Here's my old Mermaid and her catfish!
Hey, I'm Taylor Ackerman, I am a children's illustrator making work under the name Studio Looong (an ode to my small, horizontally-gifted studio mates). I love making work that is whimsical, easy to relate to, and just a tiny bit off-beat. Knobby people, bug-eyed creatures and quirky narratives are some of my favorite subjects.
I graduated from Bradley University in 2015 with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design and now I work as a Designer at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois. I spend every minute I can outside of work drawing and illustrating. I strive to become a published illustrator, specializing in Children's Publishing.
Here is my entry for the June contest!
For Mermay I am drawing an unconventional mer-granny and her cat-fish. I want to turn this into a little series where I have this piece and I draw a handful of catfish portraits like the ones behind her in the sketch as stand alone pieces. I'm not sure how I feel about the catfish I have on granny's lap. I feel like it's lacking the character that the other two have. I might re-draw it.
My friend Hayden has revamped and relaunched his character design challenge and is putting out one character description a week, this is my take on the first one; Ozmo, leader of the merchant guild. Adding color later this week! if you want to join follow @cqprompts on twitter or instagram.
Here’s my entry for the December contest!
@Chip-Valecek when you grab the images to put in the slideshow do you click to expand or do you grab the image imbedded in the forum thread? Just noticing that mine is very small and blurry until you click to expand it and wondering if i should try to fix it?
Here is my entry for the June contest!
I once received a contract that said that I had to have over $100K of liability, errors, and oversight insurance and that my client needed to be named as a joint holder of the policy. I was only doing a few vector illustrations for a website. The job was small (under $1000) and when I looked into a policy of that nature, it was going to cost me more than I had quoted my client for the entire job to get insured for even half that amount.
When I brought it up with my client, they said that the insurance requirements were in the contract for much larger subcontractor relationships and that we could just strike it and say that they were liable for any errors or oversights. Nothing went south with that job but if it had and i hand't been good about reading the contract and asking questions, I could have been on the hook for a whole lot of money!
Wow I live this comp and the chubby little monkey. The one thing that's really bothering me is that the monkey has a human foot. A monkey foot is going to look more like an elongated human hand with the big toe diget positioned higher up on the foot than the other toes and at a slightly different angle (reference attached)
@jdubz I have the Kamvas pro 22, and Huion runs some great sales around the beginning of the school year so you can pick it up for a little cheaper if you don’t mind waiting!
But if @Grace-Cook has an iPad and procreate there’s no reason to double down, just use that! Tools are tools, you’ve got one that will work so just focus on making your art the best it can be. Also, if you really want to learn photoshop, they have a version for iPad now!
My thought on why the judges went with more negative takes (and also the reason I didn't enter the contest) lies in the etymology of the word "isolation". I know that there was some talk that isolation doesn't have to be negative but if you look at the origin of the word, there is some negative sentiment there that may be why some brighter takes missed the mark:
"to set or place apart, to detach so as to make alone, from the latin word insulatus, meaning 'made into an island.'"
The nuance of this word implies an involuntary divide. It is not a state that one can freely enter and exit, it is forced aloneness, it has permanence. Since the word implies that the subject being isolated doesn't have control over that state of being, it would naturally come with uncomfortable or negative feelings.
In my opinion, if they wanted to leave room for more positive takes, they could have chosen a word like "alone" which doesn't have as much weight behind it. One can choose to, and may enjoy being alone. They can end their alone-ness at any time by seeking company. Alone is a more temporary state of being, it is visiting an island as opposed to being made into one.
For contests like this the prompt word needs to be easily derived from your illustration, even from someone unfamiliar with the prompt and for people trying to do a positive spin, the judges couldn't get there.
@Geoffrey-Gordon your character design is very strong, I like the specific choices you've made about what they are wearing. It gives off a very steampunk vibe. I think you could extend that level of consideration to the props and the background. To me, the clock seems too modern/generic and out of place. Same with the floor. To me the floor looks like those tiles that mimic wood which is a very modern product. Depending on your vision for the time period, you may also want to switch the gas burner out for a candle.
Another thing to be aware of is texture. Your strongest texture is on the walls which makes them pop forward and draw more attention than they should. I think it may help strengthen your focal point if you tone them down and let them fall more into the background.
Last thing is to watch your values. By switching your image to grayscale. If you are using procreate you can do this by filling a layer with all gray and then setting the layer mode to saturation. You can then toggle that layer on and off to keep an eye on values. What I'm seeing is that the strongest areas of contrast in your piece are the floor and the clock. Consider toning those down and lightening the wall behind your character to make their silhouette stand out and draw more attention.