This mermaid went down fighting, I think...
My name is Corey Johnston, and I'm a theatrical Costume Designer, Adjunct Professor, and Artist. I have a BFA in Theatre with a Technical Emphasis from University of Central Missouri, and a MFA in Theatre with a Costume Emphasis from Minnesota State University in Mankato. I work part-time at the University of San Diego as their faculty Costume Supervisor.
In Jan of '18 I got an iPad Pro. Exploring Procreate, I've been able to indulge in learning how to draw again. My goal is to become a part-time illustrator to augment my theatrical career, but on top of that, I truly enjoy drawing and painting digitally as a validating part of my life. My work can be seen here: www.coreyartusimagery.com
I see all artistic expression as a reflection of our own humanity. It helps us determine what we believe, how we define our existence, and what it means to be human. I'm looking forward to contributing.
My Costume Design portfolio website (found here: www.coreyjohnstondesigns.com).
Alrighty. Trying a double page spread this time.
Personal first steps!
Someone saw one of my hands from my 100 Hands of Family and Friends ongoing personal project, and wanted something like it for an album cover for their band. Haha! I guess those square Instagram images are good for something, right? I'm also making different image assets distilled from layers of the same hand portrait so they can use them in their 12-page CD insert. Ironically, the part they didn't want was the hand itself... LOL!
Anyway, I finally got to practice making a contract, talking about logistics, so on and so forth. I'm sure I've screwed up something somehow that will come back and bite me in the butt, but hey--I'm just reveling in the idea that someone is actually paying me to draw for them.
And I thought I'd share this little victory of mine with folks who I know can appreciate it.
I'm personally finding it incredibly difficult to focus on drawing children's illustration at the moment, and have to keep reminding myself that despite the chaos created by their parents children still need imagery that speaks to their hearts and minds and development as human beings. I am repeating "The children are our future," as a mantra right now. LOL!
So I'm finding personal projects and prompts quite useful currently, if for nothing else but to keep me distracted so I don't disintegrate into an ineffectual blob of stunned anxiety. Thank-goodness this month's SVSLearn prompt is here--I've been diving into that temporarily and diving into the SVSLearn classes with a gusto I haven't done in a very long time. It's nice to just let yourself be a student and drink it all in like a sponge sometimes, you know? Ahhhh....
So I'm posting part of my <unfinished!!!!> Light and Shadow homework, and some of my thumbnails for this months prompt. And really really happy that I have the lot of you to be an awesome, distracting mental escape that, when I need it, reminds me why I'm doing all of this. Thank-you for... just being here right now. Thank-you!!!
I played around a bit this morning with a stork while watching another artist stream his sketch session on YouTube. I used a reference pic off Pixabay. The challenge was to do it with no erasing! LOL! I ended up doing two layers in Procreate with two colors---black and white. Fun fun!!
I downloaded the PDFs to my Macbook laptop, then exported each page as a separate 300dpi JPG from Preview. I was then able to load them into Procreate as images using Airdrop, and create layers on top of them. That allowed me to open up the reference images on my laptop computer screen, and draw on my iPad without having to split my iPad screen to see the reference. It was tedious, but it was worth it to me, personally.
I would echo @korilynneillo's thoughts about zooming in and and out of the image. The fixed scale of the image is part of the learning and the challenge. If you need to get closer to see more detail, get your face closer to the iPad instead of pinching outward to make the image bigger. Working with these on regular printer paper in the traditional style is the better approach, and you'll probably learn more. I regret doing so much digitally, as I developed quite a few crutches that haven't served me very well in the long run... 7 times to make a habit, 7x7 to break it... Just do yourself a favor and stay strong now while you're learning. You'll thank yourself in the end.
Hi, @Kim-Wilson ! There are no dumb questions!
The prompts are always due at midnight on the last day of the month. You post the image to the thread created for that specific month's prompt. Then they are collected and put in a slideshow for the Critique Arena.
Does that help?
These are all great. I think the shoes stand out in part because they are so strikingly different than the other covers that mostly feature portraits. You've also nailed the reflective texture gorgeously.
I wonder if your choice of cover will have to do with your target audience... The shoes lean toward a more mature audience, and it seems to me that covers for mature audiences seem to more commonly embrace distinctive framing of objects as much as they do portraits of people. I think more mature audiences don't necessarily want to have their characters visually defined as readily as younger audiences tend to use appearance as an entry point into identifying with the characters. So I wonder if the portraits lean toward a younger middle grade audience. I feel like you might want to put on an Artistic Director/Editor/Publisher hat and decide which demographic you're pointing the book toward.
Even so, it seems most of the portraiture does indeed have a more "fleshed out", "mature" take on the subject matter. So I wonder if, in your heart, you're leaning toward an older demographic anyway, which might lend itself toward ditching the portraits in favor of the shoes, and mashing the portraits into perhaps as an inside cover feature ala Gregory Maguire's soft-cover editions of his "Wicked Years" novels. That would be outside the scope of this particular challenge, but an interesting piece to put in your portfolio, especially if you can get some "mockup" shots of the illustrations in context.
My vote would be for the shoes because I think the implication of "subtext" in the illustration lends itself to the mature reader's inclination to look for metaphor, analogy and symbolism in their reading, and that tendency is echoed by the use of the reflection. You could literally go to town with what is actually reflected in them, and how it's logical/illogical... Do the reflections need to totally match in each shoe? How creepy would that be if they were ever so slightly... different... ?
(On a side note, how 'bout the idea of stereoscopic side-by-side imagery that when viewed through a set of appropriate viewers becomes 3-dimensional...? Or perhaps a selling the book with a pair of green-tinted glasses that reveal hidden details as the readers don them to look at images spread throughout the book or make things 3-D... Oy, I wish I could afford to do these ideas... They're totally outside the scope of the prompt, but fun to imagine!! LOL!)
All of these are so yummy!! Any of them would be a really strong choice!!
Personally, I like #4 best because it communicates everything in #1 and yet puts a spin on it. It's both light and dark. I think it also offers the most challenge, with all kinds of opportunity to play with light and luminescence from the crystal globe.
Another aspect to the challenge is figuring out the text/title design, and I think perhaps the 4th offers the most interesting placement challenges for that, too.
But all of them are such great options!! Very cool!!
This is so awesome! Time and again I search for wonderfully simple and effective black and white interior illustrations that augment the page without being the central focal point. It's so hard to find online examples of spot illustration like you've done, as so many artists lean into the splashy full-page look for their portfolio sites. Thank-you so much for sharing those!! They're wonderful!
@Ari-Sorokin You can post here on the forums whenever you want! There's a category for the post that helps indicate it's homework for a class--it's in the drop down menu from which you have to select in order to make a new forum topic.
I would suggest, however, that you spend some time on the forums first, reading and pondering responses to other pieces of homework and commenting on some other forum threads for a bit before you jump in and ask for feedback on your own stuff. It can be helpful to have a grip on the attitude/demeanor of the forums and you'll probably get more feedback if you offer it up yourself to others first. Providing quality critique is a skill, and the best way to understand the opinions you're getting from others is to proffer actionable, usable, concrete advice to others.