Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wishfull Visual Art Retreat Online


I saw this Wish full virtual art classes and find this idea of a virtual visual art retreat as a fun way to focus on art with pros with out having to go any where. I don't shy away from online learning experiences. If they have good contact and keep regular contact it goes quite well. I've taken online classes and to me they take motivation then your traditional classroom setting. If you have a busy schedule and want to get some art in and creative time this is one way to do it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

#2 Pencils


When I was in college they used to make us buy those fancy sets of drawing pencils with all the different hard and soft leads. After I got out of school I realized there's nothing more trusty then your #2 Pencil. I buy 20 in a box from the Dollar Store and they last forever.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Roz Box


I realized I've filled my first Deluxe Roz Box with pastels. As a pastel artists you gotta have something to carry and protect all of your pastels. I highly recommend this box.

Sketches 12 Things



Slowly but surely working on sketches for "Twelve Things". My office space is starting to get to me. I tend to work on my old fashioned plexi animator's board in front of my computer. Once I get my sketches finished and approved I'll move over to my equally messy drafting table to add color using pastels. This book I think I'll need to do color comps in the computer. We'll see.

FREE Coloring Page & Wordsearch



Here is a Free Coloring Sheet and Word search for fans of Yes, Jesus Loves You. I used these sheets for kids to to take home with them from my recent book signing. Most of the young kids can do the coloring sheets and I opted to add a word search for the older kids that want something more challenging to do. A solution page is also included on the 2nd page of the word search.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reworked My Site




Did some rework on my site for the 2nd book that will be out hopefully Spring 2010. I did some searching online for how to tile/pattern in photoshop. This was a easy tutorial. I used photoshop CS4. I need to try it out in Illustrator as well.



Also been looking at Intuos 4. Price is right at $199 for the small on Amazon.com. There are pros and cons reviews listed and a cool video demo on the site. When I start grad school I'll probably consider making that switch to digital illustration.

Illustration Blogs

I really have to say that I'm so glad that illustrators have been kind enough to share so much of their experiences online. It's such a wealth of information that is out there. Back when I was getting my BFA in illustration the web was a new things for illustrators. At the time none of my professors where really utilizing it. Marketing was taught strictly as mailers and carrying your portfolio to ADs. The marketing for illustrators has changed so greatly. My first picture book contract I got was from the AD at Ambassador Bks/Paulist Press seeing my work online at the SCBWI. Then my 2nd book that is out in 2010 was from a targeted postcard mailer. I think it's worth trying various types of marketing approaches because you just don't know what will work. I'm always reading others blogs about what they did try it but make different to fit my needs.

Illustration Friday: Pioneer


I did this illustration a while ago, but I thought it applied to the theme. I imagined a young boy being a pioneer aviator. Imagine what it would be like to take flight. I wouldn't recommend doing this at home, but it's fun to imagine what Wright Bros. Might have been like as kids. I'm sure they gave their mom some frights.

First Book Signing



After several months of contacting I finally had my first book signing. I've learned some things for this experience. Even after you get a first book published there is so much effort that one has to put into promoting it. It takes repeated contacts with a bookstore to get a signing. I'm sure if you have awards attached to the book or backed by a major publisher the experience is probably very different.

Most of the kids that were at the signing were there to be read to and do an art project. They seemed to enjoy it. Working at a book signing is way more easier then trying to coral students in an art room. It was a nice laid back experience. I could probably have thrown in a drawing demo. Overall without a drawing demo it took about 45 min. Then there was a signing at the front of the store. I think I would have liked it if it was possible to have the signing in the children's book section. But with that said I got a customer that came up and bought 2 without having had a child attend the session.

I realized due to the kind and thoughtful patronage of family and friends I was able to sell about 12 books in a hour. I could hope for more, but for a first time signing I think it wasn't too bad. I had fun.