Monday, October 31, 2011

Is It Work When You're Having Fun?

Because I'm "working" late and often respond to things on Facebook my friends, family, and students know I "work" late. Sometimes I get accused of being a work-o-holic but is it really work if I'm having this much fun? I love drawing. I love illustrating ideas - but most of all I love the satisfaction I get when I see how children and parents respond to my work. The ability to communicate with pictures is basically a part of who I am. I can't imagine what life would be like without being able to create narrative images. I don't want to know what it would be like....I think you know it's not work when you're doing something you would do regardless of the monetary compensation.

So "working" on this monster app isn't work at all - it's therapy. I don't feel any stress or anguish over it and that in and of it's self is my payment. When I'm finished and it is formatted for Ipad / Iphone and perhaps the new kindle fire the money I make or don't make is a distant by-product of my passion. I'm not going to be a phony and tell you I don't want it to make money but the money is irrelevant to my joy and happiness in the creation process. I'm not going to worry about editing "this or that" in or out to please a certain demographic. All I'm going to do is make an app / ebook that I would want to buy and use with my kid - again, I'm going to be selfish.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Did I mention how much fun I'm having?

So anyway - working on this project is way more fun than getting hit by a car twice. Wait, have I mentioned that I've been hit by two different cars both while riding a bike? - not the same bike different bikes...and different cars - different years - and different drivers...I don't think they knew each other...both my fault. I did however learn two big lessons - 1) I am stupid and 2) I want to be in the car the next time I get hit.

But wait - this is supposed to be about illustration, ebooks, writing, apps, formating, tablets, ereaders, etc.

Ok, Status: All of these monster sketches are for an ipad / iphone app that I'm making. It will: have a story, be interactive, be in color, be animal friendly, eco friendly, kid friendly, and car friendly....It will have friends.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

ebooks, apps, and selfishness

Selfishness? really? but we were always taught to be charitable, giving, and unselfish. Ok - I needed a provocative title but I'm going to defend it. How many times have you as an illustrator, graphic designer, author, artist, or creator allowed yourself to create under the umbrella of a studio, publisher, client, friend, spouse, parent etc.? In other words how often do you create for someone else? How often do you allow the parameters of the assignment dictate choice? How often are your choices influenced by what you think "they" want and not what you want? We all do it - even if you're a gallery artist chances are you create "in step" with the body of work the gallery owner has accepted. Right?

So my message today is that the invention of computers, tablets and ereaders and the internet have given power back to the artist. It's an amazing time my fellow artists. I now give you permission to be selfish - and it's a good thing when it comes to your art. Never before in the history of the world have artists been given the ability to get their work to their audience so cheaply. Because it's so cheap it means we can do it on our own so we don't necessarily need someone putting restrictions on our content. I'm not saying that it's not good to get opinions from other professionals but now we can do what we want - the environment for complete creativity is autonomy. I'm embracing ebooks, apps, and whatever else develops in the future.

So be selfish - your best art has yet to be created - what's hiding in there?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Monster app!

Having a blast working on this little project - I don't sleep much anymore but as I get older I realize that we only have a short window to make it happen - whatever "it" is. I love the challenge of developing good instruction for my college classes, pleasing my freelance clients, pleasing myself on personal projects and my continued involvement on the day to day workings of Folio Academy.

I think I've found a programer and animator to help me see this vision through - I'm having so much fun - at work!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Monster App

Here is another sketch for the ipad/iphone app I'm working on. I do not have a programer yet - have talked to a few but I want to find someone who believes in my project enough to go all in with me and share the loot we most certainly will rake in. This is certainly another leap of faith but I've found that if you have a dream and can see - really see the vision of it, you should go for it! I've been learning this over the past year and have enjoyed a fair amount of success with this method of working. I'm sure I'll have my fair share of failures - wait - I've done that:

My Failed books: "The magical world Inside Abandoned Refrigerators", "Daddy Drinks Because You Cry", and "You Are Different and That's Bad".....ok ok - I lifted these from the internet but you get the picture. I've had failures and I'll have more and you know what? That's ok.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Justin Gerard Visit

The piece above is NOT mine. I wish it were. I love this piece. It's Justin Gerard's. You might have noticed that I've had a link to Justin Gerard's website here on my blog for a few years now. When I came across his work for the first time in 2008 I was blown away. His sense of design, color, drawing, rendering, etc spoke to me right away. Definitely one of my mentors in illustration and I was so excited when Don Seegmiller invited him out to give a lecture and all day demo here in Utah at UVU.

After all the illustration stuff was out of the way a few of us: Don Seegmiller, Peter Sakievich, Justin, and myself were able to sneak away down to Goblin Valley for a few days.

It's so important to take time to get out and observe natural surroundings to increase your visual vocabulary but also unplug and feed your spirit.

There are lighting situations that you just can't conjure on your own - even if your work is highly stylized I believe that it all starts with careful observations that can later be distilled into original work.

Justin had way more energy than the rest of us put together - while we surrendered to taking our shoes off and fording the stream a few times - Justin took on the challenge showing off his mad scrambling skills. Then he walked the next two or three miles sans shoes!

Justin has a great sense of humor (not shown in this picture) and is very approachable (just don't say, "I'm lovin it!" - he hates crass commercial messages). I was surprised at how much we share in common especially our theories of making great images. He's accomplished much more than I ever did at age 31 - scary for some of the older students at UVU. We had a great time and I hope to meet up with him again sometime soon. Oh, one more thing - he doesn't snore but Don can compete with a diesel engine! Check out more of his work at his blog. He's also a regular contributor over at the Muddy Colors Blog.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sketch for a New Book Project

I'm working on a new picture book and I thought I'd post one of the sketches - it's a bit rough but I thought I'd post work in progress as I get going on it. This will be another ebook that I will finish down the road. I say down the road because I know this one is going to take much longer than the other ones I've produced in the past. I've decided to gamble more time in order to produce a final product that I feel is worthy of long term recognition. Illustrating children's books is still probably the funnest thing on earth next to sneezing 9 times in a row (my personal best) and when I'm working on one like this -time seems to move x 10.