This is the center of a tri-fold mailer to show off my work to publishers in hopes of getting work.
I finished the illustrations for Porter Earns a Quarter. The book will be printed and ready for shipping the middle of November but Nicholeen is offering a pre-sale price on her website.
I attended a marvelous workshop with host Greg Spalenka. Greg’s Artist As Brand workshop and workbook help artists align their heart, art and prosperity. The best part of the workshop was Greg’s one-on-one mentoring to help each artist discover and articulate our own “Heart Virtue” or Core Virtue. An artist’s Core Virtue combined with his/her talent makes up the foundation of the artists brand and is the launching point for building a more meaningful and successful life and career.
My Heart Virtue.
I finish off the illustration in Photoshop by painting each of the color shapes I created in Adobe Illustrator.
I like to build my color shapes in Adobe Illustrator. Using the pencil drawing as a guide I trace each color area. These shapes are easy to edit as I try out different colors and modify the shape edges. I will export this artwork as a Photoshop file where I can use each of the shapes as a selection or mask making it easy to “spray paint” areas without the color going into areas where I do not want it. Color Comps are important steps to have approved by the publisher because it is much more difficult to make changes in a finished painting.
After getting approval on the thumbnail sketches I work out the details of each illustration in pencil drawings. I scan the drawings into the computer then using Photoshop I increase the contrast and often make additional changes by moving or resizing items. Each pencil sketch is then emailed to the publisher for approval. This sketch is a two page spread in Porter Earns a Quarter. There will be text on the page and I may add a couple other items.
The first thing I do before illustrating a picture book is read the story and decide where the page breaks will be. In the case of Porter Earns a Quarter each illustration will be a two-page spread so I will be doing 14 illustrations. I do multiple thumbnail sketches for each illustration to work out the composition. Then I copy my favorite thumbnail sketch for each page onto my book layout sheet. This is sent to the art director or publisher for approval (In this case Nicholeen Peck herself). We discuss each page and I make any requested changes. Then I’m ready for step two.
Today is a happy jump on the bed kind of day. I now have my portfolio website up and running. At an age when most Americans are counting down the months to retirement I am launching my career as an illustrator. After one more semester at SUU I will graduate, having spent three and a half years studying illustration learning some great stuff. Being an illustrator has been a life long desire but I wanted to raise a family while I was young enough to keep up with kids. So I stuck with part time freelance graphic design work while the kids were young. I figured I could paint pictures as a grandma. And indeed that is what I’m doing, both traditional oil painting and digital painting and having a great time. I am currently working on illustrations for Nicholeen Peck’s second picture book Porter Earns a Quarter, which will be published in November. I am grateful to all the artists and others who have inspired and directed me.