@slywriter I like this idea and it may be the best solution alongside pressing for more solid answers. Perhaps the cover or wrap around? Or a concept art sheet? Something small where we can go through the process of work i.e. sketches, final art, corrections etc. to see how we work together. But I believe this also highly depends on the budget that still needs to be decided on.
Posts made by Blayne Fox
RE: Should I or Shouldn't I take the Risk?
Should I or Shouldn't I take the Risk?
Here's my dilemma. Listening to the 3-point-perspective podcast has left a somewhat bad taste of working with single authors. I've been in the industry for 5+ years and have completed my second book with a small publisher which is who I'd love to work for. I'd like to work for publishing houses but self-published I'd consider if it had an editor, designer, or otherwise a median between me and the author to exchange info. I find working with authors directly can sometimes lead to uncomfortable confrontations that can complicate the project, sometimes not, but I'd like to avoid any complication in a project the best I can.
That being said, I have been humbled by the crisis. COVID-19 has hit the industry and me personally hard. I lost my main source of income which kept me afloat and I am now one of the 33 million Americans on unemployment. I have several personal projects I've been working on to keep me busy, but my rep even said that work may be hard to come by for a while.
In comes a man with a passion project and an interesting story. I was contacted by a potential client with a story for a children's book. He has so much energy and I enjoy the story concept greatly but he has no experience making a children's book. He has no experience in the children's book industry. He doesn't know the cost of making one, the business of shipping/exporting of the product once the project is complete, doesn't have an editor for the manuscript lined up, and doesn't know how many pages he needs. I have yet to give him a quote because of all of these factors.
Normally, I would not consider this just due to the lack of experience. But in the current circumstance... should I feel obligated to take it? Could it work out well and I have an excellent project for the next few months? ... How would you go about deciding whether to take this sort of project or not? Am I being egotistical but not immediately taking a project offer because it's a single author in the midst of a crisis?
Let me know your thoughts as I'm really undecided.
RE: LGBTQ+ Representation in Children's Books/Media
This is such an amazing discussion and I do hope it keeps going, I warn for the wall of text as I emerge from my 2019 hermit cave:
@Coreyartus After reviewing the representation posts I found on SVS including the one Lee brought up a few months back, I've come to almost the same if not an even bigger conclusion that the children's book industry is facing changes that, respectfully, Lee White, Will Terry, and Jake Parker may have not faced in their beginnings when they were young and breaking out into the industry. Therefore the challenges I and many other queer illustrators are facing have no base to go off of, no comparison, as we venture into the industry on our own accord. That is honestly quite scary when the world barely recognizes us as people in many countries both developed and underdeveloped.
Sure there were (are) challenges of race representation but it seems like the industry is somewhat stuck and/or stiff in changing things from "you can do it" books and minority side characters. When I saw this extremely recent statistic you posted, I honestly felt gutted. It breaks my heart that there seems to be such little representation in characters who flex their imagination other than overcoming a preconceived societal standard. This is the last I'll stray to the race representation side of things as to keep on the topic at hand. I don't think there IS even a statistic of LGBTQ+ representation in Children's media. And I think it's because you are right--it's only now starting to gain favor in the world, that anyone can love who they'd like to love and families can come in all shapes and sizes and historically things have been that way for longer than science can measure.
It gave me a whole new New Year's resolution that's for sure! It made me question whether this industry was both the right industry for me (i.e is struggling through a changing tide is feasible as a multiple-job juggling freelancer who just got her first publishing contract and is still figuring out how to break in) and if--with again, little to no relateable base to go off of in past trepidations as a breakout illustrator--this is a movement I want to be a part of? After a few days of hard thinking, I've come to the conclusion that whether it be race, sexuality, gender, or ability, we as children's book illustrators have a skill, a superpower if you will, that allows us to paint the world for the world's children. As @peteolczyk said, we are the image markers and are at the forefront of change as artists. In mass, we are what the world will be and if the tide is shifting to this beautiful, vibrant, accepting, and colorful society that I KNOW deep down will better the world's views in each other, then that is even more powerful of a reason to be a children's book illustrator than I had ever imagined.
@peteolczyk I have been noticing a massive uptick in specifically children's animation (Steven Universe, She-Ra, Dragon Prince just to name a few) where they go full out on queer representation. Do they lack in other areas of representation, possibly, but those have been the forefront examples on all the anti-inclusion articles I have come across. I should also note that Steven Universe has won SO MANY awards for their inclusion of sexuality and gender and even tackling as adult themes as toxic relationships that most would never think to include in a children's tv show. Not to mention that they do it in a way that is understandable to the child, not pressing a message to the parents but simply showing all of the types of beautiful humans that are out there. Children's publishing is slowly starting to sprinkle LGBTQ+ representation but in VERY gentle toe-in-water tests such as boys wearing dresses or liking girly things. This more so challenges that Toxic Masculinity you were talking about, a subject that bleeds well into accepting that boys can prefer femininity and girls to masculinity that does allow more acceptance to LGBTQ+ people down the line as it grows in acceptance.
@Kuarahy You are absolutely right. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community I do have personal experiences to pull off of even when living in the United States right on the bible belt. Race representation I am a tad more limited to because I am a white young adult who is still learning about the world and learning all of its cultures and nationalities and has little to no income for travel exposure. But I am sound in my understanding that just because I barely have touched the surface it doesn't mean they should be limited to and waiting for someone of their nationality to represent them in children's books. The more children connect to books that aren't focused on their representation as a plot point or an over-coming story, the more artists will come from those children who are sparked to represent from personal experience. And if I can help add to those numbers, I don't see a problem in that, but I refuse to paint myself as understanding that culture until I delve into references, research and exposure in the process as to not be so egotistical as to generically represent (Not to mention I will never have that experience and for that I will always respect my place in that). A good example of how I've gone about this in previous projects is honestly Youtube. Finding personal youtube channels of people who talk about their lives, their home interiors, their families, or their day to day tasks. Going out of your way in your daily life to talk to people who you may have avoided in the past, as uncomfortable and awkward as it may be (but I'm okay with being the awkward white person if it means I can better learn about the world around me). This takes time, I will make mistakes, and I will learn from them, and that's all anyone can ever ask it to keep the mind open and learning.
In conclusion friends, this has been a really amazing discussion and I think that as much as the world is scary and challenging and politically
corruptconfusing, no matter the boundaries artists are there to shape the world. Society standards will shift and sway but acceptance is something that shouldn't be treated as a trend, this is the reality of our world and humanity as a whole and in children's books we can give children a base to form their own opinions beyond that of their parents. I think that is an extremely worthwhile venture and I am convinced there is a blossoming new generation of illustrators to help push that forward. Thanks again for all the reponses and I HOPE the trio will do a podcast episode on this subject in the future. Apologies again for the absolute WALL of text and I thank you if you got through all of my ramblings~
RE: LGBTQ+ Representation in Children's Books/Media
@Coreyartus Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and I think you bring up some great points. I'll try and find that post of Lee's as I had not found it in my searches nor anything for that matter, maybe I was searching categories and not posts?
I think the industry is changing as the world does around it and I feel like traditional publishing has always run a bit behind on the world (Some still use postcards and snail mail...) so perhaps the lack of representation is due to both the political stigma behind LGBTQ+ people around the world (the consumer) and the fact that like any change it takes time and maybe I'm just jumping on board at the beginning of it.
I do want to work in traditional publishing as an illustrator, I've heard both Big 3 and Big 5 as a reference to the main publishing houses so perhaps they're expanding and breaking off as editors and art directors do? I have a hard time understanding how groups of people can be a "hot topic" still as at least in my children's books you want to show children the world through stories of girls finding their kites and boys chasing frogs and it just so happens their parents are gay?
I would definitely like to read the comments of prior posts for sure and am actually going to try to hunt those down right now. But again, thank you for your thoughtful response, I appreciate you taking the time to discuss it!
LGBTQ+ Representation in Children's Books/Media
When I illustrate my children's books, I aim to be as diverse as possible so that children and parents of all backgrounds can find my work relatable, inclusive and seen. This includes sexuality as well as race and gender taking a part in my characters and environment.
I can't seem to find anything on SVS or on the lovely podcast that speaks about how minorities should be represented and the problems that may come with having a liberal viewpoint on how my families in children's books should look. Honestly, I aim to have the same level of representation in my stories and illustrations as the "Dragon Prince" on Netflix (If you haven't checked it out, please do it's a treasure). So here are my questions to ponder...
- What are your thoughts on LGBT+ representation in publishing?
- Have you found resistance to including LGBT+ characters, and how have you dealt with that pushback?
- Does you identifying as an LGBT+ children's book artist affect what jobs you get from certain publishers?
- Has anyone faced pigeonholing themselves in only LGBT+ publications after a few pro LGBT+ jobs?
So friends, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
RE: Your published books : )
Hi Lisa, my first book I illustrated just published in early December before the holidays. For ages 6-9, it's a fantasy animal adventure written by Emile Millar and designed/published by Terri Wright Designs. The link is http://www.eagleversusbear.com/
RE: Portfolio Piece WIP Critique Please
@Heather-Boyd I value any critique I receive, as it can only improve my work. Thanks for giving such thorough insight for me to better develop my piece! I will play around with the placement of the child for sure, as I agree the middle ground is cluttering the composition.
Thanks again for the wonderful critique, and yes, I am on Instagram! My handle is @blaynefox.art
RE: Portfolio Piece WIP Critique Please
Hi @Heather-Boyd thanks so much for the critique! The story doesn't have to do with this month's theme, it revolves around a boy who lost his dog and gets off the bus one day to find dog agents greeting him at the bus stop to let him know HIS dog is a missing agent and they need his help to find him. It's a bit harder to show all of this, but the title of the piece will help a bit as it's called "What to Know About Agent Brady".
I thought something was off about the steps of the bus, thank you for pointing that out! I think the alignment will falter once I push back those houses.
Thanks for taking the time to critique my work! I really appreciate it!
Portfolio Piece WIP Critique Please
Working on a new piece for my portfolio, here's what I'd love to focus in on in the critique:
1.) I plan on pushing back the houses but how far, and do you have any tips on creating perspective lines in photoshop?
2.) Can you tell that the boy is walking down school bus steps , following the lines of students out to the left? Do you think the slight fish-eye perspective is believable?
3.) Is it too busy?
And of course, if you have any other critiques or comments, feel free to share, your feedback is so valuable and thank you so much for taking the time to lend a hand!
WIP of Art Trade
I'd love to get your feedback on this WIP I did for an art trade I'm doing with local illustrator Jess Paterik. We decided to draw an illustration of each other's cats and I decided to make her's a detective as he has a funny little quirk of checking under the sheets every night. I plan on drawing the artist in the bathroom brushing her teeth and the art on the walls being some of her pieces. Let me know your thoughts and thanks for viewing
RE: The Style Episode
I loved this episode but I couldn't help feeling a bit uneasy as it made me reevaluate my own style. I've always enjoyed drawing highly rendered illustrations and while getting those illustrations to be looser is something I'm working on (And I have another concern about changing a style to fit what's popular...) currently I don't think I'll ever be the artist to draw like John Classen or Carson Ellis. I love Carson Ellis' color palettes but neither of their styles speaks to me as an artist. I'm wondering if it's even possible for someone like me to get Children's book work in the near future with a style that leans towards the realistic and rendered...
Hello from the Midwest!
I've been a long-time follower of 3 Point Perspective and have watched several of the educational videos on SVS Learn but my introverted nature has prevented me from posting in the forums until now. After chugging away at my first ever freelance book project for the past year-and-a-half, I have a scary amount of free-time that I'm trying to put out into the digital and artistic world. I'm going to try to sketch daily, create a monthly illustration and attempt to fully complete an Inktober for the first time! I've been a freelance artist for the past 4+ years professionally and have worked on some really exciting projects with clients like Discovery Channel, National Geographic Kids, and Scholastic but never with my name not 'behind the curtain'--I'd like to change that! I have a few children's book ideas that I'm currently polishing (one of them being the image I posted above) and I really want to stretch my creativity and productivity while I have this downtime!
So that's me in a nutshell, if you'd like to check out my portfolio, it's blaynefox.com or you can follow my Instagram @blaynefox.art. Thanks, and I look forward to posting!