here's mine. See some great changes from last year's.
Best posts made by tombarrettillo
Hi all! (formal intro)
I have been on the forums for a week or so now, but never formally introduced myself.
I am Tom and am from the SE US. I have been at this illustration dream for the past 8+ years. I had a few years' hiatus in between then and now when my now 4yo third child (surprise) was born. A little over a year ago, I discovered Instagram while showing off my (beginner) handcarved wooden spoons. Along the way, I began drawing again, and soon the draw of illustration overtook me (and spooncarving). I found great encouragement in the artists I met and viewed on IG, videos from @Will-Terry, @Jake-Parker and others on YouTube, and the many childrens books I have read over the past couple years to my youngest. My goal is to have a portfolio done in the next month or so, and cards to mail out sooner after.
If I have learned anything during these past 8 years, and feel it worthy of sharing here, it would be patience. Patience with myself. Patience when the sketches aren't turning out as planned. Patience with daily life. Patience with the needs of others before myself. Patience to developed my art enough to where I am comfortable sharing it with publishers. Is it easy? Of course not! But I am much more content to wait now. I get excited when I look at whatever I happen to be drawing at the time and realize "I'm pretty good at this". That's what keeps me moving forward.
Cheers! : )
RE: Question on: How to get your First 10K Followers.
I only have 201 followers at this moment, after a little over a year on IG, and I average between 35 - 49 likes per post, whether a WIP or "finished" illustration. I will reiterate what others have said that it boils down to content that is good and relevant to those who follow you. For the majority, that is why they followed you. I don't think I would have as many followers if it was a numbers game. My followers vs people I follow gap was wide when I started, and pretty much still is. If I like a person's art, but their non-art posts out-weigh the art posts, I won't follow them, even if they have followed me. I can barely, if ever, get thru the 375+ people I follow, so I want to know that the majority of posts I see are art-related, and I think most other artists feel the same. Hope that helps!
RE: Art Anxiety?
If I am reading this correctly, it isn't really your art that is causing the anxiety, but your current situation in college. It appears, as you said, that you think you have "to prove [your] place as an artist". Why? Is it because the faculty are critical of your art? Are they saying its not good, or just critical because it isn't concept art or fine art? Are you trying to prove that you can be successful despite your disabilities? Are you trying to do comic art in a fine arts program? If you feel that comics is your calling, then why continue in a fine arts program that is obviously causing you pain? Not sure how far along you are in this current program, but I would say get out and use your money to find something that supports the comic art you really want to do. And I looked back and @TessW covered some of this, but I think it bears repeating as you have not really given a reason as to why you feel the need to continue where you are.
RE: Tree house WIP
If I might be so bold, I took @TessW image a bit further, I moved the house to the right, made the boy oblivious to the situation, added a curve to the path for interest, and put the dog far enough gone that the boy no longer has hold of the leash (and he is close to the camera @Chip-Valecek ). Forgive the crudeness, I had to draw with my mouse as everyone is in bed, and I didn't want to make any noise rummaging around for my drawing tablet.
RE: Update: Treehouse WIP Witch one works better?
wow! nice job. Hard to pick, but I lean toward the night scene. I would put the moon where the sun is in the daytime version. Also, back to my previous post, I still think you need either more boat showing behind the island (with some highlights to help define its shape), or to bring the boat to the front, especially in the nighttime version. As it is now, it is hard to see the boat. I might also add a couple motion lines to emphasize the bottle's movement downward. I like all the small details like the cat, laundry, etc. Very nice!
RE: Self publishing class?
I think there is a stigma with self-published books, but I also think that it is well deserved in many cases. The majority of the self-published books I have seen are dead before they are even opened. There is a reason you don't see a lot of self published childrens books in the stores. @smithdraws hit the nail on the head. A good book (self-published or otherwise) starts with a high quality story and pro-level illustrations. Like comics, you might be able to get away with lower quality drawings, but the story has to be above par. Many a author goes the self-publish route because they are unwilling to change their baby based on feedback from those that just might know a bit about the business. Or they were rejected by a publisher and they go at it with a "I'll show them" attitude, and self publish a bad, unedited story with bad illustrations, and then wonder why they don't sell.
I worked on a book that had tons of potential if the text had been reworded. I actually took the initiative to do just that, to rewrite or re-organize words and it was much better. But for reasons I don't understand, the text stayed unchanged. The client of course was happy, but IMO, published a poor quality story that probably won't sell beyond family and friends, which I think is sad, because it really was a good story.
The best advice I can offer would that you have to put the same amount of work in a self-published title that goes into a traditionally published title, both in the story and the artwork. There is a reason a traditionally published book can take a few years before it is on a shelf. You have to edit, and re-edit, and re-edit until your brain hurts. The art needs to be rendered as professionally as possible, even if that means not using your artistic best friend who has no experience with childrens art. The way I see it, you need to produce something that does not look self published. People buy with their eyes, and if your cover art does not compel someone to pick up your book, they are never going to see the story inside, and it never gets sold.
WIP - Worst Fear
Here is my idea for the "Worst Fear" contest.
All my life I have been deathly afraid of roaches, even now in my mid 40s. Not sure where the fear came from, but it is real. LOL. I did have another concept of an army of roaches chasing me with swords and all, but I am struggling with drawing these nasty critters, so I figured it best to pare it down to just one this time.
Anyway, would appreciate any feedback on composition, etc. Thanks! NOTE: the face on the left is not part of the illustration.
RE: Worst fear WIP
I like the concept a lot, but it looks like the cat is trying to judo kick the shadow rather than recoiling in terror. Maybe make the cat's pupils smaller, his eyes larger, and his mouth open more. Have his 2 front paws stretched out like his back legs, and his tail straight. Below are a few images for reference that might help.
RE: Transportation WIP
@nowayme Not sure the lighting will read correctly with no reference as to why there is a shadow and where it is coming from. In a tree, you can usually see some of the branches and leaves (like in your previous tree house illustration) to relate where a shadow originates. In a flight/sky illustration, clouds are usually so large, that including one for shadow's sake would be very difficult. If you want the viewers eyes to focus toward the bugs, maybe change the color scheme of the duck to have darker wing tips that get lighter toward its body. Or, since you are placing the setting during Fall, I would make the scene a sunset, with the sun setting at about 10 o'clock in relation to the duck, and have yellow orange highlights placed to draw the eye to the bugs. And, now that I think about it, I would make the main duck larger in the scene, with it's tail overlapping the city. I did a rough paint over to show what I mean. Hope it helps.
Well, looks like I might not make it for this month, but I do want to finish this eventually, so I would appreciate any feedback. Story is the kids sneak into the professor's/scientist's building to discover the time machine (transporter) that he has built. The girl is concerned, while the boy is, of course, excited. Not sure on the perspective, and getting things so there is an apparent distance between the kids (who are hiding behind a steel beam) and the machine. Also, I am trying for a steampunk look, but questioning my success with that as well. The professor/scientist looks a bit goof as I had to draw him smaller than I wanted since I am working on letter size paper. The second image is my first drawing of the machine. Thanks!
RE: Please help with this composition.
Here is a quick redraw of a position that might work better.
Of course, you could still have him like you do now, but he needs to be leaning on something, otherwise his stomach muscles are gonna hurt real bad. ; ) The arm holding the bag needs to relax (go in toward his side), and I would have the left leg all the way out, and the right as is. Also, he is not currently looking at the seed in his hand.
Hope this helps!
RE: "Fox in a Forest" Illustration Feedback
Sounds like you painted out of your "comfort zone", and are worried that the result is not up to par with your "usual" art. I think you came out with flying colors. And like you said, it gave you an opportunity to use some new knowledge. The piece is wonderful, the client is happy, and you have the beginnings of a new skill set to use on future artwork. : )
RE: I had my portfolio review yesterday at SCBWI Summer conference
I am curious as to what you mean by "too pushy". And am curious to know what the rep said about the rest of the portfolio.
To reiterate what others have said, you have a clear story in the pig illustrations. For me, those 2 catch my eye immediately, firstly for the hatching texture, which is great, as well as the composition of each. They both move the "story" forward—I get, without question, that the pig is on a journey or mission of some kind.
I was looking at others' portfolios for comparison, and while many samples do not have a clear story, per se, you can make some assumptions. And maybe not a story, but a focus; it was fairly clear what was happening at that moment in the illustration. To me your strongest piece is the boy hiding the dragon—there is a clear focus.
I really like the boy fishing and the alien on the beach, but they both need some clarity as to what is happening. The boy is fishing, but looking up at the birds. Why? What is happening under the water with the sub and fish? There is a lot going on, but no clear focus.
It is obvious that the alien helped build the sand castle, but why is the girl walking away and happy? Why is the alien staring and frowning.
I was confused as to what is going on with the sad girl sitting in front of the trees until I finally saw the rabbit hole in front of her.
I understand that you did not necessarily start this thread here as a portfolio critique, but I assume we all come here to learn, grow, and improve. I am by no definition a professional illustrator, so take my comments as you like, but I have learned quite a bit watching videos by Will and Jake, and many others, always trying to apply their ideas to my own drawings as I work to build a portfolio I feel is worthy to present to the publishing world. This is what I see in your illustrations. If I have learned anything, it is that publishers not only want to see a consistency in style, which you show, but they also want to know that you know how to tell a story with your art. Hope my comments help.