Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Bob Flynn

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This week we honor the work of Boston based cartoonist/animator Bob Flynn, who illustrated a variant cover for the latest issue of Kaboom’s Over the Garden Wall. Flynn has been contributing comics and covers to titles like SpongeBob Comics, ARGH!, Nickelodeon Magazine, and Heeby Jeeby Comix, which he co-created. I really like his bubbly, liquid-y, cartoon drawings; they really ooze to life on the page!

In addition to comics, Flynn has worked as a character designer for the animated series Bravest Warriors and he is the Director of Art & Animation at FableVision Studios.

You can read one of his self-published comics Brain #1 for free on his website here, and you can check out more of his art there while you’re at it!

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 09/24/15 under animation,artists,black and white,comic,design,Humor,illustration,weekly topics
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How to Approach Art Directors Without Being Annoying

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Art Directors are busy people.

This should come as no surprise, because Illustrators are busy too.

Obviously, part of your job as a creative professional is to put your work in front of the right people and hopefully inspire them to hire you for their next project. As with anything, there are both right and wrong ways to do this.

If you’re not careful, you run the risk of annoying Art Directors and burning bridges forever.

Here’s a look at 5 things to consider when approaching Art Directors and other potential clients:

1. Target Your Audience

The absolute first step you should take is to narrow your contact list to the Art Directors who are actually looking for the type of work that you do. You’ll only be wasting their time, and yours, if you are soliciting clients who have no interest in hiring you.

Examine the work that they’ve done in the past and consider whether your work or approach fits within that scope.

Having some knowledge of an Art Director’s work is obviously a good practice anyways when building your mailing list, but it’s also the best way to make a good first impression.

2. Find Out How They Want to Be Contacted

Every Art Director is different in the ways that they prefer to be contacted and the ways that they prefer to seek out new Illustrators.

Some publications and other organizations post ‘Submission Guidelines’ on their websites, as well as in resources like the Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market.

If this information isn’t readily available, be sure to ask this question in your initial contact. If they are open to further contact, they’re likely to appreciate the gesture and let you know the best way to keep in touch.

3. Start a Dialogue

Remember that an often overlooked element of marketing is building relationships.

That’s why it’s so important to try and make a ‘human’ connection with Art Directors, Editors, and other potential clients. Social networking, online forums, and industry blogs are making this easier every day.

Participating in conversations will help you to build memorable bonds with your target audience.

4. Don’t Sell Too Hard

Rather than coming on too strong like an overbearing salesperson, keep things simple by telling the Art Director about yourself, showing some of your work or linking to your website, maybe asking a question or two, and leaving it there.

They may not respond on the first contact, but they’ll probably turn their back on you forever if they feel unwanted pressure.

5. Don’t Overdo It

As stated earlier, Art Directors are busy people, just like you are.

Imagine if you got an email every week from someone wanting to sell you something. It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? And, it probably makes you never want to do business with them, no matter how wonderful their products or services are.

Instead, send semi-regular (perhaps 60-90 days), relevant updates on your work to stay on their radar, while being very careful to not overstep the boundaries.

Posted by Thomas James on 09/21/15 under business
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Kate Wilson

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Kate Wilson is a New Zealand based illustrator. Her illustrations are peaceful and whimsical, concentrating on the wildlife and small beings that live outdoors. She has a keen eye for small things, which translates in her work. Her influences include; gardening and spending time with animals but she does dislike mowing the lawn! 

See more from this lovely illustrator at her website, blog and Facebook

Posted by Jessica Holden on 09/20/15 under artists,illustration
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Pick of the Week for VILLAIN and This Week’s Topic

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Happy Illustration Friday!

We’re ready to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by Jack Viant, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of VILLAIN. 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:

MERMAID

Here’s how:

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!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

Posted by Thomas James on 09/18/15 under artists,call for entries,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Mike McGhee

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One thing I love about new comics day is the fact that there’s always the possibility of discovering a new artist  when you’re browsing that big, tall wall of new books at your local comics shop! Well, this week was another one of those happy moments, as my eye caught the cover of Space Riders #2(2nd printing), published by Black Mask. The intricate, yet sketchy line-work and vibrantly colored cover is by artist Mike McGhee, who apparently hails from the North-West comics scene; Seattle, WA, to be more specific!

McGhee recently helped bring Nemesis Enforcer, a Heavy Metal style comics anthology, to life along with fellow creators from the Seattle area. The first 2 issues are currently sold out, but maybe the publisher will print more(let’s hope!).

You can read a bunch of  McGhee’s comics on his website here. He also self-published a comic called STARFALLEN, but I’m not sure if that’s currently available. At any rate, I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more about this talented artist in the coming months/years!

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 09/17/15 under artists,black and white,comic,design,illustration,weekly topics
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Robot Coloring Book from Doodlers Anonymous

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Our friends over at Doodlers Anonymous have published a truly delightful coloring book with robot-themed illustrations by 48 artists. Having personally colored some of these pages with my 6-year-old twin daughters I can attest to the quality and whimsical fun to be found in these pages.

I’m including some closeup photos of some of my favorite pages below.

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Get your copy of Blinking Lights and Beeping Parts: A Robot Coloring Book here >>

Posted by Thomas James on 09/17/15 under artists,books,children's art,comic,illustration,prints,Stuff
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Awesome Illustrated Socks by Chatty Feet

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A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to receive 6 pairs of these super awesome socks from Chatty Feet to review (I love my job). Naturally I picked the Artists Collection plus a couple of other fun pairs, but in all honesty I would wear every single one of these, or at least give them as a gift.

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Not only do I have fun wearing these and mixing and matching them, but they even make the occasional appearance in puppet shows for my kids.

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Check out these socks and a lot more options over at Chatty Feet!

Posted by Thomas James on 09/15/15 under apparel,Humor,illustration,Stuff
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Which of Your Illustrations Should You Remove from Your Portfolio?

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Illustration by Thomas James

Deciding which Illustrations to include in your portfolio, or more importantly which ones to remove, is probably one of the most difficult, emotionally-charged decisions you’ll need to make on a regular basis as a freelance Illustrator.

I mean, come on, they’re your babies. You worked so hard on them. You cared.

In a softer, gentler world perhaps you might be able to make this decision on purely sentimental grounds. However, the fact is that your portfolio should be a lean, mean, Art Director-inspiring machine. That’s why it’s essential to make the tough choices necessary to show off only your most impressive work, and the work that communicates the things that you do best.

Is there an Illustration that makes you wince?

Is there one that immediately stands out? And not in a good way?

I challenge you to remove it right now and see if that improves the overall quality of your portfolio.

It might be difficult, It might hurt, but you can always put it back later.

Remember that your portfolio is not there to give you comfort, or share all your past experiments. You can use your blog for that. Your portfolio is there to get you work, so make it do the heavy lifting.

Anything that doesn’t belong is only holding you back.

After you’ve read this, I encourage you to go to your website right now and pick one Illustration to remove for one day. Tomorrow, go back to your website and look at your portfolio with fresh eyes, and even imagine that you’re viewing your work for the first time as an Art Director.

Is it an improvement? Then do it again. Once you’ve reached the point where taking things away hurts rather than helps, then you’re one step closer to having a tightly-packaged gallery of the best that you have to offer.

I’ve just done this myself, and it’s something that I practice on a regular basis. In fact, I ended up removing 3 images, rather than just 1, because they all needed to be ejected for the same reasons.

Are you up to the challenge?

Posted by Thomas James on 09/14/15 under business
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Illustrator Submission :: Saskia Rasink

Post by Chloe


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Saskia Rasink is an illustrator, based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Her work has a bold, graphic style and the warm, sophisticated colour palettes used gives her work a mid-century feel. She often depicts maps and architecture inspired by her passion for traveling. She is also inspired by Scandinavian design, interiors and nature.

If you would like to see more of Saskia’s work, please visit her portfolio.

Posted by Chloe Baldwin on 09/13/15 under artists
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Pick of the Week for OLD and This Week’s Topic

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Happy Illustration Friday!

We’re ready to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by Johan Keslassy, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of OLD. 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:

VILLAIN

Here’s how:

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!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

Posted by Thomas James on 09/10/15 under artists,call for entries,weekly topics
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