Serious Critique Requested - Picture Book Portfolio Image
joosterwijk last edited by
@Katherine First of all, it looks awesome and I’m in line with Kevin and Samu, I personally very much like this style and I think there is a market for it. Maybe it has not that "cuteness" that most children books have but that does not mean that all characters have to be cute to like and bond with them (although it really helps!) I agree also what @NessIllustration said about the expression, she looks now blank to the ground, more expression in combination with gesture makes your character alive and likable. The story itself can really help with that too, but then you have to show a sequence of images and maybe a model sheet. I think children books can be very arty and abstract as long you take the reader (adult and child) into your world. Good luck!
KayPotter last edited by
This is absolutely gorgeous, and one of those pieces of art that makes my heart flutter.
My one critique- the box with the ‘fragile’ stamp leaves me guessing. Is it attached to the camera? Part of the trap? Maybe play with it. It’s the only thing that feels a bit unnecessary.
Otherwise I love the magic and design.
@Asyas_illos Thank you Asyas!
@Melissa-Bailey-0 hehe - don't you love it when somebody says it before you so you don't have too
@KayPotter Oh that's interesting - about the fragile sticker box. It's only semi-attached to the rest of the camera right now and it's supposed to convey that Ellie is the one making the camera and that it's not quite finished yet.
@joosterwijk Yes - I'm quite keen to do a model sheet of Ellie - good idea! It's lovely to hear the feedback on the style - thank you. My artwork used to be much more "cute" and I've been very consciously and deliberately moving away from that as it would make me cringe every time somebody would describe my art as cute - I did not take it as a compliment!
@Kevin-Longueil Thank you Kevin, I'm incredibly flattered! And stunned by how epic your portfolio is. Your comment about sombre but hopeful reminded be of this Tom Waits quote, which I couldn't agree with more: ""I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things." I think we may have the same taste in art I know you meant your comment about there being a sombre note to my artwork as a critique, given that I'm angling towards picture books, but actually that describes all of my favourite art so if I'm hitting that note, I'm thrilled!
@NessIllustration Amazing! Thank you Ness I totally agree with you about the character's expression. I need to put it away for a while and come back to it with some renewed energy to fix things like that. I'll definitely do that before putting it in my portfolio.
Regarding the character's age, I'll see what I can do with a character study sheet. There's something about the ambiguity that I kind of like.
I did take the gutter into account but I think I added that crank handle on a whim and didn't take into account that it was going to fall into the gutter!
@Samu Wow Samu, thank you for your incredibly thoughtful reply! I've put "The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari" on my watch list I agree with your thoughts on style. I'd never consider changing my style to suit a market and I have seen plenty of picture books that strike a sombre note. Many of my favourite picture book illustrators that fit this description seem to be European and most of them seem to be published by OQO Editions. In fact it wasn't until perusing bookshops in Paris and stumbling upon such illustrators that I ever considered illustrating for picture books. So I agree, there is definitely a market for it but I may have to move to France
I also remember liking darker things as a child. I was completely bewitched by The Labyrinth, The Last Unicorn, and even Puff the Magic Dragon - possibly the saddest song in the world
I must admit I am confused by your confusion There is certainly plenty about this illustration that I am proud of but at the same time I genuinely don't know if an art director would look at it and think it is of a "publishable standard". And I also genuinely don't know what they would tell me to change or improve to get it up to that standard (apart from what has conveyed on here r.e. expression, etc).
Thank you again, Samu - I really appreciate you taking the time write so passionately on something I also feel very strongly about - we are of the same mind
@Katherine Thank you for the compliment on my work!! I'm so glad my post did not seem negative to you.. i almost deleted it after i wrote it because it seemed unhelpful and possibly damaging. I love Tom Waits - I listened to that NPR interview with Tom Waits 18 'ish years ago!