes in the type of art you are looking for. There are many artists and styles to choose from so be patient and make sure you leave yourself enough time to find the right one for your job.
Try starting with a simple Google search. Check out a few artists websites. Notice that no two are alike. Some are very professional with a highly focused direction, while others may choose to show a broader spectrum. Regardless as you begin to move away from the top ranking sites you may also begin to see a drop in quality. Being a professional artist is an extremely competitive field. Artists work hard to make sure they are seen. There is a reason those sites are at the top of the search.
Some artists work with representatives and some are independent. Generally the better the quality the higher the price you will pay whether you are dealing with an art rep or an independent. Remember though that with higher quality artists you are not only paying for a more appealing image you are also paying for experience, but more on that later.
Determining a Style
Before you contact an illustrator take a few minutes to determine what you are looking for.
Who is your target audience and what is your demographic?
Determining who your potential audience is and what appeals to them is a great first step for helping you chose the proper illustrator. Here are a few tips to help narrow things down:
Describe your customer.
Crating a detailed profile on your potential customer will help give you a better idea where to begin. Once you’ve determined who your market take a look around. See what else is out there.
What is your competition doing?
This your chance to really stand out and get noticed. Instead of putting something out there that looks like everyone else consider trying something a little different that’ll get you noticed. Finding the right artist will help.
Visit an artist’s website. Look at their style and level of presentation. You can tell a lot about an artist by the way he or she presents their work. Take a look around and see what type art they are displaying. How long have they been an artist? How successful are they? Do they have recommendations, a recognizable client list, have they received any awards.
Experience is the name of the game.
Most artist’s would love to illustrate a picture book but that doesn’t mean you should hire them. Do a little homework first to make sure you are choosing the right artist. Can they draw or create the style you are looking for consistently? Does their portfolio contain the right art for your demographic or is it scattered and lacking direction? Has your artist been published, if so where? Try searching their name on Google, LinkedIn or Amazon to find out more about them and their level of expertise.
Hiring the wrong artist for the wrong job can be time consuming and expensive. Your project is no place for on the job training so be sure to hire someone with the highest level of expertise you can afford. Always check out who your artist has worked for and examples of jobs they have done. A good artist will be proud to display their work and answer any questions you might have about past experience.
You get what you pay for.
Why do some artists charge so much more than others? Without a doubt experience is worth paying for. The art you display will directly affect the perception of your company or business. This is no time for bargain shopping, always hire the best artist you can afford. It is always better to spend a little more and get the best quality possible rather than trying to save a few dollars and ending up with something you can’t use.
Successful artists are not just good at making pretty pictures they also know their market and understand production. They know the difference between file formats and what will work best for your project. They can talk to your printer and help give you exactly what you need saving you time, money and aggravation.
If you’re not sure about the difference between vector or bitmap art and which one you need ask your artist. He should be able to explain in simple terms explaining the pros and cons of each. Do you need a jpeg, tiff or png? RGB or CMYK format? An experienced artist will know which one to use for your particular project and why. Even if your artist works in traditional media the art will still need to be scanned and translated into a digital format at some point. If your artist doesn’t understand these simple requirements you might want to shop for some one else who does. The proper format is crucial and could mean the difference between your project looking great and becoming a costly disaster.
Here are a few questions your artist might ask. Use this list to have your answers prepared before you talk so you don’t forget or leave anything out. It’s best to be descriptive and include as much information up front as possible. The clearer you are with your artist the better chance you have of getting back exactly what you asked for.
Always start by describing your project in detail.
The more information you can provide the more accurate your illustrator can be. Don’t be afraid to include your illustrator in your creative process or as a part of your creative team. A good experienced illustrator will often be able to help you with creative suggestions or finding great new approaches to your project you may not have even considered.
Here are a few questions (in no particular order) you will want to think about before you begin.
What is the artwork being used for?
Different uses mean different file requirements. Knowing who your audience is and where your piece will be used make a big difference in style and approach. What might work well for one audience might not work well for another. Do you have a goal?
A piece of art that needs to be many different sizes will require a different solution then one that will be printed at a specific size. The demands for the web are completely different from print. Knowing the different places your art will be used will help me determine the best format(s).
How many illustrations will you need?
What is your budget?
Most illustrators charge by the project not on an hourly basis. One size does not fit all. Many artists will charge you different rates for different types of usage. They may charge less for limited usage then they will for a total buyout because once the copyright is sold the artist no longer has the potential to make money from that image. Determine which usage works best for you and be sure to negotiate the rights with your artist up front at the beginning of each project so there no surprises later on.
I prefer to charge by the project and am happy to give you a quote before we begin. If you have a limited budget that’s okay chances are we can find a creative solution to fit your needs.
Can I talk to your Printer/ web designer?
Why on earth would an illustrator want to talk to a printer. Simple, every printer has certain requirements when it comes to artwork depending on what type of equipment he is using. He can tell the artist what type of file will work best for his machinery. Similarly a web designer may also have certain requirements for artwork and file format.
I’ve worked with many printers over the years and I speak their language. If you have any questions about the process just let me know and I will be happy to explain.
What are your deadlines?
It is very important to spell out your needs and plan out a schedule at the beginning of the project. Most artists work in stages and will submit artwork to you within a certain time frame. A typical schedule witll start with sketches and proceed from there. It is important to be realistic about your needs. Be sure to provide you povide enough time for the best job possible. Some artists may ask for an additional rush fee if your project’s deadlines are unrealistic. Different artists work at different rates, if you’re uncertain how long it takes just ask.
I am very efficient with my deadlines but too little time will probably mean having to make a few compromises. Art takes time. Always think ahead and make sure to leave plenty of time for your project. Leaving extra time will assure you always receive the best quality.
How would you like the art delivered?
An experienced artist will make arrangements for delivery at the beginning of each project. Digital artwork is great because it is so easy to work with. Some programs can produce rather large file sizes though. If you have an FTP site or another preferred method of delivery let your artist know. If you don’t chances are your artist will have a quick efficient way to deliver files that are too large for email. Most artists have experience in this area and have worked out a delivery method that should be easy to use and eliminate headaches.
Make sure to resolve this issue as early as possible so you don’t run into any problems on you due date. I have several methods of deliver I use based on costumer preference.
Who or how many people are involved in the decision making process?
The more people involved in the approval process, the higher the potential for miscommunication. Pick a leader or point person for your project and be sure to have all direction go through that one project leader. If it absolutely must be a committee decision make sure everyone involved in the decision making process signs off on direction before you involve the artist.
Conference calls are fine as long as it doesn’t waste everyone’s time. Be clear and decisive and do not leave big decisions unresolved. Ambiguous direction will be costly.
If you do not have a contract or written agreement, ask the artist to provide one for you. Do not hire an artist without something in writing. Be sure to spell out all the details of your project including delivery schedule, usage, copyrights, payment schedule and any other important information that might effect the outcome of your project.
You may also want to include a kill fee in your contract spelling out what happens if the project is cancelled for any reason before completion. This will protect both you and the artist by allowing you to understand ahead of time what happens if for any reason the project needs to be terminated.
I am happy to provide an agreement if you need one.
Enjoy the process
Working with an illustrator should be a fun and rewarding experience. Hiring the right illustrator will not only make you look great but will add great value and marketability to your project. If you have not worked with an illustrator in the past or need a little help organizing your project please feel free to contact me. Whether you plan to hire me for your next project or someone else I am always happy to answer any questions you might have about how to improve your project, hiring an artist or other any other art related questions.
For more information on hiring me for your project please visit my contact page.Add a Comment
This is a little cartooning tutorial I wrote a few years back about creating an illustration using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. You’ll notice I begin my drawing in pencil, then move to illustrator for line work and finally Photoshop for color. Although the tutorial is a little old and the programs have advanced since then it’s still pretty useful and works just as well now as when I wrote it (assuming the you’re familiar with the basic functions of both programs). For more advanced students you may want to try adding actions to speed things up a bit.
If this tutorial is beyond your skill level take heart I’m working on a new series that will delve a little deeper focusing on individual tools, how they work and more importantly how to get them to work for you. Many of my first time students are tentative about using these programs to their full potential because they sometimes feel overwhelmed. My advice is always the same. Don’t let your inexperience dictate the scope of your project. Try things that are slightly out of reach and a little ABOVE your skill level. Step outside of your comfort zone and allow yourself to learn some of the tools you’ve been avoiding. If you get stuck don’t panic there are tons of resources available everywhere. The best places I’ve found for quick easy answers (in no particular order) are:
Using the help button built into the program
Posting a question on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn
Lynda.com (if you have an account)
On the other hand if you’re just not the adventurous type and you really want to learn the program once and for all consider taking a course. It will cut your learning time in half. There are few substitutes for having a knowledgable instructor to help you gain a clear understanding and get you through those areas you don’t understand.
Bob Ostrom is a children’s book illustrator and instructor of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop at Wake Tech Community College and the State Personnel Development Center in Raleigh NC.
The post Cartooning Tutorial – Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. appeared first on Illustration.Add a Comment