Archive for the ‘IF Kids’ Category
Dalton Ghetti carves miniature sculptures from discarded pencils, stubs worn with age and forgotten on the ground. He reworks them with careful precision, some sculptures no larger than a grain of sand. Using a sewing needle to carefully whittle away the graphite, his sculptures can take years to create.
David Rees on the other hand takes the craft of pencil sharpening in a different direction, striving for the perfect point. Ever since hearing his recent radio interview on NPR, I’ve become obsessed with the desire to own a pencil certified as a dangerous object. In this case, perhaps it’s the pencil that’s mightier than the sword.
Do you have a collection of pencil stubs you can’t bear to toss out? Do you collect pencils with your name or from each o f the 50 states? We would love to see them! Photograph your collection and show us over on Illustration Friday Kids Facebook page.
Posted by Thomas James on 03/20/13 under IF Kids
Post by Penelope
As the mother of a kiddo who’s in love with picture books (what kid isn’t?), I thought I’d start sharing some of our favorites here on the ol’ IF Blog in a new “Book Bliss” series. These are books that are wonderfully illustrated with great stories. Fun indeed! I hope you’ll enjoy!
The first one I’d like to rave about is called Flotsam by David Wisner. Have you seen this book? It’s amazing.
Here’s the description from Amazon:
“A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam–anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share . . . and to keep.”
David Wiesner’s detailed illustrations surely spark the imagination with images of puffer fish hot air balloons soaring through the sky, starfish islands tottering around tiny whales and sea shell homes perched on turtle shells. One of my favorite images is of a family of octopuses in their underwater living room. It’s just great — so detailed and funny.
David Wiesner is one of the best-loved and most highly acclaimed picture book creators in the world. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have won numerous awards in the United States and abroad. Flotsam won a Caldecott Medal in 2007. David also shares his process on his website!
Check out Flotsam for yourself… It’s definitely one to own even if you don’t have kids. You’ll love it!
When introducing children to a material or medium, I like to give them an overview of what artists have been doing with it. It pushes them to consider it beyond a basic level. Michelle Kong always gets a WOW! She works primarily in hot glue and has mastered its use to create ethereal works that play with light. Afterward I have to be careful with my hot glue stash or my high school students will run through it as they experiment!
Posted by Thomas James on 03/14/13 under IF Kids
1. Tell us about yourself / What makes you tick?
Hi, my name is Jannie Ho (pronounced Jane-nee) and I’m an illustrator specializing in children’s books and products. I went to Parsons School of Design with a BFA in illustration. I’m also known as Chicken Girl. Because who doesn’t like a chicken or two?
2. How did you get started as an illustrator?
After I left school, I worked as a designer and art director, before deciding that illustration was my true passion. I think I had a lot of years of self doubt, and when I read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and she talked about “shadow artists,” it really hit home. So while I was working at the full time design job, I slowly went back to build my illustration portfolio while taking continuing education classes at School of VIsual Arts. I signed with a rep and was working the full time job and doing freelance illustration on the side. Eventually I made the transition to being a freelance illustrator full time.
3. How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?
When I started to learn Adobe Illustrator, I felt like that medium lends itself well to what I imagine my style would be like. It took years of being out of school before I found my style. But with that said, my style is always changing (and should change.) It has changed a lot since I started 7 years ago. Lately I feel a big shift coming over me and there is a huge hurdle I have to overcome. The style I can imagine in my head is not the way it is on paper at the moment. But so it goes — that is part of the process.
4. Can you briefly explain your creative process, mediums, etc?
I work 99% in Illustrator. I use to do pencil sketches, scan them in, and draw on top of my sketch. But since a lot of client work has quick turnarounds, I began doing grayscale vector art as a sketch, straight on the computer. If the project calls for a certain subject matter or theme, I like to do some image searches just to get the ideas flowing. And for fresh color palettes, I like colourlovers.com for inspiration. It always gives me something new and prevents me from using the same old palettes.
5. How do you come up with new ideas? Do you have a process?
I have to say I don’t really keep a sketch book for ideas. However, I always have various digital files I started with different little artworks. I listen to podcasts and free play, building a scene, making characters. My ideas flow this way.
6. Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then?
Yes, of course! Switching projects always helps. I try to stagger projects to keep the creative juices flowing. I really do believe in having time away from a creative problem and trust your subconscious do some work. When I get back to it, there are always new and fresh solutions. I understand this may not be optimal for client work and short deadlines. But even going for a short walk helps.
7. Best / most fun part of your job:
Creating a world of my own. I can be an interior designer, fashion designer, furniture designer, etc. in my illustrations. I get to draw all day — sometimes I work on projects that I would do on my own for free… but don’t tell the client that!
8. Worst / most difficult part of your job:
The feast and famine of freelancing life can be tough. Working from home can be a lonely thing, even for those of us who enjoys solitude. Thank goodness for the internet that illustrators can connect with each other through social media.
9. Do you have side projects you work on?
I always like to have something going on the side. I started an ABCs series which started as a promo card but then it was so much fun that I continued with them. I also enjoy writing and illustrating comics and this is something I feel I can get more personal with. As much as I enjoy children’s publishing, it is nice to work on something more “grown up.”
10. What’s on your horizon? Any current/future projects and plans/dreams you can share with us?
I have a wonderful board book series coming out with Nosy Crow, called Tiny Tabs. The first 2 titles, Teeny Weeny Lost His Mummy, and Bunny Boo Lost Her Teddy, is being released in April 2013. I also have a pop-up gift book coming out in the fall, published by Campbell Books.
* * * * *
5 things inspiring you/your work right now:
limited color palette
3 constants in your day:
Your #1 art tip or words of wisdom:
It will always be an uphill battle, so just enjoy the process and the journey. Take time to celebrate achievements along the way. Believe in your work. Never give up.
* * * * *
Thank you so much, Jannie Ho!
The pencil is more than a tool for a fabulous drawing or story. In the case of this colorful art installation titled “Reverse City” by Cameroon-born artist Pascale Marthine Tayou, the pencil is the base for art itself.
I love these sculptures by Motohiro Tomii. Dozens upon dozens of colored pencil incased in acrylic forms.
Jonna Pohjalainen‘s art is joyful. As she says, “While you sharpen your pencils you can see time passing by. Colours bring joy and happiness in our everyday life.” So true!
Designer Tim Liles created this clever piece of jewelry. Instant entertainment at your fingertips! I wish I had a set of these when my daughter was younger, but then again, I’d love a set just for myself.
Here is a twist on the iconic candy necklace from Kikkerland Design! A necklace of crayon beads!
I’m also rather partial to their set of Space Invader crayons.
Posted by Thomas James on 02/20/13 under IF Kids
Children’s illustrator Amy Adele is inspired by nature, folk tales and a childlike imagination. Her work is built around a love for hand painted details and the richness of natural earthy colors. We love the whimsy!
Do you have a particular image of your child’s that you love and think would be fabulous as an embroidered pillow or as part of that newly refinished kitchen table? The process couldn’t be simpler!
To get started you will need:
– your child’s drawing
– a knitting needle or chopstick
– carbon paper
– masking tape (painter’s version as it is less sticky and won’t leave a residue)
If you are working with cloth, iron out all the wrinkles. Tape it to a hard surface. Place the carbon paper, ink side facing the cloth, table or whatever your project surface may be. Position your child’s drawing on top of the carbon paper and tape it in place. Trace the lines with a knitting needle or chopstick. You could use a blunt pencil, but you will end up leaving a mark on your child’s drawing. Remove drawing and carbon paper.
This project isn’t of course limited to children’s drawings. It is a great way to transfer your own images too.
Do you have a pencil jar full of stubs? Don’t throw them out. Upcycle them into colorful jewelry for kids of all ages!
Want to make beautiful stars in your night sky painting or add a special sparkle to your painting of a dress? It is so easy with these three materials:
- Watercolor paints
- Table salt
First make a painting of your choice – using deep dark colors for night skies or vivid colors for other subject matter. This process works for any sort of painting, even abstract.
While the painting is still very wet, add a sprinkle or pinch of salt to the wet paint.
Let the painting dry throughly. Then rub off the salt with your fingers!
The background of this collage is an example of a watercolor/salt painting. The salt pushes the pigment away from the paper and adds a beautiful visual texture. Now go try your own!