Sometimes, when you are deep into a project, it’s nice to step out of your bunker and work on something else for a short while. I found time, that I didn’t really have, to enter the Tomie dePaola contest this year. If the time investment paid off then I could be reimbursed for the SCBWI Winter conference that I was already attending. If not, than I would still be inspired, motivated and hopefully refreshed to dive back into my big project.
The guidelines were to illustrate any part of either Little Women, Tom Sawyer or The Yearling. The other stipulation was that it had to be in black and white. I went with the book most familiar to me which is Tom Sawyer. I wanted to find an original part of the book to illustrate but I kept coming back to the most well known scene, when Tom has to whitewash the fence.
This year they had an “unofficial gallery” website where illustrators could post their entry. After viewing a lot of the entries, I felt like I didn’t have a chance. However, I found out today that I did win Honorable Mention and that is very encouraging. A lot of beautiful work was submitted with original and interesting viewpoints.
There is so many online resources available to learn from these days that it has become difficult to decipher where to get the best content for your time and money.
I have not done exhaustive research on all the online art education courses out there, but there are a few that I have used and find very beneficial.
FolioAcademy.com is one that I have been a member of for awhile now. I have learned quite a bit from the many Will Terry courses and look forward to courses from the other instructors. What I love about Folio Academy is that once you pay for a course it is yours to go back to whenever you want. No monthly membership fees. If I want a refresher on a course I’ve taken I can just log back in and review it months later. Also, the courses are taught by instructors who are teaching what they are great at and not by one instructor trying to cover the whole spectrum of subjects.
Two other online instruction websites are:
•Drawing Tutorials Online (Matt works his butt off to constantly create new content.)
•DrawingForce.com with Micheal Mattesi. This site has great content (though I’m not crazy about the organization of the website)
There are many others but these are some that I find to be the most useful. Also, they are reasonably priced unlike the $1200 programs.
What instruction sites do you find useful?
Have you ever created something and just couldn’t see the success in your creation? Or maybe you’ve worked on something for so long you that you’ve lost all perspective and are now tired of looking at it? I feel like I go through that a lot. Part of it may be that ingrained self-doubt that all creatives are born with and part of it may be just not having a group of other creatives to give you feedback.
But an opportunity arose for me to show my work in an open illustration critique at SCBWI-MI Shine 2 in Lansing. I decided I was going to put myself out there once and for all. Though nervous, I was excited about getting some feedback from three well established illustrators: Wendy Anderson Halperin, Aaron Zenz, and Cyd Moore.
On the day of the event, I was continually impressed with how great the other illustrator’s work looked and my persistent self-doubt resurfaced. The advice the judges gave to everyone was invaluable. That alone was worth showing up, but I was uncertain of my work. I continued to tell myself that this is a first big step that must be taken. To my great relief, my work was well received. It was such a huge boost to my self confidence! When all was said and done, I had won the incredible award of a one year mentorship with Wendy Anderson Halperin! What an enriching day and SCBWI-MI organizers did a wonderful job of putting together a very informative event.
But if I hadn’t won, which I am no stranger to, I would not only have absorbed the judges well thought out comments, but I would have been proud for just “putting myself out there.”
Check out the video for Wacoms new Inkling coming out this mid September.$200
I had the pleasure of attending the 2011 SCBWI Winter Conference. Much like the Summer conference I was excited to hear the ‘Voice’ of so many familiar authors and illustrators such as Lois Lowry, Jane Yolen, Jules Feiffer, R.L. Stine, Mo Willems and many more. I took away a lot of useful information and inspiration. The keynote that probably inspired me the most was given by Sara Zarr. She beautifully, encapsulated the struggles of the creative, dissolved the myths that a creative must suffer and instead she encouraged us to take care of ourselves. I was quickly reminded of her wonderful keynote when I watched this message from author of Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert. Although, Sara’s message seemed to hit a little closer to home.
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