Submitted by Beatrice Goh for the Illustration Friday topic WORK.
Happy Illustration Friday!
We’re ready to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by Tamara Cosendey, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of PEOPLE. Thanks to everyone who participated with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and more. We love seeing it all!
You can see a gallery of ALL the entries here.
And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:
Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).
Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.
Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).
Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the public Gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!
Illustration by Thomas James
In our daily lives as freelance Illustrators, we experience both the joys and terrors of our unique creative profession.
As you probably know, freelance Illustration isn’t always unicorns and rainbows. Those are just the facts of life.
One of the redeeming things about this, however, is that we can often recognize the more common dangers and take steps to avoid them because they are usually pretty clearly defined.
Here’s my list of the 5 dirty words you’re likely to encounter in your day-to-day life as a professional Illustrator:
1. Spec work
This one likely needs no introduction, because you won’t be an Illustrator for very long before somebody solicits you for free work.
The more desperate you are, the greater the danger in falling prey to this trap.
Just know that it potentially hurts your business, so proceed at your own risk.
The frequent sidekick to ‘spec work’ is the word ‘exposure’, because clients who want you to work for free often promise that your art will be seen and adored by millions across the globe.
If for some reason you didn’t recognize that a project is actually a call for spec work, then this secondary term will likely tip you off.
Another inevitability is that your work will be used without your permission at some point. In fact, posting your work anywhere online pretty much guarantees that.
It’s a frustrating one, but there are steps you can take to combat this sort of thing, and the online community of artists often comes together to join the fight.
Here’s one that’s usually brought on at least partly by yourself.
As with all the other dirty words in this list, it’s inevitable, but a healthy dose of time off, a well-rounded life, and personal projects can do a lot to ward it off.
This term defines the overwhelming pile (physical, virtual, or otherwise) where your promotional materials may be buried by Art Directors amongst countless others sent by your fellow artists.
The only antidote is to create work so compelling that it stands out from the crowd and makes a lasting impression.
So there you have it.
A brief look at 5 of the prime offenders in the daily life of a freelance Illustrator.
Get to know them, avoid them, and defeat them when you can, but know that they will be back.
Posted by Thomas James on 08/31/15 under business
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This week we honor another Spanish artist, the emerging star on the all-new Spider-Woman, Javier Rodriguez! Now, Javier has been around for a while, but he’d been working mainly as a colorist here in the U.S. until recently. He worked closely with fellow Spanish artist Marcos Martin on titles like Batgirl: Year One, Captain America 65th Anniversary Special, Amazing Spider-Man, and the earlier issues of Mark Waid’s Daredevil run, which he would stay on after Martin left. I was already a huge fan of the artists on that series, including Martin, Paolo & Joe Rivera, Chris Samnee, and now I’m adding Javier Rodriguez to that list; sort of sad that I don’t pay closer attention to the colorist until they branch out into penciling/inking, but I know I’m not alone in that deficiency!
Javier had a few assignments as penciller for Marvel before getting a chance to fully showcase his talents in the mini-series AXIS: Hobgoblin, which earned him his chance to be part of “relaunching” the new redesigned Spider-Woman AKA Jessica Drew character. Looking at his work on Spider-Woman, I’m super impressed with the way he choreographs his panels; it’s truly inventive, fluid, and “Eisner-esque”!
If you’re interested in checking out more of Javier Rodriguez’ work, you can follow him on twitter here, and you can check out his work on the recent issues of Spider-Woman #5-10, and the upcoming new #1 this November.
For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates
Owen Gildersleeve is an illustrator and set designer based in London. He uses many paper-craft techniques to create playful and imaginative illustrations. He often collaborates with photographers, animators and stylists. Working with clients such as The Guardian, Ben & Jerry’s and Fiat. His first book PaperCut was published in 2014.
To see more from Owen Gildersleeve’s portfolio visit his website.
Posted by Jessica Holden on 08/26/15 under artists
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Amy Ng blogs at Pikaland, a popular stop for illustration lovers, students and artists who are looking for answers on how to find a balance between art, creativity and commerce.
Here’s a secret about me: I love to exercise. Having been exposed to different sports training while I was in high school only made me love my body more when it’s in movement.
I’ve been on various teams: rhythmic gymnastics, volleyball, hockey, running, mountain climbing, and taekwondo – all at the same time. And when I’m not at school picking up a ball, I’m at home skipping rope and doing mat pilates. Early morning swim runs with my childhood friends remain in my memory as one of the fondest activity we get together for. Being in the water makes me feel as though I’m fully immersed in the moment – as though my body is one with all that is around me. Drawing feels very much the same way.
But age catched up. I found that I could no longer run without feeling it in my knees afterwards. I took cautionary steps to alleviate the pain, but after many years of following Mr. T along with his run, I’ve decided that it wasn’t for me. So now I concentrate on doing yoga flows and pilates stretches instead because it helps me open up my shoulders – hunching over my keyboard or Wacom tablet for long periods on end makes me feel as though a curled up ball of wrangled nerves at the end of the day.
With any yoga pose (or anything at all, really), practice makes perfect. But one particular pose has eluded me for many years – the yoga push up (also known as the four-limbed staff pose). For those who don’t know what a yoga push up is, it’s basically a push up but instead of your arms being the same position as your shoulder when you bring your body down, it’s instead at a 90-degree angle, with your upper arms running parallel to your torso, so that your body weight rests on the middle of your body instead of the top of your body (and your wrists are holding your body weight up at the middle!) I just read that last sentence and oh man, here’s a case when a picture tells a better story.
So I have lousy upper body strength it seems, and no matter how much I try, I fall flat on my face every time – never mind that just getting to that bit was a torture in itself. Imagine this: You’re ready to do a push up. You square your hands, resting your hands firmly on the mat. You take a deep breath, and hope that this time will be it – it’s the time you won’t fall flat on your face because your arms betrayed you. So on to the beginning of the descent – a few inches down – and oh boy! It’s looking pretty good so far. A couple more inches, and your upper hand begins to quiver no matter how tightly they’re tucked away at your sides. Your thigh begins to feel nervous, trembling at intensity of keeping the body parallel to the floor. And during that last pivotal moment when you’ve almost hit that 90-degree angle, your body gives way, and everything – your hands, thighs, torso and all – come crashing down in a tangle of limbs.
I thought to myself there’s no way that I could do it. Some muscles obviously did not get the memo that this is the one thing that is still on my list.
My poor yoga mat almost has an imprint of my face from the many times I’ve landed face first into it. But I still kept at it. Lately, I mixed up my routine a little and instead of letting myself fall, I allowed myself to go as far as I could without diving head-first into the mat. And then, right before I felt that familiar jelly-like feeling creep up my hands, I come up for a cobra pose (here’s what that looks like).
It felt really good. I did a couple more each time.
And today, I tried the yoga push up again on its own, and I was surprised at not landing on my face. In fact, my face was an inch away from the mat as my body balanced itself parallel to the floor. I blinked in surprise. I held myself that way for a few seconds – in disbelief. It was surreal. I did it. And then I did it again. It wasn’t a fluke!
My shoulders were hurting afterwards – as though I had worked out muscles I never knew were there in the first place. It was throbbing with a dull ache, warm to the touch and tight. I felt proud.
I believe that we never stop growing or stretching ourselves. The biggest takeaway for me from this whole exercise (pun intended!) is that it takes time to practice anything at all. Whether it’s yoga, drawing, or doing your own business. You might think that you don’t have it in you, but it’s all there. Every bit of it. You just need to find your way, and maybe you’ll fall down like I did (and I don’t just mean on the mat!) but you’ll soon find the strength you never had.
When that happens, it’ll just take you completely by surprise.
And then you’ll be proud you stuck it out.
[Illustration: Surrender, by fellow yoga-loving illustrator (and IF founder!) Penelope Dullaghan]
Submitted by Emily Traynor for the Illustration Friday topic PEOPLE.
Post by Chloe
Sarah Ferone is a freelance illustrator based in Philadelphia. Sarah Ferone’s background in painting and art history, and experience in designing for advertising has allowed her to develop a distinct, individual style. In addition to editorial, Sarah Ferone also works on packaging and books. Her work often has deep narrative and a beautiful handmade feel.
If you’d like to see more of Sarah Ferone’s work, please visit her portfolio.
Posted by Chloe Baldwin on 08/25/15 under editorial submissions
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Are you “building” your Illustration portfolio?
I hear from Illustrators all the time that they are working on “building” their portfolios. This generally means that they are focusing on creating more work so that they can present an expansive collection to Art Directors and other potential clients who visit their site.
Today I’d like to offer an alternative approach.
It’s something that I’m calling the Replacement Theory of Portfolio Design, and it involves making your portfolio stronger, not bigger.
Here’s how it works:
If you’ve just completed a new Illustration that you’re really proud of and want to include in your portfolio, chances are you would normally just add it to the mix. However, I suggest a different approach where you try to determine if there is another, lesser Illustration that you could replace with the new one, thereby strengthening the overall impression you make.
By repeating this step with each new portfolio-worthy piece, you will constantly be weeding out the least impressive work and adding a newer Illustration that makes a real impact.
I’m a firm believer that any images that don’t make an impact actually lessen the effect of the stronger work, so taking the “replacement” approach serves to avoid this by making each new addition elevate your portfolio to a higher level, rather than just a bigger one.
Of course, you’ll have more freedom to operate in this way once you’ve got a portfolio of decent size, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start thinking along these lines if you’ve only got a handful of pieces to show.
In fact, I’ve just revised my own portfolio by adding 3 new pieces and removing 4 older works. I did this not only because I felt my newer work was stronger, but also because it reflects the type of work I’m actually interested in pursuing at this time. Even though this step has resulted in a smaller portfolio than I’d like, I feel that the work that is there represents my creative vision much more accurately.
With the Replacement Theory, I propose making the editing of your portfolio a regular, intrinsic part of your creative process, and of your business.
Naturally, you don’t necessarily have to remove your least impressive piece if it still adds a great deal to the overall presentation of your work, but it’s a useful approach to keep in mind.
Posted by Thomas James on 08/24/15 under business
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