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Old 09-29-2004, 12:21 AM
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TedDawson TedDawson is offline
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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

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.
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Old 09-29-2004, 01:47 AM
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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
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Old 09-29-2004, 09:46 AM
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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 ? 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!
~~~jen
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Old 09-29-2004, 11:44 AM
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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!

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!
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Old 09-29-2004, 12:20 PM
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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.
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Old 09-29-2004, 08:07 PM
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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.
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Old 09-29-2004, 09:45 PM
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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

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

marinade
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.

~~~jen
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Old 09-29-2004, 10:33 PM
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rural america

Ted,

Ah yes, wal-mart, that other place I go besides church. Only UY3 minutes away!
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Old 09-29-2004, 11:09 PM
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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.
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Old 09-30-2004, 12:36 AM
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tons of help!

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:
Attached Images
  
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Old 09-30-2004, 12:59 AM
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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.
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Old 09-30-2004, 09:43 AM
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thanks

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?
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Old 09-30-2004, 09:52 AM
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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.
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Old 09-30-2004, 10:20 AM
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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.
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Old 09-30-2004, 11:31 AM
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Sketch22 Sketch22 is offline
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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!
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