Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Best Illustration Job?

What was the best illustration job you ever got, and why was it the best? Did it challenge you? Did it pay well? Was the client really great to work with? Did it come at a time in your life when you needed it the most? Was it an answer to a prayer? If it was a long time ago, are you still proud of the job you did? I am curious to read your stories...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Most Challenging Project

Amy sounds like she had quite an experience with that mural project! My most challenging project was quite the opposite actually - it was very small! Over the years I've done a number of local and state level assignments for various magazines and organizations. About 8 years ago, I had an assignment for a campaign for veterinarians which sounded like a blast! I was to illustrate a scene for their "Vets to the Future 2000" campaign and show a couple of vets with a couple of vets taking off in a Jetson-like spaceship. Sounds like fun, right? Well, it was and I loved my initial drawing. But the client decided that they wanted more pets...OK, so I added a few more pets. Then they wanted more vets...getting crowded now but fine, I added more vets. Now, keep in mind this was not for a poster or anything like that. This image was to be used on things like stationary, meaning it would be reproduced very small!Then they decided they wanted to see the inside of the "spaceship" including knobs and buttons while showing several vets, many pets, and everyone's faces even though now they would be taking off away from the viewer... ?! I tried to explain that by having soooo much detail in this drawing that it would look cluttered, busy, and confusing after being printed so very small. Needless to say they did not care, they wanted what they wanted and so I finally was able to come up with something that they loved... but I hated!! So my solution for future issues that come up like this? Make sure you know exactly what the client is looking for before you begin and before you get yourself into something that will drive you nuts! :)


The Most Challenging....

One of the most challenging jobs I ever had was one that was outside of the field of my normal illustrations. (Above is one pic of it in the middle of the process, without the players and with some blue tape on it)...I don't know where on earth the finished pics are at the moment) It was to do a huge wall sized mural of the Fed-Ex Football field, (Washington Redskins home field in DC) It was approximately 6.5' tall by about 16' long, complete with tiny football players, In correct field positions, numbered with the correct uniforms and skin tone, etc.....argh....there was also a huge crowd of fans and guys on the sidelines...(refs, umps, players) a scoreboard with the score the client's son had decided, and logos that are at the FedEx field. I even made parts of the crowd glow in the dark when the lights would be turned off. The lines and numbers of the field had to be done well enough not to look wrong..and the goal posts etc.

I think what helped most was that I just decided I would tackle it bit by bit and that there had to be a way to figure it out. That was the most valuable thing I learned..that it is possible to learn nearly anything if you are determined to do it. The mural is on my blog somewhere back in the archives. It was commissioned by a friend of mine for their first home, and the teen-age son of course was a fan of the Redskins.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The most challenging...???

What was the most difficult or challenging thing, object, scene, collage that you ever illustrated? At least up to now.
How did you approach it? How long did it take to complete? It would be really interesting to see how different artists approach a difficult subject. Is there a particular thought process or preliminary type of sketching that has to be done?

Friday, October 12, 2007

WHOOEEE!!!!!! Two Books for ZONDERKIDZ

Okay as I type this I am thinking I am crazy!! But. . .over the course of the next 8 months I will be doing 3 books!!!!!!! I cant' believe it!

A few days ago I was approached by Zonderkidz to do 2 books for them!!!! Yes 2 not just 1 but 2!! Can you tell I am jumping up and down!

I am just so darned excited I can't sit still. I have been dying to announce it and I just got permission today.

Zonderkidz is a Christian Publisher owned by Harper Collins Publishers!!!

My goal since I started this career was to work with a mainstream Christian Publisher! When I first started illustrating for kids five years ago I went into our local Bible Bookstore and looked at the children's books to see which books I liked and the names of the publishers who published them. Then I started including them on my list of promos mailers. I walked out the store that day with a book titled Who Made God? And of course it was published by non other than ZonderKidz! So working with them was definitely at the top of the list and a dream come true!!!!!!

Pardon my celebrating. . .but Wahoo!!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What Inspires Me

Better late than never. When the drain field alarm went off in our garage yesterday, I went "ouch!" I was INSPIRED to avoid paying a costly septic bill, so I sold the owner of the septic company on the idea of a septic cartoon for the wall of his office. Just like that I erased a $400 septic bill. I've done lots of trade outs over the years. This is perhaps the most unusual one.

Is Your Website a Closet or a Display Case?

Which is it? Does your website behave like a closet or a display case? Our closets are the places with the doors that need to be opened to gain access to the things inside. We shield the unfolded sweaters on the shelves, the untamed sneakers strewn on the floor and the garments we no longer wear from all eyes. But, a display case invites all to see the treasures laid out before them.

What would be the point in going to an art gallery or museum if all the treasures were hidden behind closed doors and panels. Aren't display cases more inviting? Now, apply the same thinking to your website. Do you really want that art editor or agent to have to wait tap, tap, taping his or her foot while the doors open, the flash script runs, the gears twirl or the "LOADING" sign warns of a long wait for the viewing of your illustrations.

Why not give those editors and agents and art directors direct access to your open display case. When you send out a postcard or promotional piece with your website address you ask for a visit to your gallery. Keep the door open. Let the visitor see what is inside without having to unlock doors, open cabinets and stand on the doorstep waiting to gain access.

All those animations, bells, whistles, gears and toggles may be great if you want to play a game, or solve a mystery. But art editors are coming to that site listed on your promotional material to SEE your work and you may have only a minute or two to get their full attention.

I am guilty of "closet" mentality when it comes to my current website. So, for the next few hours, days, however long it takes I will be doing my best create a display case that invites, delights, and "works" for me.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Gingers Post. . .Inspired me!

Ginger I just got home from coffee with a friend. . .actually I had coffee with my friend and then I stopped by the post office to mail some things. When I was standing in line, there was a woman pregnant with child and her small maybe 6 year old daughter. I was so taken by the child's beauty that I could hardly keep my eyes off of her. I actually thought "This child is so beautiful she needs a picture book about her." The child was so very patient as I tried to study what it was about her that just made her glow. I loved her hair, her outfit, her shoes, her eyes could never have anyone do them justice. . .they were incredible. I am sure she is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. How could I tell? She was loving on her mother as they stood at the counter.

Anyway I told myself I should go home and draw her. . .knowing that I wouldn't as I am in a crunch for a deadline. But your post Ginger inspired me to do just that. . .come home and do a really quick sketch of what touched me today. . .I could never do her justice but here she is. . .thank you Ginger for doing what you always do. . .inspire me!!


What touched you today?

What is there that today or yesterday or maybe last week, touched you so much when you saw it that you HAD to find a pencil and start sketching?

When the sun sets? Is it a butterfly taking off in the sky for a 3000 mile journey? Is it a single leaf twirling in the breeze just before it floats to the ground?

Is it your child, or mother or father? Is is a homeless man begging on the street? Is it so bright a moon that the forest is lit up like the day?

Is it firefiles, caterpillars, children's toys, a woman at the supermarket with an army of her own little ones?

Is that mountain in the distance, or the one you are climbing?

Is it the flowers that faithfully give their blossoms late into the fall? Birds? Bees? Your neighbor working in their garden?

What touched you today?