Monday, May 25

Today's chapter of 'Draw It Quick!'

In today's chapter of the 'Draw It Quick!' I'm drawing a farm. This is about as close as I'm going to get to illustrating a scene from Charlotte's Web - so I quite enjoyed it. The girl reminded me of Fern. I just wished the script called for Wilbur - since I do love drawing pigs. In fact my nickname as a stout young lad was 'Pig'.

Friday, May 22

Out of the swirling chaos forms appear...

Out of the swirling chaos forms appear - sifted out from dozens of other choices.  Soon enough the favorite choice gets made - or the current favorite I might say.

Draw, draw away idle dreamer of bears! I think this bear may have stolen my heart away, but I shouldn't tell him that.

Maybe it's only the artist who can actually see how it look in the finished state from all the jumbled lines - I guess that's the artist's 'vision'.  I can see how it will all end up... as seen in the next sketch.

Tuesday, May 19

Movie of a Drawing...

I made this little movie of a rough drawing I'm working on... just for fun. The rough drawing is always exciting, because it's all a discovery.  Invention, artistry, problem solving - an excellent diversion when one finds oneself hidden away in a quiet distant room.

It's not much of a movie actually, but I was in a hurry and it was fun - my two excuses. Maybe I'll make a better one some time. I think it might require 30 minutes to do an in depth drawing demonstration - so one does what one can.

I don't want to think about the file size of a 30 minute .mov file - or how long it'd take to render!

Monday, May 11

Instructions on Freelancing...

Life as a freelancer is chaotic and unpredictable. So I decided if I ever gave a SCBWI talk on how to prepare for a career as a children's book illustrator I would advise developing three basic skills.

1) practice your expertise in Photoshop

2) practice your expertise at 'Whack-a-Mole'

3) practice your expertise at playing 'Publisher Poker' - which is the fine art of trying to juggle deadlines and art directors without losing your mind or going broke.

4) also take a night class at 'charm school' - this is essential!

Thursday, May 7

The Starbucks Roastery - where people go to feel famous while sipping a cup of coffee.

For my birthday I treated myself to a trip to the new Starbucks Emporium - where people go to feel famous while sipping a cup of coffee. (at least that's my guess).

Between the 250 decibel ethno-jazz (can't hear yourself think) and the 6 story coffee factory with walkways and ladders it is quite an experience and not a quiet contemplative one at that.

It's more like a Starbucks-gone-Vegas experience. The idea is modeled after 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'. Funny, but I don't remember the smell of coffee while I was there.

And I wouldn't know the meaning of what 'happy birthday' meant. I always fight against a pensive sadness that creeps into the occasion - like a frozen chill of defeated dreams.  Sigh... c'est la vie.

Tuesday, May 5

Pages from the past...

Opening the pages from my past we find old magazine spreads...

and old book plans and dreams...

and even a self portrait of me at age 8 1/2.  I added the Pierrot costume, which seems just about right for this serious little fellow.

Thursday, April 30

A studio portrait...

It was fun having a bunch of my fictional illustration buddies drop by the studio. So I captured the event on film... lol!

Thursday, April 23

Back in the BC stone age, (before computers)

Back in the BC stone age, (before computers) I used to make my promotion cards with cut & paste. And with press-type. I hated how press-type would start curling up and the letters started to crack and fall apart. And how I'd run out of zeros and use an O instead.

It was really like doing surgery - precision cut & paste with dexterous hand skills required. I remember the gooey glue-brush and rolling up the leftovers into little sticky balls. lol!

And after all that how amazing it seemed to do computer lettering. Freedom from all the limitations of real press-type letters and freedom to do anything. 

Saturday, April 18

Thursday, April 16

Once every blue moon...

Once every blue moon I like to do an 'art piece' like this. I just can't help it - so it's easier to give in than resist. This was inspired by a scene from a BBC - PBS production - it's dark and somber instead of my usual cartoony dish of happy nursery fodder. I guess the fun part of making 'art' is one can just let go and be messy. This was all done with the wacom in photoshop. 

Monday, April 13

Friday, April 10

The evolution of Shakespeare into a cat

The evolution of Shakespeare into a cat. I'm not sure why this is important, but I felt compelled to finish drawing it out. I think Ben Johnson had a closer relationship with his cat. I read that he had a servant to keep it's bowl stocked with fresh vittles.