Friday, July 27, 2012

Well, it's been a while since I posted so I thought I'd clean up (and out) the studio, add some more work to my blog, and continue to get ready for the beginning of the academic year at Ringling.

Line is my favorite element...I feel like I'm in mine (element) when drawing, irregardless of which media I may choose to apply color.  I've included a few different approaches I take with line. The more traditional pen and ink also include the use of some ellipses and french curves to add a little different kind of structure to the drawing. There are some nature pieces of birds as well as some editorial pieces that include some short narrative. I've also included a few pages of simple little black and white spot illustrations. They're fun to do.

Color-wise,  the majority of work here is either watercolor or acrylic, although there's a digital piece thrown in as well. That's what I'm working on now...Photoshop. Will Terry, who visited Ringling last year as a guest artist,  shared some insights into ways that I can bring the dry brush texture I get with acrylics into my digital work, so I'm beginning to try to develop some pieces digitally. I'll post them if I ever figure things out.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Open House Weekend

Last weekend was a busy one for all majors thanks to the Open House on campus. The Illustration Department opened up CJ's 5 and 6 as well as our gallery that's currently hosting the Comic Book exhibit coordinated by James Simmons. Faculty invited students to come in and set up and work on projects so that prospective students and their accompanying families could get a sense of what to expect should they attend Ringling.

I PROUDLY showed the work that got into this year's Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition and then opened it up to questions. Faculty members Mike Hodges, Steven Taft, and Regan Dunnick were there as well, fielding questions and contributing information about the work that was shown and anything else that came up. Across Old Bradenton Road, Robin Cody, Cheryl Cooper and Carl Johnson and some students were set up and working in the Bayou studios and meeting with attendees as well.

David Jackson coordinated the morning and things went incredibly smoothly. As one conversation wrapped up, David brought in the next group and really kept things moving. Much appreciated.
I believe there'll be another "Accepted Student Day" open house in April sometime.

Next Steps Roundtable weekend

The Next Steps Roundtable conversations were a good time. I was fortunate to share a room with Tim the Toy Man, Tim Kelly whose insights into the creative process of developing ideas for a variety of toys was of interest to all.

Regarding children's books...I shared what I felt was good and pertinent information from the SCBWI Conference the weekend before.  I scrambled to pull together a presentation and direct people to some appropriate links that helped to define and clarify some of the anticipated trends in that particular industry. We talked about traditional children's books, as well as eBooks and eEnhanced Books and various Apps that are beginning to garner attention.

Most of the questions from the Q&A pertained to what kind of portfolio should one put together (i.e. how many images; more than one style?, etc.)

Bottom line... I had a great time. Thanks to all of you that came to listen and did a great job of keeping a stimulating conversation going.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Ringling College's "Next Step" Roundtables this weekend

Now that I'm back from the SCBWI conference I'll have an opportunity this weekend to share some of the information I picked up while there. I'll be participating in a series of roundtable discussions about children's books and will be sharing some of the new insights and information discussed at the conference about various technologies that are beginning impact children's books like eBooks, Enhanced eBooks, and Apps, all of which will be interesting additions to the format we all know and love.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Afternoon Sessions at the SCBWI Conference

One of the big unknowns out in the world of books, whether they be novels, young adult, or children's picture books is; where is publishing heading? How will digital formats influence and change what we've grown accustomed to? Those and other questions were a part of the morning session and became the topic of one of the three break-out sessions I attended.

Rubin Pfeffer, an agent at East-West Literary Agency gave a great presentation about Ebooks, Enhanced Ebooks, and Apps and how new technology always creates new content and how we as illustrators fit into it. The general tone is that the genre is expanding and there will be new opportunities for the story to be developed and visualized. Just like when animation went from 2D to 3D, the question of the role of the illustrator came up. NOW where do we fit in the development pipeline? The technology changed and the role of the visionary changed. It didn't go away, it evolved. Pfeffer's comments stated the current evolution of things as truly revolution(ary).

It's all about STORY! Always was...always will be. But there are changes occurring that will expand the methods of delivery. Interesting times.

I'm going to go now and meet with some of the other illustrators at the conference. There's almost 500 of us here. Shouldn't be too difficult to find some...

More later.

SCBWI Conference Update

It's been a busy morning already and I'm getting ready for a busy afternoon. Keynote speaker Chris Crutcher gave an inspiring talk based on the theme: Turning Real Life into Fiction. He writes YA novels which I'm not particularly familiar with, but you really can't go wrong with the advice to "write what you know".

The first breakout group I attended was lead by Cathy Goldsmith from Random House where she is an art director. She talked about portfolios for children's book illustrators and offered a lot of good information on everything from the process of developing a picture book, ways to submit samples,  to more technical information about printing and binding. I came away with some new insights and her talk also confirmed (at least in my mind) that I've been teaching Children's Book Illustration "correctly" all these years!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Made it!

After a bumpy ride on Jet Blue (though no fault of their own) I made it into JFK and am now settled in my hotel room 18 floors above the SCBWI Conference. The big day is tomorrow when I'll be attending a morning of presentations to be followed by three workshops. I'm here to absorb info and insights and I'm looking forward to sharing them with the Next Step participants at Ringling as well as students interested in Children's Book Illustration.