Monthly Archives: October 2012

Spectrum 20 Annual open for submissions!!

We are pleased to announce that submissions are now being accepted for Spectrum 20.

Why should you consider submitting? Spectrum is one of those books that functions in much the same way that Source Books used to (and still do to some degree). Many art directors and editors use it as a go to for finding new up and coming talent for the work they’d like to assign. Unlike source books where anyone with the cash can generally gain entry, Spectrum is juried by well known and experienced professionals within the industry. To gain entry into this book is like getting the stamp of approval by the best of your peers and fellow Illustrators. So give it a try if you feel so inclined!

Spectrum is for the Fantasy/Sci Fi genre what Society Of Illustrators is for the Commercial Illustration industry.

Foreign entrants (and those who have not been added to our mailing list) are encouraged to use the forms provided at the link below:

 Spectrum 20 Entry Forms

For more information on the contest and  Spectrum in general you can go here.

Disney to acquire Lucasfilms!

Disney to acquire LucasFilms.

First Disney snagged up Marvel comics and now the Force is with them! Someone draw Mickey with a lightsaber quick!!!

According to this article on Disney’s website, “Bob Iger just announced that The Walt Disney Company is acquiring Lucasfilm – the global entertainment company founded by George Lucas and the home of the legendary Star Wars franchise. In addition to getting the rights to one of the greatest family franchises and epic stories of all time, Disney is also acquiring all of Lucasfilm’s operating businesses – including Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound.”

Wow!!! The hits keep coming!! What impact will this have on things! Love to get reactions from our readers! Post in comments!

See full article here.

Random House and Penguin Merge!!!!




We posted an article a couple of days ago in regards to the possibility of two publishing power houses merging. Well doesn’t seem we had to wait long. The merger has already been signed. The deal still needs to be approved by regulators, but barring that it will occur.

What does this mean for us as Illustrators or Writers? Only time will tell. For sure though, like with any merger, there will be layoffs and consolidating of resources. There’s no way to know how the chips will fall and who will suffer or benefit under this change. But plan on seeing other large companies begin to take the same route into consideration, assuming they haven’t already.

Some would say this type of merger was an eventual outcome of the shrinking sales in traditional publishing as well as the burgeoning growth of the digital publishing world. It’s understandable that the larger publishers would begin hunkering down, merging power and combining resources to combat the shift in the existing markets.

So now the question remains how will this affect the publishing market as a whole and us as artists and writers? We’d love to hear your opinions and we’ll do our best to keep you updated.

For more details regarding this development see these articles.

New York Times

Wall Street Journal

Adding a bit of colour to your day with this short film!

I love taking an illustration from a black and white sketch to a finished piece of colored artwork. I also really enjoy watching other people’s illustrations come to life and in this short film I get the best of both worlds. Tiji – Colour is an animated short about a black and white forest and its colorless inhabitants getting a splash of color right before our eyes. Right when you think it’s over and everything is looking beautiful it ends on a somber note which then inspires a little boys imagination. This is simply a beautiful short film that you need to watch so it can add a bit of color to brighten your day!

Random House and Penguin to possibly merge!


Two of the largest publishing houses could merge. Random House and Penguin have been discussing combing their publishing houses, reports the Financial Times.

If this were to occur they would control 25 percent of the current US and UK publishing market.

At this time only talks are in the process. Nothing yet is finalized or definite.

But sincerely is this completely unexpected in the current market and trends towards the decreased sales of traditionally published materials? This has probably been in the coming for a while. Consolidation not being a matter of  “if”, but more a matter of “when”.

“Analysts have predicted consolidation among the “big six” market leaders of the relatively fragmented publishing industry for several years,” writes the FT.

As Illustrators how do you think this will affect you?

How do you think it will effect or impact the publishing industry?

Do you think other publishers will follow suit?

Leave you opinions in our comments!!


The Making of Dog Dreams

I just found this video about The Making of Dog Dreams and thought it would be fun to share. Dog Dreams is a hand printed children’s board book by Michael Wertz. Mr. Wertz is a Bay Area illustrator and author with a bold, bright, playful art style. His work has been recognized by Communication Arts, American Illustration, and the Society of Illustrators (LA) and he is currently teaching at California College of the Arts in the Illustration department. In this video he walks you through his process of making a handprinted book at The San Francisco Center for the Book. SFcB provides a home for artists from introductory to focused advanced courses spanning traditional bookbinding, and cutting-edge printing techniques. All levels of bookmakers are welcome or so I have read on their site. This video took me right back to when I was in college. I had to take a class about the history of printing and we had to hand print our own stationery. This video reminded me how hard yet satisfying it was to make your own plates and then hand pressing your own prints. With all the technology we have these days it’s easy for us to forget how books used to be made. Give this video a watch and I hope you find it as inspiring as I did. I know the next time I’m in the Bay Area I’m going to make a trip to The San Francisco Center for the Book.

Reviews are in for the Wacom Cintiq 24HD

The reviews are in and the Wacom Cintiq 24HD is more of an artist’s workbench then a desktop sketchpad. I’ve got to say I’ve wanted one of these since I first saw them announced. I already have a Cintiq from a few years ago and can’t justify the cost to upgrade. Nevertheless, it’s a sweet piece of tech and if price is no object this is an artist’s dream tool. In this post, I’ll give a quick overview of the new features and then link to a few reviews from reputable Tech blogs.

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Rise of the Guardians Art Contest


I’m posting this Contest because I don’t want to block anyone from knowing about it or participating. But please be aware that it is open to the public and the ages go down to 13. The prizes aren’t specific and only said to be worth approximately $100. So be aware of this before you spend too much time creating artwork for a non specific prize. The winner also isn’t determined by the quality of your entry but by the number of votes it receives. It’s all a bit ambiguous so buyer beware before entering! Let us know if you get any other information about this contest!




Find more info on Facebook here and the Contest Rules here

Also, there are a number of neat videos where artists from the movie show you how to draw the characters.  See them at bottom of post!


DESCRIPTION OF THE CONTEST: The Rise of the Guardians Fan Art Contest (“Contest”) is designed to give Entrants (“Entrants”) the opportunity to submit drawings of characters from the upcoming feature-length animated film “Rise of the Guardians” (“Film”).  The Prizes will be awarded to the Entrants whose drawings receive the most votes on-line in accordance with these Official Rules.


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Publisher’s Weekly Live Webcast-What will the impact be of Digital Webcomics and Graphic Novels in the future?

The evolution of the Comic book era post 2012.
Date and Time: Tuesday , October 30, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT
Hosted by PW’s Calvin Reid, this webcast panel will look at the comics and graphic novel market focusing on three topics: the rise of comic and graphic novel sales in both traditional bookstores and comic specialty shops; how the growing impact of digital comics is sending consumers into stores and how digital comics are helping the sales of print comics; the launch of new digital comics imprints and the growing popularity of Kids Comics, indie female creators and webcomics.
Panelist:David Eicke: with Viz Media – davideicke@viz.comTerri Soutor: with Lerner/graphic Universe – TSoutor@lernerbooks.comJesse Post: with Papercutz –

Rob Grindstaff : with Ingram –

Alvin Lu : with Viz Media – EVP of Publishing


Calvin Reid, Senior News Editor and Co-editor, PW Comics World

Go to this link to register.

Words of Wisdom-Kevin William Cross

“Just had another client tell me on a Friday that they want the world and they want it by Monday morning. Too many illustrators allow themselves to get steamrolled by this I think. Thus making this kind of request standard. Lately I’ve frequently been finding myself saying, “I don’t have office hours over the weekend, but I’ll happily get back to your project on Monday.”


Illustrators aren’t servants. We are professionals and deserve to be treated thusly. If you are an illustrator who lets clients order you around, please remember this. Act accordingly. Don’t get pushed around. Be thankful for the business, but don’t be treated like a second class citizen. They need us just as much as we need them.”

-Kevin William Cross

San Francisco Bay Area native, Kevin Cross, is an illustrator and cartoonist currently living in Portland, Oregon with his rad wife and their beautiful new born daughter. He has done storyboarding, design, and illustration work for many clients including Marvel Entertainment, IDW Publishing, THQ Games, Real Skateboards, and Spitfire Wheels. When not working on professional freelance illustration assignments, he writes and illustrates his own funny books and has been playing guitar for various punk rock outfits since 1985.

See more of his work on his website. Find more of his experiences and wisdom on his blog and facebook pages.

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