New Guy Intro

  • Moderator

    Hey, gang, I'm new to the forums and thought I might introduce myself. My name is Corey Johnston, I'm from San Diego, and I want to learn how to be a part-time illustrator.

    I have a part-time job already as the Costume faculty member at a local university (well... It's supposed to be part-time, but for anyone who has ever done theatrical costuming you'll know it swings between utter overload to vast nothingness at various times--much like some illustration careers, I imagine). I teach Costume Design, Fundamentals of Theatrical Design, and a sewing unit of Tech Theatre as well as manage the costume shop and design/build all the shows for an Undergrad BA and a Grad MFA in Acting. I am blessed with the luxury of being able to invest some time into developing my artwork, but I simply logistically can't do full time illustration.

    I am currently enrolled in self-guided Schoolism classes, but I am finding their curriculum to be sharply slanted toward current and potential artists in the concept art and character art career fields, and while there are a lot of renowned people involved they don't necessarily know how to teach... Suffice to say as a teacher of 20 years this has caused me all kinds of angst... hehe... The caché of success does not equate the capacity to teach. Jus' sayin'.

    I'd been carrying a preconceived notion that my costuming skills might translate over into gaming and animation but I was ignoring all the other opportunities I might pursue. It wasn't until I found Will Terry's vid blogs that I started to let myself truly understand how Illustration is a much larger field than just concept art for games and movies, and opened myself up to different pathways. His descriptions of what pieces should be in a portfolio broadened my mind to the expansiveness of what's out there.

    Regardless, I feel like I still need to develop my fundamentals--and when I saw that Proko had his class on SVS I realized this was probably the place for me.

    I read an article that said people who read fiction develop deeper empathy than those who read historical biographies or other non-fictional works. I don't know why or how, but I know it's true--I see it every time someone goes to the theatre. Audiences witness something that influences their emotional state, whether it's to make them happy or sad or philosophical or even outright prompt them to change their minds about something. I'd like to do that with my illustration: create imaginative imagery that helps develop empathy or makes a person think or feel--either through story or context or abstraction or style or whatever. Maybe I can help make the world a better place somehow. Just a little. One viewer at a time.

    I got an iPad Pro 12.9" last year around this time, and since then I dove into Procreate with a passion. Most of my work thus far is heavily based on photo reference, and I'm looking to find better ways of using it over simply re-drawing it verbatim. My work can be found here (but be warned, there's some nudity from my figure construction studies):

    My costume design portfolio is here:

    Anyway, I thought I'd say hello and introduce myself. I'm looking forward to diving into SVS classes soon (can't in the immediate future, but will be doing so soon).

  • Moderator

    @coreyartus Hello, and welcome to the forum! I am fairly new to SVS as well. So far I have found the classes to be very useful in helping my progress, and this forum is a great resource. The people here are very helpful and offer really great support and advice.

    My background is very different than yours, I am a graphic designer and web developer, but I did spend 5 years teaching web development. The format of the classes here is obviously quite different, but so far I have found them very effective. How useful the classes are for you may depend on your personal needs, but there is no question there are a lot of great takeaways from the videos.

    Your background sounds like it would make for a really interesting combination with illustration! I’m looking forward to seeing your work.

  • Moderator

    @inkandspatter Thanks so much! I'm finding the forums to be a great resource in and of themselves, and I'm looking forward to diving into the classes when I can. I agree that any class (regardless of how it is delivered--in person or via online) is as much about what the student puts into it as it is about what the instructor brings to it.

    It was a difficult decision to choose to invest in Schoolism over so many other available options, and truly disappointing on a personal level that I may have made the wrong choice. Of course, I'm just one student and just because the few classes I've taken have been frustrating for me (both from a student perspective as well as a teaching one) it doesn't mean they don't work for others. I have a hard time determining whether I'm pulling a "defensive student" psyche-out on myself or whether my concerns are actually valid. It's very easy to criticize the instructor or the system when you're not confident in your own skills and feel exposed. I've been on the other side of that paradigm a number of times myself. I'm actually disappointed in myself--I would have thought I could be a lot more empathetic and understanding and have the capacity to see through lessons to their essence!! Haha!! I feel horribly hypocritical, which just compounds things and makes things even worse... <sigh>

    Regarding my background, I'm learning that there is a handful of theatre designers who are also studio artists or illustrators (Chris Klein or Ian Loveall or Robin Sanford Roberts for example).

    I am not interested in doing professional costume illustration for designers (ala Phillip Boute, Jr. for example). Instead, I really feel a need and drive to create emotive imagery.

    Ever since I found Molly Bang's How Pictures Work, I've been in love with the capacity to manipulate the Elements of Design to elicit emotional responses. In theatre, we usually do it three-dimensionally and with a LOT of collaborators like directors & other designers & actors & technicians... I'm excited about trying it two-dimensionally and with a few less collaborators. LOL!

  • Welcome, I am fairly new here as well. But it has been a great place for me so far. I am learning tons on the forums and through the classes.