@MichaelaH Right at the moment Tom Bancroft (!!!!) started critiquing my work, my appointment started and I had to sign off
Posts made by nadyart
RE: Composition feedback needed for new project
Thank you for taking the time to comment everyone!
@BichonBistro Thank you so much! I find it hard to think of new concepts, so it's good to know that you liked the Tea party in the clouds!
@Heather-Boyd Your suggestions totally make sense! I'll try and incorporate them in my next pieces for the calendar. I think I often have a melancholic vibe in my art, which is probably why the mousey looks kind of sad. But it's good to be more diverse with the emotions and interaction between the characters. To make it less 2D :). Thanks!
@Jean-Gao I agree that the mouse sticks out. I think I will come up with a back/foreground for this piece still! And adding the paper cut style there will definitely help with the cohesiveness too. Thank you, that was very helpful!
@Laurasketches Spreadin Springtime indeed is more of a spot illustration. But maybe this will not work within a calendar, and based upon yours and the other comments, I will look into this piece again! I am currently following the Composition course by Will and hope to be able to incorporate more of a foreground and background in the upcoming pieces, thank you a lot!
RE: Printing Questions
I sell my illustrations as prints, mainly through Etsy.
To answer your questions:
I have most of my art prints printed by a printing company. I'm from The Netherlands, so I may not know your local printing possibilities. I have a small amount of art prints that I do print myself. This is mainly when I've created a new illustration and I want to test the waters on how good they will sell. For this, I use a Canon inkjet photo printer, in combination with Epson Matte Heavy Weight paper. This is a pretty luxurious paper that represents the colors very well.
When testing the waters, this combo is fine. However, when prints get demanded a lot, I just order a batch of them. The professional printing is better in my opinion, you get to choose from a variety of quality paper, and when ordering in bulk (say 50 prints), this is just way cheaper then purchasing ink and high quality printing paper like Epson.
So my printing company has a minimum order number of 1 prints. When ordering a higher quantity, of course the pricing gets way friendlier.
I scan my originals and edit them in photoshop. I also have fully digitally painted illustrations printed. If your work has any relief/texture or paper layers (like some of my original illustrations) you can also have them photographed. The illustrations for my art book for example were "scanned" by a machine called the Art Cruse. It's a gigantic scanner that can scan/photograph your work from above, without any surface contact. Maybe there is a local place in your country that works with this scanning device as well. If you are just starting out and/or are camera savvy, you can try photographing your own work in the right lighting, to start off with.
When I started printing my artwork, I began very small. Just a small group of illustrations. To see if people following my art were interested.
There are pro's and con's in opening in Etsy shop. A huge pro being that they have their own algorithm, through which clients can potentially find your work (IF you use the optimal keywords and optimise your SEO, have the 10 images per listing, etc.). You do not have to build your shop from scratch, and Etsy has an established name, which makes it an easy and trustworthy platform to purchase from for clients. Some cons are that the fees are something to take into account. They charge $ 0,20 per (published and renewed) listing, a 5% fee over the entire amount (so this fee is also calculated on shipping costs). Plus additional costs for the transaction that applies. So I pay Etsy app. 8-9% for every order that is placed in my shop.
You can also consider your own webshop (i.e. build your own one attached to your website or choose a platform like Shopify). You'd only pay the hosting amount/a flat fee per month (given that you build/program it yourself), and the transaction fees. A con here is that you must draw all of the potential customers to your website yourself. So building/growing your online presence on social media is essential here. For Etsy this also remains a key factor though, since most of my sales are made when promoting my shop on social media.
I hope this helped! If you have any more questions, I am glad to help!
RE: Business advise needed😳, reg estimate to illustrate
@burvantill I agree with @MichaelaH,
What you can do is create a list of questions you have for them. You need answers to these questions before you can calculate a fitting price. Important questions that come to mind are:
- Are there any particular illustrations in your portfolio that they’re drawn to?
- Is there a medium they prefer you to use (in case there are several media you normally use like water colors, digital, etc).
- What size will the illustrations be?
- How much detail is involved? (Which kind of illustrations are they looking for as far as the content goes? Small spot illustrations will be less work for you than full spreads).
- Is there a particular deadline involved? When will they need the illustrations?
You can probably even add more questions.
If they cannot answer your questions, you do not have a guideline for the pricing. I guess then it’s up to you to decide how serious they are. Like you said; it’s a lot of work. You want to be certain you have all of the information beforehand. Not only to calculate the price, but to consider if the project is worth your time.
I hope it will be a great project :)!
Composition feedback needed for new project
For my new personal project, I’m creating a new calendar. It will be named “Les Saisons des Animaux”, and it will include whimsical animal illustrations. It will have a seasonal/weather changes theme. The second goal for these 12 new illustrations I’m creating, is to include in my new portfolio, that I want to send to publishers.
I have “finished” three illustrations. One if which is a little simpler, but I am including a couple of simpler illustrations to keep it balanced.
I would like to ask for some feedback on the illustrations, mainly about the composition. Of course if you see other aspects, feel free to give me tips on those as wel :D. I’m currently following Will Terry’s composition class.
About the medium: I normally tend to like to work more with water colors, graphite and/or ink, but for these illustrations I wanted to challenge myself to achieve some kind of analogue effect digitally, after having followed Lee’s “Painting Secrets” class.
PS; the images apparently have a “PHotoshop Express” watermark because I resized them on my phone to fit the forum’s size specifications
“Tea party in the clouds”
I printed them out to see if they look cohesive enough together;
RE: MAY CONTEST: MERMAY!
My piece for this month's art contest: "Message in a bottle"
This was such a fun challenge I seized the opportunity to create something new for my portfolio.
It's the first time I really mixed traditional and digital together and I liked working that way!
Good luck everyone - it was fun to watch all of your entries!
RE: I am feeling kind of stuck creatively, input wanted :-)
First of all I want to thank you all for reading my story <3! It is so nice to feel supported here and to read all of your comments. I definitely helps me a lot!
@ShannonBiondi Thank you for the valuable tip! I definitely need to devote more time to personal drawings. I usually try to set aside some time, but in the end I end up prioritizing the other tasks (like shipping orders, painting commissions, doing bookkeeping). But you're right: I should make it a priority too. And kudo's for you, keeping up that regimen next to your day job! I saw your skull practice on instagram, that is just great!
@NessIllustration I just agree 100% with everything you said, it is spot on! Thank you so much for your lovely compliment as well (and you know I adore your art too)!! That is just too kind :)! Now that I read what you said, about it being the dream, I kind of feel silly about moaning about this in the first place! I am very grateful I get to do this, for sure! And you're so totally right about seeking validation. The fact that I haven't been published in a traditional way (and I'm kind of scared to even send in work), makes me feel like I'm not a "real" illustrator. Because I do not know if my work will be rejected, and if it gets rejected, my fear may come true. "Doubt and inaction are your worst obstacles.": this is so true! Thank you for the motivation and inspiration. I like the fact that I can have freedom in creating my own projects. I think I would learn a lot from art direction from a publisher, since I would do my own projects (like my book) all on my own and I miss the feedback. But in the long run I think everyone want to create their own art mainly. So maybe I need to rethink my doubts and situation. Thank you for your input!
@shinjifujioka Thank you so much for your kind words! And the fundamentals are so important, I notice just how much a certain new insight can change the way you draw and paint! Good luck to you on SVS as well :)!
@AndyIllo thank you for your encouragement! The first sentence made me laugh. I may have been worrying about this too much and need to take (more) action :)! So I'm glad I posted here.
@hannahmccaffery I love working traditionally! I will definitely keep doing it (and digital work as well). Thank you a lot for your kind words and suggestions! I will definitely try to work on a childrens book portfolio. I'm positive I will find all of the resources I need right here on SVS. I feel so motivated after reading all of your comments :)!
I am glad you found your spark again with illustration! Such a meltdown feels very frustrating. I have listened to the latest podcast, it was brilliant again! I do have a portfolio: www.nadyart.me/gallery but it needs much work when I would contact the childrens literature publishers. I believe there is not one kid in there...yet! I would love to see your portfolio! "If you like your analogue work better then maybe try incorporating the two by scanning in your sketches and playing around with them digitally? There's lots of possibilities!" --> I do not do this often yet, but it's definitely a good idea to play around with - thank you! Good luck to you too!!
@Sophie-Lawson Hi dear Sophie! Thank you so much, I adore seeing your work and following your journey on instagram as well! It's a good idea to start with the dedicated time for study and personal work every day - as I replied to @ShannonBiondi as well: I easily get taken in by the other tasks. So it would be lovely to prioritize this; and I do have the time for it when I plan wisely. Thank you for the great advice!
About the two points you quoted: I currently sell my work to a certain target group. They are mostly owners of pet rodents and decorate their homes with my art. They for example have pet rats or a hamster and like to purchase a cute print with that animal. This makes me keep drawing those certain animals.
With the publisher comment I meant taking my work to a publisher now, so not the costumers I currently sell my work to. I hope it is clear what I mean, otherwise just let me know :).
@sketchbook I did! I followed the Painting Secrets class by @Lee-White and I created a dream portfolio on Pinterest. It is still up in the air: https://nl.pinterest.com/nadyart/inspiration-painting-secrets-course-nadya/
It was a very insightful exercise and I should look at the board more often and adjust my course. Thank you for your input!!
@SarahF Thank you for your kind words and the article by Shaun Tan is very inspiring and motivating! Thank you for sharing it with me, I have bookmarked it for any future doubts :)!
Thanks again everyone!
I am feeling kind of stuck creatively, input wanted :-)
I have started feeling kind of stuck creatively lately. So I decided to create a topic here and share my general ramblings and maybe get some tips or feedback (or similar stories!).
I work as an illustrator in The Netherlands. I haven't illustrated any (noteworthy) children's books through a publisher. I now make a living solely through illustration by selling my own work on Etsy, a small part by having a Patreon account and the other part by taking on commissions. These are mainly illustrated birth announcements, wedding invitations and (pet) animal illustrations.
I think it is super great that I am able to make a living, but I feel there's something missing. After listening to the latest 3 Perspective podcast, it became even more clear to me.
Although I do create my own art, without taking a lot of directive, I am mainly creating the things that people like to see and purchase. This is partly why I feel stuck at a certain level. I feel I cannot develop a whole lot, since I need to keep my business running and make an income with the stuff people like to purchase.
To be able to work on my own projects as well, I created a book that I worked on in 2017 and 2018.
In 2018 I funded this book through Kickstarter. The campaign was successful and I felt very happy and confident. However... After all the books were shipped, and after I took @Lee-White 's Painting Secrets live class, I just started feeling very weird about my work. I created and funded a book, but it feels to me like it is successful because of the people that already followed my art, not because of my skill. I feel that I'm lacking a basic level of skills, since I never went to art school. So I work as an illustrator, but feel like a beginner in many ways and I spend most of my time on my current illustration work.
This is some work I made in 2017-2018 (analogue):
These are some of my more recent paintings (digital):
I am feeling rather "aimless". With my book I had a certain end goal in mind. I think my new goal must be that I try and improve my skills overall. I would love to illustrate a children's book with a publisher.
When I try to look closely at my own work, I would say my current pitfalls still are:
• Composition (my paintings look very flat and one dimensional, not much variation)
• Use of color
• Finding a style in digital illustration (I like my analogue work much better)
• Creating a new portfolio around children's book illustration (including actual children)
I have a couple of questions:
• Seeing my work, what aspects do you think I should focus on firstly (maybe certain SVS courses to follow)?
• Do you think I could show my work to a publisher at this stage or should I make critical improvements first?
• How would I go about keep on making an income doing what I do, but also improving my skills at the same time so I can shift into illustration work I like more?
I'm sorry for all of these ramblings, but it felt good to write this down and maybe even get some input from you. Thank you for reading
RE: WIP Illustration - Crit welcome :)
Before I move forward with the piece, I like to work on the character(s) a bit more. I’m used to drawing animals, and I kind of have a hard time developing the little boy. The kids I draw usually come out too old and old fashioned or too cutesie toddlerie. Like these two below that I sketched. Which one would you think fits the image better? Maybe a mix of them...?
RE: WIP Illustration - Crit welcome :)
Thank you so much @hannahmccaffery!! I appreciate it a lot.
I actually think I will paint this piece digitally, since I'm trying to improve my digital painting look.
The floor and other details in the room will soon be visible in my value thumbnail! There I will use more values than only black & white, so I can show how the room will be made up.
I'm a bit scared to paint it haha! The lighting (and then especially what to do with the rest of the room that is visible but not really lit) is something I struggle with a lot.
WIP Illustration - Crit welcome :)
I started a new illustration and wanted to pay a lot of attention to every step along the way so I can work on my shortcomings. I thought it'd be useful to post every step here, since I am hoping for some critiques.
Some things I want to work on:
I want to create a portfolio piece with a little story in a single image. So the idea and story are important since I want my illustrations to become more interesting for the viewer
I want to improve my composition in general and make better use of value, light and shadow in my digital paintings since they have been kind of flat.
I am currently taking the Painting Secrets class and wanted to start the illustration from the ground up, following what I've learned in the class so far, so I started with a notan thumbnail to have a roadmap for myself to see which components will be in the light and important to the story. After this I will also create a value thumnail and I will start sketching to study the characters.
Any feedback along the way will be greatly appreciated, thank you so much for helping me with this piece! For this thumbnail I am mainly interested to hear your opinions about my idea for the composition and the story in general (does it read yet?).
A little bit about the story: the little boy/girl (I'm not sure yet) is awakened deep in the night by forest animals that desperately need his help. I have had this image in my mind for a while, but it took me a little bit to figure out what they exactly need help with...
I eventually came up with the idea of the seasons not being able to change because the bees are having a tough time pollinating the flowers. This may be overly cliche and far fetched. And it also kind of reminds me of Narnia for some reason.
RE: WIP Book Cover „The Jungle Book“
@saciia_ I really love your cover, the layout is beautiful! Such a great job laying the values out like that before you start.
You already received some great feedback, and the only thing I would add is the top right of the image feels a bit crowded to me: the dark value plant and dark animal are pretty close to each other (and to the snake). To create more breathing space and overall balance for the piece I would suggest to move the plant a little upwards, or lighten the value a bit (maybe even turn the plant upside down and have it lean in from the right upper corner like the corners down below). I hope that makes sense, it’s sometimes hard to express art terms in English.
I’m really looking forward to seeing your finished piece, it looks amazing!