I just found out my illustration of a girl dreaming about Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” has been selected for use on the Mo SCBWI’s Fall conference material. I am thrilled, I now will receive a scholarship to attend the conference and will be able to pay for a few critiques.
Click this link to read more about my process and the other ideas I had but didn’t pursue.
Something to think about over the Holidays.
I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. I don’t feel like I have a “style” at this time, yet customers say they come to me for my “style.” Do they come to me for my lack of strong visual style? Do I have a style and not know it? Is my “style” not a technique, but a way of looking at the world.
When I start a project I usually read the book and listen to the author and plan my illustrations around their vision, not mine. Of course, I also add some of my vision to give their ideas uniqueness and vitality. I don’t make their ideas fit into my fixed vision and style. Is this wrong?
I am working on all these issues in my head. I am not asking for personal advice on my work, just a general discussion on having a “style.” Is it necessary to have a “style”? What about the author’s (client’s) vision? Is it important to have a “style” when pursuing a career as a professional illustrator?
I found this blog by Nate Williams and the discussion interesting.
Please add comments below to make this a real discussion for SCBWI so we can help each other with this issue.
Dayne Sislen: www.behance.net/DayneSislenDesign
I am taking a Corel Painter 12 course right now. This is our second to last assignment. I have always used traditional media, but can not image doing a 22″ x 40″ poster in pastel. I think I will start doing my Children’s book illustrations in Painter from now on.
Everything was drawn by hand in Painter except the large headline which was created using my pencil drawing as a template in Adobe Illustrator. The Weird Uncle Logo is a font called Waltogram which was a serendipitous find.
The assignment was to do a vintage B-Movie poster. I wanted to do something very non-Disney and non-cute with Pinocchio. I have always thought Pinocchio was a little evil and dangerous anyway, so decided to do a take on King Kong. Let me know what you think. A larger version is on my blog.
It was such a great conference. I would post mine, but my notes as usual are in shambles. Your notes might help me make sense of my own.
I’m sure we all ended up becoming illustrators of children’s books because we loved picture books as children. I can remember before I was old enough to read, “pretending” to read by memorizing the words that went with the wonderful pictures in my books. I would spend hours looking at the pictures and making up my own stories if I hadn’t memorized the stories in a new book. It was all about the wonderful details and the characters.
I think it would be fun to list our favorite picture books from the time in our lives before we could really read. Can you remember back that far? My favorites (these are all before 1950): The Tale of Peter Rabbit, This Little Piggy, The Little Red Hen, Three little Kittens, Poky Puppy and my all time favorite, Twas’ the Night Before Christmas. Almost all of my beloved books were Little Golden Books, Mom and Dad didn’t have a lot of money, but spending 25 cents for something that would keep me quiet for hours was worth it. Of course, a gallon of gas also costs 25 cents at that time.
Please share your list.
The illustrators of the Missouri chapter of SCBWI have started a Behance.net page to display and promote their illustrations to the world. Only a few members have sent in their information so far. This page will help all of the featured artists to expose their work to more buyers and lovers of children’s book illustration.
Visit http://www.behance.net/SCBWI-MO to see our projects. Go down to the bottom of each illustrator’s project page to click the appreciation button. You can also leave comments.
If you would like to be included on the SCBWI-MO Behance page, you may send your information and images or links to SCBWI.MO@gmail.com. I will set up your project page. Sorry, this Behance page is limited to SCBWI illustrator members living in Missouri only. If members in Kansas are interested I can help you start your own Behance.net page.
I wrote earlier that I had a very informative critique from Paul O. Zelinsky. He mentioned things that I could clearly see were problems, once he pointed them out. I wanted to start all over and have a redo the minute I read the critique. Well, I got my chance. The early reader paperback book ”Madeline Delilah, Extraordinarily, Ordinary” will be going into its third printing very soon. I was given the chance to make minor changes to the cover art and the placement of a few of the interior illustrations. I jumped at the chance.
You can see a side by side comparison of the two covers at this link to my blog: http://wp.me/p2Av8t-1n
The Illustration was created in watercolor on paper, but corrected in Adobe Photoshop. Let me know if you think I improved the cover.
I am a new member of SCBWI. I recently asked to have a Virtual Illustration Critique by Paul O. Zelinsky of my newest children’s book illustration for “Madeline Delilah, Extraordinarily, Ordinary” written by Mariah Richardson. I think I’m pretty tough, and criticism doesn’t bother me. I’m a professional after all.
The critique I received from Mr. Zelinsky was very well written and very detailed. I could tell there was a lot of thought put into it. There was a lot of encouragement and positive feed back, which made me happy of course, but there was also some very well placed criticism and strong suggestions.
I think the reason I felt sensitive about the criticism is because some of the specific areas of criticism were about the very areas that I was a little uncomfortable with all along. In other words I knew in my mind there were problems that I hadn’t quite worked out, but I went ahead anyway. He felt some of my images were static, that I should push the images, perspectives and emotions further to make everything more exciting, dramatic and interesting. Yes, I agree, now I see it all, can I start all over, can I have a redo?
I have learned something very important. Always go that extra mile (heck, that extra ten miles) to make your illustrations perfect in all ways. You will hopefully have a very big audience someday and you will want to be proud.
See my brand new wordpress blog: www.daynesislendesign.wordpress.com
Also see my Web site Portfolio: www.daynesislendesign.com