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well, i am loooong over-due for a post here! sorry, i've been busy with one thing or another, but i had this image of a dragon making toast floating in my head for a bit so when i got some time i thought i'd throw out a sketch and see what came out. i really am not one to usually draw dragons all that much, but i figured that between tormenting damsels in distress and guarding troves of treasure even a fire breathing beast has to start his day off right...so why not jam and toast?
Last month I wrote about a new studio in Melbourne called Rubber House which I thought was doing some fun and creative drawn character animation. The studio is run by Ivan Dixon and Gregory Sharp, and one of their former colleagues, Gavin MouldeyA, alerted me to a new piece they just completed called The Big Winner.
Directed by Sharp, and animated by both Sharp and Dixon, the film is barely more than a conceptual gag, but one that is done extremely well. I particularly like the character’s design transformation from sharp angles to bulbous, rounded forms.
CREDITS Director: Gregory Sharp Animators: Ivan Dixon and Gregory Sharp Sound Design: James Brown Producer: Ivan Dixon
John O’Brien is a longtime cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine. He’s also a senior lieutenant in the North Wildwood Beach Patrol, an illustrator of dozens of children’s books, and a banjo/concertina player specializing in Celtic and Dixieland tunes.
John O’Brien, who lives in Delran New Jersey, says his beach work doesn’t often inspire his artwork directly: “This job is public safety, the total opposite of drawing.”
But the picture on the right, which appeared in the New Yorker on Aug. 13, 2001 had to be inspired by his time in on the beach.
Then there was Beach Patrol that you wrote with Max Bilkins and illustrated. That book came out in May 2004.
It’s obvious his job influenced that book, so I am sure the beach will show up again in John’s art.
I asked John about his process. This is what he had to say, “I begin my sketches using Bienfang Graphics paper, pencil and kneaded eraser surrounded by research material, text and type, if available.
“When I’m satisfied with the design, I ink over my pencil lines with a Rapidograph pen. Then, I erase the pencil lines and tape down the text.
“For the finishes I trace my sketches in pencil onto Strathore 4-ply 500 Series vellum surface paper, using a light box.
“Next, I ink over the pencil lines with the same Rapidograph pen used for the sketches.
“If color is required, I tape the drawing to canvas board using masking tape.
“I apply color to the inked drawing with Doctor Martin’s Hydrus water colors. I occasionally use liquid or low tack frisket to mask out certain areas. A blow dryer is also a useful tool to speed things along.”
This is in honor of my 18-month old who is literally afraid of her own shadow (a new and hopefully short-lived phase).
After receiving an award from Leen Christens, I am excited to pass it on to some more Illustration Friday bloggers whose work I truly enjoy. The list could be much, much longer but I tried not to include folks who have already received the award. Thanks everyone for stopping by!
A few weeks ago a lovely couple asked me do an illustration or a diorama that could include the name of their new born grandson “Mason” who lives in Melbourne. They wanted an object that he could have all his life, representing fearless and adventurous spirit. They also bought another diorama that I had already [...]
I"m halfway through a personal month long project to paint something with a pumpkin in it every day this month and it's been fun to also work the Watercolor Wednesdays and IF themes into it. Here's my "Cat Magic" (with pumpkins, too.)
The Picture Book Project Foundation and The Hopkins Foundation present "Art Blocks for Ghana" A Charity Art Auction Created by Artists in the Animation and Illustration Community to help build a Children's Home in Ghana. The Picture Book Project Foundation is a 501 c3 non-profit organization that gives artists and art enthusiasts a way to help and inspire children in need. The mission is to bring continued resources and support to orphaned and under served children around the world, while extending the talent and good will of the artist community to communities of children in need.
Having a very happy client! Before I helped her, she was stuck and couldn't move forward with her business because she didn't feel good with the logo and the look of the materials. I got her branding the way she liked it. I love that I helped her feel good about her business and got her excited about it again!
Thank you, Tom Donegan and Children's Books Ireland, for setting us up with such fabulous festival gigs over the past few days! The only times I've ever been on telly were at protest rallies (with over-designed placards), but my studio mate Gary Northfield (creator of The Beano's Derek the Sheep) and I got to appear as guests on Ireland's RTE live kids show Elev8 and talk about making comics!
Click on the pic to watch the show
We felt like real stars! I didn't feel nervous, but my mouth did run away with me a couple times, so I think I was, a bit. Thanks so much to presenters Diana and Ivan, they made the whole thing a lot of fun.
The funniest bit was watching Gary get pancake makeup. The lady even put makeup on his hands! Oh, and the other funny bit was hearing Gary say 'bum' on live telly, and cracking up in the elevator just before they let us out. (I realised in watching it that you can catch a glimpse of us moving about... yeah, we're actually dancing like crazy.)
Another cool thing was Tom setting us up for dinner in Dublin with illustrator Niamh Sharkey. Her work really influenced mine when I was first starting out to become an illustrator. Niamh's The Giant Turnip was the first book Stuart ever bought for me, having seen it in a shop window and thinking I might like it. (His taste was spot on!) I think Niamh's work made the penny drop for me, that it could be just as important for human and animal body shapes to have a rhythm to them than to look realistic. Anyway, our restaurant, Shebeen Chic, had a photobox and we all squeezed in: Niamh, Gary, Tom, http://www.ztoical.com">Cliodhna Lyons and me. (Here's Niamh's blog post about it.)
CBI had a highly organised team of librarians driving Gary and me our 18 different workshops (9 each) in Leixlip, Celbridge, Maynooth, Naas, Newbridge, Athy, Trim, Dunshaughlin, Ashbourne and Dunboyne. We had fun making quick reccies around town in the evenings. Here's an old shopfront that caught our attention on Naas high street. We peeked through the windows and it looked like something from that film 84 Charing Cross Road. Cool!
And we did a bit of sketching. Here are some drawings Gary did of me:
We picked up a copy of Jamie Smart's Find Chaffy from Barker & Jones bookshop in Naas and ogled it in the pub. Gary got very excited when he got on a sudden roll of finding Chaffies.
And we found these amazing Black Rider hoods with glowing eyes in the pound shop down the road.
“Why would anybody want to go to Honesdale?” asked the immigration officer as we were crossing the Canadian/U.S. border. If you are an illustrator, you would have plenty of reasons. Not only is Honesdale, PA a very pretty town but it is also the home of the Highlight’s magazine offices. Every year, Highlights throw a weekend party for their illustrators, family and guests. I haven’t worked for the magazine yet but this year I was lucky to be invited as Paula’s guest.
It was a really fun road trip. Paula and I had plenty to chat about and there was lots of prettiness to photograph along the way
On the road to Honedale
How did he get there?…. Photo by Paula Becker
We arrived early Friday evening with just enough time to check into our room, freshen up a bit and take a quick wander down by the lake.
Sunset on the lake at Central House
Then it was off to the barbecue at Boyd’s Mill where we would get to meet everyone for the first time. At this point I could feel butterflies in my tummy and was worried that I would get all shy and tongue tied. I am so used to working at home alone, that suddenly meeting a whole bunch of illustrators at once felt a little intimidating but exciting too. All shyness was forgotten when we got to meet Jannie again, and Jenn for the first time. The chatting began and we felt like old friends. I also got to meet Karen Lee who I have known a long time on the internet and it was so nice to meet her in person. And also Jennifer Thermes and Julie Fortenberry were there, which was a lovely surprise. We all became good buddies and hung out together for the rest of the weekend.
The Illustration for Kids gals -from left to right: me, Paula, Jannie and Jenn
The next morning we had a bright and early start with br
As my website inches closer and closer to being completed (yay!) I am searching out various ways to market my work. I know about ChildrensIllustrators.com and Picture-Book.com, both I love but neither are in my price range right now. Actually there's only one fee in my price range right now-free. So I googled free portfolio sites and came across illustrator Violeta Dabija's site. There's tons of resources on there, from contracts to marketing to pricing. And she has a whole big list of free portfolio sites. Just wanted to share in case someone else was searching for information. And P.S., I am so thankful for the online illustrator community, what a helpful bunch they are! That said, my plan is to be as helpful as I can and pay it forward. I'm using this blog to list any resources that I come across for my and whoever else's future reference, see list on the right. I'm off to plan my illustration attack!
So what did you do on your summer vacation? Louis Thomas, a second year animation student from Gobelins, made Playing With Light with his friend Theo Guignard over the summer, during their two month work placement at Cube Creative in Paris.
The pair did all pre-production, storyboards, layout, animation, backgrounds and colors. In fact, if they gave awards for use of color, this short film would be a strong contender for a top prize. I asked Thomas about how the film came together. He graciously wrote back with this:
“Madeline Peirsman helped us a lot on pre compositing (colors in photoshop). Then came Benjamin Moreau for the compositing during 3 weeks. We worked with the sound designer who also made the music, Adrien Caslis, because we wanted to have a sort of clip or a short film with a stronger impact due of the corelation between music and visuals…
“We also had a lot of advice from the professionals at “Cube” from the storyboard to the render, color script… We worked in 2D, animation on paper, then scaned and colors in photoshop…we made all the compositing in after effects and some miscellaneous animation (fishes, jellyfish and special effects) on flash.”
It’s fun seeing your name in television credits. It’s also kind of weird, because the production cycle of TV shows is very long. I had moved on to other things before most of the shows I worked on even aired.
I had a similar feeling about a month ago. I was browsing through an upscale toddler and baby store (expensive babies) between meetings and I stumbled upon my own art. I was just doing some product research and I almost missed some package illustrations I did about two years ago.
These turned out nicely. I created the illustrations and someone else designed the packaging. It reminds me that I really need to do more art for products.
This week has been all about brightly colored leaves (see below), listening to the Handsome Family (see above) and trying to brainstorm a Halloween costume (go here). My weekend? Sewing this, watching these and baking that.
Illustrator Philippe Debongnie has completely refreshed his illustration portfolio site. Philippe is a Belgian illustrator living and working in Brussels. He loves to draw figures, faces and typography. He works a lot with simple lines, often in relation with simple shaped one color surfaces, or collages, or spots. He enjoys playing a lot in his illustrations. Visit Philippe's site...
Not really the spookiest spider in the world-but actually have a new illustration ready for season-I put it on postcards for a promo mailing- hopefully that will get done and out before Halloween- since sending Art Directors a Halloween postcard after Halloween would be "Spooky" or "Tacky"