Hey guys - I thought I'd be the first to break the news - we're getting a physical office space! In fact we've been moving in this week out here in Provo Utah - it's been a super busy time for us and the biggest reason we've been neglecting these forums...but we'll be back when life settles down a bit. Photos and videos to come! Oh yeah - and there will be an open house some time in October. (Had to leak this before @Lee-White or @Jake-Parker)
Best posts made by Will Terry
SVS Head Quarters
SVS Success Stories
Guys, I can't tell you how rewarding it is to hear success stories from our SVS students! I get personal emails and messages from time to time where our students share the books they've sold or the books they are illustrating for clients, or the agents they've picked up, or the personal projects they've launched and funded, or even the epiphanies they've had concerning their work!
Here are a few highlights from the people we know about - if you've had success let us know - we want to brag about you
Simona Ceccarelli - has a book due out in spring 2019 that she illustrated. Check out my interview with her here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdUXXWBQyQo
Joy Heyer - Sold her book and it's now on Amazon! https://amzn.to/2D55Cpz
Charlie Eve Ryan - Just sold her second book!!! You know I'll be interviewing her as well!
Shinji Fujioka - Sold his book and is currently working on the illustrations - not sure when it's due out.
Again - let us know what you have in the works - I realize you can't always talk about it until it's official - but even if you have had inquiries about your work or other illustration work we need to hear about it. It's not bragging unless you follow it with "so there"...
SVS Online Portfolio upgrade?
We are always trying to think of new ways to build SVS and make it more of a valuable tool for artists worldwide. We were talking about the idea of integrating a portfolio upload option for svs subscribers. This is how it would work: Some day in the future you would login or get an email notification and see the option for you to upload your images onto the svslearn.com site. It would allow subscribers to curate their own images and share them with potential clients. It would enable us to share the portfolios with art directors at various publishing houses. Our hope is that it would be a stop for editors and art directors looking for new talent.
In addition there would be an "upvote" option on each image. Anyone logged in could see and up-vote your image(s). We could also hire software developers to create algorithms that would auto select images with the most upvotes to populate a gallery on the front of the svslearn.com page.
*PLEASE Let us know if you think this is a good idea? If you think you would use it? If you think you would NOT use it? Any thoughts are welcome. But we need to hear from you even if you do NOT think you would use this.
Thank you for weighing in!
RE: Collective art project to send Will some love and support.
I love you guys. I got the book yesterday and it took my breath away. I won't be able to describe the feelings I had when I realized what I was looking at. Tears welled up in my eyes as I looked at each page. I felt unworthy of this much love and attention - I felt in some ways it was too much...but then I realized that this is what we do for each other. We show our ultimate love and appreciation and compassion and concern by giving of ourselves - giving our time.
Your work was beautiful - each one reminding me of the love I had and have for an amazing woman named Lori. I will cherish this gift for the rest of my life. I will remember to lift others as you have lifted me in my time of need. I will try to place myself in the shoes of others to be continually worthy of your efforts.
I'm humbled and moved to my core.
Thank you doesn't quite say it but whatever is 5 notches above thank you - that's what I'm feeling.
And thank you Shannon for all your hard work and willingness to be a leader...wow!
RE: NEW RULES FOR CONTESTS STARTING IN MAY
Just wanted to poke my head in and let you guys know that we do listen and we are committed to making SVS the best place online to learn the art of making children's books. I can see that some of you are disappointed in the new changes while others are excited about them.
As an artist first and a businessman at a distant second I wanted to let you all know that it has been a huge shock to Jake, Lee and I how much money it takes to make SVS a legit company making constant improvements. We have a list of 20 ideas we'd like to implement to our site but can't afford to do right now because we just don't have the money.
These changes will greatly affect the way you guys learn, the speed at which you learn, the community where you make connections with each other, and the way you find client work. Our vision for what SVS can and should be is something that doesn't currently exist but will if we make the right moves we will be able to pull it off.
We struggle over the decisions to implement these changes and realize that we will disappoint some of you with our decisions and it weighs heavily on our minds. BUT - we are a team and we think that as we roll out these changes and more scheduled later this year it will make many of you very happy.
Behind the Scenes at svslearn.com
I wanted to write an open letter to all of you because we have received a few questions an I thought this might be the most efficient way to respond to them.
Questions have been centered around the release of new classes we have put on our schedule as well as critique classes, and portfolio reviews.
First I want all of you to know how thrilled the three of us (Jake, Lee, and Will) are to be able to work on this project we call SVS! We love being able to involve ourselves in this community of teaching illustration - working with students and teachers. We share an talk about a lot of your work in our meetings and in our communication daily.
There has been some confusion on when classes are being released and what will be available to subscribers. We are sorry for the confusion so we thought we would tell you a little about what we are doing now at svs to make things more clear.
Backing up a little - when we first formed SVS we decided - the three of us - that we would maintain our professional careers as freelance illustrators. None of us wanted to give up the careers we worked so hard to develop and this is the main reason we've never worked full time at a University or art school. It's no secret that students in art schools often talk about their adjunct professors as giving them the best practical advice as they are most often still working illustrators... we knew we needed to lead by example.
As you can guess however freelance projects don't often come in at the best times and create scheduling conflicts with our SVS class schedules at times. We often have to shift projects and deadlines around to make everything work in addition to appearances and show schedules.
We are also working with other teachers and trying to work around their freelance schedules to bring you classes. Sometimes we will have a teacher who has agreed to create a class with us only to back out or postpone their class due to their schedule. Often at a University or art school you find out who your teacher is the first day of class - it could be an amazing teacher or a dud. We are trying to find the best artists/teachers on the planet who have time and are willing to work under our deadlines and budgets to bring you really useful information and training. It's sometimes like herding cats - but we love these cats!
In addition to finding teachers we have been trying to learn how to run this business by hiring consultants, a manager, interns, customer support, marketing, etc. etc. etc. We often find ourselves in meetings instead of creating new classes.
We listen and talk about your comments and try to address them in our opperations and policies. One recurring comment has been the lack of quality in some of our classes - not of content but on the audio/video side of some of our first classes. For this reason we are committed to re-making some of these classes. I've been spending the last two months re-making "Creative Composition" which should be done soon. It's not exciting because in the end I'll not be able to announce a NEW class but a remake. I'm telling you this however so you'll understand that we are committed to growing SVS and increasing the quality and value that you're getting.
We aren't the best at running SVS but we want to get better every day and we're willing to learn. If you feel like it's been taking us too long to release classes you're not alone and please understand that we get it. We're working on it.
We have a really exciting schedule of new classes that will release in the subscription coming between now and the end of the year. Here's a short list from this year and we have more planned but that aren't on the list yet because we don't have all the confirmations in place just yet - but they will happen!
-Drawing Heads & Hands
Videos in subscription
-Character Design w/ Jake
-The Magic of Color revamp
-Art Licensing w/ Gina Jane
-Sketchbooking w/ Jake
-Drawing Heads and Hands video version (in August)
Videos for individual purchase only
-Idea Development video version
Extras (for FREE!)
-Live art crit with Will
-4 podcast episodes
Upcoming classes (short list)
Ben Sowards: Painting
Jake Parker: Figure design and invention
Mark Pett: From Comics to Children's books
David Hohn: Drawing Heads and Hands
Will Terry: Creative Composition updated
If you have any suggestions for us we will read them in our next meeting.
RE: Building A Strong Portfolio / Finding your tribe
@jthomas For me it begins with making the art you want to make - it has to. You will only be enthusiastic when you're creating your best work - the work that you can't wait to get into or back to. Your audience will find you when you share that work. Then you need to keep making the work that made you and your audience happy. Think of the art you consume be it movies, music, comics, books, whatever. The creators didn't define you - they made their _________ and you found it...and now you want more. I hope this helps...
RE: feedback on this piece pls!!!
@divya-s-kumar There are some really fun things happening in your drawing...just remember that before we can really work on painting and lighting we have to get the drawing working mechanically so we can tell a clear story. Thank you for posting this!
Big Announcement Teaser and Request
I just wanted to pop in to let you know that Lee, Jake and I are working on a big project. I can't give you all the details but it's going to be a multi module children's book class that will go into great detail on every topic of illustrating children's books. This project is probably going to take us a few years to finish but it won't take that long for you guys to start seeing some of it. That's about all I can share right now but we've begun production! Yay.
One of the hardest aspects of teaching is showing good examples of bad or beginning artwork to demonstrate the concept of correcting the mistakes. A lot of people are sensitive about having their work shown as an example of what NOT to do. However this is what I need to teach the "Drawing Children" section of the class. I need to be able to draw over work to teach the concepts and principles of drawing cute appealing children.
SO - I'm asking you guys to dig through your old work and give me permission to use your bad art drawings of kids. When I first began as an illustrator back in 1992 I was often told that my illustrated kids look like old people. I will try to find some of my own art to use but unfortunately due to my insecurities during that time - I tossed most of that early work. It kills me that I don't have it and I would caution you guys to at least keep a jpeg of your bad work because you'll never know if you might want to see it someday.
If you're willing to let me use your work please upload it on this thread and I'll download it to a folder for the class.
Would love to give a critique
I feel extremely blessed for having parents who encouraged me to go to art school, having the means to do so, having some really good teachers, and somehow finding myself doing exactly what I want to do with my life.
So I try to make time to poke around in these forums to look for someone to help in the form of a critique. I searched around today but couldn't find anything posted in the last few days. So if you post an image here I'll keep checking back this week to pick images that I think I can help on.
Thank you for all of your participation in this forum! I wish I had this tool when I was in school!
Pod Cast Question - 3 Point Perspective
We will record our next podcast soon and want to read your comments on the Podcast. Please let us know if you do NOT wish to have your name read with your comment. Brief comments will probably have more chance of making it to the show.
Question: In your perfect world - what would you be doing/working on with your art skills?
In other words, in your dream world would you be illustrating other author's books, writing and illustrating your own? Would you be painting murals or graphic novels? Would you sell your art in galleries? What level of fame would you have? Would celebrities collect your art? Would you be illustrating movie posters? Would you direct your own animated films like Tim Burton? How much money would you earn each year?
Thank you in advance for participating - we want to talk about artist dreams in the podcast!
RE: Live 3-day event with Will Terry! Starts Wed Mar 25 at 2pm MDT
I'm so excited to be able to do this guys!!!
Spring Critiques (paid)
Just wanted to give you guys the heads up that we will be holding a one session critique lesson on April 30th at 11am MST - that's 1:00 in the afternoon on the east coast of the US and 10am PST. We're scheduling it at this time so that our European friends don't have to get up in the middle of the night for once.
This class will hit the store sometime in the next 24 hours.
We wanted to announce it here first to give first opportunity to those of you who are working regularly and helping each other in these forums.
After 24 hours we will then announce it on social media on Tuesday.
This will be an open critique for 10 people meaning that there will be 10 spots available where we will critique anything you want us to critique as long as it is ONE illustration image. It could be a book cover, children's book spread or spot, comic book image, editorial image, game illustration, poster, etc.
We will require your images sent to us no later than the 28th of April so that we can spend time on them on the 29th. If images aren't submitted on or before the 28th we will not be able to fit them into the session.
The cost of each space will be $25. The class will probably last about 2 hours but may run a little longer.
We will use GoToMeeting to critique the images and participants will be able to login 10 min early on the 30th to watch all of the critiques, ask questions, etc.
We will be offering more critique sessions throughout the year so if this one doesn't fit your schedule keep checking here in our forums as we will announce any new LIVE class options here first.
SVS Open House
We're so excited to have an OPEN HOUSE for svslearn.com in our new headquarters in Provo Utah this Friday. We are excited to have cookies delivered from Beverly Holtzem and our finger foods will be provided by Norma Black and their daughter Analise both svs students! We're inviting everyone to create a red rabbit drawing (5"x5") for our wabbit wall in the office. The rabbit can be doing anything you want. Even if you can't attend in person you can send one to us...even if it's late we'll post it! Send it to: 500 e 4300 n Provo Ut 84604 BUT - our Open house is in the Bright Building 33 west 400 south Provo ... AND - we're going to LIVE stream it on facebook so if you warrants... just sayin
RE: A course on keeping characters consistent
@Timbdsf If you're subscribed to SVS or have bought the Children's book Class we have a section that covers consistency of character. But - we're talking with an artist/sculptor who has worked in film and games who will teach how to easily create a maquette of your character(s) so that you can draw from that 3d model from any angle... I can't wait for this one!