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Monthly Archives: June 2011

16 Questions About Illustrator Norm Grock


Where do you live?

I was born on Maui Hawaii and now reside in Beaverton Oregon

Use four words to describe yourself.
Creative, energetic, hungry, and happy

What’s your favorite color?
Ever since I can remember my favorite color has been red.

What do you enjoy drawing the most?
My favorite thing to draw would have to be anything I grew up with like Comics, Cartoons, Video games, or whatever I’m into at that moment.


(Like now I’m reading the Chronicles of Narnia books)

What inspired you to illustrate for children?
To be honest I’m a kid at heart, so doing artwork for kids is a lot of fun and is a perfect fit for me.

What do you find difficult to draw?
Well drawing in general is not easy but if I had to pick one thing it would be… Dogs. I just haven’t figured out their anatomy yet.

What influences your art?
Like everyone, artists are influenced by the things and people that surround them. For me I would have to say my peers, video games and comics.

How has your style changed since you started illustrating?
I feel like it’s taken me a while to find my style. It started out very comic booky and now has turned into something a little bit friendlier, but you can still see the comic book influence.


When are you most creative?
I love it when I get up in the morning before everyone else. It’s nice and quiet. There are no distractions and I can just sit down and draw. That’s when I’m most creative.

What is your least favorite occupational hazard?
Marketing myself!

What is the strangest thing anyone has said about your work?
Umm… I’ll get back to you.

What was your favorite children’s book character growing up?
It would have to be Max from Where the Wild things are. Still one of me favorites of all time.

What was your favorite cartoon growing up?
WOW, it’s hard to pick out just one favorite because I loved cartoons growing up but if I had to narrow it down I would say G.I. Joe or Darkwing duck.

How many years have you had an email address?
I got my first email address in 1996. It was a hotmail account. (Do I lose points for that?)

Things you are looking forward to?
I always look forward to getting projects done because I love to see the final product.


What areas of the Children’s market do you wish to pursue professionally?
I love interactive books. It is such a cool idea and I’m hoping to have a few things out in the future.

To see more of Norm’s work visit his website or his blog.

 

 

See, I Can Read Too Available for Purchase

Heya folks! See, I Can Read Too by Tameka Rogers-Colbert, Illustrated by Wilson Williams, Jr. is finally ready and available for purchase!

Check any of the various links below to buy it online.

 

You can purchase, “See, I Can Read Too!” from the online stores and links below!

Amazon
See, I Can Read Too Website
Hope of Vision Publishing

To see more of Wilson’s work go to:
My website

My Blog

ChildrensIllustrators.com

 

Once Upon A Sketch Genesis-Part One


Times are changing and something new and different is needed to break into the industry. Sometimes it’s better to work as a group rather than alone.

A. Pool your resources.
B. Cut your costs.
C. Use the collective wisdom of multiple people rather than go it alone.

After seeing other Illustrator Collaborative groups who promote themselves together in marketing plans, I thought it would be a great idea to do this as well. The problem was finding artists that I respected, admired and knew well enough to do this with. I also wanted artists whose styles were different enough that we didn’t step on each others toes when it came time to landing job opportunities.

The first person I asked to join was Aja Wells. Aja is a spunky young illustrator with amazingly warm and comforting characters. She is currently in the process of getting her Masters degree from the University of Hartford. I fell in love with her work and had to correspond with her to tell her so! Aja and I built our friendship after she wrote me a scathing e-mail tearing into me for not having my e-mail address prominently featured on my websites. She told me, “I was too good to miss employment opportunities over such a simple error and oversight.” She was frank, honest and a firecracker of a personality that I immediately took an appreciation of. She always speaks from her heart and is earnest and dedicated to her craft. Luckily when I asked her to join, she was interested!

The second person was Norman Grock. Norman and I met and corresponded through a group called, Zero 2 Illo. I was immediately impressed by his imagination, characters and skill level. Norman has the rare talent of not only being able to create characters but also being able to build worlds and universes from his imagination. His work explores the young male imaginative fantasy world in a beautiful and fanciful way. After the group was over we continued to speak with one another critiquing our respective work and new pieces. We shared childhood interests and inspirations that made us want to draw. Needless to say of the group we would be the ones to geek out over comic books, fantasy, video games, MegaMan or sci-fi movies! Norman is a hard working, witty,sarcastic and intelligent individual with a heart of gold. Again, the stars were aligned for me when he expressed interest in my project.

The third person to join our group was Edrian Thomidis. We’d met through a number of Illustration critique groups, SCBWI and forums. I was always impressed with her ability to infuse her work with raw emotion and personal experience. Her illustrations focus on the strength and love of family. You can tell the difference between someone who is drawing something they know nothing about and someone who has experienced something physically and emotionally and are able to translate that to paper. Edrian has that magic. Edrian is the multi-talented, intelligent and wisest member of our group. Little did I know how strong a personality and business sense she possessed. She has an amazing talent for looking at the bigger picture and making sure we stay on track with our goals and purpose. She is never without an idea or vision of how to make things better and expand on the technical or non-conventional obstacles we come across that we hadn’t expected. It was an honor to have her agree to be a part of this! The group wouldn’t be complete without her!

With the core group of artists formed we set forth and named ourselves, the Once Upon A Sketch group and started the process of creating our identity and figuring out how we would market ourselves and to whom.

Our group is unique in that we try to represent as many aspects of the Children’s Market as we can. Each of us has interests in various aspects of it and we wanted to use our group and our blog to investigate those aspects and gather resources that have helped us and will help others.

We plan on doing a lot more than just sending out postcards together. We plan on expanding our communities knowledge of the opportunities that exist in the Children’s Market beyond Children’s books. But I’ll talk more about that in part 2 of this article!!! Until then feel free to browse our website and give input! We’d love to hear from you!

-Wilson W, Jr.

16 Questions about Illustrator Wilson Williams, Jr.

Where do you live?
I was born, raised and continue to make sunny Florida my home. I’ve lived in different parts but now reside on the East Coast.

Use four words to describe yourself.
Crazy, Youthful, Contemplative and Emotive.

What’s your favorite color?
I don’t think I’ve had a favorite color since I was little. But back then it would have been blue or brown/beige. Now I may lean more towards yellow.

What do you enjoy drawing the most?
Animals and Children. Animals because I love translating them to my style and infusing them with personality. Children because I love exaggerating their proportions to match their personalities and actions.

What inspired you to illustrate for children?
I think the art style that comes out of me naturally is what led me to illustrate for children. My style suits that genre as well as my personal interests and imagination.

What do you find difficult to draw?
An inker once told me that all organic things should be painted with a brush and all non organic things with a pen. By his definition anything I should draw with a pen. (Most notably cars.) But I love the challenge of it.

What influences your art?
My peers and fellow artists. Nature. Movies and film. Music! My family.

How has your style changed since you started illustrating?
Luckily it’s more confident now than when I initially started. A lot of my indecisiveness showed in my work as well as my emotional state at the time. I’ve learned to be more concrete about what I want in my illustrations with proper preliminary work, study and consultation with my peers and art directors.

When are you most creative?
Creativity comes in bursts for me. Inspiration can hit at anytime. So I try to have a pad and pencil with me at all times. To be honest some of my best sketches and ideas have come to me while I was in the bathroom.  Overshare? But seriously, my best time to be inspired and work is at night when the chance of interruption is the least likely to occur.

What is your least favorite occupational hazard?
Being an artist people think that you can do anything art related. Interior Design, Web sites, Animation, design clothes, design furniture, sculpture, etc. Our fields are just as specialized as any other and being an artist doesn’t mean I know how to design your dress for prom. (I’m sure you’ll find something pretty though!)

What is the strangest thing anyone has said about your work?
My Mom has my artwork up all over her house. (Don’t all of our Moms do the same thing?) Anytime I’m there and people visit she has to walk them around the house looking at all the artwork. Embarrassing, yes. Especially since most if not all of the work is well over ten years old. The most interesting comment was a gentleman who asked why everyone looked angry or sad in many of my images. That struck me as odd. When I went back and looked at all the paintings he noted I had to admit he was kind of right! In most of my college paintings all the people I illustrated looked miserable which kind of reflected some emotional things I was dealing with at that time of my life.

What was your favorite children’s book character growing up?
My favorite character wasn’t a children’s book character but a comic book character and it was Storm from the X-Men. I’ve always had an affinity for strong female characters, they remind me of my Mom. So Storm was perfect for that.

What was your favorite cartoon growing up?
Superfriends easily. Even though now watching the show again, they were terrible. Ha! But they created an interest in me for comics and reading. So I owe them a great deal.

 

How many years have you had an email address?
Well over ten. I still have the same one. But recently I’ve started to stop using it and move on to something new.

Things you are looking forward to?
Expanding on my identity and the types of artwork I do within the children’s market. I look forward to my artwork improving, growing and eventually starting to meet my expectations.

What areas of the Children’s market do you wish to pursue professionally?
I have a healthy metabolism for the children’s market. I’m interested in most if not all aspects of it. I’ve done children’s books, coloring books, educational work, patterns, clip art, character designs, toy designs and comics. I still want to do board games and write and sell my own books! The new markets of children’s book apps and games also excite me to no end!

To see more of Wilson’s work go to:
My website

My Blog

ChildrensIllustrators.com