Thursday, January 21, 2016

If you're dissapointed with this post, it's because you didn't read it with an English accent.

(Think John Cleese.)

Image by Sherry Meidell

Each year as the Utah/Sourthern Idaho SCBWI Illustrator’s conference committee, we apply ourselves to find just the right presenters. Though at times it can be grueling, disheartening, and down right messy, we do not waver in our endeavor to find the best of the best (budget restrictions withstanding).

I can barely contain the excitement for this year’s selection. Like a fine wine, steak or aged cheese, all three guest speakers have reached a standard that most would envy.

We hit the proverbial jack pot!

This year's featured wine (the other two are Mormons so they get to be cheese and meat) is Giuseppe Castellano, Senior Art Director at Penguin Random House and founder of The Illustration Department. Mr. Castellano has an impressive following on Twitter. He prides himself on the number of illustrators he discovers through social media. According to him, the best part about conferences is the time before and after when he gets the chance to chat it up with artists. He will be at the Illustrators' Show at the Bountiful Davis Art Center on February 26th. Don't miss this chance to shake his hand and rub his shoulder.

The steak for this conference is the kind that has the right amount of marbling running through the cut to make it melt in your mouth at first bite. It is none other than the very talented, very busy Will Terry. Mr. Terry has been working as an illustrator for more than 20 years. (Now before for you shrug him off and say, well how is he suppose to relate to a beginner like me? Listen up.) Within the last few years Will Terry has made an online presence for himself by making Youtube videos and art classes. He will be the first to tell you that he didn't have a fan base before he started his social media campaign. He has the kind of knowledge and experience to get you heading in the right direction for your art career. 

Just you wait to try the cheese! Most cheeses are aged for a period of time. The moisture evaporates which lends to a more intense flavor and denser body. Bacteria slowly digest proteins that converts the texture of a cheese from grainy and crumbly to smooth and creamy. Jake Parker may not be as old as some cheeses, but his experiences make him a very fine cheese indeed. He has had three very successful Kickstarter campaigns. And like Will Terry, Mr. Parker teaches online classes. What a texture!

There, you have had just a sampling of this year's featured speakers. Don't miss the feast. I suggest putting aside your excuses and sign up for the conference right now. The early bird deadline is in two days on the 23rd of January. Find detailed information here. Or sign up here.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Chinese Dragon

There's a great little online school that teaches art called SVS Learn. It is run by the amazingly talented illustrators Will Terry and Jake Parker. Each month they hold a competition. They give a prompt and people can come up with an illustration that goes along with it. This month's prompt was,
"Stanley ran outside as fast as he could to see what made that horrendous noise."

Here is what I came up with.
"Stanley ran outside as fast as he could to see what made that horrendous noise." 

I'm pleased with what I came up with, but this wasn't my first choice. I worked on two other illustrations before coming up with this idea. The first one I did was of a mad scientist running out of his haunted house.

 The other was of a man in night clothes running outside with a lamp.
Those these other two are not close to being finished, I think it is pretty obvious why I went with the one I did. But I thought you might like to look into my thought process behind the art.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Little Red Riding Hood

Each year SCBWI has an illustration contest called the Tomie dePaola award. Mr. Tomie chooses a topic then each illustrator comes up with an original piece of art. I found out about this years award a little late, but decided to give it a shot anyway.

The topic was 'Little Red Riding Hood.' Our assignment was to wow him. That's a pretty tough thing to do since Red Riding Hood has been done over and over again. Before you get too excited, no, I didn't win. (At least I don't think so. I guess we'll find out later.)

Anyway, I just want to show you what I came up with. It was a fun project to work on.

"She didn’t know what a wicked animal he was, so she wasn’t afraid of him."  

Friday, January 1, 2016

It's a New Year

I hadn't planned on posting today. Funny how things change.

I, like many people, have some new goals for this year. I hate posting about my goals because then I feel all the worse when I fall through with them. On the other hand, I'll feel more responsible for seeing them through.

I've been thinking about the things I'd like to change about myself and how to push forward for the last several weeks. And I've actually been working on some of my goals even before the New Year. I've been working on a story for many years. I tend to work on it in bursts. I'll do very well writing every week. I'll do this for a month or more at a time. But then something inevitably interrupts it, a new baby, freelance work, vacation.

On my list of things to improve upon I have written down; draw more, post on my blog, eat healthier (I've already been working on this one, too), increase my exercise, create a more organized house. At the very bottom of my list I wrote increase my spirituality.

The fact that I put that at the bottom of my list I think indicates just how much I need to do that. Every day I find some excuse to not read my scriptures or forget about kneeling to say my prayers.

So, I'm going to do an experiment. I'm going to rearrange the order of my list. I'm going to put God first.

I want to see what God can make of me if I decide to put Him first. If in the morning I get up early and kneel at my bedside and then open my scriptures to read what will I accomplish in each day.

So here I go.

Day one of 2016

I read a little bit of scriptures this morning.
I ate healthier, smaller portions all day.
I helped my daughter straighten her room.
I did a quick painting.
And I'm making this blog post.
Not bad.
A quick painting of a black bird