Archive for the ‘giveaway’ Category

JetPens Giveaway WINNERS and teaser

We have changed things up a bit and I (Marc) will be running the Giveaways separate from the weekly picks. We also had a LOT of great submissions this week, and it was a very close game. Thank you everyone for participating.

If you see your name below, email me at marc at marcscheff dot com with your mailing address so we can get you your prizes!

Without further ado, this week’s winners are:


Sue Todd





Angel Garcia



And the promised tease

I will be announcing next week’s giveaway early in the week, and it’s a sweet one, including some one-on-one with a well-respected industry name. Keep an eye on the blog!

Posted by Marc Scheff on 04/04/14 under contests/projects,giveaway
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Giveaway :: JetPens pencils!

SIZZLE with these pencils from JetPens.

Some Monday motivation for you, and no, this is not an April Fool’s joke. The good people at JetPens have donated two more prizes this week. A slick uni mechanical pencil, or a full set of blackwing pencils. I use these blackwings and they’re awesomely smooth.



jetpens_blackwing jetpens_uni


More images and information through these links:
Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil:
Palomino Blackwing Wooden Pencils:

How to Enter

Submit an illustration for the topic of the week, SIZZLE (here’s how). It’s that easy! We will pick one lucky winner at random from the comments, and our regular Pick of the Week will get the set of two.

How to Help IF Get More Giveaways

SHARE the heck out of this to let JetPens know that you’re excited about it and you want this to happen all the time! Share everywhere you can, and tag them so they know. Here are a few specific ways to do that.

Thanks again to JetPens for their generous sponsorship of this exciting giveaway.


Posted by Marc Scheff on 04/01/14 under giveaway

This Week’s GIVEAWAY: 3 Books from They Draw and Cook

Hellooooooo Illustration Friday artists!

Thanks to your sharing, we have a new giveaway this week. And again, we’re on the hunt for more sponsors, so the more you share, the more giveaways we can get for you.

The good people at Studio SSS have donated two great prizes this week. The winner will get to pick 3 of Studio SSS’s book series, and the runner up will get to pick 1.



You can see all the books in the They Draw and Cook shop.

How to Enter

Just leave a comment on this post by next Friday, February 28th telling us that you want to be entered. You don’t even have to submit an illustration to the weekly topic to win! It’s that easy! We will pick one grand prize winner at random from the comments, and one runner up will get the single book pick.

How to Help IF Get More Giveaways

SHARE the heck out of this to let companies know that you’re excited about it and you want this to happen all the time! Share everywhere you can, and tag them so they know. Here are a few specific ways to do that.

Thanks again to Studio SSS for their generous sponsorship of this exciting giveaway.


Posted by Marc Scheff on 02/21/14 under contests/projects,giveaway

This Week’s Giveaway: More from JetPens!

Good job Illustration Friday community!

And keep it up! You cared, and you shared, and JetPens agreed to another giveaway this week! And again, we’re on the hunt for more sponsors, so the more you share, the more giveaways we can get for you.

The good people at JetPens have donated two more prizes this week. I’m even more sad that I can’t enter this week because these brush pens are the BOMB.


Here are links to the individual pens to find out more:

How to Enter

Submit an illustration for the topic of the week (here’s how) and also post a link to your entry in the comments section of this blog post by next Friday, February 21st. It’s that easy! We will pick one lucky winner at random from the comments, and our regular Pick of the Week will get the set of two.

How to Help IF Get More Giveaways

SHARE the heck out of this to let companies know that you’re excited about it and you want this to happen all the time! Share everywhere you can, and tag them so they know. Here are a few specific ways to do that.

Thanks again to JetPens for their generous sponsorship of this exciting giveaway.


Posted by Marc Scheff on 02/14/14 under artists,contests/projects,giveaway

Illustration Friday Giveaway :: Artist WordPress Theme!!

Illustration Friday :: Giveaway

By Penelope

Hello artists! I am super thrilled to bring you this giveaway. This is a WordPress theme, designed by Josh Sears of Papertelevision, to help make your artwork look amazing by showcasing it in a professional, easy-to-manage way. Read the Q&A below for more info.

Illustration Friday Giveaway :: WordPress Artist Theme

* * * * *

1. Okay, so my dumb question should probably come first: What exactly *is* a theme?
That’s actually a good question, if only because it’s surprisingly tough to answer! Without getting technical, a theme allows you to make your WordPress site look and function with a specific set of features. These features are pre-designed, and pre-programmed by designers and/or developers, allowing you to launch a professional-looking site at an extremely low cost compared to building from scratch. Even better, Artist is fully responsive, meaning it displays properly on every tablet, and mobile phone. There’s a lot more to that answer, but in short: It let’s you make an awesome, personalized WordPress website, without the fuss.

2. You probably already answered this in the first answer, but who are themes for?
Themes in general are intended for just about anyone who wants to get a professional-looking website at an extremely low cost. They’re relatively easy to install, and dirt cheap compared to hiring a design and development team. I know this because I own a design and development company… and we cost… a lot. Themes are also great for people who have a lot of sites and don’t have the time to craft a site from scratch. So much thought is put into themes beforehand that the only thing left is to add your unique content, and then — bam! — you have a website. One negative with themes is that they can be tough to decipher for those without coding experience, but one of the benefits to the Artist theme is that it is almost all automated via the admin section, which we’ve built from scratch to make it simple to install and update for users of any level. We also have great tutorial videos to help walk you through building your site.

Illustration Friday Giveaway :: WordPress Artist Theme

3. Can I still make one of these themes feel like “me”? Is it possible to personalize it?
Heck yes. The Artist theme, in particular, was designed with this concept firmly in mind. My background, before I headed into the Web Design stratosphere, is actually in Fine Arts and Illustration, so I know how important it is to project a unique personality. You also want a website that presents your work while meshing with the overall look and feel. Artist lets you do just that—whether you’re looking for a super-slick photography site, or a more handcrafted look for your oil paintings — Artist handles those, and everything in between. You can get a feel for the unique “looks” of the theme by visiting the demo site. We’ve designed it so you can preview each and every customization:  Check it out!

Illustration Friday Giveaway :: WordPress Artist Theme

4. How much less time and money does it take, on average, if I go with one of your themes versus creating my site from scratch?
Well, the time that goes into installing and editing a typical WordPress theme depends on your comfort levels with WordPress, CSS, and HTML. It’s not unrealistic to have your theme launch-ready in as little as a single day, though some themes are a bit more dependent on your abilities than others. The good news with the Artist theme is that user-friendliness was a priority from the get-go. It was designed and coded from the ground up to make installation and functionality as simple as possible (No experience needed. At all.). We’ve also provided multiple how-to videos to help you get started, which you can check out on the demo site under the “Tutorials” tab.

As for cost… The theme is $39. It’s not even close to an exaggeration to say a similar site built from the ground up would run you close to about $5k. What?! Yep, I know these things.

5. How do you know so much about this stuff? Didn’t you start out as a designer?
I actually started out with a degree in Fine Arts in pursuit of an Illustration gig, but quickly learned that my knack for marketing and “computer stuff” made me a good fit for Web Design. So, I went back to school for a design degree, worked a 5 year stint at a small agency, and ultimately jumped into the land of entrepreneurship back in 2008. I co-founded a Web development company —, which is still going strong — and most recently branched off into sole ownership of a Mobile App and Web Design company called, aka PTV. I spend my days building interfaces, strategizing with clients, and otherwise launching exciting projects via the web and other handy devices. Oh, and I still draw. Mostly doodles of my dogs.

Oh, so you’ve learned a lot about the technical and programming side, then. Cool. Because my iPod has been acting up, and it seems to only be when it’s really rainy out, but if I jump up and down and kind of — hey, where are you going?

* * * * *

Ok, are you ready? Here’s the details on how to enter:

Papertelevision has offered to give away one Artist Wordress theme to a lucky reader!

To Enter:
- Leave a comment on this post expressing interest.
- This is a random drawing.
- One entry per person, please.

Winners will be announced on Monday! Good luck!

* * * * * * * * * *

The winner is Shannon Castor who said: ”This is fabulous, I’d love to win!” Congrats, Shannon!

Posted by penelope on 03/20/13 under giveaway

Interview with Children’s Illustrator Stephanie Graegin — And a Giveaway!

* * * *Hi artists! The comments for the giveaway are now closed. And the lucky winner of the Hansel & Gretel book is brook gideon! Congrats, Brook! I’ll be emailing you soon to confirm your prize.* * * *

Name: Stephanie Graegin

1. Tell us about yourself / What makes you tick? (Or you can share your brief bio.)
I was born in Chicago, IL, and lived in Fort Wayne, IN and Houston, TX as a child. I always loved to draw and make things and wanted to be an artist from an early age. I went to the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore for undergrad. There I studied Fine Art, and mostly focused on printmaking. I later went to Pratt Institute for a Masters in Printmaking. Now I live in Brooklyn and illustrate mainly children’s books. I also illustrate products for the toy company eeBoo.

2. How did you get your start in illustrating for children?
It was a long, long road of developing a strong portfolio while working a lot of non-art related day jobs to pay rent. I started out with small illustration
assignments, mainly for children’s magazines. It took me awhile to get to the style I use now. The first breakthrough came once I threw away all my pens, which I used for years, and used pencil and computer. Something clicked for me, and the work drastically improved.

At this point, I had gained more confidence in my work, and I put forward a huge effort in getting myself out in the world. I spent about a year putting together portfolio pieces that represented the type of assignments I wanted to get, I built a better website, and made a promotional mailer. I spent months making the promotion mailer; I knew I wanted to make something more memorable than the typical postcard.

I ended up making a mini handbound booklet that fit in a 4 x 6 envelope. I sent out around 200 of these booklets to editors and art directors. My approach worked, and almost immediately I started receiving calls for work.

I was incredibly fortunate to be featured on the illustrationmundo blog a couple months later (thank you Nate Williams!). Steven Malk, a literary agent for Writers House saw my work there and took me on as a client. Everything started to fall into place and since that time I’ve had a continuous projects flow of projects — It’s been almost 2 years now since I sent out that promo.

3. You illustrated Sterling Publishing’s Silver Penny Stories: Hansel and Gretel. This is a well-known tale that’s been told many times. Did you start with a vision (perhaps from childhood) of what your illustrations would look like? Or did you begin fresh?
I knew the story of Hansel and Gretel well, but no particular images from books I saw as a child remained with me. I knew I wanted the palette to feel German - forest like and very autumn. The children ended up looking much like my brother and I as kids, which seems to happen often when I draw.

Reprinted with permission from Hansel & Gretel, © 2012 by Stephanie Graegin, Sterling Children’s Books.)

4. Can you tell us about your creative process, mediums, etc?
I execute drawings in pencil, which are then scanned into the computer — becoming the armature for the final artwork. I make swatches of patterns and textures with ink washes, and these are scanned in too. Sometimes I scan in papers and fabrics to get textures. This is then all brought together in Adobe Photoshop.

5. Do you ever get stuck on how to illustrate a particular scene or character? How do you move past that?
Sure. I’m not sure there’s a surefire solution for getting back on track. Sometimes it takes stubbornly working trough the problem and it seems when you’re ready to step away a solution avails itself… Other times it’s best to put the pencil down and step way.

6. What were your favorite children’s books when you were little? Why?
Frog & Toad, the Ramona Quimby books, everything by Roald Dahl. They still have weight in my consciousness because they all had memorable characters that I identified with, along with superb storytelling. As for picture books, I loved the Richard Scarry books, I could spend hours looking at those detailed scenes.

7. What is a typical work day for you?
Day job at an office (9-5).
A run if I’m not too tired.
Illustrate from 7:30pm to 2 am.

8. Best / most fun part of illustrating for children’s books:
The best part is drawing children’s books! It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child, so I feel very fortunate to be actually be doing this.

9. Worst / most difficult part:
The schedule can be grueling at times. When there are tight deadlines, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done.

10. Are you working on any new books?
I have several books coming out in the upcoming year in addition to Hansel & Gretel.

Don’t Feed the Boy by Irene Lantham (Roaring Brook/Macmillan): October 16, 2012.
Happy Birthday, Bunny! By Liz Garton Scanlon (Beach Lane/Simon &Schuster) Jan 15 2013.
Goldilocks & the Three Bears (Sterling) April 2nd.
The Water in the Park by Emily Jenkins (Schwartz & Wade) May 14, 2013.

I’m currently finishing up a picture book now that’s still too early to talk about. And I’ll be a starting on a new picture book very soon that I’m very excited to be working on.


5 things inspiring you/your work right now:
Apple cider
Sufjan Stevens
Adrienne Adams
Parks and Recreation (the show)

3 constants in your day:
Green tea
a little orange cat sitting beside me (he’s also my art director and therapist).

Your #1 art tip or words of wisdom:
Draw—a lot! They say the average artist make about 10,000 bad drawings in his/her life…so it’s best to get those out of the way early.

* * * * *

And now for the Giveaway!

Sterling Publishing has offered to give away a copy of their Silver Penny Series title “Hansel and Gretel” to one lucky reader!

To Enter:
- Leave a comment by 7am EST, Friday, October 12th.
- Make a comment ON THIS POST to enter.
- This is a random drawing.
- One entry per person, please.

US and Canada residents only.

Good luck! :)

Posted by penelope on 10/09/12 under children's art,giveaway,Interviews

Giveaway: UPrinting Business Cards!

* * * *Giveaway now closed. The cards go to Japes21: “I would like to be a part of this. Great idea!” Congrats! * * * *

Please note: This giveaway is limited to US residents only.

Everyone knows business cards are great to hand out to potential clients, art lovers and even friends. A single card can help spread the word about what you do, your art style, and how to contact you. When I first started freelancing, the first thing I did — after launching my portfolio site of course — was print up a bunch of business cards. I gave a few to everyone I knew to to pass along to people they knew. It was an easy way to get word of mouth going. I also put them in local coffee shops, businesses I loved and even in certain books at the bookstore. A fun surprise for the next person.

Even if you’re beyond the just-starting-out phase, new business cards can help keep you looking fresh.

To help get you going, this week we have a business card giveaway! UPrinting Business Cards can be uniquely designed for your style, and they come in lots of interesting shapes, too… not just the standard rectangle. (See spec options below.)

* * * *

Prize Details :
250 count Die Cut Business Card Printing for one winner

Sizes to choose from :
2 x 3.5″ Rounded Corners
2×2″ Rounded Corners
1.75×3.5″ Rounded Corners
2×3.5″ Leaf
2×3.5 Rounded one corner
2×3.5″ Half Circle Side
2×3.5″ Oval, 2.5″ Circle

Papers to choose from :
14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV), or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated,

6 Business Days Turnaround

Free shipping for US residents only.

* * * *

To Enter:
- Leave a comment by 7AM EST, Friday, July 20.
- Make a comment ON THIS POST to enter.
- This is a random drawing.
- One entry per person, please.

Good luck! :)

Posted by penelope on 07/17/12 under giveaway

three new books and a print give-away


* * * * *

And the winner is: Patrick Visser! Congrats, Patrick!

* * * * *

Freelance illustrator and designer Brenda Ponnay (a.k.a. Secret Agent Josephine) has launched a new series of children’s books all about ABC’s, Colors and Numbers. The new books focus on basic concepts for little ones, but also utilize text and design elements to engage older kids too. The green parrots have migrated to the south. The whimsy of “U is for Underwear,” alliteration in “A Red Rhinoceros wearing red rubber rain boots…” and  “9 super-secret spy cameras” make each book a treat to share with the whole family.

The three books are available on Amazon — both a print version and a Kindle version. The Kindle books are less than 3 bucks and work on phones, tablets, and laptops.

You can read more about Brenda on her blog, Secret Agent Josephine, or follow her on Twitter @secretagentjo.

And the giveaway!:

Brenda has offered to give one lucky IF reader an 8×10 print of the letter V from her alphabet book! Just leave a comment below and we’ll choose a winner on Friday, December 16th! (the print pictured above has the SAJ watermark on there which will not be on the actual print.) Comment to win!

Posted by admin on 12/14/11 under giveaway
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Same, Same But Different – A Giveaway!

* * * *

The Giveaway winner is CAROL! Thank you for all your comments. Congrats, Carol!

* * * *

Same, Same But Different is the new book out by children’s author/illustrator Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (you can read her 2008 IF interview here!). The story is about Elliot who lives in America and Kailash who lives in India. They are penpals and by exchanging letters and pictures, they learn they both love to climb trees, have pets, and go to school. Their worlds might look different, but they are quite similar. Same, same. But different! The story is really fun and the artwork will really amaze you (and your kids!)… there’s so much to look at!

And, because I always like to see artists at work… you should definitely check out this blog post by Jenny Sue about her process!

You can order the book at your local independent bookstore, check it out from the library, or pick it up from Amazon.

A tiny tad more about the author: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw is the author and illustrator of My Travelin’ Eye. She is a freelance illustrator who studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and The Illustration Academy. When she isn’t traveling around the world, Jenny plays and paints on a homestead in the mountains of Northern New Mexico with her family.

Now for the giveaway part!:

 Jenny Sue has graciously donated a signed copy of Same, Same But Different to one lucky IF reader! Keep it for yourself, share it with your kids, or give it away as a holiday gift! Please leave a comment below to enter.

 Winner will be announced Tuesday November 29!

Posted by admin on 11/22/11 under giveaway
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Giveaway – Drawings from the Film “Beginners”

Hello artists!

Focus Features is offering a copy of the book Drawings From the Film Beginners By Mike Mills plus a copy of the soundtrack from the film for one lucky Illustration Friday reader!

Leave a comment on this post to enter your name in the drawing. We’ll pick a random number on Friday, June 24th to choose the winning comment!

Mike Mills’ films and design work have dominated the visual landscape of the past two decades, through record covers and music videos for bands like Air, Blonde Redhead and Sonic Youth, movies such as The Architecture of Reassurance (2000) and Paperboys (2001) and his first feature-length film, Thumbsucker (2004), starring Keanu Reeves and Tilda Swinton.

2011 sees the release of Mills’ new feature film, Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. McGregor plays a character who, as Mills describes, “shares some things with me: we both do graphic design, we both often figure out what we’re thinking by drawing, we both have dogs and we both did record covers for a very real band named The Sads.

This book contains all the drawings which Mike Mills drew, and that Oliver (played by Ewan) works with in the film. Oliver has the unfortunate idea of creating an illustrated ‘History of Sadness’ as a record cover for the The Sads, including such episodes as: Neanderthal man realizes he’s outclassed by homo sapiens man, the pilgrims, industrialization, birth of the novel, pets in general and many more.” This volume also features a new series of drawings: an illustrated History Of Love which includes such chapters as: the first butt to attract, great lovers in film, flappers, free love’s not so easy, internal V.S. external problems and many more.

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Posted by admin on 06/20/11 under artists,design,giveaway

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