This weeks Illustration Friday topic is "portrait". Here is a self portrait I did when I signed on with my rep recently. I think from now on I'll stick to using animals for my self portrait because this look has already changed!
I now have blond hair and no glasses. Yep! I went this week and got blond highlights and about 3 inches chopped off. It's hot here, I had to do something!
I'm coming in kind of late with my illo friday contribution.(not even going to bother posting it to illo friday site) But I thought this little guy would be appropriate.
"Slow and steady wins the race", as they say.
"Speed" is something I'm always battling. I try to rush and do too much and in the end make myself physically ill and burned out.
I want to slow down and enjoy the process, y'know? Savor the journey regarding all aspects of my life. Really, that's what it's all about isn't it? Enjoying the here and now because who knows what tomorrow will bring.
On the homefront we have been dealing with the shock that a dearly loved family member has been diagnosed with an aggressive , incurable cancer. We're all having a difficult time grasping and accepting the situation. It has only been three years since my husbands mom lost her battle with cancer and now it's his dads turn.
Here is a picture of my lovely father in law, "pops" with his new bride ,Ms. Sue. She has been such a blessing for all of us. We would appreciate prayers if you feel a prompting to do so.
As my friend snowbear would say..
*Hatu*-- hugs across the universe
Well, there she is again, batting her eye lashes trying to invade your thoughts.
Miss Prissy, Little Pain In The Bottom, Green Eyed Monster.
She can be a pesky monster that likes to mess with your self esteem, make you question your talent and direction. She even has a clever knack of skewing reality and reeking havoc on your state of mind.
Don't let her do it to you. Tell her to be on her merry way and bother someone else because you have better things to do than spend time with her!
We've all been there and it's something we're not proud of admitting. But let's face it , this field gives one ample opportunities to get a little green. I'm a freelance children's book illustrator because ....I want to illustrate children's books. When one of my ever so talented friends gets that "dream assignment" or achieves the goal that I have set for myself yet haven't quite reached...sure it affects me.
But you know what? I don't think "envy" is really the appropriate label for this feeling. I think we're simply experiencing, yearning. A yearning because we too want to be a success at what what we do.
So how do I handle Miss Prissy, Little Pain In The Bottom,Green Eyed Monster?
*Well, first I take a soak in a hot bath and sulk.
*Then,I try to remind myself that we all have a purpose in this world and since I truly feel like this career is where I belong...then the opportunities will come...when it's time.
*And then I try to focus on what I have achieved so far and count my blessings because there are many.
*Then I scold myself for a few minutes when I realize that I should be more grateful and stop comparing myself to others.
*And finally, I work on a plan. What can I work on next? What can I do today to get one step closer towards my goal?
Yes, Miss Prissy ,Little Pain In The Bottom ,Green Eyed Monster I see you there batting your eyelashes at me. Go on now,scoot,I have work to do.
I love tea, hot and cold! Here is an illustration I did for "Hopscotch Magazine". It accompanied a poem called, "The Picky Eater" about a kangaroo who invites his friend over for tea. Unfortunately the koala would have preferred a bit of eucalyptus instead.
I've been thinking about redoing this with felt. May play with that soon.
With everything that has been going on with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I was so happy to find this quote.
We all want to make a difference and help during this time of tragedy. Through our monetary donations or gifts of our time, we can.
As soon as I saw this weeks illo-friday prompt, "reflection", I was reminded of a dummy-book that I worked on several years ago.
It was during Susan Hartungs Illustration Course and I decided to create a dummy around Robert Louis Stevenson's poem, "The Little Land".
You know what...I may have to revisit this dummy. I think it just might have some potential!
~ Robert Shaffer
With all the tidying we've been doing to get ready for our move, I came across this. It was done a few years ago when I started trying to create a unique style for myself. Painted fabric with thread embellishments came before the felt. This little picture had me pulling my hair out! Looking at it with fresh eyes I can see some things that I'd like to incorporate into the work I do now. Such as the frayed fabric for the dog. hmm...
This little guy is gazing at the stars after a fun filled day of playing football.
Actually this is a portion of a portfolio reject. He's actually looking at a moon wearing a nightcap but the moon is awwwwful.
It's a shame when you finish a piece and it doesn't come out the way you had hoped, isn't it?
"King Frog" is the hero of this story that I illustrated for Perfection Learning last summer. The cat does not like the frog and thinks he is a show off. That is, until one day when she falls in the river and can't get out. She finds he's not so bad after all. =o)
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. " ~ Calvin Coolidge
Oh, I love this quote. I have relied heavily on persistence and determination to help me move forward in children's publishing. I have seen some very talented illustrators (and authors) give up way too soon and it saddens me. This is a tough business but it IS possible if we don't give up.
The illustration above is one that I did quite some years ago as an assignment for the Susan Hartung illustration course I took. One of my favorite activities as a child was spending time "alone" reading. Funny, we don't change very much as we age, do we?
This is the cover page for a 'sing a long e-book' I did a few years ago. It was really fun but was a 'royalty only' set up with www.mightybook.com.
( I just noticed that they have the book I did on the home page to view!)
It might be different now, I don't know. If you are looking to get a publishing credit, may be something to consider. I do actually receive royalty payments but it's just enough to pay for a few art supplies here and there. Still, It was a lot of fun to work on and a very positive experience. Great people.
This weeks theme for illustration Friday is "bloom". I don't know if I'll have this done by Friday so I thought I'd share the sketch I'm working on just in case. This will be created with felt & embellishments. I need to send a postcard to places that have me on file and this will be the image I use. "Felt Like Spring".
And it sure does feel like spring here today in Texas. Beauteeful!
This illustration was done for an online magazine called "Wee Ones" a couple of years ago. It went with a story about a little girl that has allergies and sneezes a lot. Here, she is supposed to be kissing the prince in the school play. teehee.
As you can see , I'm posting a pretty old illustration but It was what came to mind when I read this weeks challenge. This was done for a children's magazine and the story was about a little boy that didn't like eating brussel sprouts because they looked like little aliens to him. hahaha Cute story and was really fun to work on. Happy ending to the story , his mom talks him into eating the veggies. Will never happen in this household but I keep trying. =O)
My interpretation of the rooster was inspired by the polish art of paper cutting called wycinanki (vee-chee-non-kee). I love the vibrant colors they use with black customarily used in the background to make the colors pop. It was a bit tricky trying to create with felt instead of paper but fun nonetheless!
The theme this week is "balance". This one has two meanings. 1) If you balance just right, you just might get it to say the number that you want.
2) Eating balanced meals help, Roz!!
CURSE YOU PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE AND EGGNOG.
This weeks topic for "illustration friday" Is "disaster relief". I wasn't a bit surprised to see this theme pop up. I think the entire world is devastated by the tsunami disaster. When it came to creating an image though, I'm afraid I took a different route than my fellow illustrators. While they created powerful and moving images , I decided on a picture of me cleaning. gulp. Why ? After two weeks of holiday visitors and children being home from school ...the house turned into a disaster area in and of itself. As I pickup , dust, grumble and groan ,I'm reminded of how very fortunate I am to have a home to clean, children to clear up after and a family still alive/safe to come visit. Tragedy does that to you.
For those interested in donating to the tsunami relief, here are some links to some reliable charities:
Illustration Friday is here again and the theme is "magic" I thought I'd show you a piece that I did several years ago that I thought was appropriate. This was created when I first got interested in illustration. I took an on line course by Susan Hartung and this was one of the assignments....to create a magical scene from a story passage she provided. I would highly recommend this class if you are interested in becoming an illustrator. Be warned, she is a tough cookie but boy is she spot on. I learned so much from her and probably the best thing was the experience of having someone evaluate my pieces and critique. That was one of the hardest things for me initially...to show my work and have it judged.
This piece for instance....I was in a crit group and I got the thumbs up from all of the members. They absolutely loved it and couldn't wait for me to submit and see what she (susan) had to say. I was so proud...one of the best pieces I'd done so far! (did any of you watch "a christmas story" and how proud Ralphie was with his term paper about the rifle he wants to get?? That was me, imagining a glowing report . A+ A+ A+ !!)
NOT...she absolutely butchered it to pieces. She really hated it, it was obvious. I was gutted to say the least. You want to know what she said, right? Okay, it's been a few years so I'll paraphrase...
The doorway to the hole , definitely didn't read well to her. muddy colors of the hole (yes it's supposed to be a cave) would have been better in blues and purples. Box colors overworked. mass of frogs disappearing into the background , not effective. And the scarf flying out of the box was terrible...looked more like a flying carpet.
That tough critique helped me in so many ways, I can't tell you. I hadn't had a "real" assignment from a publisher yet and this really helped prepare me. No matter how wonderful you may think a piece is, there are going to be people that don't. You can't please everyone all of the time and the trick is to detach yourself enough from a piece and remember that you are providing a service.
Just recently I finished a book for an educational publisher and the AD drew right over the top of each frog that I had drawn. That was a tough one to swallow but again has helped me grow as an illustrator. ( I still like my froggies better but that's not the point).