Here are a few rough sketches that I am currently turning into larger full color pieces. No inks for sea monsters this time.
I know the visible activity here has been slow. I’ve mostly been plugging away at the book cover. And I am finalizing the Kampion trading card game piece, working with an art director in Portugal (How cool is that?! I mean if your’e nowhere near Portugal). I also entered a few contests, and found a sliver of time to shape up my final and much improved version of “Happy Bug Festival”. Next off to create postcards out of it for the mail. Then there was the Birmingham Art Crawl in July which I was a guest. Loads if fun, but a heap of work as well.
But I am happy to say, I am in the final approval stages of the book cover. The editor was clear of my intentions during the process, as I tried to keep her in the know, sending her shots of the WIP. Hopefully there won’t be any major alterations at this point. I can’t wait to share my work! Now, I am off to make the back cover. Small stuff compared to he countless reflections painted, the car remade in perspective with it’s own highlights and warped reflections. The wheels, with their geometric grids required for each ellipse needed. 3 different perspective grids. I just can’t believe it’s finished. This was the most demanding piece I have yet to encounter.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær of Norway.
Here are some more sketch cards for the upcoming AL Phoenix Festival. I love all these shows, games, movies; so it’s going to be hard to let these wee guys go
I was invited to join a blog tour by my sweet friend Natalie Cone. She writes all sorts of wonderful stories and is a fountain of ideas. You can read more about what she is writing and pondering at www.nataliecone.com.
Natalie introduced me to SCBWI and my wonderful children’s book crit group, where I found so much support and encouragement. And through a chain of connections, my first published gig!
I am currently working on a book cover for a middle grade historic fiction book called BIRMINGHAM, 1933: ALICE, published by ONStage Publishing. Sorry, can’t share any pictures! What’s more, the story of how my editor and I met was, to my utter surprise, appeared in an article in SCBWI Southern Breeze’s newsletter. Schweet!
With that, and Alabama Phoenix Festival coming up in the next weekend, and joining Kampion as an illustrator in their card game endeavors, I have been super busy. Not to mention the 3 books I am trying to find time to work on. As to the Phoenix Festival, this is a completely new thing for me. I have no idea how to set up a table properly, how to price my prints and originals, and do I spend money on a banner or not, and is it too late. I should probably get on that.
But at this moment, I am instructed to answer how my work differs from others in this genre.
I am not sure what my work looks like to others. I know what I meant and thought when I made it, but I am not sure what makes me distinct from others. I think it is important for any kind of creator to meet with others, so they can begin the long process of identifying what that essence is and isn’t and guide it to make that voice stronger in their work. As I travel down that road, I try to be honest in who I am and what I think. We all come from different places with our own ideas of how the world works and what we want from it.
Why do I create what I do?
It depends on what I am working on at the moment. It could be political, a social commentary, adoration for the art. I just love the freedom I have on a canvas. I can say what I want as loud or as quietly as I want in my work. I have peace to process whatever issue I want to discuss in the visual medium, and figure the best way to illuminate it. It’s also kind of a need for me to do my own work.
And the hardest question: How does my illustrating process work?
It depends. Are we talking client work or my own stuff. Children’s books, portraits, or just random art? I am going to stick with my own work pertaining to children’s books for now, since that seems to relate most to the blog tour.
I usually have lots of ideas ricocheting around my mind. I dump several onto my sketch book, which is a compete mess to anyone who ever may dare to look in it. Sometimes I mull over the thoughts and instincts of a main character, trying to figure it’s drive and emotions. Or maybe it’s a scene with a narration element I want to play up. Then I work some sketches, like tons of sketches. I’m trying to decide what best illustrates my thoughts or the characters thoughts. If it is a character driven piece, I do lots of facial expressions and angles. I may idea dump on an outliner, such as Freedom Controller. But that’s not always the case because many times I don’t know how my story will go. I just want to make the next picture that I would want to see if the story were a book. What makes me want to turn the page, in other words. As I progress, I piece together a narrative. It’s letting form decide what happens next. Oh, and I story board. Storyboarding is loads of fun.
Well, that’s what I do! I hope you found it helpful. I wanted to make this happen in the form of a comic, but time is merciless. Maybe I can redo this in the future, because it would be super fun! Thanks for reading!