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  • RE: Comic-Con Expo Report for Illustrators Who Have Never Been

    @Nyrryl-Cadiz Just an FYI: I've been hearing that the overcrowding is actually detrimental to sales, so if you do go someday, be aware of that. As an attendee, it was really difficult to actually talk to the artists because the aisles were very narrow, and you couldn't really stand in one place without having to seemingly "tread water" against the stream of people trying to get by in the walking paths. It was challenging to have a conversation without feeling like you were getting into someone else's business...

    From what I've been hearing, this has been a trend for a while--Artist's Alleys at a lot of conventions are allocated less and less space so the artists are getting more and more cramped. I would also be wary of the fees--this may be a high profile con but it may not be the place to recoup your investment... There may be smaller cons where you might be able to do much better.

    I don't mean to discourage you at all. Just make sure you make an informed decision. These were the fees this year, and it looks like the majority of the tables in Artist's Alley were either $600 or $1,100. And note that's contingent upon jury approval.


    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: HELP! I committed to a logo design and I am in a cold sweat

    @BichonBistro Oh no, I was really hoping for your sake that she was moving on. I’m not even sure what to say. Regardless of how you choose to approach this, deadlines and boundaries need to be communicated. The truth is, that this can get a whole lot worse and become even more time consuming than it has already. Of course it can go the other way as well - you may be able to finalize the design, convert to vector, and send it to print and embroidery with little issue. It just doesn’t seem realistic. Know your limits and communicate them as thoroughly as possible. I would suggest staying out of the printing and embroidery process if you get to that point - do not get roped into sending the files directly to print /embroidery companies or providing prepared files, because you will become the problem solver and point of contact. Honestly, if you have not told her that you would convert it to vector, than I would avoid that as well. Print and embroidery companies have prepress departments, let them convert it. She is lucky to be getting this much of your time for free.

    posted in Serious Critique Requested
  • Comic-Con Expo Report for Illustrators Who Have Never Been

    I attended Comic-Con in San Diego on Thursday, and spent most of the time I was there on the expo floor. It was... really overwhelming. I was gifted with a day pass from my niece who was volunteering there (apparently they get 2 day passes for each of the 4 days of the con that they can share with their family and friends in return for 5-hour shifts each day).

    I live in San Diego, and it's hard to get tickets. Also, everyone local knows it's incredibly crowded anyway, so honestly it's not high on the priority list of "things San Diegans enjoy doing". But I hadn't attended since 1996, so I figured I should see what's up. I had two things on my agenda: see Artist's Alley and the free Art Gallery.

    Wow. It was really really crowded... I haven't been to a lot of cons beyond some very small ones, so this was just... overwhelming.

    I'm putting this post out there because I haven't seen anything like these before, and I know a lot of illustrators and self-publishers do conventions quite a bit. I know that Comic-Con is an anomaly because of its size, but it could be useful information for someone considering attending in the future.

    The artists I saw were essentially sharing folding tables, each having a standing banner or some other self-assembled display behind them. They spread their wares on the table. I think there were different "levels" of table options--some of the artists were in quite small spaces and others were a bit more spread out.

    I was impressed despite the overcrowding. There was SO much talent there, mostly using fanart to then segue into their own IPs. All of them had either original work or prints in various sizes and a good number of them had books--either their own reprinted sketchbooks or their illustrated stories. Lots of stickers.

    Other artists there had full on framed paintings in larger-scale booths that would be commensurate to a booth/tent at an Art Fair. Combined, Artist's Alley and these "Illustrators" and "Fantasy Illustrators" took up the pale blue, pale orange, and pale green sections on the map image below (clicking on that image expands it out to read it better).


    But there were a few surprising things there...

    Interestingly, there were quite a few Children's Book booths there, mostly brought in by bigger publishers like Random House and Scholastic. There were also a LOT of childrens, middle-grade, and YA-oriented books in the Small Publishers section (Which was one of the most crowded sections of the expo floor, in my opinion. It is the pale orchid section of the map above.) The Small Publications section was almost entirely made up of author-illustrators sharing everything the folks in Artist's Alley had available plus self-published work in a HUGE range--everything from strips about vegetables to illustrated erotic fiction...

    As I mentioned before it was quite crowded. I found some videos on YouTube that I thought might be helpful. I did NOT make any of these videos, by the way.

    The video below is a walk-through of Artist's Alley.

    Below is another 360° video walkthrough. Interestingly, he doesn't even go near the Artist's Alley. But it's engaging because you have the capacity to rotate the camera angle around.

    Finally, this last is a video of a walk-though specifically for Artist's Alley and the Small Press sections.

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Dream Portfolio Assignment, Too

    @Coreyartus Ugh, I can relate. I find character drawing very difficult. The smallest deviation when drawing heads and faces changes the entire character so dramatically. I find it very helpful to go back to basic shapes and then slowly add detail based small measurements within the shape. For me when I looked at her head I immediately saw a teardrop. If you can get the main shape right, it should be a little easier.


    posted in SVS Class Work
  • RE: Dream Portfolio Assignment, Too

    @Erin-Cortese I must have drawn her head twelve times trying to get it right!! LOL! It is the hardest part of the image for me and it has to be exactly right or the message of the image doesn't read--she has to be looking at him, of course!! LOL! It's angled back, too, so it looks like she's sort of leaning back and tilting her head out of curiosity to really study him... I'm gonna have to do it another twelve times, aren't I? LOL! I absolutely refuse to trace this stuff even though it would be very easy to do so digitally--that's totally defeating the entire point of the exercise.

    It's interesting how one subtle angle and an eye placement in an entire image full of intricate detail can simply flat out change everything. The image isn't really about the Beast at all. It's about her.

    posted in SVS Class Work
  • RE: Dream Portfolio Assignment, Too

    @Coreyartus Good for you for jumping in and taking it on! I feel the same way that you do as far as ability goes. The master study I have chosen is beyond my ability and I am very intimidated by it and hesitant to start. Thanks for the motivation 🙂

    You are doing a great job with this one so far. The one thing I did notice is the shape of the woman’s face and direction of her gaze. Her face is more elongated than you have drawn it, and her gaze is off to the right rather than down at the instrument.

    posted in SVS Class Work
  • RE: Dream Portfolio Assignment, Too

    @Heather-Boyd Heather, I know exactly what you're talking about. Even after assembling it, I found a whole file of 300+ images I'd downloaded and forgotten to look at. It seems even when I took the time to try to be aware of all that's out there, there always seemed to be more I was excited about. It's like being in a candy store--"Oh, I really love those, but I love those, too, and those, and those, and those..." I felt like I was lopping off fingers trying to choose just twenty!!

    I had to just bite the bullet and think to myself, "I love this, but if I'm really being honest I love that one more." For me, it helped to go collect loads of imagery by artists that I loved instead of just individual images. And from there I was able to pare it down because I told myself I could only use 2 images each from the artists that I told myself were my absolute faves--which I had narrowed down to 5. From there, substituting a new favorite image for one of the images of the artists of which I had 2 images didn't seem so painful.

    Still, this portfolio project is going to evolve every time I fall in love with another piece. LOL! I'm gonna have to eat something from my plate and really dig into it before I go back for more. For a little while, anyway. But I'm gonna savor every dish from this all-you-can-eat buffet that I can. I've got a lifetime in this particular restaurant, so there's no rush. 🙂

    posted in SVS Class Work

    Here's mine!


    posted in Announcements
  • RE: July WIP - Summer School

    @Nyrryl-Cadiz Ahhh now I understand what you meant! Thank you for taking the time to draw that out. The main issue with recomposing it that way is that I could not use the spotlight effect and close crop that I am going for. You and @Alicja-W have both suggested a change in perspective and I can see why - the perspective I chose is generally not very interesting and not great for storytelling. But I am hoping this will be an exception to the rule 😬! There is a good chance this will come back to bite me Lol. Nonetheless, your comments have made me realize I am going to have to use layering and other methods to try and get some depth. When I first had the idea for this layout the book cover below came to mind, I thought it used a spotlight, but it doesn’t. Loosely, this is the perspective I had in mind.


    posted in Artwork
  • RE: HELP! I committed to a logo design and I am in a cold sweat

    @NessIllustration she wanted to see everything I had considered and rejected and reasons why 🤯...I ignored that, but it’s another clue that at least with this person, less is definitely more!

    Thanks for these tips!

    posted in Serious Critique Requested