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"...
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: 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!
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
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!
How will I know what to change if I don't make the Honorable Mentions?
"How would you know what to change on your piece if it didn't make the honorable mentions?" This was a great question asked here in the forums by someone who entered 3rd Thursday this January. Getting feedback is critical to improvement and that is one of the reasons we created 3rd Thursday to begin with.
There really isn't any way for us to critique all the pieces. It takes us an hour and a half to get through 6 images. So to critique the 50 or so pieces we're currently receiving would take all day. I would imagine that even if we tried to do all 50 one month - word would get out and we'd have 100 the following month - and 200 the next.
Our goal is for you to see some of the same mistakes in your work as you do in the people being critiqued. Over time you will learn a lot even if it's not as fast as if you were receiving a personal critique. All of us make similar mistakes so by paying attention to what we're saying about someone else's piece there will most likely be overlap on yours.
Another option is to join in our paid critiques we offer from time to time at SVS. As a heads up we will be having a children's book class critique session this spring/summer and probably more than one. It will be announced here in the forums first to give a heads up to those of you who are regular contributors to SVS. The requirement is that you go through our children's book class here at SVS first so that we don't have to go over material that is readily available. When we first ran that class there were 25 students who paid to attend every night for 14 sessions. They were awesome! We would like anyone who signs up for the critiques to be prepared by investing the same time ahead of the upcoming sessions.
These sessions sell out fast. We don't increase the price to meet the demand as that would put the price above many of our students means. We do this as a service and to promote SVS. We've decided to leave the price low and rely on first come first serve.
We will announce these sessions here in the forums before we facebook, tweet, blog, etc. to give a heads up to those of you who regularly contribute here first.
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.
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!
RE: 3rd Thursday Q and A: How did they get their start as artists?
@jimsz To add to what Jake said - which was very insightful. I think all of the artists who have "made it" can point to mentors and veteran artists they've either had classes from, become friends with, apprenticed for, etc. Without someone to show you where you're going wrong it's really hard to see it. Without someone to show you by example what it takes and how they got where they are it's almost impossible. I really hope you can take the harsh and encouraging words Jake gave you and use them as fuel to reinvent your portfolio.
I had a teacher who went to NYC to show his portfolio to anyone who would see him back in the late 80's. He finally got the painful truth from one of the art directors at the NY Times. "Your portfolio looks like you just got out of school...come back when your portfolio looks like you've been getting work" - OUCHY! Instead of going home he borrowed money to buy art supplies and rent a room for two weeks where he re-did his entire portfolio - went back to the art directors he had already visited and got a handful of assignments - even from the one who gave him the lecture. Those who have "made it" have made huge sacrifices to get there. You can do it if you want to!
RE: Need some help with a piece
@eric-castleman Hi Eric, This is a really nice piece and I think it might have more impact if the cat were bigger than the cricket...right now there're about the same size on the page. Your cat has more character than mine but I think you could stylize the profile better than from straight behind the cat? I don't know - judgement call? Also I don't think you need rim lighting to highlight everything - I think you have enough plane changes to do it with value. Hope this helps...
Critiques for a Facebook LIVE in February
If you've been a frequent visitor/contributor to these forums you know I give free critiques from time to time and post the draw overs here in the forum.
I'd like to do the next round in a facebook LIVE event to promote my upcoming Draw50things paid critiques.
If you would like to participate simply upload an illustration you would like critiqued in that LIVE event. The art needs to be finished and needs to be a narrative illustration but it does NOT need to be a draw50things assignment. It could be from a children's book project or other narrative. It could be a personal portfolio piece as well.
*I will keep all of the critiques anonymous and can blur our your signature if you'd like.
I'll probably critique 5- 10 images in my Facebook LIVE next month. I'm asking now so I have images to critique when I'm ready. I'll pick images that I think will help me explain some of the concepts I'd like to teach. I probably won't be able to critique all of them. I'll announce the time and date when we get closer and I'll update this thread with that information. If we get enough images I might do more than one event.
Thank you in advance for agreeing to let me use your work to help everyone!
Ripple Grove Press - looking for children's book story submissions
I'm posting this for Ripple Grove Press who contacted me personally asking if I thought you might want a publisher to submit to directly. I have never worked with them - I'm just passing this on as a possibility for you to consider - thank you.
Ripple Grove Press, an independent children's picture book press in Portland, Oregon is looking for submissions. We want a story that is unique, fun, sweet and visual interesting. For further insight into our press please check out our books and follow our submission guidelines. Our link is here.
Please put in the subject of your email when submitting "SVS - and the title of your story."
RE: Would love to give a critique
@pamela-fraley Thank you for posting this image! Your drawing and design are really nice. It really depends what you want to say with this one. I don't think there is much to change if anything if this is a gallery piece. If it's for decoration you may not want to change it.
I'm usually in illustration mode so for the sake of this thread I assumed you might be trying to say something about this particular artist. If so - I would try to draw more attention to her than the rest of the objects in the room. As you have it everything that's a light color (white - off white) is contrasting against the dark blue walls - which gives everything of equal contrast - equal attention or focal point. If you knock all the non-essentials back in value and keep the contrast on the artist you can make a more powerful statement.
I also changed her light to a desk lamp so the back and background in the upper right could also go dark to keep the eye out of the corner.
RE: The Fighting Trees - Work in progress (Updated)
@kevin-longueil This piece is fantastic - really. I couldn't help but mess with it a tiny bit. I would make the bird a stronger statement/focal point. It's a judgement call - but I think it would have a quicker read giving it more appeal. Great work!