Sunday, October 31, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Publishing Tutorial Pt. 2: Night of the Living Dummy Book & Review

Ah, yes…the infamous dummy book: the thing that’s such a pain to put together, but so important to include in your publishing packet. Everyone has their own way of doing it; this is just the way I’ve been approaching mine.

In general, your dummy doesn’t need to be completely composed of finished illustrations. You can do finished sketches of what the finals will look like, and include a couple of finished spreads so the publisher has an idea of how the rest of the book will look, as well as your approach to style. I’ve been including fully finished pieces in my dummies since the work is already done, and why not show that to a publisher when it has the potential to impress? However, if you’ve just got an idea going for a book, don’t feel like you have to go through and complete everything before sending it out. There’s a huge possibility that, if an editor decides to publish your book, he or she may want you to change some of the illustrations, resulting in a lot of extra work if you’ve completed everything already.

When I began sending out dummy books I was getting everything printed at Kinkos as double sided color copies on 11” x 17” paper, then cutting the excess paper off and stapling the copies together in book form. This was all fine and dandy, but rather expensive (about $30 per book, and that was because the employees usually forgot to charge me for a double sided copy rather than a single sided one). If you get the dummies sent back from the publisher, it’s fine, but since I’ve been sending most of my work to the UK I haven’t been getting it back (self addressed stamped envelopes don’t work for international mail, unfortunately). So I finally wised up and took the advice of the Amazing Ms. Jade Nellans who had used to produce dummy books for publishers. They’re much cheaper, plus they don’t look “too” published. The only downside has been that Lulu doesn’t support my book size, nor does it have something proportional (my book is 8” x 6”), so I set it up in its original size on 9”x 7” paper and cut off the excess. If you end up needing to cut off extra space it can be done without having to remove the staples---I have done it both with a Xacto knife and a pair of scissors. If you’re good with scissors I would suggest using those as it’s a bit easier to manage. When I attempted the Xacto I ended up cutting my finger (not badly), which was a first for me. I managed 3 years of art school with no Xacto based incidents only to be done in by a dummy book.

 Dummy books: the original print from Lulu (with extra space) on the left, and the cropped version on the right.

Full spread of the Lulu dummy--the print quality is excellent.

Setting up your dummy for Lulu can be a bit tricky if you’ve never done it before, so I’ll attempt to go through the process. The good news is that once it’s done correctly and you upload it, you never have to redo it! My friends that have used Lulu have all put their books together using InDesign, but since I’m a bit InDesign illiterate, I set each spread up in Photoshop, then saved it as PDF and combined all the files together in Acrobat to make one LARGE PDF document. There are two things to keep in mind when making your PDF: 1) you don’t need to include your cover art as Lulu has that set up separate, and 2) you have to include a single blank page at the beginning and end of the document (before and after the endpapers), otherwise the printing will be out of sequence. I made the mistake of not doing this the first time I got my dummy printed and all of the spreads were off. I changed the PDF file, reuploaded, reordered, and everything was peachy keen. And speaking of uploading, my file was so big I had to use an FTP client (I used FileZilla, which you can get here if you don't already have an FTP client) to get it on Lulu’s page, so be prepared to do the same.

Setup in Acrobat. I set everything as single page spreads because I was paranoid about how it would print if I did everything as double page spreads...better safe than sorry. The color mode is in CMYK for printing.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…with all this extra work, what’s the price for the new books? Are you really saving money? Well, my friends, yes I am. Through Lulu the books only cost about $10 each. Shipping has been around $14 when I have ordered 4 books. Even with that, they still cost less than what I was paying at Kinkos, and the quality has been much nicer. Turnaround is great, too; the last order took about a week to receive, and that’s including printing and shipping. Not too shabby, if you ask me…

Well, there you have it: my entire book process. I hope that someone has found it useful, and moreover, I’m hoping that soon all of this work will pay off.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Publishing Tutorial Pt. 1: Researching Publishers and What to Submit

So with all my continued talk of my book and trying to get it published, I thought I should do a little overview of the process of sending it to publishers…you know, in the off chance someone out there may find the information helpful. There’s actually a lot that goes into submitting a project to a publisher, and while it’s a lot of work, it’s definitely worth while and a great learning experience. Since there’s so much info, I’m splitting it up into two posts. This will cover researching publishers/submitting your project, while the next will cover putting together your sample dummy book.

So, you’ve written and illustrated a book and you want to get it published… Before you submit your work to a publisher you have to have a publisher (or several) to actually submit it to. How do you go about this? Well, there are several avenues you can take. A couple of great resources I have found are the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market (US-based) and Children’s Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook (UK-based). Both have a selection of children’s book publishers (as well as other markets for children’s illustration) as well as tips on what publishers look for, and how to write for the children’s market. Each give a rundown on what kind of books each publisher publishes, such as fiction, non-fiction, novelty books, young adult, etc. Both are valuable books to have in your illustration library, plus they’re reasonably priced and available from Amazon. However, if you want that whole “try before you buy” thing you can always head to Borders or Barnes and Noble and have a look through while enjoying a half double decaf decaffeinated half-caf (with a twist of lemon).

As you’re flipping through Market and/or Yearbook, look for publishers that would be interested in what you’re writing. For example, since my piece is a picture book for a younger audience, I wouldn’t send it to a publisher that only publishes education-based material. If you submit your work to a publisher that doesn’t publish your genre, it makes you look unprofessional--don’t waste your or the editor’s time. Just do your research. Another thing to look for in publishers are ones that are open to submissions. A lot of the big publishing houses do not accept unsolicited manuscripts or work that isn’t being submitted by a literary agent. Trust me, reading the phrase “we do not accept unsolicited submissions” will get to you, but just keep researching. There ARE publishers that love to get submissions from up and coming authors and illustrators, so don’t get caught up in the ones that won’t look at your book.

When you’ve come up with a list of publishers to submit to, it’s time to get your submission all together. You’ll want to write a cover letter outlining your book, the audience it’s best for, and your credentials as a writer/illustrator. It shouldn’t be more than a page, much like a cover letter you would submit to a potential employer. You’ll also want to include the manuscript of your book, and a dummy book to give the publisher an idea of the pacing and layout, as well as your illustration style (I’ll write more on the dummy book in my next post). If the publisher returns submissions (in the event they reject your submission), include a self addressed stamped envelope so you can get your dummy book back. Put everything in a nice, professional looking folder and package it so that it will arrive undamaged. I also recommend including a business card, promotional mailer, or both that the publisher can keep so they have your contact information on file. The presentation folders I have been using come with a space for you to put a business card on the front cover; I like them a lot because it means the publisher knows my name before opening the folder.

Once you’ve got all this together you’re ready to go! Pop it in the post and get ready to wait a minimum of 3 months for a response. Don’t be too surprised or disappointed if you get a rejection…it’s just the way the business works, and seemingly more so nowadays with the poor global economy. Just stick with it and give it your all…and good luck!

Up next I’ll have a post on putting together a dummy book using

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness

It seems like it has been far too long since I have gotten any real artwork done, so it's with great pleasure that I post these two pieces for Escape Artists' September competition. Ironically the contest theme was "Loneliness" and I hadn't been getting to work on them because I was hardly ever alone---for the past month and a half I have had five---FIVE!---different people coming in to visit. I'm not used to that many guests in a small span of time, and while its great to spend time with the ones you love, it can be rather draining creatively when you're not getting a chance to work on what you want to be working on. I did manage to get a break here and there and--ta-da! Two new illustrations done.

For anyone still wanting to submit work for the competition, the due date has been extended to September 20th, so get working!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Call for Entries: Off Your Rocker Arts Campaign

Apologies to those of you that follow me on Twitter and stalk me on Facebook as you've seen this plug already, but you know how it goes...if you love something, you tend to talk about it quite frequently (and let's face it, you could have it a lot worse).

My friends at Escape Artists are holding a series of art competitions as part of their Off Your Rocker arts campaign. The campaign is being held in conjunction with World Mental Health Day (October 10th) and seeks to promote social inclusion through the arts, specifically with themed competitions. The theme for September is "Loneliness" and you're welcome to submit anything you can send electronically---paintings, photos, songs, short films, stories, poems, etc. Winning entries will be featured in the campaign, and the deadline for the September theme submission is September 10th. They're also looking for personal experience stories on how the arts have helped mental well-being. If you're interested in submitting a story, you can send it to

For more information, you can visit Interstellar's "Off Your Rocker" arts page.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

Hello, all! Just wanted to put a plug in for Arthouse's latest project, the Sketchbook Project:

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

I actually signed up for it a few weeks ago, but I didn't want to do a post since I didn't have anything to show for it...and an illustration blog post without pictures is like a day without sunshine. Or some other overused cliche...

Anyway, the jist is that you pay $25, pick a theme, and they send you a sketchbook. You fill up the sketchbook with stuff along the theme, send it back, and they take it on a tour across the country. What's more, people who attend the shows can check out your sketchbook to read, much like they were at a library. The book becomes part of the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Art Library, and everyone is happy. Yay! Also, for an extra $20, the fine people at Arthouse will create a digital version of your sketchbook for people to view online. Even more yay!

I got my sketchbook a few weeks ago (it came about 10 days after I signed up) and have since been storyboarding and doing materials studies. There are about 39 full page spreads, so I'll be doing quite a bit of drawing. My theme is "I'm a Scavenger", and my idea is to do a "story" of several creatures in Africa (and a poacher), and how their lives end up interconnecting. We'll see where it goes...with art, everything has a tendency to change as you go. Since the sketchbook steps away from my media of choice, I had to do some materials studies. If I felt really up to it, I could rebind the book with a surface that would suit acrylics, but after hand-binding 7 copies of my book, I'm a little bookbinded out.

Left to right: ballpoint pen, pen & ink (with Winsor & Newton's nut brown ink), pencil, and colored pencil (using Prismacolor's dark umber)

What I'm looking for in materials: something that won't smudge, works with my drawing technique, and has minimal bleed-through on the paper. The sketchbooks provided by Arthouse are Moleskine cahier notebooks (popular with hipsters worldwide!), and the paper is much thinner than I am used to working with. Since my overall design will be using both sides of the paper, I want to draw with something that won't ruin the underside of the paper. Tricky stuff, let me tell you. To do practice studies, I went out and bought a pocket sized pack of cahier notebooks, that way I wouldn't mess up my official sketchbook.

Study #1, ballpoint pen: I'm not a ballpoint pen person, but some people can sketch up a storm with it. It has no bleed through, but it's also limiting in that there's only one size of point on it.

Study # 2, Winsor & Newton ink: I'm a big fan of the color, especially since I'm kind of going for an old, used travel journal look. But there's a lot of bleed through on the underside of the pages, and the ink would spread out from the nib a bit when I was drawing. Since I'm not a super pen and nib inker anyway (unlike some people I know), I passed on the medium.

Study #3, pencil: Finally, something I'm a little more comfortable with. However, it's a little boring, and has the tendency to smudge. Since I'm hoping my sketchbook will be flipped through by quite a lot of people, I want to minimize smudgy graphic thumbprints.

Study #4, colored pencil: Ah, now we're talking! Pencil technique without smudging. And I can get a variety of values through pressure instead of hatching (like I would have to do with pens). Plus no bleed through! Though just to be sure, I should probably do a bigger sketch...

Yep, I think this will do quite nicely.

If you're interested in signing up for the project, click the Sketchbook Project picture link above. There's still plenty of time to sign up, but if you're interested in a certain theme, sign up for it ASAP as they tend to fill up!

Friday, July 23, 2010

GotPrint, Overnight Prints, and iPrintfromhome: a Review

I've been doing a lot of print-ordering lately in preparation for a new string of mailers, as well as getting up an online shop, and as such I have been using some different print companies. I just got my new set of mailers today, and, well...I'm not particularly ecstatic about the quality. Rather than whine I thought I would do an overall review of different companies I have used for comparison as I figure it might be helpful for those of you wondering what companies to use for all your illustrative printing needs.

Thus far I have used 3 different companies for various printing functions:,, and iPrintfromhome. GotPrint and Overnight Prints are both more for marketing purposes, whereas iPrintfromhome does professional-quality prints (they offer both photographic prints and giclee fine art prints). GotPrint I found when I was in school and it was the stand-by for my classmates and I for our mailers as they offered a pretty quick turnaround, plus good prices (you can get 100 4x6 single sided postcards for $23.36, and 100 single sided business cards for about $9). I have ordered two sets of mailers from them, as well as my business cards and have been thoroughly pleased with the quality.

However, for my current set of mailers I decided to go with Overnight Prints. My pal Jade posted a review over their products recently, and they had a few things that I wanted to take advantage of. One, they offer smaller postcard quantities in their "value" line of cards (printed on a digital press rather than an offset press, as with their "premium" quality cards). I've been planning on opening an online shop that will offer both prints of my work as well as card sets, and the smaller quantities would be perfect for the latter. ONP also frequently offers coupons for their products, to that kind of sealed the deal. I ordered 25 value cards to test the quality for sellable notecards, as well as 100 premium cards to be used as mailers. I have used ONP in the past for holiday cards, as well as for some business cards I designed for my stepdad, and both times I was happy with the quality. This time...not so much.

 Original painting on the left, value card print on the right. The values are much, much darker.

There was a large discrepancy between the colors on the value cards and the original piece, although I will be the first to admit that may be due to monitor calibration and/or how the cards are printed. I ordered my Syd piece as a test print, and this piece is also featured on my new mailer.  The values look fine on the mailer, but not on the value card. I know the image above isn't great, so I'm including a scan of the card, as well.

The values are waaaaay too dark, plus it also printed rather "cool". While I wasn't too happy about that, the value cards are pretty cheap, even without a coupon, so I figure it will be something I may just have to play around with on the digital file.

 The 4x6 mailer. If you click on the image you can see the white dots along the left side of the card.

My mailers came out...okay. The cardstock and glossy coat on the front are fine, and the same quality as GotPrint, but the values aren't as dark as I wanted. The black background isn't "black" enough. It almost seems like a "light black", if that makes sense. I wanted a black-black. Plus to the left of the pig head there are a bunch of tiny, white dots. I thought it was maybe just on one, but no, it's on all 100 mailers. I'm also not super enthusiastic about ONP's packaging. While my 4x6 mailers came packaged in a form fitting box, the value cards were thrown in a cardboard envelope, leaving plenty of opportunity for their corners to get bent in the shipping process.

All in all, I'm not super happy about my ONP cards. I will probably give them another chance with the value cards (after all, I'm only out about $3.95 with the sale price...not a huge loss), but with the mailers I could have gotten exactly what I wanted from GotPrint for the same price.

**7/26: I emailed ONP customer service over the weekend about my disatisfaction, and they responded that day. As of today they offered to either reprint my cards or give me a refund, provided I send back defective cards. I will do another update once I receive my reprints, but for now kudos on the excellent and prompt communication.

**8/3: Received my reprinted mailers today and they look great---blacker blacks, and no white spots! Plus a super fast turnaround...just a little over a week! Thanks to Overnight Prints for great customer service and for taking care of my order.

And now for something completely different...iPrintfromhome. Like I mentioned above, iPrint is for professional prints, so they are a bit of a different animal. I don't have scans of their stuff as a lot of it would be hard to register as a 2D picture on a computer monitor, so I will try my best to describe their work. I ordered a couple kinds of prints: fine giclee prints, lustre photographic prints, and metallic photographic prints. Since I wanted to see how a collection of my pieces looked on the different papers, I resized some of my pieces and formatted them on an 8.5" x 11" image so I could just order a few 8.5" x 11" prints on different papers. I also resized my "Which One's Pink?" series to ACEO-sized prints and ordered a 5 x 7 metallic print. Everything was good quality; I just preferred certain pieces on different papers. I found that some of my pieces (the Greyhound, Animal Farm, and Human Rights poster) looked better as lustre prints as the blacks looked "blacker", while others (my Drawgasmic and The End bomb) looked better as giclee prints as the values were too extreme as lustre prints. My Pink series looked good as both lustre and metallic, though I prefer the metallic as it gives a really nice sheen to the pieces that really makes some of the colors pop. I plan on ordering real prints as soon as I can afford them. Fortunately iPrint has really great prices! Photographic prints are very affordable, and the giclee prints are, too, especially considering they are archival, high quality prints. If you're thinking about ordering prints, I definitely suggest doing the test print route. And for first time customers, they will send you a monitor calibration kit that includes samples of their papers so you can see the difference between matte, lustre, glossy, metallic, and giclee prints. I highly recommend them!

Whew! Was that a long enough post for you? I promise to have real artwork up on here...sometime...soon. I plan on doing a post on the Sketchbook Project, which I signed up for, so definitely expect to see process work from that. Also, you may have noticed I broke down and joined Twitter. Feel free to follow me! I promise to attempt to keep it professional and avoid any "this is what I had for lunch today" posts, though I can't promise there won't be an occasional Floydgasm on there.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


So my piece for Drawgasmic is finally up on their website. Sure, I put it up here, but you can actually BUY the piece on the website, if you feel so inclined (c'mon, you know you wanna...). You can click the link below to go directly to the page. Be sure to check out all the other awesome art that's being put up!

Drawgasmic Art Exhibition - The Art, Illustration, and Design Compendium

 Also, if anyone that reads this blog happens to be in the London area on July 13th, you should totally check out the Interstellar gig at 93 Feet East. The event is benefitting the Syd Barrett Fund, and tickets are only £5. The lineup features Skinbat Scramble, All Schools Are Strange, and Department S. And for those of you that don't care to actually watch the bands play, you can peruse prints of my book illustrations which will be on display at the gig. For all the nitty gritty details, please visit the events page on Interstellar.

 **Edit: Check out that sweet gig poster. Ohhhh, yeah!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Over The River

So tonight I had a wonderful opportunity to see a lecture by, as the marquee says, the world-renowned artist Christo.


I found out about the lecture through work and managed to sign up in time to get a spot. As you can imagine, the lecture sold out. The lecture focused on Christo's proposed piece "Over The River"---a temporary work of in the same vein as Christo and Jeanne-Claude's previous works. The piece would involve 5.9 miles of silver fabric suspended over the Arkansas River between Salida and Canon City, Colorado.

I was very excited about getting to go to the lecture as I am a fan of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work. And really, how many times to you get to see an incredibly influential artist talking about his work?

If you want to read more about the project, or find out how to get involved, you can visit the official Over The River site.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Interstellar Overdrive

For anyone that's been curious to see the illustrations for my book, I've got some good news...the pieces are now up online thanks to the wonderful folks at Escape Artists and the Syd Barrett Fund. They've been diligently working on creating a new interactive site for the Fund and it launched this weekend. I must say, I am very impressed with the result. In addition to being the new online home for the Fund, the site offers visitors the option to create their own profiles, share images and videos, and connect with other Syd/Pink Floyd fans. My book has its own page that features both illustrations and my proposal for the project.

I'm really happy we could get the illustrations online as up to this point they haven't been viewed by fans. I'm hoping it will generate more interest in the project and provide us with some great networking and marketing opportunities.

If you're a Syd/Floyd fan and want to stay in touch with what the Fund and Escape Artists are doing, I highly suggest making yourself a page! It's a great way to stay updated with a wonderful organization, as well as meet some like minded people. And all in the name of Syd! Just hop over to And don't forget to friend me and my book.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Illustration Friday: Trail

I'm kind of cheating a little bit on this one as I actually did this piece some time ago for another project that came to naught and it just happened to work with IF's theme this week. But I'm submitting it anyway.

P.S. I'm not anti-snake, just anti-ATV and the destruction their drivers cause when they off-road in prohibited areas.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A pig wearing a gas mask? Sure, why not?

It's been a bit since my last update, but I do have a bit of art and a bit of news. First up, the color version of the Quiet Use poster.

Next up, I'm pleased to report that I got accepted into the Drawgasmic exhibition happening in July in St. Louis. My work will be up at the show, as well as in a coffee table book detailing the exhibition. My old art school pals Cassie Dixon, Pam Wishbow, and Mallory Hodgkin are also in the show. I got in a bit late in the game and had to get cracking on a piece since the exhibitors needed it by June 1st. I finished it up today and got it in the mail, but not before getting a scan of it for posterity.

Monday, April 5, 2010

New scanner!

After a lot of waiting, I have finally managed to upgrade to a new scanner. I found it necessary to upgrade for two reasons: 1) as a budding professional illustrator, I need something than can take quality scans so I can send finished work to clients, and 2) Epson was no longer offering driver updates for my OLD Epson Perfection 1200U scanner, so when I obtained my new laptop back in July I couldn't use my scanner as it wasn't compatible with Windows Vista. Not having a scanner was driving me crazy as I use one not only for scanning in finished illustrations, but also to enlarge smaller thumbnails and drawings. Using a digital camera to take pictures of sketchbook work was just not cutting it. My new scanner arrived this morning and I was absolutely ecstatic to receive it.

I ordered a Epson Perfection V700 which was recommended by a very good friend and former professor, and I have to say I am very pleased. It has great scanning quality. The only downsides are it's expensive (though not as much as the Expression graphic arts scanners---whew!), and its maximum scan area is 8.5" x 11.7". I tend to work small, so it's not a huge drawback for me, plus with Photoshop's photomerge option, I can scan larger works in pieces and have the program put them together, so it shouldn't slow me down. I highly recommend getting one of these if you have the money---it's a lot up front, but it's an investment and well worth it if you're a professional illustrator.

And since I finally have access to a scanner again, I can prove I haven't been slacking on creating new work...

This is a piece I've been working on for the Quiet Use Coalition, based in Colorado. They promote "quiet use" recreation (such as hiking and biking) and work to protect public lands from illegal motorized recreation, which can destroy the serene mountain landscapes and upset wildlife through excess noise. The piece isn't completely done as I plan on adding a color to both the background and the text in Photoshop. I'll post the finished piece once I have it the way I like it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's here!

It's April 1st, so you know what that means...the new issue of MOJO is here! I took a quick trip into downtown to grab a couple copies (and art supplies) so I could check out the mention of my book.

It's just a quick little blurb on page 15, but it's a start. I'm hoping it will get a bit of excitement going about the project, and The City Wakes, which is looking to be a fantastic exhibition.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's an idea someday...

I’ve been keeping rather quiet about my book on here (though people that know me personally know all about it) because it’s a bit of a bigger project than “I wrote a book and I’m trying to publish it”. I got a bit of good news regarding the project last week, so I figured it might be time to actually talk about it in a more public forum.

About two years ago I took a class on book illustration as part of my degree requirements at SCAD. I decided to illustrate a children’s story I had written about Syd Barrett. When I completed the project I decided to try and get in touch with Syd’s sister, Rosemary, in order to send her a copy of the book to see if she liked it. If she did, I planned to suggest we try and get the book published to benefit the Syd Barrett Fund, a charitable fund she set up after Syd passed away in 2007 to help the London-based organization Escape Artists. I was very pleased to hear that Rosemary loved the book and was interested in using it to help the Fund.

Shortly before visiting England last November, I contacted Rosemary to see if she would be interested in getting together while I was in Cambridge. She not only agreed to a meeting, but put me in contact with Simon Webb, one of the fundraising managers for Escape Artists. 

 Yay Rosemary!

While in London I visited the Escape Artists’ office so we could discuss the book and how to get it published. Last week I received a bit of exciting news from Escape Artists: MOJO magazine would be running a short news piece on EA in their April issue as a follow up to their Syd-themed March issue honoring the 40th anniversary of the release of Syd’s The Madcap Laughs album. In the piece they would be mentioning how we’re trying to find a publisher for my book!

I was extremely excited to hear the news as not only could it mean a big step forward in trying to find a publisher (MOJO has a readership of over 98,000), but also because MOJO is one of my favorite magazines. I never figured on being mentioned in it as I’m not a big, famous rock star or anything (at least not last time I checked).

The article isn’t available yet, but there is an update on the Fund’s blog about it. The article also reports a bit on the second City Wakes program Escape Artists is getting together, which will feature Syd’s paintings. We’re hoping to feature some or all of my illustrations from the book as part of the exhibition. The exhibition will be the second or third week of November, and I definitely plan on being there. I can’t wait!

Cold comfort for change

Alright, I know it's been a long time since my last post. I didn't fall off a cliff or anything. Rather I was making a big life change: a move from Savannah to Denver, CO. So rather than painting I was focusing on packing and spending time with all the wonderful people I would miss so much once I left Georgia. I've now completed the move, and am working on getting my office/studio space up and running so I can start illustrating again. I'm also trying to transition to the Colorado weather---yesterday I got to watch my car transform into a giant snow cone, while the previous day it was in the mid 60's. Talk about a climate change!

Even though I've been moving rather than painting, don't think it means I haven't been working on illustration-related stuff. I've got news on that front that will be getting its own post. I also have some works-in-progress that I hope to finish soon, and I should be getting a new scanner so I can actually post pieces again.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy (belated) New Year!

I can't believe it's 2010. If it's a new year, that means new goals. I don't do the resolution thing as those tend not to be kept. But if it's a goal, well, somehow that makes it easier to accomplish.

Just a bit before New Year's I was going through old papers and pitching things I didn't need anymore when I came across a copy of my admission application to SCAD. I read through my statement of purpose essay and had quite a time looking back on the "old" me that wrote the essay. My handwriting is the same, but I have to say I've come a ways since then. It helped me put my accomplishments in perspective. I especially had a good time reading this part:
"In addition to artistic goals, I have academic goals as a student of the Savannah College of Art and Design. I plan to maintain a GPA of 3.25 or higher during the course of my studies, and obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Illustration.

After obtaining my degree, I have several career goals that I plan to fulfill. I want to enter the competitive art field as an illustrator for a book or magazine company. While working in that career field, I also wish to write and illustrate my own children’s books, either in a series or on a single book basis. I have always been inspired by the work of children’s book authors and I wish to inspire other children through my work as a writer and artist."
While I didn't meet my goal of moving swiftly from college and straight into being an illustrator for books and magazines (but who does, really?), I can say I met everything else. I graduated Summa Cum Laude (I was not expecting that when I applied to SCAD), and I've already written and illustrated a children's book, it just hasn't been published...YET. But it is on my list of goals for 2010:
  • Get a "real" job so I can start paying my own real bills. Mission accomplished.
  • Move away from Savannah. Don't get me wrong, I love it, and it's been great, but I think it's about time I was hitting that dusty trail. Mission accomplished.
  • Find a publisher for my children's book. I know it's easier said than done, but I'd like to think that it helps that I have a bit of support with the project.
  • Get back to England! I already have enough saved for a plane ticket...I just need to worry about food, shelter, and Travelcards. Postponed to May 2011--but with good reason.