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designbyjen 09-27-2004 10:31 AM

Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
1 Attachment(s)
Mornin' y'all - welcome to the weekly chat thread in the Illustration Forum. Pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage and tell us what's happening with you this week. If this is your first time joining us, this is the thread where you share your thoughts, dreams, challenges, woes with your neighbors across the world - so come on in and tell us about what's happening -

Grab a cuppa joe and here we go!
Last weeks thread for you partying weekenders:

again.....overwhelmed w/ all sorts of stuff & no time to check all the threads...but i just had to share my new 'threads'! check out my new jammies ;)
i'll be pasting down all these neato recipes...keep em' com'in!
also...welcome new posters....what's in your daily grind?--this is the place to share :wave:

Sketch22 09-27-2004 01:39 PM

thoughts, dreams, challenges.... ect.
Good morning all, and a happy new week to you.

Here are my thoughts for the week, this week will mark the end of my second month at home. In two months of being purposefully unemployed, I haven't begun to work on my portfolio. The first month was moving, settling in, unpacking ect. The second month is sort of a blur, what did I do with all the time? laundry?
Hubby is off to work each morning and getting used to his new job and I am squandering all this free time that I used to cherish SO much! My goal is to have a great portfolio and to have a killer sample sheet to send to children's book publishers and magazines. It is going to take some major work and concentration, some focus, I am starting to wonder if I am capable.
If another month goes by and I can't get myself in gear, I may have to consider other options, I hate to waste time, I feel like this is my big chance to go for my dream career, but if I end up not accomplishing anything then I will feel like I made a big mistake.
Heavy thoughts I know, maybe I need another cup of coffee to get me going :)
Anyway, Thanks for the posts, I have begun to find this site a big encouragement and learning tool. Later!

AFM159 09-27-2004 05:49 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
Hey gang! In and out quick today, busy, busy, busy.

Had an impromtu feast this last Saturday! Invited some friends over for dinner, figured just some brats and dogs, nothing big, and they show up with two ice chests full of seafood and a 10gallon propane cooker! So we had an awesome seafood boil! Crablegs, Shrimp, fresh Corn on the Cob, New Potatoes, Cajun Sausage! And to be authentic, we covered the picnic table in newspaper and just dumped the food out, gathered round, and pigged out! What a surprise and lotsa fun!

Sketch22 - you can do it! Think of yourself as a professional, act like a professional, be the professional. Before you know it, it'll happen!

TedDawson 09-27-2004 06:57 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
Sketchy, that's easy... all you need is a deadline! :evil:

Your assignment is to write or find an 8-line poem and create an illustration for it. Due next Monday. :angel:

Axl 09-27-2004 07:30 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3

Originally Posted by AFM159
Sketch22 - you can do it! Think of yourself as a professional, act like a professional, be the professional. Before you know it, it'll happen!

Haha thats some good advice!! Perhaps I shall start abiding by it myself :D

Axl 09-27-2004 07:40 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
ok so I said I'd post recipes last time too. heh. Hopefully y'all find these one handy. They get me through the year. heh. Theres a few more I gotta type up. I merely went back and copied pasted these from an old thread in the students dorm. They are yummy tho!

No Chicken Chicken Noodle Soup

* 1 pkg of No Name Chicken Noodle Soup (big yellow package, makes 4 servings of soup
* 2 or 3 stalks of Green Onions
* 1 or 2 medium carrots, chopped
* A handfull of noodles (those spiral ones are good)
* A handfull of Rice
* Some chopped, cooked chicken, if you have it (but then it wouldnt be no chicken chicken noodle soup now would it?? )
* Atleast 5 cups of water - depending on how much of the ingredients you add, it could need more. If your worried about adding tooo much water, you can add some additional chicken stalk if you want
* Curry Powder (your preference as to how much)

Put the water in a pot and add some curry, and bring it to a boil. When it boils, throw in the carrots, rice, and noodles. Bring back up to a boil, and then simmer for some 10 minutes, to cook the rice, noodles, and to make the carrots soft. Then, add the green onions, chicken if you have it, and the package of soup. Stir well, to make sure everything is all stired together, and continue to simmer for about 5 - 7 more minutes, until the little noodles in the soup package are done. Voila, good soup and it was super easy to do! Usually this lasts me for a couple days, and it goes good with grilled cheese.


Tuna Casserole

* 1 can of Tuna or Chicken, drained and mashed up
* 1 can of Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Celery soup
* 1/4 cup of Milk
* Salt, Pepper, and some allspice if you want
* 2 or 3 cups of Cooked Noodles (The spiral ones, or macaroni work well)
* Some frozen veggies, cooked (like the mixed pees, carrots, and beans)
* 3 or 4 slices of bread - better if stale, or the heals
* 3 or 4 tbsp butter
* Gratted cheese, or Slices of processed cheese

If you havent already dont so, cook your noodles and your frozen veggies - you can even cook them in the same pot if you want, since you are only doing it in water, and it'll probably take around the same amount of time to do anyways. Dump this mixture in the bottom of your casserole dish. Also, add in your can of Tuna or Chicken, mashed up and seperated with a fork. Stir it all together. After this is done, put it aside, and you'll need to get a measuring cup and a small bowl (unless you have a big measuring cup in which case just do it all in the measuring cup). In your 1/4 cup of milk, mix in the can of soup, and add your salt, pepper, and allspice. Combine well, and then dump it overtop of the noodles n stuff. Mix it together well, so its all blended together. Then, take your bread, and rip it up into loonie-sized chunks. Melt your butter in the microwave, or over the stove, and then mix it over the bread to cover the bread in butter. Lay these out overtop of the caserole as a crust, and sprinkle with grated cheese (or lay out a few slices of processed cheese)
Bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, at 350*, until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.


Curry Rice

* Rice
* Water (The rice ratio is 1 part rice to 2 parts water, but we'll need a plash more than that because we are also cooking veggies)
* Curry Powder
* Handful Frozen veggies, like pees and carrots
* Handful of Raisens
* Handful of chopped Almonds
* Handful of Pine Nuts if you found some money on the ground and don't know wha to do with it - lol

Add curry powder to the water, and then boil the rice and veggies at the same time. Cook until rice and veggies are done. Add raisens and nuts, and mix together. Eat and be happy!


Chunky Tomato Chicken Soup

* 1 can of diced chopped tomatoes, juice and all
* Cooked chunks of chicken or turkey, or cooked hamburger or chickenburger
* 1 can of Tomato Soup
* 1 tomatoe soup-sized can of Water
* 1 can of whole Corn kernels, drained
* 1 can of Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
* Mushrooms, chopped
* 1 Onion, chopped
* 1 clove Garlic, chopped
* 1 tbsp Cyanne Pepper
* 1 tsp Worchesterchire Sauce

In a small frying pan, fry up your onion and garlic until soft and slightly brown. From there, basically throw all the inredients into one big pot, stir well, and then simmer over the stove for about 30 minutes, until heated well and it has slightly thickened. Its very good, expecially with some nice chunky bread.


Like I said there are a few more. heh I'm going to post my recipe for sushi of anyone feel adventurous. And I'm going to bugg matt for the morrocan lemon chicken with green olive recipe because its to die for!!!

Axl 09-27-2004 08:03 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
But anyways. I've been SWAMPED with school work lately. Heh. Fun. I''ve been trying to keep everything to a healthy balance. But is has been pretty demanding. I spend most of my time on the computer doing homework, or other assignments. This whole animation thing is making me tear my head off. I've worked, some 5 hours every day since thursday. and i only have 30 seconds of it compltely. I need a minute come thursday. Wee.

I'm thinking about hiring people..

Anyways. Today we did the absolute funnest thing. We each were assigned different body parts and had to sculpt them life-size in paper. then put it all together in one live-size paper freak man/girl. It was awesome. Now we're drawing it. Ohh.. what a character it is...

Anyways. yeah. Animation. And big drawing have been consuming my life. Tonight i need to make a priliminary sketch for an ilustration to go on a bottle of body lotion. Speaking of body lotion I need to take a shower. Drawing in charcoal makes me lookg like a miner.

In an attempt to get myself out of the house I've decided to by a laptop with some of my student loany money since I dont have to pay all $5,000 of the tuition... ahh... so then I can work my ass off in rather social environments. Even if that just means at the local coffee shop.

I'm going to become one of those people who just sit in coffee shops with their laptop and drink expresso all day :)

In other news i'm GOING TO ONTARIO!!!!!


I scored a $1 flight from jetsgo.ca. The return flight I managed to scam for $70. heh. So from the 15th to the 18th of october i'm going to ontario to visit ma man... hehehe. Anyways I havent been there before and i'm encredibly excited about going! Ahhhh yeahhhh. We're going to chill in Toronto for a day or 2, and then go back to his home in Kitchener. Cant wait :D

Anyways. WHen I ge the laptop I'll fill you all in about it. heheh. Right now i think supper is done... must go eat now...

designbyjen 09-27-2004 11:01 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
hey sketch...honestly...the best thing to happen to me motivational-wise was listening to what else...'motivational speakers'. ha ha! this happened when my husband got laid off for 4 months & investigated a multi-level mktg. company (hey, he got free training) but didn't stick w/ them cuz pay & product was lousey. anyways...they pushed all this kinda 'self improvement' tapes & cd's to listen to & i listened to everything he did. at first i thought it seemed cheesy, but in listening to the stuff like steven covey's '7 habits of highly effective people'...i realized i never thought about ordering my life around my desires & striving for goals in an organized manner. i still do a weekly sit-down w/ my husband & we go over what all has to be done in a week & i always try to put extra stuff down on there to push me w/ my art. covey has a 'weekly worksheet' in that book that is good to jump-start from--i just scribble stuff out--his is pretty anal going down to hourly committments.
but anyways...it IS hard to encourage yourself...esp. if your spouse isn't a total artist & you've moved away from any support group you've had. so hang out here for the encouragement...but give yourself a 'kick in the butt plan' and put the writing on the wall.
p.s....if your husband listens to a tape or cd or reads something like this with you...then you BOTH can hold eachother accountable to achieve your goals & dreams. this of course being a super kick in the pants for both of you.
p.s.s....how 'bout taking ted's advice?

anyone ever had glorified ramen noodle soup? i did that in college...boil the noodles w/ peeler-thin carrots & thin celery & then add an egg at the end of the 3 minutes. trust me...not expensive & a person can live on that...living proof here.
i think i had sushi stuff in the seaweed rolls w/ rice. i could hardly get past the seaweed...think i plugged my nose, crammed it & had a coke chaser. so, don't think i've really gotten to appreciate the sushi alone, but i am adventurous. my dad made us kids eat deep-fried dandylion flowers & other assorted 'weird' things & i lived :p

wonderful idea to get the laptop axl! gonna get it thru the good ol' employee discount, at work?


TedDawson 09-28-2004 12:01 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
I was talking with a friend last night who's a freelance children's illustrator. She talked very enthusiastically about the SCBWI conferences. There's one in Houston in November. She said they really fired her up, and the speakers are great. You can attend whether you're a member or not. There'll be everyone from veteran writers and illustrators to folks like us who are just starting out in the field. Something to think about.

SCBWI Houston

Sketch22 09-28-2004 12:46 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
Hey guys, thanks for all of the advice, I really appreciate it. I feel like I really have found a support group!

Ted, I may take you up on that assignment, I am already racking my brain to come up with a poem :) Deadline by Monday!

AFM159, I am going to try to think, act and be proffesional this week! (can one be proffesional in one's pajamas?)

DesignbyJen, Thank you for the great advice. I really could use some help organizing my time, I haven't read the 7 habits stuff, but it sounds good, I will try to look into that. A book that I have found helpful in other areas of life is "Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. I just thougth I would throw a plug for that one out there, or if you want to know the principals that book is based on, just pick up The Good Book. ;) I like your idea (or Covey's) of making out a schedule. I should, but I also like to be flexible each day.

Ted, again thanks. The conference in Houston sounds like a great idea. I am definately going to look into it. Thanks!!

Axl, I love the idea of working on a laptop at a coffee shop all day... you get extra artist brownie points for every hour spent in a trendy coffee shop!

ok, one more question, I recently worked with a Wacom pad at my last job. I LOVED IT!!!! it made my job 20 times easier and faster. Now I am without one :( I want one! I am spoiled. The one I used was a giant one that appearanly costs like 3 thousand... My question, are the smallest ones worth buying? (the 4 x 6 ones or whatever the sizes.. they are $100 - $200 bucks.)
thanks for any info on this...


ps. I put up a caricature of myself in the crazy caricatures project sticky, I had fun with it, but I don't think anyone has seen it yet, feel free to comment!

Axl 09-28-2004 03:00 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
Mine is only, like, 4x6 but it definately does the job. I love it. it is awesome.

I agree that i would love a larger one too, and was hessitant about buying the small one because I didnt think it would suit my needs. But i've found out that it was much much handier than i would have ever imagined. its great. Best $100 i ever spent :D

Axl 09-28-2004 02:32 PM

Feeling a bit Old School Today

Sketch22 09-28-2004 05:27 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
Axl, Thanks for the advice, that is exactly what I wanted to know. I think it will be my next major purchase, (yes a hundred dollars is major for me right now!!)

Ted!!! I have completed my assignment! I have written an 8 line poem and created an illustration for it. Now, what do I do with it? Should I post it here? If so, how?

Axl 09-28-2004 05:35 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
How to post an image article:


If you need more help you can pm me or ask in the new user channel ;)

Sketch22 09-28-2004 10:03 PM

My Assignment :)
1 Attachment(s)
Thank you Axl, that was quite helpful.

Here is my piece in response to Ted's proposed assignment. I wrote the poem myself. It is pretty silly and childish, but that is what I was going for. Beneath is the illustration.

The poem:

There once was a woman who lived in a shoe,
She rented out the heel for a buck twenty-two.
She sat in the toe and sewed all the day
on a little scrap quilt where her kittens would lay.

One breezy spring morn, she walked into town
and bought a red shoelace for her house of brown,
She strung it up nice and tied it real tight,
and thought it looked fine in the bright sunlight.

From that morning on, children came to play
They swung on the laces from April to May.
The kittens were frightened and the renter left town
so the lady said "Goodness!" and took it back down.

TedDawson 09-29-2004 12:21 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
Wow, what a great job! And you beat the deadline by six days. That gives you plenty of time to make all the changes the client would want :p

You've got a nice style that looks like it'll work great for children's illustrations. The poem is fun, too, so I wouldn't forego the idea of doing some writing, too.

Y'know, every story I've sat down and tried to write, I can't help but write in verse. While I guess there's nothing wrong with that, it's not what I'm wanting to do. But it just happens. So I'm trying something different now, thinking just in terms of the illustrations first. Then I'll go back and add the words.

So last Thursday we were all at the park until late, and some family left their dog there. One of the kids said they'd found the dog and were bringing it to the park to try to find someone who wanted it. Then he asked if I was a cop. So I knew exactly what was happening when, as we were packing up to go, they were driving off and the dog was still running around.

It's a cute little Corgi mix, and would be like the perfect dog for a retired person. Wants to sleep on your lap, is great with my little girl and boy, doesn't bark, and is just about the perfect dog except that she's in heat, and was full of fleas, which probably was a factor in those bums dumping her. Went to the vet and they have this magic pill that costs two bucks that makes all the fleas fall dead within a couple hours. And my daughter is potty trained now so the dog's wearing her diapers. This morning around one a.m. or so I changed my first doggie poopie diaper. Lemme tell ya, dog hair and dog poop work on the same principle as Velcro.

Anyways, we don't exactly want another dog, but I don't wanna take her to the pound. Even though she's likely to be adopted... well, you know. The US has to kill about ten million unwanted pets every year.

In other news, been scouting out children's art reps this week. Got a couple of nibbles.

Gonzz 09-29-2004 01:47 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
Hi Sketch22, that's a good suggestion by Ted, writing your own stuff. At least for the portfolio I think it could work wonders!
I find it very frustrating when I try to do an illustration without a deadline and a commitment driving me by - a deadline and the pressure that comes from having to deliver work is a great motivational tool!

However I've found in the past that starting a personal project has kind of the same effect, since it provides a definite, objective goal to be achieved.
By writing a story and then setting out to illustrate it you'll manage to have a driving force behind you, a clear objective to look forward to and, last but not least, a great portfolio tool! (basically you'll be able to show that you are able to narrate a story through images, something that cannot be demonstrated just by having a set of images that don't necessarily relate to each other)

And YES, you can be professional while wearing your pyjamas, why, that is the most wonderful thing about being a freelancer :)

designbyjen 09-29-2004 09:46 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
wow sketch, i love the writing! love seeing the multitude of talents in here. like the 'moving eye' elements in your illo. do you have some fav. chil. bk. illustrs that particularily inspire you? i haven't even looked at children's books since i was in college...but having kids...they are starting to pour into the house once more. it's so neat to see the stories & the styles that are popping up these days...a lot of computer influence.
so what's the next project :D ? ted is good for thinking up 'assignments' that is 4 sure.
oh geez...don't even bring up potty training! picture the character 'angelica' from the 'rugrats'...remember what her fav. doll, cynthia, looks like? that's how i feel. the only success we had yesterday was when it was just him & i at home alone...guess it's a distraction issue w/ others around.
hi gonzz.
unfortunately i'm going to have to change from my jammies...gotta drive my son to school...but just wait till both are in school & ride the bus!

AFM159 09-29-2004 11:44 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
Excellent poem and illustration, Sketch! That's awesome! My ability to rhyme never got past - there once was a man from Nantucket! :evil:

So you did one, now do five more!


Ted - this spring I adopted a stray dog that a client of mine found. And I had to laugh at your poop exploits, my dog is the only male dog I have ever seen that squats to pee, and the sad part is, he pee's on his front feet!

Sketch22 09-29-2004 12:20 PM

Thanks everyone!
Hey guys, thanks for the encouragement! I appreciate it, really.

DesignbyJen, I don't really know of many children's book illustrators (don't have kids yet, but I have recently gone looking online and found many portfolios online of published illustrators in the children's market to sort of scope out the different styles. I don't feel like my stuff fits the mold, so to speak. I feel like it is too cartoony. Does anyone else think so? I blame comic books! lol

AFM159, I used to have a male dog that squatted to pee, it was pretty sad, occasionally, he would lift one foot about an inch, that was as close as he ever got to being a normal dog! it was like he was afraid he would tip over!

Well, Ted, do I get another assignment? or just do that one 5 more times like AFM suggested? Do you think it looks professional? enough to include in a portfolio? because it is pretty indicitive of my other work.
also, is a rep necessary?

ps. Good luck with the dog. If you spread the word, you an probably find her a home without resorting to the animal control people. Hope it works out.

TedDawson 09-29-2004 08:07 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
No matter what I do, everybody calls my stuff Cartoons. I figure all I can do is just keep doing what comes natural, and eventually I'll find a fit. The way I see it, it call comes down to an individual in the industry who personally likes your style. Doesn't mean I don't wanna grow and try new things, but that happens somewhat naturally as long as you challenge yourself.

Sketchy, whether you use that piece in your portfolio or not is up to you. For myself, I find that anything I drew more than, say, six drawings ago I don't like anymore. But it's good to have about twelve pieces to show. So that means I always have six that I don't think should be in there. Obviously I'm good at driving myself crazy.

As for an art rep, it's kind of catch 22. Most want illustrators who are already published. Regardless, though, I think it depends on whether you can do the PR yourself. That's one of my major weaknesses, so I see value in getting an art rep at this point, especially being, like yourself, so far away from... well, everything except Wal-Mart.

Art reps don't deal with magazines, though, so we hit those ourselves and thus build our cache of tear sheets. Get exposure and learn how to work the page.

I have a list of portfolio suggestions I copied down a while back... lemme see if I can find them.

designbyjen 09-29-2004 09:45 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
as far as children books go here lately...a little mister keeps bringing home 'I Spy' books so i don't get to do much reading...just eyeball frying :eek:

well, finally got this recipe typed in...it was in my hubs. writing so i believe 'T'=tablespoon & 't'=teaspoon. definitely an awesome recipe...very nice to have w/ guests over. we even threw some veggies on the skewers.

Beef Saute' w/ Thai dipping sauce

1/4c soy sauce
1/4c lime juice
2T minced garlic
2T sugar
4t gr. coriander
In med. bowl, whisk all
cut steaks into 1/2 inch cubes; add to marinade cover & refridg. 30min-1hr

dipping sauce
1/4c lime juice
2T water
4t soy sauce
2T minced ginger
2 cloves garlic
1/4t hot pepper flakes
3T olive oil
1T cilantro
Mix: lime juice, water, soy, ginger, garlic & pep. flakes. Add oil slowly whisking together. Add cilantro. Set aside.
Skewer beef & brush w/ oil. Cook. Serve w/ sauce.


Sketch22 09-29-2004 10:33 PM

rural america

Ah yes, wal-mart, that other place I go besides church. Only UY3 minutes away!

TedDawson 09-29-2004 11:09 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
Found the list. Some good things to think about, I think.

-Design and develop a character, which you show from a variety of viewpoints. Demonstrate your ability to keep the character looking consistent. Be specific not generic.

-Develop a picture sequence, in which you tell a visual story. Think in terms of a combination of images that show action, character consistency, and narrative. This can be be mounted together and serve as one sample.

-Compose your illustrations across the double-page spread, demonstrating your awareness of the gutter, the left and right hand page, and the placement of type.

-Include type, whenever possible, as an example of your ability to interpret text and to design your images with type in mind. Anything you can do to show your familiarity with the book form will be helpful.

-Illustrate a book jacket, type included, keeping in mind that this is the most commercial aspect of a book. This sample needs to be eye-catching and aimed at the age-appropriate audience.

-Consider including a picture book dummy, sketches only, of a favorite story. Demonstrate your ability to pace a manuscript, vary your page layouts and enlighten the words with your images.

Sketch22 09-30-2004 12:36 AM

tons of help!
2 Attachment(s)
Wow Ted, you are being so much help, I feel like I owe you a check or something.. lol

That list is awesome! Sounds like I have a lot of work to get started on. I really like those suggestions, it sounds like if I can include all of that, I may have something to really show. Thank you lots!

ok, here is what I have been working on since earlier today.....

I took the piece that I posted earlier, and I changed it into a new look I have been trying, The goal here was to take one of my regular cartoony looking illustrations and make it look less cartoony by getting rid of the line work. instead I spent time with masks and airbrush in photoshop getting the edges to stand out without lines. I also used a grain filter to give it some texture. To me it is getting closer to something I might expect to find in a children's book. Closer, but still probably needs more work.
Do you think this looks good? does it help tone down the cartoonishness? Here is the before and after:

TedDawson 09-30-2004 12:59 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
I like what you're doing there. You've achieved a nice modeled effect on the shoe house and the trees look pretty cool. You might up the contrast a little in Photoshop and see what it looks like. I've relied on lines for so long, I tend to not use enough contrast in my watercolor stuff and it leaves things a little flat.

You've also got lotsa bright colors, which works well and apparently is a GOTTA for children's books and magazines.

I haven't been sure what to think about how "cartoony" stuff fairs in the children's market. Go back a few years, and that's about all there was, but no more. Someone did refer to my stuff recently as "retro," which means maybe the way I've always drawn is starting to come back into fashion. Either that or it means I'm gettin' old. :cool:

Sketch22 09-30-2004 09:43 AM

Ted, Thanks for the tips, I think you are right about the contrast. I am used to the lines carrying the job of making everything stand out clearly. I have to draw with lots of line action and line variation, but with this method, I may be able to develope something that looks more like children's book art.

Oh yeah, I can't seem to use anything But bright colors in my stuff. You should see my paintings!!

The other day I found a directory online of many children's book artists, I went to each one's website and decided whether I even liked their style or not, and if I did, I tried to see what the biggest differences were with mine. I came to a few conclusions, one: not many used solid lines in their work, (those that did had the cartoon look) two: Most have a painted look or texture, like watercolor or colored pencil. I think I can accomplish something good in photoshop if I keep working at it. When someone combined both of those elements with bright colors and a stylized look, I really loved it.

So, if I can find a way to do those things, and apply them to Your portfolio guidlines, I may be on to something! Thanks again for talking with me about this stuff, it is really helping me stay focused on what I want to accomplish.

How does one go about getting an art rep anyway? how is that going?

Axl 09-30-2004 09:52 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
what if you locked the out-line layer, and then simply coloured the liens other colour then black. that could make it look neat too.


i am Getting ready for school right now.

Had a freakky experience last night

3:30 in the morning and I'm lying in bed attempting to sleep since I have class in about half an hour (heh and i'm here in my pajamas)

The DOOR OPENS. and I jump to my feet and I run out into my kitchen/living room and i'm like "WHAT THE ***** HELLO....?"

Obviously I've told you guys before that this place has been broken into in the past. I figured some other idiot was coming to take my stuff. Or better yet beat and rape a 20 year old but anyways. argh. I musta left the door unlocked after work or something, or they picked the lock? I dont know... Anyways.

I run out and there's this lady. Shes rather dazedx and confused and i'm FURIOUS ready to rip the head off of whoever's coming inside. Shes like "RANDY WHERES RANDY" and i'm like "WHO THE **** IS RANDY???*

I yell at her to get out and I shoo her out the door. Then take a moment to realize that she is about as dazed and confused as I am and I ask her if she is alright and if she needs help. I ask if she wants to use the phone and thati dont know where randy lives but I have to sit down on my steps for a moment while My panick attack subsides. She dissapears and I donno where she went.

Anyways. Yeah. Made sure the door was locked and sorta came back in here. Didnt know what to do. I was histerical, but no one was around to be witcness to my freaking out so i ended up just spazing out on myself for a half an hour. then went back to bed. argh.


I'm exhausted. I gotta get ready for school now. I should skip class stay home and sleep - I never retain anythign from history anyways. Actually. *thought* that sounds like a good idea...


Going back to bed.

it'sALLart 09-30-2004 10:20 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
ok, i've lurked long enuf. i'm actually having coffee, so figured i'd chime in.

i've been busy all week getting an old school room ready for a painting show. The building is an old school house that artists have taken over and we're basically in these old rooms that have the old tin ceilings that are rusting because the building was abandoned for about 30 years (built in 1914) and the windows got busted out and then the rain got in and then... well, you know the rest.

anyway, i signed up for this show, saw that there were basically 3 people that were there to get about 15 rooms ready and knew that they'd never get the job done in one week. So on Sunday, i went in to help paint. The old paint is lead and chips off very randomly. However, we didnt have time to scrape the walls clean and thus (since the paint is temporary anyway) we painted over it. i had some old paint left from a gallery I used to run so we used it (terra cotta...hmm.). So, picture me using a roller on a pole with paint chips a-flyin everywhere. oh well, better than scum green walls.

skipped a day but the next day, (tuesday) came in and wired up conduit from wires hanging from the ceiling for easy-cheap track lighting. powerstrips wired to the ceiling and extension cords everywhere.... hope people don't look up too much. then swept and mopped the incredibly dirty wood floor... took many many buckets of water to do this. Dirt from 1914, ya know. Probably lead dust. not good.

next day (wens) I came in and hung the work and the signs and tags... eat snacky lunches and drank wine and listened to tunes while yellow jackets flew in and out of the windows.... they are so pesky this time of year. there's a fellow artist that I rep (carl) that hang his work too and we had a great time just talking and hanging out. I don't get much artist-to-artist time so was greatful for that. "your work is great", "no, your's is so much better", "no, your's is the best because...."... ahh, ego stroking.

today (thurs) is gonna be spent nailing up some trim that was brought in yesterday and putting the rest of the tags up. i'm kinda worried, the other rooms aren't looking too finished yet, so hoping that they get more help in... where are the other artists??? why arent they helping? hmm... i may have to pitch in again.

the opening is friday nite. wish me luck. i'm trying to keep my expectations low but a tiny part of me hopes i will sell something. :)

the best part of my week? i havn't had to do ONE BIT of graphic design. i think i'm copping a bad attitude against commercial work. ok, i'll admit it, i've had a bad attitude against it for about 8 years now. hee hee. :D

Sketch22 09-30-2004 11:31 AM

Axl - wow
Hey Axl, glad you survived your incident. Maybe you should get a baseball bat to keep in the apartment! Then again, that lady could be lying in your foyer by now... Be Careful and Stay safe out there. By the way, were you home the other time someone broke in? I would have freaked out too!

About your suggestion, I actually was thinking of something similar, in fact, I did try that on another piece of art, instead of getting rid of the lines entirely, I made them a color, brown in that case, and also bumped the transparency of that layer down a bit. The result was a much more subtle look. It may be better than the no-line look after all. Maybe I will continue experimenting with both ideas.

ItsAllARt, Good luck on your show tommorrow night. It sounds like it has meant a lot of hard work. It is too bad the other artists aren't as hard-working and conscientious as you are. Hope you sell stuff!

TedDawson 09-30-2004 11:59 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
Hey, Keith, good luck on the show! I know that once the romance of a cool old building turns into reality that it's a pain, but it still sounds great. I wonder if there are any corporations in the area that have grant programs... might be worth checking out.

I know these things are pretty much a matter of If it's gonna get done ya gotta do it yourself. We've got an art association here in B-ville that I joined, and it's like that. Unfortunately it's mostly run by retirees... which is not bad in and of itself, of course, but that makes it not very inclusive. As I get more time to contribute, I want to make an effort to get local high school and college students in. I think that would make it more exciting, and contemporary, and generate more interest from the community and newspapers. Having a special show like that might help put a little spark in your gallery as well.

Axl, Michael Moore said that nobody in Canada locks their door and now I believe him. I read a while back that if you have a squeaky door, don't oil it. All the doors in our house are squeaky, and now I like it that way. Maybe you should get one of those door alarms that you hang on the doorknob?

Sketchy, I dunno about the art rep thing yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Sketch22 09-30-2004 01:09 PM

last time to bother you guys with this one!
ok, I have one more image to show, this is like with Axl's idea, it is the art that I ended up with last time, but with the line layer put back in and made partially transparent. I like it. The reason I am being so persistant about this is that I am trying to choose a consistant look to continue through my entire portfolio, which I am itching to get started on.
I forgot to make the lines a different color, that sounds like a good idea too, maybe next experiment.

Ted, by the way, thanks for telling me about the SCBWI show in Houston, it looks really awesome, I don't know if I can make it, but I would like to.

Also, have you seen the book called PictureBook ? apparently, it is a book that publishers can order and it shows lots of Illustrators specifically for Children's books, you can buy a page in it. You can also get a "portfolio page on their site" you are allowed only 12 images, but it seems like a helpful marketing tool.

Anyway, I went to their site and there was more great info on making your portfolio. The link to the article doesn't seem to work, but you can go to
www.picture-book.com and look at the bottom left side and see the link that says Portfolio Ideas.

Thanks again for all your advice guys.

Sketch22 09-30-2004 01:11 PM

forgot to attach the image...
1 Attachment(s)

I do that with e-mails alot... *feeling dumb*

ok, so here it is:

AFM159 09-30-2004 01:23 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
WOW, Axl, what a night! You might prop a chair against the door, or balance an empty beer bottle on the door knob, that would fall and break when someone tried to get in (like in the movie Conspiracy Theory staring Mel Gibson).

When I was growing up, we never locked our doors and often left the keys in the cars. My parents still do, drives me nuts, they just don't think it'll ever happen to them. I hope it never does.

Good luck on your show, it'sALLart! I hope you sell some art.

Sketch - here's my take on reps. Someone has to promote, market, and sell your work. If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, then maybe a rep is for you. If you can get over and uncomfortableness, then do it yourself. You can get good projects either way. I find more satisfaction doing it myself. I am always in control of how I am represented. A rep will have more than one artist in their bag and I would always be wondering if they were working hard enough for me, and representing me the way I would like. I'm sure most reps are honest and hardworking, and you could probably build a good relationship with one that would make you feel comfortable.

If you think you would prefer to represent yourself but are afraid of putting yourself and your work infront of others, I can completely understand. In the beginning, I was more shy and afraid than any one person had a right to. I was afraid I had nothing of real value to offer, that my skills were not up to professional standards, and other unfounded fears. The only way to beat any fear is to do that thing you fear. I have largely conquered mine and can now sell and market myself and my work quite well. I believe if I could do it, most anyone can.

it'sALLart 09-30-2004 01:26 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
Thanks for the luck Sketch and Ted..... i'm just trying to keep my expectations flatline so that if something good happens, great... also, it's just keeping my art out in the public so that i feel like i'm not sitting at home getting covered in dust, forgotten.

One bit of advice Sketch22: When you send out info and samples of your work, always follow up with a phone call if possible (or email) to help them see that you are serious. I used to be an art director for childrens publications in the late 70's (Turtle, Childrens Playmate, Jack and Jill) and I'd always get tons of mailers but only a few followups. The followups seemed like better business people and thus more reliable in my mind. It totally matters to publishing houses if you are reliable because of the deadlines, so it makes sense to just look as responsible as possible... not that you wouldnt, but just a reminder.

designbyjen 09-30-2004 11:35 PM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
somebody get some water...this thread is gitt'in hot!
sketch...like your last experiment & hope you get time for colored line experiments too. really good how you are researching & making a method for success here. w/ you & ted chatting...there is a wealth of info. coming out that will be found on the search key for a long time to come ;)

ax...since u r in an apt...might wanna consider asking to have the lock changed just incase this person had a key from a past renter...since u r not sure what all happened.

glad u popped in here keith. love what u r doing...sounds exciting. feel free to hang some of your art up here in this 'coffee shop', as it's nice to see what other stuff those w/ illustrative hearts do. i know what ya mean about not wanting to get the hopes up. i've found i've got quite a storehouse of hope myself...i don't know how it gets filled sometimes! *to the tune of dorey on finding nemo...* "just keep painting, painting, painting". i join the bandwagon of well-wishers for a sale. :D


it'sALLart 10-01-2004 01:07 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
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Awww.... Jen, I feel like i've been hugged! thanks for that and thanks also to AFM for the luck.

i was asked to put one of my bigger works on a hallway wall... having to debate which one to hang. and speaking of debate... hee hee.. no, i won't go there! :evil: that's another forum.

oh, and here's a primitive i'm gonna try to offload...

Sketch22 10-01-2004 10:18 AM


Thanks for the advice, I will definately keep it in mind when I do my mailouts later this year. Really, I keep having to print out this thread so I can remember all of the good advice!

I really like your painting, I hope it sells. I was a painter at one time also, I discovered something funny though in the process, I can't bare to part with any of my paintings... It is a good thing I stopped painting, I ran out of space to store canvases. Now I make art quilts. I recently got into quilting, and there is a whole world of new artists out there making art quilts. I paint my own fabric. That helps me feel like my painting skills won't go to waste after all. I want to eventually have enough art quilts to be able to do a show somewhere or get published in a magazine for the medium like Quilting Arts Mag. Have you guys ever seen an art quilt?

Again, Thanks for the info, I am filing it all away, figuratively and literally!

designbyjen 10-01-2004 11:06 AM

Re: Coffee Break! 9/27 - 10/3
It's All Shweet ;) hee hee. i like that piece too. what size & medium is it? it has an oil pastel kinda feel (kyle, a regular in here is an O.P. queen & she'll like this one too).

sketch...a guy i dated in college...his mom did those art quilts for a living. she's probably in books by now: charlotte purrington. she worked w/ dyes, really neat & a huge amount of work involved. absolutely only for display...unless you're rich, dumb & don't mind prematurely aging fine art...the dyes she used were the good permanent kind. is anyone in your locale doing anything like that...if not you could could be a breath of fresh air around there.
oh, i forgot to say...that book you mentioned a while back...that's on my 'to read' list...heard lots of good stuff about it.


Sketch22 10-01-2004 11:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Jen, I did belong to a quilt guild before I moved and very few of the persons involved tried or even liked art quilts, I showed them mine however, and they were very encouraging.

Having an art degree and loving quilting, I have to try. In my new location, there is an art quild, but I haven't been to a meeting yet, there will be one next week.

I would like to dye my own fabrics, most art quilters do, but it takes a lot of time, energy, patience, and planning... I generally have to work quickly and on the spot or I lose focus. I have been actually painting straight on the plain muslin fabric with my old acrylics. Here is my first finished work....

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