Monthly Archives: September 2012

Folio Academy gets a touch up!

I am a huge Will Terry fan and have bought a number of his videos. So I am very happy to say that the site through which he sells his videos, Folio Academy has been redesigned and relaunched! I highly recommend dropping by and seeing which videos you think may fit your fancy.

The Folio Academy has videos from Will Terry, A.B.(Russ), RussellAmber, MediaBill, WhitakerBlufire Studios, Bob Barrett, Burning Oak Studios, Danni Jones, Greg Newbold, Jerry’s Artarama, Justin Cook, Kirk Richards, Paul Mann, Perry Milou, Peter Wood, Provo Creative, and Simon Winegar.

I learned a great deal from Will’s video’s so I stand by those for new-intermediate artists. But even you masters of your craft can always learn something from somebody else’s technique or methods.

I will probably be posting a review of one of his videos soon. Check his art below!

So drop in check the previews and see what you like!!

Use a link in the above article or the one in the right sidebar!

Lynne Chapman walks us through the genesis of her book, “Swap” Part 3

Part 3 of our exploration of Lynne Chapman’s posts about the process of her new book Swap. From pitching it to the publisher to dropping the final art in the mail.

You can see Part 1 here.
You can see Part 2 here.

Today we post another five blog posts from Lynne’s journey.  To jump to the end and see all the posts now, drop by Lynne’s blog!

In her 11th post Lynne finally finishes up all her roughs and has sent them off to the publisher! Now she’s biting her nails waiting for the response and inevitable reworks that will come with it!

Continue reading

Chris Jones-Illustrating Characters: Personality Goes a Long Way

Welcome a new contributor to our blog, Chris Jones. Chris is an Illustrator who hails from Canada and boasts a formidable resume of top notch talent and clients! His work is bright, exuberant and full of personality which is why we’ve asked him to tell us a bit more about how he creates such amazing characters! We only want to learn from the best you know!

No matter what type of illustration you are working on, it will probably include a character. When illustrating characters – animals, children, or adults – one of the most basic and essential elements is conveying their personality. Characters are the heart of great stories, and you are telling stories with your pictures, so being able to portray them as unique and interesting is an important and valuable skill.

When you are putting together your illustration portfolio, it’s a good idea to show a variety of different character and personality types. This helps give your portfolio variety and interest, and shows your skill in capturing different moods and emotions through your characters. Designing them so they are unique, and breathing personality into them makes them more interesting and engages the viewer.

There are many ways to breathe personality into your characters – shape of the face, facial features, hairstyle, body shape, clothing, line variety, colour – all of these can contribute to the overall feel of the character. The following are some of the things I’ve learned on how to achieve uniqueness in your character designs:

Continue reading

Guest Post-Will Terry-Registering Your Copyright – Pros and Cons

The issue of copyright and protecting our images has always been an issue with artist’s.  In this modern era with the advent of the internet removing international boundaries, our work is seen everywhere and can be snagged and used by someone else at the key tap of a finger. This stretches out the net we need to cast as artist’s to protect ourselves and stretches thin our ability to realistically do so.

Is it a pointless endeavor? If we legally register copyrights on our images with the gov’t, how much good does that really do us? Is the financial investment worth it? There are many opinions out there on this subject and we would love to hear your opinions. Today Will Terry drops by and shares a video post expressing the experiences of himself, his peers and the conclusion he has come to for himself.

Please know that this isn’t meant to be the only answer to the question, but one possible answer amongst many. Consider it food for thought.

Artists often wonder if they should or shouldn’t spend the time, money, and effort to register their copyright. There are some distinct advantages to registering with the US copyright office but there are also disadvantages – some of which you might not have thought of. In the above video I give information from 96 professional illustrators. I asked them if they register their copyrights – their answers might surprise you. In the end it’s always good to educate yourself on this subject so you can make the decision for yourself. If you want more information the US Copyright Office has a great FAQ section here.

SCBWI-Tomie DePaola Scholarship

To all our SCBWI members who are readers, it’s the time of year that Tomie de Paola throws down the gauntlet for his annual competition and Illustrator Award, The Tomie dePaola Award.

Please note: We are only passing on this information. In no way are we directly affiliated with this contest. Please direct all inquiries to the SCBWI please. Thanks!

So what is the Tomie dePaola Award?  The Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award, is given annually to an illustrator of promise chosen by Tomie himself. The award consists full tuition, transportation and accommodations to the New York Winter Conference held in Manhattan. The winning piece of art will be featured at the annual winter conference in New York.

Black and white is in again.  Brian Selznick’s beautiful illustrations for “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” the award-winning film “The Artist,” and Tim Burton’s new (based on his 1984 short film) “Frankenweenie” have all forgone color in favor of rich B & W.

This year, my Illustrator Award is doing the same – an illustration in black and white, including half-tones, from a classic.

Choose a passage, line or description from one of the following books:

“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott

“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain

“The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Please submit your entry by December 15th, 2012 as a jpeg titled with your name by email to with the subject “Tomie”.  I will select the winning entry by January 9th, 2013. In the body of the email include your name and the passage you have chosen.
I’ll repeat myself, again.  I want to be surprised, excited and – VERY jealous.
I want to see an image, a style, a vision that I’ve never seen before – all in glorious black and white!
Good luck and don’t forget, I’m on your side!

Please follow the link and read all the submission directions. 


Mobile Apps for Running a Freelance Illustration Business

With September being a huge month for announcements in mobile technology like Amazon releasing the 2nd version of their tablet Kindle fire and all kinds of smart phones being released from Samsung to Motorola. All of that being topped off by Apple releasing their new iPhone 5 on friday (09.21.12). So, all of this got me thinking about my favorite mobile apps for running my freelance business. Here are a few of the apps I couldn’t live without.

Minimal Folio
This app is for creative professionals who want to let their portfolios do the talking. Minimal Folio is the simplest way to present images and video on your iPad or iPhone. The app is unbranded so all your clients see is your work.
Device: iOS
Price: $2.99
Developer: Simon Heys

Continue reading

News-Wanna learn WordPress for Free??

We have become aware of an opportunity from the Web Academy to take a course for free on WordPress and GIMP.

Information is below and you can find further info by following the link.

Fall 2012 Registration

Intro to WordPress Web Development

Course Description: An introduction to the basics of web development. This online course covers WordPress and GIMP. This course is lead by a live instructor. The entire Web Academy web site was built with WordPress. After completing this course, you will have the necessary skills to build a web site like our web site.  This class is free but we encourage you to purchase the optional textbook for $49.99.

Prerequisites: NONE

Online Class Dates: Oct 3, Oct 10, Oct 17 & Oct 24

Online Class Meeting Times: 7PM EDT, 6PM CDT, 4PM PDT

Lynne Chapman walks us through the genesis of her book, “Swap” Part 2

Part 2 Of our exploration of Lynne Chapman’s posts about the process of her new book Swap. From pitching it to the publisher to dropping the final art in the mail.

You can see Part 1 here.

 Today we post another five blog posts from Lynne’s journey.  To jump to the end and see all the posts now, drop by Lynne’s blog!

In her sixth post Lynne takes time to further get to know her characters and work out some issues with the previous sketches. Who knew a dog’s head wouldn’t fit inside a trumpet.

Continue reading

Guest Post-Laura wood walks us through creating her Promo Pack!

Today we have a guest post from Laura Wood. A burgeoning student of illustration who comes to us from Melbourne, Australia.

Many artists have different methods that they use when approaching potential clients and creating promotional materials. Some illustrators purchase lists, create their own lists, subscribe to directories, or use agencies to send out promotions to publishers or potential clients.

No matter how you compile your lists, at some point you need to create and publish some form of self promotion for yourself. We are so lucky that Laura let’s us take a peek into her process and the package she recently sent  out. Hopefully we can all get some tips and inspiration from her process (and that beautiful artwork!)

A few days ago I did my first official promo mailer and I would like to share how I did it.
This is because I’ve researched a lot before doing it and even if lots of people were saying how important it is to do it, I struggled to find practical info of HOW to do it! So I would like to share exactly how I did it, and hopefully this would be useful for people who have never done it before.

First of all I designed my promo sheets. They need to include some of your best images and your contact info on every page. Mine was intent to be directed to publishing houses so I decided to include only illustration with kids, animals and a sense of narrativity.

I’ve decided to not include more than 3 pages, manly for costs reasons but also because I read that’s what people usually do. I made it an horizontal design because my images are mostly horizontal and it was easier to fit them in the page. After struggling a bit (how can I fit vertical and horizontal formats in just one horizontal page??) this is what I’ve come out with.


The first page includes 2 images from Goldilocks story and 2 from Red Riding hood. Including more picture from the same story is important so that I can show I am able to give continuity and a sense of narrativity. (click on the image to make it bigger)


This page is focused on pictures that show backgrounds, animals and people, in particular kids!

Continue reading

News-Zero2Illo UK Illustration Conference

Norm and I met each other through a Zero2Illo Portfolio Project. It was an earlier form of the website that focused on creating relevant work for your portfolio. The site has evolved since then and now is offering their first conference in the UK for up and coming Illustrators looking to find work that’s not as easy to come by as it used to be.

Norm and I are both stateside, though on opposite sides of the country, so we won’t be partaking of the festivities. However, here is the information for all of you who may be interested in attending!

Congrats to Zero2Illo for this landmark achievement! If you are able to go, please take pictures and come back and share your experience with us here! There are a limited number of tickets so get yours ASAP!!!

zero2illo LIVE UK 2012

Saturday, 10 November 2012 from 10:00 to 17:00 (GMT)

Nottingham, United Kingdom


We are excited to be organizing and hosting the first zero2illo LIVE UK event on November 10th this year in Nottingham – and what we hope is the first of many!

The theme for this year is “Opportunities and Inspiration” – we want to explore just how many opportunities still exist for illustrators to earn a living, despite the erosion of and changes in the more traditional industries in which illustration has previously had a strong foothold. You can see the panels below – alongside some of the confirmed panelists and speakers.

We have deliberately chosen a venue outside of London – in the middle of the country – to make it as accessible and affordable to as many illustrators as possible around the country. Please do spread the word to your creative colleagues about this – it is going to be great.

For full details of the event including more information about our speakers, please visit the website.



Rod Hunt – Illustrator
Stanley Chow – Illustrator
Kate Slater – Illustrator
Katriona Chapman – Illustrator
Leigh Hodgkinson – Illustrator & Animator
Kate Hindley – Illustrator
Nicky Lander – Creative Manager of Igloo Books
Victoria Pearce – Senior Agent at Illustration Ltd



next page