Recent day job work. Nothing like cranking out seasonal imagery before lunch to help condense the holiday season.
On an unrelated note, I'm totally loving this song and video at the moment:
Friday, November 20, 2009
Ahoy! It's Friday again and this week I'm meeting my self-imposed deadline at a more respectable time than last with another fun-filled piece of children's book-type art! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Tag! My tribute to what seems likely to be the first game of human civilization. Who among us doesn't love a good game of tag? (full disclosure: I actually didn't care for the game much myself between the spring of 1979 and the summer of 1981 as I was constantly "it" on account of my being an awkward lad with a big head and short legs making it nearly impossible for me to catch my opponents. Overcoming these obstacles, I did later regain my love of the chase.)
Based on another book concept that I have, this piece was a lot of fun to finally bring to life. Initially I didn't have any ideas for the finished look of the illustration but I knew I wanted it to be somewhat different from most of my other work. The one word that came to mind was "texture", so I tried to bring in more textures than I usually do. At my day job I've been doing more work with colored line work rather than black (for some reason people associate black lines with "cartoony" which apparently adults think is bad, even though we produce things for kids, who love cartoons. That's a whole 'nother post.) So I did it here and I really liked the result.
In other news, I spent a lot of this week trying to figure out my next promo mailer.I was planning on just putting together a small packet with a few color copies, maybe some postcards. Then I was listening to the fantastic Big Illustration Party Time podcast (hosted by Kevin Cross and Joshua Kemble) episode 39 in which the hosts, along with Thomas James of Escape from Illustration Island (an equally fantastic podcast that I have mentioned before) were discussing, among other things, possible alternative revenue streams for illustrators to pursue. Kevin Cross had mentioned the idea of printing up some quality art books that could be sold to fans but could also do double duty as a portfolio that could be sent to clients. This got me thinking about maybe doing something along those lines but on a smaller scale. So what I'm working on now is a small, printed book, digest sized with maybe four pages in it. While it would still be just a few samples it might be a more cohesive, well designed package as a book. That's the theory anyhow. I had hoped to have something to show, but I'm still designing it.
I'm thinking about doing them through maybe a print-on-demand outlet like Ka-Blam (as mentioned by Mr. Cross on BIPT) or finding somewhere I can do a short print run at a decent rate. If anyone who happens across this page has had good experiences with any of the various printing resources out there, feel free to drop me a line.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Back on track! For the most part, I'm about a half hour shy of midnight, but it's finished! This week's piece is a mocked up cover for a book concept I had the other day. The title of the book, in case it's hard to read on this low res version is, "Chicken Nugget: The Greatest Dog in the World Ever by Chicken Nugget". Without giving too much of the plot away it's basically the autobiography of a little dog named Chicken Nugget who is so full of himself that he really thinks he's the greatest dog in the world. Judging by the expressions on the faces of the townsfolk, his is not the majority opinion. I don't usually place type on pieces like this but I think the composition would look really odd with out it, as it's kind of central to the whole thing. As always, any crits and comments are welcome.
For the week ahead I plan on continuing sketches and prep work for the next Princess Candy book as well as dive into some much needed self promotion. Hopefully in next week's post I can share what sort of sample packet I'm working on. It's my intent to send a decent package to some publishers that I'd really like to work with. I'll let you know how it all goes down.
For now, it's totally bed time.
Thanks for reading!
Sunday, November 08, 2009
When I decided I would start doing this weekly exercise to build my portfolio I told myself that I would post something even if a particular week went awry. I said to myself, "Self, if we're going to do this, we've go to do it warts and all... good, bad and even ugly. 'Cause that's how life is self... it aint always pretty. You an' me gotta keep it real."
When I had this discussion with myself, I didn't actually think this was going to happen on week two.
I could go in to some litany of excuses, but who wants to hear that? The one legit reason I have is that paying work has to come first and that's basically what happened here. I had some gigs that I had to work on and I didn't have enough time for this image. So, when I had some computer issues, I didn't have the time to recoup and bust this sucker out.
That's why I blew it on Friday.
As to what happened this weekend, I have no idea. I've been trying to get this thing done and colored up but I just haven't been feeling it. So after many false starts and missteps on the colors I'm deciding to pack it in and call it a night. Doing so gives me that slammed with a 90 mph dodge ball in the gut feeling too, but sometimes it's not worth slogging through a piece just to get a crappy result when you can get back to it later with a clear head. Sad but true.
The above image is of the finished inks and represents the last phase of the project in which I looked at it and thought it was ok. When I get it finished up I'll post it.
Next week, something completely different. (ie. a finished piece and maybe more coherent thoughts)