Well...here you go just finished it
@will-terry I am so happy for everyone here at SVS. It has been great to see everyone moving forward.
I just did my first professional job with Highlights magazine. They gave me a full spread, which was not stressful at all :-). That will be out in December. The best part was how the Netflix documentary on the inner working of highlights launched the day I started on the final painting, and I got to listen to the AD I was working with stress out while I painted. That was surreal.
I have other things in the works, and will know in early October. I love seeing everyone here have success.
So I had a bad couple of weeks in art block hell, and this image is somewhat working out, but I feel it needs some SVS input. The boy needs work, and some of the underwater details. I plan to add fish and possibly some ducks as well. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Love those pictures. I will definitelly be checking that artist out.
Interestingly enough, Lee White's is someone I have been researching a lot of these last couple of weeks. Turned my ipad wallpaper into the piece he did on luminous light. His work that is on his website has really pushed me in a good way, but also showed me how much I have to learn, which is great. I am addicted to hitting walls.
Another person I have been following, and I wouldn't be surprised if people here know about her is Iraville on youtube.
So these are the two artist that have been convincing me I suck, which is good. I love both of their artwork.
A year ago I lost my job as a welder/fabricator, after many years of struggle to succeed in a career which I had attempted to really set an honest path in. I just am not fit for such work. I wanted to go to art school after high school, but my brother convinced me that it was a waste of time, but now looking back at it, I can see that it is just his contrarian personality that led him to such advice for me. He really hates anyone rating art, and finds most artists pretentious, though his work is remarkable, he refuses to do it as a career, and would rather dig a hole than make a dollar off of art.
Anyways, here I am about to turn 35, and last July I decided to join SVS after finding Will Terry on youtube. I have always wanted to write and illustrate children's books from a very young age, and was shcoked to find such a place as this. My work has grown so much over the course of a year, and it is due to Lee White, Will Terry and Jake Parker. I listened to their artistic advice, as well as their advice for practicing, scheduling, and overall, a realistic approach to improving my art. Here is an example of how much my art has grown since last July
I think the hardest part of SVS vs traditional school is that you are accountable to yourself, and must be able to motivate yourself. I got rid of all distractions, such as video games, and stopped using social media as a consumer, and started using it to surround myself with likeminded artists with similar goals. All these things have been recommendations from people here on the forums, as well as the teachers. They have a ton of advice to give you, and I would suggest that if you do go the route of becoming and SVS subscriber, that you also use these forums as a replacement for the community you would have in a college setting. You must also come in with the mindset that it will take hardwork and dedication, and the ability to push through different limitations you might be faced with as you begin to challenge yourself here.
I can't recommend signing up enough, but really want to emphasize the self discipline it requires to move forward. You can do it, and everyone on these forums are willing to help you as much as you need it. We all want each other to succeed, and so we welcome all the questions and critiques you would need to move forward with what you want to do. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Hope this helped.
P.s the image is somewhat blury, but you can click on my SCBWI link and see what I have been able to do because of SVS.
I never realized how much work goes into a book dummy. If I would have known, idk how I would have approached it differently. I started at the beginning of September, hoping it would take me a few weeks, but if I could suggest a few things after going through all of this, here are my tips:
1- learn Indesign!!!! Wow, how have I not used this from the beginning to layout my book dummy? I got a good grasp of it towards the end of this process, and it has just made everything much easier. It isn't a hard program to learn, but it can seem that way when you first start using it.
2- Get your page turns down from the beginning! I can't tell you how much time was wasted on drawing out a complete book, and then realizing a page turn doesn't work, and then having to cut images and text just so the page turn hits correctly. Dropping an image shifts everything, potentially ruining all of your other page turns. I have found that my original idea was easily ruined by not considering this right at the beginning. I started trying to make fixes which were not at the same level creatively because my mindset was to make it fit, rather than writing the best story possible. This feels like writing music with pictures, and getting the tempo down in the beginning is what makes it 100 times easier.
3- Plan other projects to do while working on your dummy. I was dumb, and thought this would be easy. I had a somewhat soft deadline which I missed, and it completely stopped me from working on anything for my social media for almost three months. This was a bad idea. I am glad that this is finally just about done (gosh I hope) so I can get back to some projects I have planned.
4 - share your work with others, because a very obvious issue might not leap out at you, and most likely it won't if it's your own project. I have had numerous people look over my work, or give me advice on where I am missing the mark.
5 - At least try to do a book dummy once, so you can get the feel of the whole process, as well as know what not to do on your next project.
Now my phone is ringing, and I have to go drive 30 minutes in the rain, even though I was putting the finishing touches on this atm (ugh)
My review was with an art director from Simon & Shuster, and all I can say about her and other reps I met is that they really care about what we are trying to do, and are here to help wherever they can. With that said, what happened was so opposite to what I was expecting to hear. To see the images I used for my portfolio, click on my website. Every image that is there was in my portfolio.
What was shocking is that the two images I almost dropped are the two images that the rep liked, and even wanted me to make a book dummy for her about the characters. I almost went home immedietly and started working on it, but after conversing with a friend of mine who is repped by S&S, I decided not to take that road because it would be a bit pushy. The two pictures she liked were the black and white pig pieces.
However, I don't know what to feel about it. All the other images are the ones I really am proud of, and the pig ones were something I did just as an excercise to some extent. On the other hand, it was nice to have such interest from someone at Simon and Shuster. I feel very confused I guess about how to move forward.
What also was interesting is that I wasn't really being looked as a illustrator only, even though I went as an illustrator and not an author/illustrator, yet, all my run ins were treated as if my portfolio was somewhat a collection of book pitches, and not so much as something I was coming in with so that I can be strictly an illustrator only. I do want to both write and illustrate at some point, but I am much more interested in getting an art rep than and literary rep. However, it seems as if that is what they really hope for on some level. Idk if I am reading that the wrong way or not.
Anywho. I am paying for another critique with someone in a few weeks, then will get Lee's portoflio review help in the near future to hopefully get more eyes on my work and maybe here similar things or even conflicting opinions.
Horses are really hard for me. I really need to start working on them more. Yours look good.
I am currently working on intgrating polychromo colored pencils into my watercolor paintings, as well as working on pieces that are somewhat related to other pieces I have already done, just to create some form of consistency in my portfolio.
Here the roof is done in polychromos, and some other textures have lighty been messed with.
Here is another sample of me trying to mess with these pencils. I love how I can manipulate the clouds in the watercolor, and it almost looks natural
Lastly, I am trying to do paintings that are related to other pieces I have done. This is a digital drawing of a watercolor painting I am doing tonight. It is a followup of the violinists on the roof painting I have already finished.