Thank you, Lee, for another stimulating assignment.
Last year I drew a crowd.
Posts made by Larry Whitler
RE: Trying to push my work - it's too 'photoshop-py' according to portfolio review
You know, I've been thinking about this one for a few days now. So here goes...
First of all, your artwork is fabulous. It is magical, whimsical, fun, and communicates an intriguing story.
That's why the comment you received at the SCWBI conference is so disturbing. Anyone who offers a critique that leaves you feeling as if you were just (figuratively) "kicked in the stomach" has other issues and, therefore, as others have suggested in this forum already, you should just ignore them.
BUT, we all know that is easier said than done.
That's not to say that critiques from those with your best interests at heart should be ignored. I truly think your work is very good and any flippant comment about it being "too photo-shoppy" is simply not going to help you in any way. In fact it could hurt you, discourage you, and derail your ambitions.
ULTIMATELY, the BEST critic of artwork for a children's book is a child. Read that again: THE BEST CRITIC OF ARTWORK FOR A CHILDREN'S BOOK IS A CHILD!
Ha! I just ticked off every agent, art director, editor, and publisher. But, trust me, if a child is mesmerized by your story and illustrations you have succeeded.
Both Thomas Kincade and Norman Rockwell were heavily criticized in their lifetimes but THEIR AUDIENCES adored their work.
Meanwhile, Andy Warhol is considered an art "god" and he painted soup cans. Go figure. But, still, it is ultimately his audience that matters. My taste doesn't really matter. And THAT is my point.
Your audience is who needs to appreciate your work.
So, take heart, I've seen a lot of children's books and been to a lot of readings of children's books and when a child is engulfed in every word you have written and in every illustration you have painted you have a hit.
Just to backtrack, I'm sure the best agents, publishers, etc. agree with this and make every effort necessary to look at stories and artwork through a child's eyes.
It is asking the impossible to ask artists to grow a "thick skin" to ward off negative or thoughtless comments. If you weren't sensitive, you probably wouldn't be an artist.
So, I hope this helps. If I reach you in only one way with this writing I hope you can rest assured that your artwork is wonderful.
Keep up the great work.
I am just curious about the name SVSThinkific. Specifically about the "Thinkific" part. Is it pronounced "Think-if-ick," "Think-If-I-See," "Thin-K, if I see?," "Think-Eye-Fick," or some other way.
Also, what does it mean? I get the "Think" part. And I get it if it is pronounced "Think-If-I-See" as that would imply that the illustration gives one more information to ponder upon. But is there a better (maybe simpler) story behind the name?
The Learning Curve
The learning curve is just a part of life and there is no way around it. BUT, with good – no, make that GREAT – teachers we get to navigate that curve with more confidence and can actually come out of that curve without losing control and running off the road.
It is everyone’s story.
For me, specifically, I have gone through that learning curve and come out unscathed numerous times. In jobs, in personal relationships, in driving, camping, raising children, learning a musical instrument, and, for the sake of this forum, even in art.
Early on it was drawing skills. You pick up a pencil, you draw your friend in class, the other kids say how cool it looks and you feel good. Then the teacher notices you have skills and shows you how to improve them.
Then it is painting skills. The learning curve is there for every medium. Knowing acrylic is different than knowing oils, etc.
Now it is digital skills. Professionally I work in audio. In my work I have had the learning curve of working with quarter inch tape, reel-to-reel recorders, record cutting lathes,… you name it, it’s been part of what I had to become proficient at in order to keep working.
Then, when digital audio became a “thing,” it was like starting over. AND, just because I mastered ONE software program did not mean I automatically could work in the other programs. EACH ONE HAD A LEARNING CURVE AND THERE WAS ALWAYS A TEACHER TO HELP ALONG THE WAY.
That teacher could have been in the room with me, or in a book, or in a video, or even on the phone. But, there was ALWAYS a teacher.
Even in art I remember struggling with pastels. Then I stood and watched a brilliant pastel artist rendering a magnificent portrait in an art store. Just WATCHING him taught me skills I still use to this day.
So, in digital art, that same learning curve is, once again, a reality. AND, once again I have stumbled upon some great teachers.
Maybe you saw this coming. This is a ‘Thank-you’ note to SVS.
You three guys, and the guest teachers I have watched and listened to through your video lessons, have helped me navigate my most recent learning curve and, for that, I wanted to thank you.
For the three men we see the most of, Will Terry, Jake Parker, and Lee White, you guys are all amazing artists and great teachers. For Will, specifically, THANK YOU for taking your time and teaching in the slow and methodical way that you do. I’ve read some of the comments on YouTube complaining about going too long. Well, for me, I learn nothing from those teachers that rush through or neglect to mention things (like the sound in the background that you verbally say is you hitting “Control Z”).
Speaking of going long, I guess I just went long, myself, with this letter.
But I wanted you to know that your efforts are greatly appreciated. I guess I could have just typed that!
P.S.- To all the artists in this forum, I must say that I am ALSO learning from all of you. Hopefully my own posts have also given a little something in return.
RE: JULY SVS ILLUSTRATION CONTEST TOPIC: HIDDEN
Just to clarify what I'm trying to say in this piece: The man is not hidden. It is his talents that are hidden. It is his emotions that are hidden. It is his potential that is hidden. Hidden because the world has chosen not to see them. It is something all, or maybe most, artists deal with. - Larry