Thursday, September 30, 2010

Homework & links!

Hey everyone!
It was great seeing all your different band characters last class, I'm really looking forward to your Rolling Stone illustrations with them.
Remember: Vertical, at least 8.5x11, no text, color.

Blog assignment: 5 5-minute observational sketches of people (not just faces-- sit outside and watch people, or sketch your roommate, etc.) DRAW A RECTANGLE for each sketch and compose your sketch in the rectangle. That way you're not only observationally drawing, you're exercising your compositional muscles as well.

For the 3 people presenting next week: pick 2-3 illustrators you like (try to find at least one from another era/decade) and do a quick & informal presentation on them-- show us some of their work (from a portfolio site or images dragged into Preview) and tell us a little bit about them. Try to find professional illustrators, not just someone with a deviantart account. Besides, here are some sites with great illustrator resources (for past and present):

Golden Age of Comic Book Stories (has a lot of great older book illustrators, not just comic artists)
Illustrateurs (french site, generally fantasy-ish or comic illustrations from past and present)
Meathaus (more of an "alternative art" feel)
Illustration Mundo (a bunch of present-day illustrators)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Under-Bridge Troll Sketches

My five sketches for the "Under-Bridge Troll".
I probably should have included some sort of scale reference... that one on the bottom right is a very tiny troll.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Character Sketches

For this blog assignment I chose "Powerful Monarch" to explore with my 5 sketches

Chris Sasaki

image (c) Chris Sasaki
I just found this guy yesterday--he's worked for a bunch of different animation companies, but he's at Pixar right now. His character work is fantastic!
Check out his blog!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Walter Wick talk & Class Assignment

Hey guys! You have the assignment sheets, so I'm not going to go into too much detail...just remember, for class next week, band sketches, and on the blog-- 5 varied shape-based sketches (going off one of those character types).

Here's some of the artists we looked at in class:
Rad Sechrist also has a fantastic "how-to" blog for character development/storyboarding.
Annette Marnat
Fabien Mense
Kris Anka
Mindy Lee

Plus here's a great little comic on some quick character drawing lessons done by MY character development teacher, Brian Ralph!

ALSO-- here are some websites I use for finding reference photos: (general photos, can input specific search queries) (historic photos) (modern design in furniture & interior decorating)

Also also, is an all-around fantastic illustration resource. It's the premier illustration blog, and they showcase all sorts of stuff--artists, inspiration, events, books, videos, everything about the illustration world. I recommend checking up with it often, and you can search or browse its archives for stuff like "ideas" "typography" "how-to" "process" and come up with all sorts of great things.

The Walters Art Museum and MICA's Illustration Department present:

Walter Wick at the Walters. A Special Talk for MICA students by Walter Wick.

On the occasion of his exhibit Games, Gizmos and Toys in the Attic ( Walter Wick has agreed to give a lecture and answer questions from MICA students.

The event will take place on Friday September 17 at 3:30 PM at the Auditorium of the Walters Art Museum.

Attendance to the lecture and exhibit is mandatory for all Illustration majors. This is a free event at walking distance from campus.

Just walk over and meet at the Walters, here's the directions from MICA:

MICA - Maryland Institute College of Art 1300 West Mount Royal Avenue Baltimore, MD
1. Head southeast on W Mt Royal Ave toward W Lanvale St 0.4 mi
2. Turn right at N Charles St 0.5 mi
3. Turn right at N Charles St/Washington Pl 0.2 mi
Walters Art Museum 600 N Charles St Baltimore, Maryland

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Dislike: Gaston Caba

Gaston Caba's work, while interesting, immediately made me feel disoriented. His colors are startlingly garish, and his compositions lack a sense of finesse. His piece, "Gaston Custom" seems to be a jumble of his characters thrown wildly into a speckled background created with simple gradients. His drawn work has that familiar feeling of being 'photoshopped.' Perhaps it is the lack of depth in his images that offsets me, for all of the images (although some do overlap) appear to be in relatively the same plane, which detracts from his work (in my opinion). Some of his other piees such as "Brown Office" and "At the Window" combine his cartoon characters with reality for an interesting effect. However, the overall style from his cartoons just comes off as creepy in the new setting. He says that he specializes in bringing strong concepts, but the only concepts I could see from the given work were pretty straightforward. There is so much going on in some of his pieces, that it is near impossible to ascertain what one of these brilliant concepts may have been! It would be interesting to see some of his other work, especially in more traditional mediums.

like: Jason Mecier

When I first saw Mecier's work, I saw beautiful portraits of famous people. It was not until I looked more closely that I noticed the unique manner in which these portraits were constructed. By utilizing hundreds of everyday (and not so everyday) objects, this artist is able to make amazingly accurate portraits, in full color! Not only are the objects very well chosen, they also tend to reflect the personality or accomplishments of the people being portrayed. (Condolezza Rice constructed from different colored rice) There is an excellent sense of color here, especially when I realize that all of these color are being made by different objects. My favorite piece by this artist has to be the portrait of Pink. The jumble of nail polish, buttons, cell phones, pens, tape, feathers, tooth brushes and combs comes together to illustrate this famous popstar. The expression is captured wonderfully and the subtlety of the pink in her hair is beautifully crafted. What makes me love this artist so much, is that he was not afraid to stray from traditional methods of illustration. By straying, he was able to really stand out and make collages that are truly extraordinary.


The first expression was just “Wow” when I first saw her works. Kimi Kimoki is the illustrator I like the most from Illustration Now! Her use of color is very impressive and astonishing. For example, one of her works in the book, “Untitled” appeared in Bijouterie Frojo Ginette NY, portrays softness of the media she used, different light values, and reality we all live in. Kimi Kimoki said, “Create a fiction in which the characters and objects are suspended between illusion and truth.” All of her works contain this idea of creating fictional characters existing in reality. Kimi kimoki successfully highlighted the beauty that which our view tends to trivialize. These girls from each painting can be easily found in our lives. However, by beautifying them Kimoki demonstrated her intention to emphasize the beauty of trivial parts in daily life. I personally like to use watercolor and that is one of the reasons I picked Kimi Kimoki as my favorite illustrator. How she depicted girl’s hair is smooth and silky. I also enjoyed how her works are very vivid and bright. Especially I like how she blended the color that it looks realistic. But the background is mostly shaded in grayscale which helps the audience to focus on the characters. Overall, I was amazed by her use of color and blending skills.

It was hard for me to find an illustrator whom I dislike. All the works in Illustration Now! inspire me. However, I had to say Antoine Helbert is my least favorite illustrator. I personally like realistic illustration although not everyone agrees with me. Even though Antoine Helbert is a skillful artist and I can tell that by how detailed his works are, his concept is very confusing. His works make me wonder what his intention is. He said, “My creation is made up of contemporary and past references combined on the canvas and the screen,” I still do not understand the idea behind his works. The idea of combining a human and an animal somewhat disturbs me. While he uses a flat background similar to Kimoki, I find that too simple. At least Kimi Komoki shaded in order to distinguish the character from the background, Antoine Helbert did not even try. Also the composition is the same throughout his works. At least the works appeared in the book show only one composition. I wonder why he only portrays upper body when he could draw the whole figure so the viewer can get little more sense of what the concept is. Overall, I would not say I dislike Antoine Helbert, but his idea is too conceptual for me to appreciate. 

Like and Dislike

So here I go procrastinating. Bear with me and my horrible writing...

Artist I like:
This was difficult for me to choose from the Illustration Now! book, because every artist stands out in their own style. Everybody in that book has something amazing going on. But so far, the one artist that doesn't leave my mind is Gez Fry. His style to me is some sort of morph between anime with something realistic, which is what I deeply long for: developing a style of my own. Looking at Fry's work gives me some sort of hope or dream, possibly because the color scheme and composition in every piece makes me want to be there. I wish to achieve perspective like him too. This Fry guy can really draw. But that's not saying that nobody else can illustrate just as well as him; I mean that Fry has a style where it's not 100% cartoon/anime, and it's not just people that he draw/create. Take a look at the first piece on page 100, there's his work Ginza. That's a good looking city right there. I don't know if Fry started drawing realistically or not when he took interest in art, but Ginza shows me that he can draw really well. That takes a shit load of practice to make it look that good.

Artist I dislike:
The dislike section is no picnic for me, but I managed to find this one artist. The name is Shout. If you take a look at Shout's artworks, it's very minimal and empty with very few color scheme (which is ironic considering the name). The artist did say something about how the details in each pieces aren't all included so that the viewers will only go straight to the core of the concept; not searching for any details. Even if Shout's goal is to leave us with the essence of his art, (rather than how the work looks like, composition, detail, etc.), I still want more. I feel so lonely looking at Shout's artworks, but the quietness of it makes me want to go over there, and pretty much shout. Then I'd run away from it; some places that are too quiet or too empty can get scary. It reminds me of that one movie, 28 Days Later, the protagonist shouts "HELLLLLOO" in his empty city, and within that empty cities are zombies. After looking at Shout's work, I don't know if it's the good kind or bad kind of loneliness/quietness, but I don't want to look at it for a long time. I don't even know if I want to talk about this anymore.

Like / Dislike : Illustration Now!

Like: Maira Kalman (p.154)

The use of this illustrator's color and composition really struck
out to me when I looked through this book. Kalman's use of shaped
color tones and simple brush strokes really brings out the mood and
the atmosphere in which the illustrations are set. Each one of her works
that are shown in this book seem to represent a nostalgia; a long
lost memory or thinking. The setting of the room (155) where the whole page
is set in a tone of pinks and oranges bring out a sense of warmth and
"filled" feeling which contradicts the rolled up and covered furniture.
Just the way how Kalman expresses her thoughts through simple
techniques in color helps me develop as an artist.

Dislike: Herr Mueller (p.206)

As I looked through all the artists in this book, it seemed to me that
Mueller as well as a few others came out as an artist who I simply could
not understand. His queer works of mainly disturbing (personally) images
seemed to end in just "scaring" the viewer. Although there were other
pieces of work in the book that did present some unpleasant images, at least
they had a deeper meaning in which the viewer (I) could conclude to. But
in Mueller's pieces they just seemed to be random thoughts and arrangements;
the piece Tiger conveys no meaning what so ever. The pair of running tiger shoes,
the foot that tries tripping his pathway, the crowd cheering in the background,
and the stitched up rabbit doll in the corner seems all random and misleading.
It just disturbs me how in Mueller's work the meaning / message that the artist
is trying to express is fully not understood.

artist I liked and disliked (revised)

One Illustrator I like is Ilovedust because of their unique style, bold color, and how their work is founded is traditional artistic principles. Essential to stand out in the Illustration world, style means having one's own repeated symbols and imagery like a calling card, having a unique handling of tools, and a unique color palette. Ilovedust executes all these things with great proficiency and completion. For example; the repeated imagery of bicycles, the synthetic color palette, and consistent line quality and lighting carry the identity of the illustrator through each piece. As for the technical execution, Ilovedust has strong, complex compositions with visual pathways of color and value leading the viewer's eye through each picture. Perspective and point of view are also utilized. The images aren't always from a conventional POV, but sometimes from definitively high or low positions, and the architecture is consistently founded on accurate perspective. Linework also is used to tie the picture together. Although so subtile that they just define edges for the most part, line connects everything in the picture to the edges of the format like a finely woven fabric. Line and shape variety is also works to differentiate objects in space, such as the difference between geometric and organic shapes, and line thickness that brings objects to the foreground.

One Illustrator I found that I dislike is Ginger Nielson. To me the art looks passive, boring, and poorly executed. The drawings look to soft and sloppy; children's illustration, just as with any other form, should be exciting and thoughtful. Another thing that bothers me is that it is very obviously drawn on a tablet; good art should be like a magic trick and make the viewer wonder how it was done. There is no consideration of visual pathways; or if there is it feels awkward and static. Line quality is inconsistent and weak; I like strong clean lines and these look sketchy and lacking in energy. I wish the thickness of the lines corresponded with the objects in space, but it looks random, further flattening the pictures. Everything looks as though it wasn't done from observation but a from a vague memory. For most of the pictures I can't tell if the drawing is intended to be flat like or a cartoon, or if space is attempted. Although there is some perspective, the background is brought forward by loud patterns or textures, flattening the picture. There are moments of pictures I enjoy, but I keep wishing they were finished more.


Looking through my Illustration Now! textbook I saw a few artist that I really enjoyed, but one that really stood out to me was Nishant Choksi. When I first saw his illustrations the colors really stood out to me and drew me too them. They have the feel of illustrations from the 1950’s, which really appeals to me, but he also manages to keep them modern enough that they don’t appear to be dated. They have a slightly aged and ‘vintage’ feel to them that I love. He uses contrasting, limited color extremely effectively to put emphasis only on the main parts of the piece, such as dark blue and orange and teal. I also really like his use of flat, stylized colors, because that is something I like to attempt in my own work. His linework is very minimal which really enhances the pieces’ simplicity, and draws your eye where he wants. I also enjoy his use of action lines in his pieces because I feel like they add a lot of movement to pieces that could otherwise be very static. Lastly, I just love the subjects of many of his pieces because they all seem to be somewhat science related, and I especially love his ‘Moon Explorer’ piece.

It was harder for me to choose an artist that I really didn’t like, because most of the Illustrators that I didn’t enjoy had at least one piece that I liked. However, I ended up choosing Jasper Goodall for my least favorite artist, mostly because of one set of illustrations of his that I found pretty ugly. His first piece is the work that is on the front cover, but there’s just something about it that doesn’t quite catch my interest. I think it looks like vector art (which it may or may not be, but I’m not sure), which I am not in general a fan of. I also think the colors are a little too blatant and don’t really quite work with each other. I also don’t really like the bathing suits that he designed for the same reason. Lastly, the final pieces shown of his work were probably my least favorite from the entire book. To me they looked as if they were really trying too hard, and aesthetically I found them to be extremely unattractive. The use of hot pink and lime green seems very amateurish to me, and overall they seemed very cliché. I think my dislike of his work really stems from differing aesthetic values.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Illustrator Like and Dislike

Kimi Kimoki

Many styles in the “Illustration Now!” book appeal to me but one that stood out the most for me was Kimi Kimoki. Most of her works have a photographic realism about them yet it’s still quite easy to tell that they are in fact just illustrations. The approach that she takes to her work intrigues me. Take for example, the second example of her work the book shows called “Untitled” that appeared in Coming Up Magazine. While the woman’s figure is outlined, the mark is subtle and I found I didn’t really notice it until put the image right up to my eyes. I liked how it gave definition without being too overwhelming and bold. Maybe the most obvious reason I was drawn to her works, was the blending. She blends it to look realistic yet her lines still have a sort of sharpness to them that separates them from the other values. I have to say what appealed to me the most was her use of color. Her works seem to stick with a limited amount of colors, and those colors are only applied to the areas in which she wants the viewers to focus. The rest is just outlined, sometimes just lightly shaded in grayscale. This further emphasizes what she wants the viewer to focus on and that her illustrations are make look real but are in fact not.


While there are many illustrators’ works I don’t necessarily hate but don’t enjoy either, the prize goes to Zeloot. I admit he has interesting ideas but I find myself very confused by those ideas. The majority of his works leave me guessing what exactly the message his piece is trying to get across. While he uses a limited pallet similar to Kimoki, I find that the colors are just too much. Because he uses only one shade of a color, it leaves me feeling that there’s just too much of one color. Also I feel like the colors he puts together just don’t work for his pieces due to the almost neon quality of each color. It hurts my eyes to focus on one color for too long thus causing my eyes to constantly move to a different place. Also, he uses the same color so methodically in a piece sometimes, (such as the second example in the book) that it jumbles the composition up and makes me confused even more. His use of patterns, while I feel it does help to break up the use of one color, once again just furthers to make his compositions chaotic and makes my eyes strain to actually see what it is he’s illustrating. Overall I wouldn’t say I hate his work, for I haven’t seen much of it, but at first glance he is definitely not one of my favorites.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Like and Dislike - Illustration Now

There are many illustrative styles in "Illustration Now! 2" that I feel slight like or dislike for or haven't seen enough of to make a definite decision, but the ones that stood out to me were Gez Fry and Chow Lee.

What I like in an image is a story so I'm attracted to some of Gez Fry's work, as shown in Illustration Now (2). Particularly the style he uses to illustrate depth and movement, without forcing too much drama into subject poses or abusing color intensity, is something I admire. The compositions are full without being cluttered and the eye is directed around the picture subtly through use of clouds, patterns and mid-ground scenery. The lack of a hard edge to the lines of the image help integrate the subjects and make the overall illustration easier on the eyes.

On the other hand, I am sorry to say that Chow Lee's "Longman = Romance" eludes me completely. What the purpose is behind his "Longman" distortions is something I do not grasp; what is "Longman" exactly, what is supposed to be conveyed through the illustration and how do the two work together? The closest I can get to an understanding is the idea of elegance from tapering and distorting the subject's figure - similar to fashion figures - to create a sense of "romance" in the image. Unfortunately, "Longman" doesn't hit the same notes as fashion figures do because, rather than actually create tapered limbs or figures, Chow Lee skews the perspective in such a way as to make the subjects seem 2D even within their own respective worlds. Not only that, but the distortion is not consistent throughout the illustration; bodies elongate along one line of sight while the furniture and background are enlarged separately or keep to regular perspective.

Inspiration-- Color Script for "Up"

Hey everyone!
Keep at it with those like/dislike writings! Remember, you need to write 200 words on someone you like, and another 200 words on someone you dislike. At least 400 words total!
Here's a little extra fun & inspiration to get you through the weekend--
Lou Romano, besides being an awesome illustrator, is an animation production design artist for Pixar and has worked on many of their films (Up, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc.) When working on Up, he created the color script for the entire movie. It's sort of a cross between a storyboard and really finalized color sketches, but its amazing to see the whole story condensed and look and how the color choices affect the moods and emotions of the story. Take a look here! And then check out the rest of his work on his blog!

Jérôme Mireault and Jeremyville

Jérôme Mireault
I chose Mireault as the artist that appealed to me most. His (I'm assuming it's a male) color pallet is what made me stop and look. I love his use of muted colors. I'm a firm believer that you don't have to use bright colors to get someone's attention, and Mireault caught my attention with his muted colors. I also really appreciate his stylized characters. I don't necessarily need an illustration to look realistic to catch my attention, but I do like if the characters seem to have proportions that are fairly realistic, and that's what Mireault does. I also think the fashion aspect to his illustrations is interesting. I actually never thought about fashion illustration before, so I discovered something new when I looked at his art. I also like the little blurb they included about him; I appreciated what he said towards the end, "My many everyday influences are all recognizable in each piece I do, that's what makes the way I draw so unique to my eyes." I know that each artist has to go through some sort of struggle to find their "style", and I feel like that quote could help a young artist take a step back and let their life influence their art even more so then it already did.

The second artist I chose, the artist whose work I disliked, was Jeremyville. I was really turned off by the cluttered appearance of his work and the amount of characters he included in his work. I really don't like his "Don't Panic! Let Love In..." piece. It was the one that was the most cluttered, had the most text in it, and had the most characters. I don't like his style of drawing, either. It is stylized, I give him that, but they all seem poorly drawn. I'm really not a fan of including massive amounts of text in illustrations unless it is necessary, and I feel like the amount of text in "Don't Panic! Let Love In..." is overwhelming. Jeremyville's illustrations he did for the snowboards are a little bit more appealing than his other work, but I feel like his style was meant more for objects. The claustrophobic graffiti-like text and characters feel like something you would see on a skateboard, snowboard, or wall. I saw that some of his clients were Italy's MTV and Converse, so my theory about his artwork being good for sportswear and graffiti seems correct. I'm just a little disappointed that he got a larger spread in this text book than Mireault.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Liked and Disliked

One artist that I found to be my favorite in Illustration Now! Was the Japanese Illustrator, Gez Fry. The first thing I noticed was his use of light and perspective (Which I like to fiddle around with in my own work) which really makes his illustrations something interesting to look at. The most prominent example of his great use of perspective is on page 102. On this page it is an illustration of a woman, but the perspective is so abstract that it took me a second to realize what the subject of the picture was. Gez Fry also uses the light source, and sometimes contrasting colors, as a tool to really portray a strong mood for the viewer. Upon looking further for his work, I stumbled upon some of his concept art and character designs. His designs were very fresh and unique- really cool stuff. Also, the illustration I found outside of the book had a roughness to them that I enjoyed a lot. Much more interesting than the smooth blending of colors seen in the Illustration Now! Book. His summary in the book stated that he was a digital painter, which intrigued me because his stuff had a sense of traditional media. Whether his art is a hybrid of both or just mocking the traditional look, I think his style of art and sense of perspective/lighting is really great. Definitely an artist I wish to look more into.

The artist that I disliked the most was French Illustrator, Laurent Cilluffo. His illustrations seemed incredibly boring and way to simplistic for my taste. His work also seemed to have too much going on at once to the point where I couldn’t focus on anything. It seemed to be just a bunch of visual noise with no clear focal point. Illustrations, at least from my knowledge, are supposed to represent some sort of idea or story. But I get neither when I look at Laurent Cilluffo’s stuff. Cilluffo didn’t appear to have a website so I had to research him on my own, and although I didn’t get many results, all of his art looked the same to me: A bunch of stick figures running around chaotically with some sort of lined architecture incorporated. Nothing to connect to, no emotions or moods portrayed. Just apathy. When I look at art I want to be able to connect with the characters, be projected into the world, and get a sense of the story behind it so my mind and fill in the blanks, and sadly I get none of these things with Cilluffo’s art.

Marc Boutavant/ Mark Fredrickson

One artist that I really liked while looking through the Illustration Now book was MARC BOUTAVANT. He's from France and his work is bright and colorful and very eye catching. His pieces are very busy which works for him very well. He incorporates wonderful little animal illustrations that I'm very drawn to. I went on his website and it made me like him even more. I enjoy drawing animals and he gave me a lot of inspiration to explore new ways to draw. He also uses great color combinations. I love how many different things are going on in his pieces. All of the animals are doing such random things throughout his artwork, like the bunny and the squirrel having tea and the monkey playing the flute and the badger trying to catch the skittles that the snail is dropping as he’s falling. They make me happy just looking at them. They are pleasant because both adults and children can enjoy his work.

One artist I really didn't like was MARK FREDRICKSON. I hate how dramatic they are. I don't like that they're mainly of celebrities. I just think they are really annoying and they are not something that I'm drawn to. And the fact that he did Hilary Clinton as Harry Potter bothers me, cause I like Harry Potter, and I hate her. And I'm not really a fan of caricatures because I think that they are strange. And when I went to his portfolio online, it made me like him even less. This one to the left really gets on my nerves. I hate creepy ugly faces like that. It’s not that he is not talented, because I most certainly could not paint like that. I just do not think that his work is interesting or tasteful. Just thinking about him right now gets on my nerves a little bit.

-Paris Evans

Like et Dislike

One illustrator I don't like in the "Illustration Now Volume 2," book is Zeloot. His artwork, to me, is very dark, vulgar, filthy and painful. Looking at his work I feel dirty and perverted. Like I'm looking at a sort of public porno, or some hideous rape, and all I'm able to do is watch and say how terrible it is .The colors are very strong and a little disorientating along with the patterns they use in a lot of their stuff. Their work is also a little cluttered, its slightly difficult to recognize what the subject may be or what it may not be. Zeloots work also seems a little repetitive. Dark twisted patterns all over the place over and over again. Something else i don't like about Zeloots work is I don't really understand what it is that he or she is trying to say or suggesting. If i were to walk down the street and see a poster with Zeloots work on it i would more than likely cringe and quicken my pace. Zeloot maybe taking illustration geometry to a new vision in a few peoples books but not mine. Zeloots work leaves abad taste in my mouth.

Now an artist i DO like in the "Illustration Now Volume 2," book is Kimi Kimoki. Her work may not have the most obvious activity going on, but it does have movement in her figures. Her work is simple and well done. I like how Im easily drawn to the focal point of her pieces. Her painting style is attractive as well.It looks like she adds the most color to the subject and the rest of the piece stays a lighter more washed out shade to keep the focus on the subject. Her use of color is interesting to me because its mainly demonstrated on what she wants us to view. Most are told to paint the whole piece and do something different to make the subject stand out, but she does what she wants. He work seems like theres a little more freedom in it. Thats appealing to a lot of people. Another thing i like about Kimi's work is the way she places things in the image. Her juxtaposition is on point in a lot of her stuff. And i like the way she does an unfinished look to finish her pieces. Like there could be more to her work if she wanted. The unfinished-ness makes it look finished in a way. Her lines are sharp, the image is clear. I just really enjoy her work. If there were an auction of her works or i had the chance to meet her, i would definitely take advantage of that.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blog assignment

One illustrator from the book that I rather disliked is Simon Spilsbury. What I dislike about him is purely subjective however. Though I do appreciate the grotesque and disturbing imagery, I found his imagery was just too much for me. Again I understand that he has a specific purpose for his work (like social criticism) I just cannot see anything that I like. Anything to do with the physical shapes of people or animals has always frightened and, to some degree, disgusted me. Simon Spilsbury’s pieces in the book are disturbingly just what I hate. The first two images, called “Carbon Fatprint #1” and “Carbon Fatprint #2” I found just revolting. To be honest, I have no interest in looking at piles of billowing fat, even if it is meant to represent pollution coming from cars. There’s the Mickey Mouse one, getting plastic surgery. Again, the creepy destruction of a body. I think the line work is what really gets across this sort of “gross” feeling. It’s not that he doesn’t draw well, it’s that the rough lines just further highlight the squishy, bubbly edges of the human fat. (On that subject, let’s not talk about “Draw Porn”) On top of it all, I find his coloring uninteresting, at least to me. Sorry Mr. Spilsbury, but your work is just not for me.

An illustrator that I really liked is Gez Fry. As someone who has been influenced by Asian illustration (modern and historical), I find his work especially interesting. I’m immediately impressed by his technical skills (someday I want to paint a cityscape as beautiful) but I also like the way he mixes some of the realistic image with a fantastical one (“Ginza”) The variety of mediums is also impressive. “Ginza” looks like watercolor while “Poplin” looks very much like a photoshop image. And then there is “Ukiyo-e” which looks exactly like an ukiyo-e wood block print. I also appreciate his ability to inject his pieces with a subtle meaning, without hitting viewers upside the head with explicit images of pop culture icons or celebrities. You have to think about what they mean and what he was trying to convey. You can come back multiple times, re-evaluate the painting and still see something new or different. The woman of “Ukiyo-e” has a bizarre tattoo of a green magician while in a reflection (or is it above the water?) a man stands on a modern street. On first look I just saw the woman and the tattoo. A second time, I saw the fish. Third, I saw the man in the corner. Gez Fry is an artist I would like to look into some more.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One Illustrator I like is Ilovedust because of their unique style, bold color, and how their work is founded is traditional artistic principles. Essential to stand out in the Illustration world, style means having one's own repeated symbols and imagery like a calling card, having a unique handling of tools, and a unique color palette. Ilovedust executes all these things with great proficiency and completion. For example; the repeated imagery of bicycles, the synthetic color palette, and consistent line quality and lighting carry the identity of the illustrator through each piece.

One Illustrator I found that I dislike is Ginger Nielson. To me the art looks passive, boring, and poorly executed. The drawings look to soft and sloppy; children's illustration, just as with any other form, should be exciting and thoughtful. Another thing that bothers me is that it is very obviously drawn on a tablet; good art should be like a magic trick and make the viewer wonder how it was done.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Class assignment & Inspiration resources

You all made it through the first critique! It only gets better from here!
Homework assignment:
Final image 8.5x11 or larger, any proportion. When you're doing your final, it's generally better to use a larger piece of paper than you need and then tape off the area of your image. You'll get a nice clean border & you'll be able to "see" the boundaries of your image. (same as drawing a box around your sketches)
Blog assignment:
Find one illustrator you love (or really like) in your Illustration Now book, and write 200 words on why you love them (color, subject, composition, etc.). Find another illustrator that you hate (or really dislike) in your Illustration Now book and do the same thing, 200 words. 400 words or more, total.

Color artists we looked at in class:

Tomer Hanuka
Sam Weber
Jonathon Burton
Josh Cochran (also on page 64 of your book)
Tadahiro Uesugi

Also, it seemed like a lot of you were having trouble with composition. It's really the hardest part about illustration for illustrators of any level, but it makes a huge difference in the end! Here's a resource that may be helpful:

Fundamentals of Composition Part 1 (multiple scans like the image above from a 1950's artists book--proves there is no age limit on good design!) Don't forget to click the link towards the bottom for part two!

Have a great week!


I thought it would be interesting to illustrate my favorite food using an edible substance. So, here is a picture of flan drawn in honey.

Honey is not really the greatest medium for illustration.

My favorite food

Drawing of coffee press and mug using sienna colored pencil and coffee.

Arizona Tea/ New Medium

I cut out every single little layer, painted, then pasted together, and added pen over it


Curry from Curry in a Hurry!

My favorite food is this curry that I call butter chicken, but it has some actual name that I can't pronounce. Anyways, it looks kind of like cat food. I'm not very good at watercolors, especially when you have to be patient and layer them, or drawing animals.