Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pattern Shmattern

More illustration for IF: Pattern. I could not help myself this week.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In the dog house

Doing a little freelance project for a customers save the date card. She wants a casual wedding, but of course there are parents involved and they need a song and dance. So there are save the date cards, but the compromise is what is on the cards:I have found my portraits. But really talk about the cutest save the date card. The parents must be thrilled.

Recognizing the patterns (IF: Pattern)

1. A poodle among sheep
Poodles are embarrassing there is no getting around it.

2. Creatures of their surroundings
I live among cats so it is hard to separate myself from them even when I am trying to escape into my imagination.

new paint old tricks

On the suggestion of a certain mentor I am revisiting an old concept. She liked the idea but felt there was a certain heavy handedness. I decided to reprise it and maybe change the concept direction a bit. I think this works better than the last.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Feeling blue

I have been setting some goals for myself since recent bleh of being undervalued. I have a lead on a potential freelance job, but until it is secured I am not going to talk about it except to say that it is a national ad campaign. I have found any time I talk about something is turns into nothing or something disappointing. I am not superstitious just being cautious.
In a couple of days I go to Canada and with me I am bringing two new watercolor blocks, a watercolor pad, a new watercolor friendly sketchbook, a new watercolor brush (a free is really nice but made out of squirrel hair...ew), and I might get a new palette sponge. I have a small palette with a stay wet sponge that is so old it is disintegrating.
One of the great things about working in gouache is the relative low supply cost. Once you have the paint (which is expensive upfront dont get me wrong a .47 fl oz tube can be as much as 16 dollars), the paper is relatively cheap or can be and one can get a pack of brushes for 4 dollars at Michaels or other craft stores. The quality of brushes does not affect the quality of work in my opinion and you can make a palette from a damp paper towl and a tupper ware if you choose.
I happen to have a stock pile of matte board from PC which deals with paint better than the textured water color paper. I think you can even buy remnants of matte board at framing stores, or photography studios.

Lalalaaa, back to work.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

in the red

Oh fashion week. The Sartorialist said it best (check out saturday august 29th).

B artist

I recently was scouted by a start up company: Company X is a children`s media company focused on developing educational content. Company X creates and develops content for children of all ages, with a particular focus on the pre-K and K-6 ages.

It sounded like a great opportunity so I submitted some sample work as they asked. The illustrations were not my best but they were very literal to the point and fit what the client was looking for. They said they wanted to hire me and sent me a contract. I mulled over it for awhile and came to the conclusion that the compensation was not adequate.

Here is the letter I sent them:
Thank you both so much for contacting me about this great opportunity. Unfortunately, after further consideration I am going to have to pass on this job. I think the project is a great idea and I admire that you want unique illustrations and not stock illustration. I am aware that you are a start up, but as an independent artist I think that the compensation is not adequate. 14-20 dollars an illustration (excluding any time for revisions) is very low for original work where there is no potential for royalties.
I am sorry for the inconvenience.



I think its hard to turn down work. I am a struggling artist, but I am also selling work at the coffee shop almost every day even if its just a greeting card. I think knowing that helped me determine that my work is worth more and I would be making about what I make at the coffee shop I work at if not a bit less. I think my free time could be better spent, but I also felt greedy and entitled when I made my decision. I think paying ones dues is important, but taking less than an artist should be payed also makes it acceptable for an artist to be payed less. Clip art and stock illustration has made it hard enough for artists, photographers, and designers to make money on original work. Why would a company pay for original work when they could get stock for 1/5th the price. Of course, when a company (usually young with a small budget) decides they want original work they offer what they would consider reasonable if the image was stock. I think determining ones worth is very important as an artist, but I also think your worth reflects on the whole community. Selling yourself short sells the community short.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Welcome to the jungle

Illustration Friday: Welcome.
JJ thinks this is creepy...but really creepy and cute are so close...I mean really.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Another Strong suggestion (ill. friday)

Another one for the books.

New sketchbook or thoughts

I have actually managed to fill all of my small sketchbooks! This is a great feat that I am very happy to have completed however it left me without a sketchbook...odd sensation. I was dappling in the unlucrative art of book making for awhile and decided to make myself a new one. After a battle of the sopo it is complete and here is its cover.
I have been feeling a little out of sort lately. I have been working on some projects and have been making me feel a little stale in the art department. I know this is silly because all my free time is taken up by art. I guess I am used to having some amazing breakthrough every couple months from school, but right now I feel a bit like I am in a couple of styles with no real new developments. This is fine, but I thought evolving as an artist meant some change. Anyway, I am going to take a class Tuesday evenings. It's just figure drawing, but I think I need a change of pace. I am putting too much pressure on myself to be creative, clever, and Milton Glaser. If I like the class I might see if I can find an illustration class somewhere in this big city. I want to get assignments and do weird exercises. Anyway, for now I am going to go work on the projects I do have and maybe cut some more paper.

ps- I am in the market for a sketchbook that has paper that can handle watercolors (because who can have too many sketchbooks!). I would prefer something cheaper than watercolor paper, but with the ability to hold color and not fall apart...and preferably at least 50 sheets. Any suggestions?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

green legs and spam

Illustration Friday: strong

little literal, but I'm feeling literal today.

Friday, September 4, 2009

a squeegee on both your houses

So my Epson 1250 perfection scanner died today. It is old...from college old. It was on clearance for 24 dollars. Over the years it has developed this weird creaking noise when it scans it sounds something like a dry squeegee being dragged along a window, but it works. Today, midscan it made this clunk clunk noise and then nothing. I opened the lid and the scanning mechanism tried to move like a wounded squirrel. The pole that holds it on its axis had fallen out of place. It was a sad moment. The idea of having to buy another scanner at full price broke my heart. So I did something I would only have been able to do if I wasn't completely sure the scanner was broken.
I got out the screwdriver and opened up my scanner. I took the top off, popped the spoke back into space, used some duct tape to make sure it stays put, and then put it back together.

behold the first page of my childrens book. This is only the first color comp. I have a feeling the dog might be a different color, but my scanner works squeegee noise and all!

(amendment: I forgot to mention that JJ aided in the taking apart of my scanner. Without her help and suggestion of the butter knife you would looking at a screen without images....something I do not condone. I was lame to not give her credit. I almost became Julie from Julie & Julia and we CANNOT have that....horrible

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

quick update

Lots of projects and not time. I am in the midst of working and trying to keep up with all the soft commitments I have made to illustration blogs. I am going to buckle down Friday (my day off) and really get some good work done.
I did happen to finish the sketches for my children's book. Now to the writing and then actual painting of pages.
Off to sleep land.

This weekend's fruits

I was at a farm with parrots and dogs this weekend and did a little sketching. yay. Ok there is more coming.