by Gail Buschman
I recently had two portfolio reviews with two different art directors. They had very good things to say about my book, but there were two definite things that they both wanted to see more of: art and story.
The first one is pretty straight-forward: create more work! Even working like the Tortoise instead of the Hare, I can get a lot of work done as long as I remain slow and steady, avoiding panic attacks wherever possible. The fact that they're interested in seeing more work out of me is a very good sign and I should push my creative limits whenever possible on more complex pieces while continuing to break them up with smaller pieces that are still in my style.
The second one is more difficult. Story. I used to write creatively--when I was in high school. These days I don't consider myself a writer beyond my blog ramblings. I have stories in my head, but they sound incredibly silly on paper. Additionally, I keep trying to flesh out these long, complex, overly complicated ideas before giving up in frustration before I've really developed anything. Yet I felt that fleshing out a full story was the ONLY way to approach projects for my picture book portfolio. Create a STORY.
At the SCBWI Summer Conference I was able to talk more with one of the art directors about the subject of story. He indicated that while it was important to show you can develop characters and scenes and compositions for a full picture book STORY, it was just as important to create story in a single image. Not the grand idea of a story, but smaller moments of interest, emotion, and wonderment; to show that you don't only have technical skills as an artist, but that you have ideas.
I have ideas, I'm sure you have ideas. We wouldn't be on this path if we didn't have ideas. Between this discussion and the many art-related podcasts that I listen to, I have resolved to no longer consider myself an artist and I wasn't ever going for the writer's hat, but I am ready to move forward into a new role: visual storyteller. And that's story, lowercase. If STORY happens along the way, all the better.
My husband found this information and shared it with me. As an IT person, he feels strongly that this is the bare minimum I should do to protect my digital images online in addition to copyrighting them. When I was updating my own files, I found some of them had metadata of Copyright: Unknown, or Copyright: Public Domain. For an artist who is looking to make a living off their work, this is not good, since this may be the only place people look for the "copyright holder" before using your images for their own purposes.
by Gail Buschman
I've been coming across a number of art-related podcasts recently. Some of them are new, some of them are done but you can still listen to the various episodes. I haven't listened to all of them, just episodes here and there, but here's as complete a list as I have at the moment, in no specific order:
Do you know of any others? If so, leave a comment and let me know! I'm always in search of podcasts to listen to while creating art.
by Gail Buschman
Just a quick post today. I came across this video via social media (twitter) and while I have only watched 5 minutes so far, it seems like a really good thing for everyone in this industry to know. It is long and unedited, so bear that in mind.
by Gail Buschman
So I have one recurring complaint every year: November is the month filled with all the cool challenges like NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo, etc, etc. It is ALSO the height of rush season at work and the most likely time I have to put in overtime and cut back on artwork time. So I'm initiating an art challenge for myself and anyone who also wants to particpate can join in: February Faces! Draw one face every day for the entire month. Big faces, small faces, stick faces, ALL faces!
To get the creative juices flowing, here are some starter ideas:
I will be posting my sketches on my personal blog every day and I hope other people join in and post their sketches on their blogs too!
UPDATE: I updated the logo because the pixelation was bothering me and I also forgot to put my hashtag for this event when I share on twitter: #FebruaryFaces
I write this post while eating dinner after leaving my day job early to deal with a family issue and shortly before we head out to visit a friend we just saw at New Years who is now in the ICU. Right now I need balance. My life recently has been too interesting, and not in a just-signed-a-picturebook-contract sort of way.
I haven't created a lot of art recently, but that's ok. One of the ways I'm trying to find balance is in the only New Years resolution I wanted to make this year: to have fun with my art and not guilt. No thoughts of "I'm not doing enough" or "I suck" or "why am I reading a book instead of drawing?", because when you peel away the layers of emotion and guilt, there probably IS logical reason behind all those things.
"I'm not doing enough"
Compared to what? Compared to someone who works twice as fast?Correct. twice as slow? Incorrect--unless of course, they have over twice as much time to work as I do. Compared to a full-time freelance illustrator? Correct. It's all relative. I created more art last year than I ever have in one year, but since I illustrate AFTER putting in 40+ hours a week on another job, I don't create as much as other people may. I have plans to do more with my art this year than I did last year. Progress is progress.
I can't say this because I don't feel this way anymore. individual drawings may suck, I may be grumpy about something else that I'm taking out on my artwork, I may be envious of someone else's talent, but my artwork is good. I still have much to learn, but the moment I stop trying to learn, I should stop making art anyway.
"Why am I reading a book instead of working on art?"
Two answers for this. One, a favorite author just released a new novel. Two, I'm stressed. I know for a fact that I've been using books of the SF/F genre as a coping mechanism for most of my life. The characters have problems, but they are not MY problems, and many have cool magical powers to help them deal with their issues. So jealous. If I am doing nothing but rereading a 14 book series at the height of my work's busy season AND the end-of-year holidays WHILE trying to help inlaws, I probably need the downtime. The art will still be there; I love it too much to lose it completely.
No more guilt.
Each post is a unique creation by an artist and foodie who attends our monthly gathering.