Alice and Martin Provensen

3993113813_fb0e426955 87d0d31d994a3070797d4fd6dd2bd768 8e90d4eaef7a8883675d1c051f9745a5  ed15f6a5bc815aeea4ac668e8b5df21cebf7562e300e6695190ec385826be12c 63ab4ce0d69fc073bbe94286a6a7ee3e 8bd13334598809b64ca4effa90122ab2 

Alice and Martin Provensen illustrated more than 40 children’s books together starting from the mid 1940s. They have been listed on the New York Times Best illustrated books of the year nine times. Some of these books include; A visit to William Blake’s Inn by Nancy Willard, The Year at Maple Hill Farm which they also wrote and The Glorious Flight. Martin unfortunately died of a heart attack in 1987 but Alice went on to write and illustrate other books for example The Master Swordsman & The Magic Doorway. Their style of illustration is so whimsical and fun! They are such an enjoyment to look at for both adults and children.

Posted by Jessica Holden on 08/13/15 under artists
Comments Off on Alice and Martin Provensen

Call for Submissions: Illustrate a Wall Clock


Hello fellow artists!

We know you love a good art challenge.

The folks at Doodlers Anonymous have teamed up with Blik to present this unique opportunity to artists. The challenge is to doodle, draw, or illustrate the backdrop of a wall clock!

Six winning submissions will have their art transformed into 10” wall clocks to be sold through Blik and Doodlers Anonymous. Plus, a portion of the royalties will go to the lucky artists!

Find out more about this fun challenge and how to enter here >>

Posted by Thomas James on 08/13/15 under artists,call for entries,Events,illustration,news,Stuff
Comments Off on Call for Submissions: Illustrate a Wall Clock

Illustrator María Alconada Brooks

2 5 4 3

Posted by Thomas James on 08/13/15 under artists
Comments Off on Illustrator María Alconada Brooks

POINTY by Joanna Kaufman


Submitted by Joanna Kaufman for the Illustration Friday topic POINTY.

Posted by Thomas James on 08/13/15 under artists,children's art,Humor,idea generation,illustration,weekly topics
Comments Off on POINTY by Joanna Kaufman

POINTY by Nate Padavick


I attended last week’s free webinar, Creative Playgrounds, which was sort of a more casual pre-game event for next Monday’s online course Building a Freelance Illustration Business.

During the webinar, illustrator Nate Padavick shared his entry for this week’s Illustration Friday topic of POINTY, and you could almost hear everyone’s heart melt so of course I had to share it.

Hope this inspires you!

Posted by Thomas James on 08/12/15 under artists,weekly topics,workshops / conferences
No Comments

Online Character Illustration Class with Matt Kaufenberg


In our continuing effort to keep you inspired we’d like to tell you about this really fun online course that will walk you through the steps necessary to take your character illustrations to the next level.

In this class Matt Kaufenberg will take you through his process of illustrating a character, starting with the concept, then moving into Illustrator to create the shapes, and finally, rendering it in Photoshop.

What You’ll Learn

  • Finding Inspiration
  • Character Concepts
  • Building the Foundation in Illustrator
  • Rendering in Photoshop
  • Color Adjustment and Texture

Click here to learn more about this class >>

Find even more online classes for illustrators here >>

Posted by Thomas James on 08/11/15 under children's art,classes,Events,illustration,resources,technique,Tools,tutorial / how-to,workshops / conferences
Comments Off on Online Character Illustration Class with Matt Kaufenberg

Idea Generation Image Search for POINTY


Hello fellow illustrators!


As promised last Friday, we are now in full effect taking Illustration Friday to the next level. The natural evolution of a fun weekly illustration challenge based on ideas is a deeper focus on the art of idea generation itself.

Yesterday we shared a stream of conciousness word list for this week’s topic of POINTY, and today we’re sharing some visual inspiration based on a simple image search using some of the words from that list. Use can use the images above to brainstorm for concepts that you might not have considered otherwise, or do some searching of your own!

Have fun!

Posted by Thomas James on 08/11/15 under idea generation,IF community,illustration,technique,Tools
Comments Off on Idea Generation Image Search for POINTY

The Idea Generation Process of Shawn Ferreyra

cards 4

[Editor’s Note: In response to our announcement last week that Illustration Friday will be focusing more heavily on the art of idea generation, illustrator Shawn Ferreyra reached out with us to share his own process for coming up with new ideas. What follows is an intimate look at Shawn’s idea generation methods in his own words. You too can share your techniques through our contact page.]

I came to illustrating via theater via playwriting via screenwriting via comics. This is one of many exercises I learned back in my playwriting days that I’ve adapted for illustration. I hope this is helpful!

Go to Staples or whatever and get a 3×5 index card holder and fill it with blank 3×5 index cards. Carry it with you at all times along with a sharpie or a felt tip pen. Nothing fancy.

Start an observation diary. Not a diary of your thoughts or feelings. A diary of your observations. On index cards. Not in a notebook. On index cards. One card per observation. Don’t write on both sides. Don’t date your cards.


cards 1

cards 2

Overheard a wall street guy say something cringe worthy? Write down what you heard.
Saw an interesting person on the subway? Draw them. No more than 3 minutes.
Street preacher said something crazy? Write it down.
Saw an interesting still life? Draw it. No more than 3 minutes.
Saw a woman reading and laughing out loud hoping someone would ask her what’s funny? Describe it in as few words as possible.
Saw a gorgeous cityscape or landscape? Draw it. No more than 3 minutes.
See someone constantly blinking when they speak? Describe it in as few words as necessary.

cards 3
Do this for a few weeks, maybe a month. At the end of the month, lay all your cards out on a huge table. Start organizing them. How should you organize them? I don’t know, there is no should. Your mind is going to make you see patterns. You’re going to start to see things that go together. You’re going to start to see bits and pieces coalesce to suddenly become fully realized ideas.

You’re going to start to realize that the cards aren’t just your observations, but fragments of how you perceive the world, what you’re obsessed with, what you’ve been thinking about and wishing for. Your unconscious mind has been meditating and mulling these things over this whole time, and you’ve just tricked yourself into showing them to your conscious mind.

Thanks so much to Shawn Ferreyra for sharing his idea generation process. Want to help make Illustration Friday more of a place of learning? Leave some thoughts in the comments or send us your own process for coming up with ideas and shaking up your conscious mind here.

Posted by Thomas James on 08/11/15 under artists,community,idea generation,illustration

The First 5 Seconds of Your Portfolio Website


In the first 5 seconds that an Art Director visits your website, they are making critical judgements about you and your work, for better or worse. That’s why it’s so important to give your landing page the attention it deserves.

How do you make a strong impression in the first 5 seconds?

This happens to be a question that I hear from a lot of Illustrators, which is understandable because your Home page is one of the most important parts of your website, along with your actual portfolio. After all, if you turn Art Directors off with a poorly designed landing page that makes you look like an amateur, they’ll go elsewhere quicker than you can say “Hey, wait! Come back!”

The way I like to think about the design of a landing page is to imagine that you’re an Art Director who has never been to your site before, and consider the impression that your website makes in the first 5 seconds.

Are you putting your best foot forward?

Are you showing off your greatest work?

Is your design clean and clear?

Is your style evident?

Are you making an impact?

What is the first thing the eye is drawn to? The second?

Asking these types of questions can be very worthwhile when designing (or redesigning) your website, because they can help you to take control of the way you “introduce” yourself to your new visitor.

An Outside Perspective

In fact, I would also recommend enlisting the feedback of one or more fellow artists that you trust, just as you might when asking for a critique of your work, because sometimes it can be hard to get an objective viewpoint of your own design. When asking for help, try to ask specific questions, such as the ones listed above, so that the criticism will be more useful to you.

Another enlightening activity is to visit the websites of Illustrators you’ve never seen before, and pay close attention to the way their Home page affects your impression of them. You might even want to have a pen and paper ready to jot down notes of the things that turn you on and/or off about their landing page. Then, you can apply these ideas to your own design.

Keeping Them Around

Remember that the Home page of your portfolio website, just like every other element, has a very specific job to do, which is to impress your potential clients, make them want to see more, and get them to your portfolio as quickly and easily as possible.

Spending a little extra time getting this part right can do a lot to help achieve these goals.

Posted by Thomas James on 08/10/15 under business
Comments Off on The First 5 Seconds of Your Portfolio Website

Idea Generation Word List for POINTY



Hello fellow illustrators!


As promised last Friday, we are now in full effect taking Illustration Friday to the next level. The natural evolution of a fun weekly illustration challenge based on ideas is a deeper focus on the art of idea generation itself.

We’re starting small, with a stream of consciousness word list that one might create while brainstorming for this week’s topic of POINTY or any other of our weekly topics. I encourage you to make your own first, perhaps compare it to this list or even email yours to us if you’d like us to consider sharing it in a future blog post.

You will notice that in my own personal word process below I try to let my mind freely linger in one area for a while until some other interesting pathway offers itself up, or not. Sometimes you’ll need to give it a gentle nudge, or step away for a minute. The randomness itself is where the magic can sometimes happen. This process is pretty much guaranteed to take your mind to surprising places. This list took only a few minutes to create, but it could go on and on with further exploration.

As things progress, we’ll be adding a LOT more features to share a variety of approaches to generating good ideas, as described in last week’s 5-minute video, so stay tuned…






pointy hat
dunce cap
witch’s hat
pointing finger
pointing out
pointing at you/me/…
what’s the point
sharp (smart)
kitchen knife
medieval weapons
vampire teeth
wolf teeth
shark teek/fin
crescent moon
hammer and nail
staple gun
railroad stake
king/queen crown, etc.

 Want even more inspiration? Check out the entries that have been submitted so far for this week’s topic.

Have fun!

Posted by Thomas James on 08/10/15 under call for entries,classes,idea generation,IF community
No Comments


Submit your illustration:

Select an image on your computer:
Choose File no file selected