@twiggyt Just checked out her channel and saw an immediate recommendation for the PEGS book. Yep, Kendyll seems to know what she's doing! Thanks for posting the link.
Illustrator and instructor. Currently teaching Illustration 1, Illustration 2 and Dynamic Expressions:Heads & Hands here at SVS.
Posts made by davidhohn
RE: Business and Legal Forms Book
@twiggyt I'd be interested to know what video you watched if you can post the link. When it comes to illustration business info there's so much misleading/uninformed info out there that I'd love to know who is giving out the good stuff.
RE: Is a book cover expected for a book dummy?
@eric-castleman In my experience it's not required. Especially if you are sending to an agent or editor that is expecting the dummy. That said, I never feel comfortable sending out a dummy with a blank cover so I will always put something on the cover. Often it's a reuse of an interior illustration or a piece of spot art. But the actual book cover will be revised many times if the book is picked up for publication so even if you create a special cover image, I wouldn't spend too much time on it.
RE: Photoshop question!
@hannahmccaffery Sure. Happy to tell you how I calibrate my monitor and printer. My method is to pay for it. (I know -- more cost!)
So early in my digital art career I used a print service bureau here in PDX (now since closed down). Cost about $10 per 8x10 print. But as my career ramped up I found I was going there a lot and travel time was becoming a problem. I decided to go on craigslist and purchase a large format printer (Epson 4000 -- those things are workhorses!) I then asked the print service bureau how they calibrated their printers and they gave me the name of a local guy www.neugamut.com (he's great! waaaaay more into color calibration than I will ever be) Anway, I have him come out once every two years or so (sometimes every three years) to calibrate my monitor to the two types of paper I use (semigloss and matte). Cost is about $150.
I know that many people calibrate their own machines using devices like a
Spyder Pro that costs about $150. I haven't bothered because I calibrate so rarely and I feel like the expertise is worth paying for.
Short of setting up your own in studio system, I would search out a service bureau. Depending on the size of your local city you will probably find a private business that does this. After that I'd check in with local college art departments. Digital art has become so ubiquitous that they likely have someone on staff who handles in-house color calibration. After that I'd start connecting with local photographers. My impression is that as a profession they seem to be really well versed in color calibration.
RE: Photoshop question!
While my answer will be the same as @burvantill I"ll come at this from a slightly different experience. Most of my client based work is digital these days. In fact I'm getting ready to send off the digital files for a new picture book in the next couple of days.
To put what I'm about to write in context, I think it's important to understand how things worked prior to digital files. Illustrators put pigment on paper and send the physical painting off the the publisher. The hue and value on the paper was EXACTLY what the illustrator intended. The physical art itself was used to color calibrate the printers proofs. In these days of digital art there is no physical art to refer to, hence someone needs to get all those one and zeros out of the computer and onto a piece of paper.
One of the things that I send with every book is a set of color accurate proofs.
I have a printer in my studio that is color calibrated once a year to my monitor. Toward the end of a project (while I still have time in the schedule to make adjustments) I'll print out the digital file so I can KNOW what the colors I'm seeing on the screen actually look like. The difference between a back lit screen and a reflective print will mean there will always be some level of difference. Ideally that difference is minimal. The physical print should look about 95% accurate to what you see on screen.
Once I have a color accurate proof(s) I mail those to the publisher and upload the digital files to their (or my) FTP server. Because I can't be sure that my monitor is calibrated EXACTLY the same as the publisher's monitor, by sending the color accurate proofs I'm telling them: No matter what comes up on your screen make the printed illustrations look like this.
I should note that not every illustrator does this. TBH I don't understand why as it seems akin to painting a watercolor with sunglasses on. But everyone handles their business differently. Instead some illustrators rely on the publisher to receive the digital files and then hope the publisher will print out color proofs (which are, again, hopefully accurate to what the illustrator intended) and send them to the illustrator. The illustrator will then give (largely subjective) feedback like: that image is "too green", or: "Can you brighten that image up a bit?" . This can go back and forth until both parties are satisfied. In my experience, outside of trade book projects this doesn't happen. So posters, magazines, educational publishing etc. doesn't send the illustrators a color proof for comments.
So safest way to know that your colors will match what is printed is to create a color accurate proof and send that to your client. Next safest is to rely on your client to send you a color accurate proof and go through a back and forth process.
RE: A contract question for published Illustrators
@smceccarelli If you have a moment please show us your process. It's so easy to think that there's "one way" to do this illustration thing. I like the idea of SVS members being able to compare and contrast.
Also you bring up a great point of the difference between trade picture book and educational publishing. I've done both and your experience matches mine. Educational is much more specific in terms of art direction. Often with the educational publisher art director sending me thumbnails!
RE: A contract question for published Illustrators
@smceccarelli Please jump in! Your experience highlights that there are no hard and fast rules to any of this. The process I outlined is based on my experience, and what has worked well for me in communicating with publishers. Here's an example of my process for a book:
The goal of anything submitted prior to finished final art is:
To make sure that how the illustrator imagines the finished book and how the art director and editor imagines the finished book line up.
To manage those different expectations in a way that doesn't require too much additional work on the part of an illustrator.
In theory the illustrator could go straight to finished art. But the problem with that is if there are any changes (and there will very likely be changes) then all that time spend on the finished art is wasted as a new illustration must now be created.
The Rough Sketch --> Final Sketch --> Finished Art process allows the editor/art director two opportunities to comment on the book dummy, leaving the Finished Art stage to be a welcome, expected surprise.
I've found it's easy for me to explore editorial suggestions at the rough sketch stage. I encourage big changes at this stage. While I have already spent a great deal of time working out different thumbnails, I've spent only a few minutes on the rough sketch included in the dummy. I'm not married to it yet. Maybe someone else on the team has a better idea. I want this book to be the best is can be! Exploring a few more is a great time investment value.
Once the Rough Sketch is approved, I refine it up to a Final Sketch. This is more time intensive as I am getting photo reference, refining character designs and finalizing compositions etc. At this point any suggested changes would be much more minor. As the Final Sketch is clearly a more defined version of what was already approved.
Once the Final Sketch is approved I'm on to Finished Art. Again, a time consuming process for me. Any changes at this stage from my editor would need to be really compelling, and would need to clearly make the book unarguably better.
But just to reinforce that there are no hard and fast "rules" to this -- Im working on an illustrated bible right now. There's a LOT more text in this and I wanted to make sure that the editor and I were on the same page as to how that would be handled. So for this project at the very start (even before thumbnails) I created a bookmap. See the image below:
Text is laid out (how I imagined it) and simple grey shapes indicating where art would go along with a line of text describing what I'm thinking of drawing in that grey box. The editor and I made a number of changes even at this stage, and discussed issues that might come up later in the process. Definitely time well spent!
BUT because this is the 6th book I've done with them I dispensed with the Final Sketch stage. Instead going from Rough Sketch straight to Final Art.
RE: Composition Question
@julia I wanted to take a moment to discuss your compositional comment (and hopefully boost your confidence as it applies composition). I might be taking this more seriously than you intended, but I really think it's important.
In my opinion, composition serves one function: To make the viewer FEEL something as they look at an image.
Ideally, the way the viewer feels is a result of all the various choices the illustrator makes as they are creating the image. Ergo, the illustrator needs to have a feeling in mind (I refer to these as "keywords") as they make those choices. Every choice, the image size, subject matter, composition, color palette, shape design, even the medium used, should be working toward that feeling (the keywords) the illustrator wants the viewer to feel.
I think it is always better when the illustrator asking for a crit indicates the keywords they are going for. But quite often that doesn't happen. In those cases it falls on the critiquer.
In your comment you indicate that you looked at the image, it made you feel something and you generated a keyword from it. "Imposing". You then suggested a compositional change that in your opinion would better communicate that keyword.
Congratulations! You have a firm handle on composition!
It is now up to @alexsen to decide if "imposing" is the keyword he wants to communicate. If so, he's likely to use your suggestion. If not and he really wants to communicate "friendly and delicate" he's likely to go in the opposite direction; to make the central figure smaller and possibly even change the pose. Either way his piece is one step closer to communicating the intended feeling.
RE: Another Copyright Question...involving LEGO
@burvantill Did you see this book using lego?
I might send a message to Brendan Powell Smith who created the book to find out what issues they faced. Or just pitch your project to https://www.skyhorsepublishing.com (the brick bible publisher) as they clearly have worked out some kind of relationship with Lego.