Well...here you go ;-) just finished it
A year ago I lost my job as a welder/fabricator, after many years of struggle to succeed in a career which I had attempted to really set an honest path in. I just am not fit for such work. I wanted to go to art school after high school, but my brother convinced me that it was a waste of time, but now looking back at it, I can see that it is just his contrarian personality that led him to such advice for me. He really hates anyone rating art, and finds most artists pretentious, though his work is remarkable, he refuses to do it as a career, and would rather dig a hole than make a dollar off of art.
Anyways, here I am about to turn 35, and last July I decided to join SVS after finding Will Terry on youtube. I have always wanted to write and illustrate children's books from a very young age, and was shcoked to find such a place as this. My work has grown so much over the course of a year, and it is due to Lee White, Will Terry and Jake Parker. I listened to their artistic advice, as well as their advice for practicing, scheduling, and overall, a realistic approach to improving my art. Here is an example of how much my art has grown since last July
I think the hardest part of SVS vs traditional school is that you are accountable to yourself, and must be able to motivate yourself. I got rid of all distractions, such as video games, and stopped using social media as a consumer, and started using it to surround myself with likeminded artists with similar goals. All these things have been recommendations from people here on the forums, as well as the teachers. They have a ton of advice to give you, and I would suggest that if you do go the route of becoming and SVS subscriber, that you also use these forums as a replacement for the community you would have in a college setting. You must also come in with the mindset that it will take hardwork and dedication, and the ability to push through different limitations you might be faced with as you begin to challenge yourself here.
I can't recommend signing up enough, but really want to emphasize the self discipline it requires to move forward. You can do it, and everyone on these forums are willing to help you as much as you need it. We all want each other to succeed, and so we welcome all the questions and critiques you would need to move forward with what you want to do. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Hope this helped.
P.s the image is somewhat blury, but you can click on my SCBWI link and see what I have been able to do because of SVS.
My review was with an art director from Simon & Shuster, and all I can say about her and other reps I met is that they really care about what we are trying to do, and are here to help wherever they can. With that said, what happened was so opposite to what I was expecting to hear. To see the images I used for my portfolio, click on my website. Every image that is there was in my portfolio.
What was shocking is that the two images I almost dropped are the two images that the rep liked, and even wanted me to make a book dummy for her about the characters. I almost went home immedietly and started working on it, but after conversing with a friend of mine who is repped by S&S, I decided not to take that road because it would be a bit pushy. The two pictures she liked were the black and white pig pieces.
However, I don't know what to feel about it. All the other images are the ones I really am proud of, and the pig ones were something I did just as an excercise to some extent. On the other hand, it was nice to have such interest from someone at Simon and Shuster. I feel very confused I guess about how to move forward.
What also was interesting is that I wasn't really being looked as a illustrator only, even though I went as an illustrator and not an author/illustrator, yet, all my run ins were treated as if my portfolio was somewhat a collection of book pitches, and not so much as something I was coming in with so that I can be strictly an illustrator only. I do want to both write and illustrate at some point, but I am much more interested in getting an art rep than and literary rep. However, it seems as if that is what they really hope for on some level. Idk if I am reading that the wrong way or not.
Anywho. I am paying for another critique with someone in a few weeks, then will get Lee's portoflio review help in the near future to hopefully get more eyes on my work and maybe here similar things or even conflicting opinions.
Love those pictures. I will definitelly be checking that artist out.
Interestingly enough, Lee White's is someone I have been researching a lot of these last couple of weeks. Turned my ipad wallpaper into the piece he did on luminous light. His work that is on his website has really pushed me in a good way, but also showed me how much I have to learn, which is great. I am addicted to hitting walls.
Another person I have been following, and I wouldn't be surprised if people here know about her is Iraville on youtube.
So these are the two artist that have been convincing me I suck, which is good. I love both of their artwork.
Horses are really hard for me. I really need to start working on them more. Yours look good.
I am currently working on intgrating polychromo colored pencils into my watercolor paintings, as well as working on pieces that are somewhat related to other pieces I have already done, just to create some form of consistency in my portfolio.
Here the roof is done in polychromos, and some other textures have lighty been messed with.
Here is another sample of me trying to mess with these pencils. I love how I can manipulate the clouds in the watercolor, and it almost looks natural
Lastly, I am trying to do paintings that are related to other pieces I have done. This is a digital drawing of a watercolor painting I am doing tonight. It is a followup of the violinists on the roof painting I have already finished.
I recently created a schedule for my art work, and it has been working out very well for me, and even leaves me a day or so to explore new ideas. I recently started doing black and white sketches of a few thumbnails I had put together of a story I wanted to make, and also decided to upload each image to social media as a picture only story. I thought it would be a good way to show my story telling ability, as well as engage my followers on some level. Here is the beginning, and I hope to upload one each week.
This next one is still being worked on, but is almost done. Need to finish the inside of the train, add the tail, and darken some areas.
Just thought I would share this idea with other. We shall see how well it does
Still learning how to create a good watercolor texture digitally, and since I do not use photoshop it has been a bit difficult. Thankfully with some research I am starting to get there (I mean, I just figure out I could download brushes from other people)
Anywho. This is a new piece. I want to do it traditionally, and am merely trying to mess with color combinations. Any thoughts on this one?
I've always wanted to do something with multiple light sources and fireflies. This is somewhat along that vision. However, I really am stuck on the background part of the image and trying to figure out if another color might help push the foreground a bit more.
For some reason I cannot post photos here anymore. Here is the link to my instagram photo. https://instagram.com/p/BLcgMPXD4iM/
I can tell I needed to go darker on the first wash
using different ink really changes the way it reacts, so next time I will use the same ink as Lee.
many of the things he says in the video are much more apparent when you paint along with him.
this helped me so much!
Trying a different style, and am wondering what you all my think. I am using gouache and colored pencils.
Either one of these ;-) you may use my name btw. I don't have a website, but feel free to link to my instagram instead. I could always use the help.
The concept behind the first image is a little boy who wants to teach his pet dinosaur how to read
.the second image is about a lonely violinist who seranades a stray cat every night.
I was inspired by the Secret of Kells, as well as seeing how illustrators of late have found inspiration in the idealism of Celtic Art, as well as teams such as Gibli doing the same with traditional Japanese art and lore. One of my favorite forms of idealism is Byzantine art, so I did a cross hatch ink drawing of a Byzantine icon, and am currently trying to borrow from the semi perfect forms being put fowards to create characters and hopefully interesting environments.
Here is the piece I did
Here is the brainstorming I am currently messing with (very early stages, don't judge ;-)
The goal of idealism was to portray the divine realm as orderly, and is why Egyptians did the same thing. They saw the world as inperfect in a different way than we do, in that perfect forms (circles, numbers) were never perfectly seen in the created order. So a tree is never perfectly straight, or a perfect circle is ever seen in the clouds, but in their art, a perfect circle can portray a better world, or depict the divine. I think this hits at the heart of illustrating for children. I think this why Secret of Kells and Gibli has such success.
Any thoughts on looking at traditional forms of art as inpiration for illustrating?
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