Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday

Happy New Years to Everybody!!!

Today I'm gonna share an amazing find!

Animation/Film Student Daniel Caylor(pictured below), has posted on his blog the contents of the Famous Artists School Correspondence Class 1960. What is the Famous Artists School? The Wiki page desribes it as follows:

"Famous Artists School has offered correspondence courses in art since it was founded in 1948 in Westport, Connecticut, U.S.A. The idea was conceived by Albert Dorne as a result of a conversation with Norman Rockwell. For the founding faculty, Dorne recruited John Atherton, Austin Briggs, Stevan Dohanos, Robert Fawcett, Peter Helck, Fred Ludekens, Ben Stahl, Al Parker, Norman Rockwell, Ben Stahl, Harold von Schmidt and Jon Whitcomb. All were making more than US$50,000 a year at the time, roughly equivalent to US$425,000 in 2006.[1] Later faculty included cartoonists Al Capp, Milt Caniff and Rube Goldberg. Advisory faculty for the school later included Stuart Davis, Ben Shahn, Fletcher Martin, Ernest Fiene, Arnold Blanch and Doris Lee."

The compilation of this course is hard to find. So Daniel Caylor taking the time to purchase, scan and upload it's contents for the betterment of the art community is a huge blessing. Please drop by the blog to offer Daniel your thanks! And enjoy the download from these Masters of our industry!



P.S. On another historical note in regards to the state of our industry. Looking at the equivalent of what those artists made compared to now is astounding!! Granted there are still some artists that make these amounts, but most not without a significant amount of marketing and licensing. But the other element is that a lot of these artists were Rock-stars, household names in their times. When people saw their artwork they knew who did it and remembered them and talked about them. Kids cut the images out and put them on their walls.

Today people still see and acknowledge beautiful artwork, but they don't care or acknowledge the genius behind their creation. So many amazing artists that only we have the joy of knowing and recognizing their names. Those type of people are my celebrities. And they deserve to be paid and treated like it!

I have fan moments whenever I get an e-mail or response on my blog from someone who's artwork inspires me and gives leaps to my imagination. In a way, some of the changes are to my and your benefit. Were our artists regarded in the same way as Norman Rockwell, I doubt they would have the time to respond to every artist who aspires to be as great as them some day. (They would be over run with letters! Though I don't think they would mind it too much!)

So please make use of the changes that this world has brought. We are closer than ever to our heroes, muses and teachers. Let them know that their hard work and talent is not going unappreciated. That they bring you inspiration with all that they do. Our artists today may not be making six figure salaries, but we can let them know that they are helping to bring in the next generation of artists and visionaries.

Happy New Year guys and ladies!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Beulah's Red Boots and Magic Lasso

Remember this image from WAYYYYYYY back. Well I wanted a break from Chef John so I decided to start finishing this up. The WIP is below. I think I have the background done and need to finish off the main character and add in the others. The little girl to the left is named Beulah. And yes she is as strange as her name. This image is her having a playdate with another little girl, Beatrice(to the right). Who is dead set on making Beulah dress and act like a proper, young lady! Well you can see how well things are going! LOL!

The image below is with a white fade added that would allow for type. This would be a double page spread. Let me know if you think it's necessary or not. Thanks guys!!

As always click for bigger images. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday if I don't check back in before then!!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hey Good Lookin' Whatcha Got Cookin'

Another finish of one of the Chef John Sketches.
This one is a lot more static and not as interesting as the others. While this shows the character, it's not really a portfolio piece per se. But it does what it's supposed to, I guess. I think it feels kinda cramped a bit to me. Like it needs room to breathe and all the elements are just squished together. Maybe I'm wrong. Let me know!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday

My post on this Wisdom Wednesday is about a Blog/Podcast that I enjoy listening to on a weekly basis. Escape from Illustration Island. I have been a fan of it since it's inception! The website is described as follows on their website:

Escape From Illustration Island is the brainchild of Thomas James, an Illustrator located in Portland, Oregon who works tirelessly to provide useful content, encourage community participation, and help Illustrators escape their isolation through this site and its audio accompaniment, the Escape From Illustration Island Podcast. Although Thomas is responsible for the creation and maintenance of EFII, he shares the credit for its success with the many Illustrators who contribute and interact with each other on a daily basis. You can find Thomas’s Illustration work at

Of great interest to Children's Book Illustrators is a recent podcast interviewing Holli Conger, the prolific Children's Market Illustrator and owner of multiple websites including, but not limited to;

I highlighted Holli's work earlier in my blog and it was great to hear her interviewed on this podcast and hear of her experiences and wisdom. Definitely take some time to drop by EFII, you won't regret it!


Chef John and the Runaway Produce Section

Hello again folks.

After I post this image I think you will understand why I may never want to see another fruit or vegetable again as long as I live!! LOL!! But no, not really. This is the next Chef John illustration. So far I have three done, but I think I may drop one of them in favor of something else. Below are the other stages I've posted as I've progressed. The last is the "final" image. I still may tweak it some more depending on the feedback I get. And I intend to add it to my webpage by this weekend, Then it's off to the next image of John. Which will probably be the one of him over the pot!!)

Please click on illustration to see a larger and clearer image.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Heya Folks!!

Another Chef John piece is in the bag!! I was very proud of this one because, "Ooh look a background!!!" LOL! I had to go back to my perspective learning's of yore to lay out everything and get the floor tiles and counters correct. Time consuming, yes, but also very rewarding. It makes me more confident with the final product! I'm glad to be done with this one and able to post it up! The older version was put up in this post. Do you like it better now guys?

I'll be either revisiting the previous Chef John piece or removing it entirely and doing a different one for the third in this series. I don't think I need two pieces with Chef John and the fruit dancing behind him. I think the one I'm working on now is more impactful and cancels out the initial one I'd done. I also have a friend working on a script to go with the story! So fun stuff all the way around.

The next Chef John piece is in progress and I posted the WIP below. And I look to finish it up by the end of the weekend. After that I need to work on some more interior images and narrative pieces. I see a classroom picture or family eating dinner in my future!!

I thought I knew all my fruits and veggies but I found myself wanting to go to a market to get ideas for other things to fill the spaces. I want to have fruits and veggies that kids can look at the images and easily identify. I wouldn't think that anything too exotic would be a good idea. The most exotic I'm going is jalapeno peppers and mangoes.

I have also composed my first mailer. And after much research I have decided to go with Premium Postcard. I like having the ability to send as many as I like (print on demand) And that I can upload my mailing list and quickly and easily send out mailers to a variety of clients. You know make an educational publisher mailing list and a children's magazine mailing list. I won't have to order a gazillion of em and just have them sitting around staring at me!

The only drawback is that I definitely foresee me needing to have some postcard size samples to have handy for submission packets and portfolio reviews. But this service should allow me to get my mailers out quickly and specialize who they go to with a much smaller investment on my part.

I just sent myself the first one just to see how they look before I send them to potential clients. I'll post here to let you guys know how they come out!!

I also found a couple of AWESOME blog posts where some Illustrators gave a lot of great information on how they go about creating and mailing there mailers. Check em out when you get the chance!!

Aja Wells-Great blog in general from this great Illustrator!! She always puts up lots of great information and wonderful insight into her process. Definitely check her out!

Holli Conger-What an inspiring and amazing artist she is! Once again, full of information and insight. We can learn a lot by watching the process and success of others!!

Later later guys and gals!!