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Monthly Archives: April 2013

How to contact an Art Director Part 3-Lauren Panepinto

Hey folks! I ran across this series of four interviews with Art Directors(primarily from the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre of Publishing) from Kiri Ostergaard Leonard. Where they go into some depth on the best way to approach them and your work and portfolios in general. We will be highlighting one article per week. Please find a snippet below from the article and then a link to the full post. Enjoy!

Dan Dos Santos and Lauren Panepinto

Dan Dos Santos and Lauren Panepinto

Again summarizing from previous posts: This is a blog series to help art students as well as new artists familiarize themselves with the best ways to go about contacting art directors, when starting out as an illustrator. The goal is not to be a nuisance and make a good impression.

In order to give you a well rounded perspective I asked a handful of art directors to answer 10 questions on the topic. First was Marc Scheff from Tree House Brand Stores and second up was Wizards of the Coast Art Director Jon Schindehette and now we’re taking a look into the world of Book Publishing with Lauren Panepinto from Orbit Books.

1. What is your preferred method of communication if a new artist is looking to make contact and why?

Email. Send me a link to your site, and maybe 1-3 loses jpegs attached if you want me to see something specific. I keep all my files digitally for artists, so I can easily email to editors/authors or print them out for meetings.
While we’re on this topic, please good god have right-click-downloadable jpegs on your site, and they don’t have to be hi res, but nice enough to print out decent on a letter size piece of paper. I understand you don’t want people to steal your work, but they’re going to do it anyway. Making it easy for A.D.s to show editors nice examples of your work is critical to you getting approved for a project. And no I don’t send them straight to your website, because god forbid they see one piece that isn’t perfect in there, and then it’s all over. I send them the pieces of your work that most directly apply to the job at hand.

2. Social media is becoming increasingly popular amongst artists as a tool for networking, how do you feel about artists befriending you on Facebook? Is there a right and a wrong way to go about it?
I am a mainly Facebook person, and I’m happy to befriend any artists that ask. It’s honestly the primary way I’m seeing your work updates. However, I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to try to keep my work and personal personas separate – I don’t think it works, and that’s a whole other blog post right there…so if my updates of goofy kickboxing and randomly climbing up roadside dinosaurs on the way to illuxcon bug you, then consider yourself warned now. Although I do try to keep generally to geek and/or art topics when posting.

Bonus social media: do process posts on instagram, and pin your portfolio pieces on pinterest. Kekai Kotaki & Richard Anderson are a great example of good ways to show sketches and little fun stuff on instagram.

3. Conventions are a great opportunity for networking, both for artists and Art Directors alike. However some new artists are nervous about approaching Art Directors in person just because they would like a job. What is your advice to this and how do you prefer that artists introduce themselves to you during conventions?
If we didn’t like artists stopping us to talk we wouldn’t last 2 days at our jobs. If it were random artists stopping us at the grocery store, or at a bar, I would still be ok with that, but at conventions? you’re AT a convention to meet artists, so really, we’re going to be more open there than anywhere.

Find the rest of the article here!

Guest Post-Tom Bancroft-Disney layoffs, 2D animation, and you

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Recently many were worried for the future of hand drawn animation with the announcement that Disney had no plans for any hand drawn projects in the future. This made many feel that they were witnessing the final days of traditional animation. Things seemed to be cemented with the recent announcement that a number of traditional animators had been laid off by Disney. There was panic in the streets!

Many felt that with Disney backing away from this art form that their dreams of seeing non computer generated imagery onscreen had gone the way of vinyl and 8 track cassettes. Luckily we have industry veteran Tom Bancroft to come in and quell the fires and rage of our passion for a craft many artists love dearly.

Tom Bancroft has almost 25 years of experience in the animation industry, most of which was for Walt Disney Feature animation where he was an animator for 11 years. He is the author of several character design books and his most recent project is a graphic novel titled Opposing Forces.  So join us as Tom reacts to the news and helps to incite hope by giving his perspective of the issue. Enjoy.

A very nervous animation student (he didn’t say, but I assume he is studying 2D animation) asked me about my opinions on the state of animation these days.  What are the companies thinking with laying off all the employees, not doing 2D animation, canceling great TV series, etc.?  Are the business people just evil?  AND the even bigger question: Is John Lassiter a jerk (or worse) for letting all the 2D animators at Disney go yesterday?

MY ANSWER:  I have a slightly controversial (for an artist) perspective on businesses and business people.  Over all, I like them.  At times, I have even been grateful for them.  (Steady paychecks should never be taken for granted.  Wait till you don’t have one one day, then you’ll know!) Remember, we live in a world where businesses are expected to make money to stay alive.  It’s called capitalism. Others call it “business”. That means, the animation world isn’t any different from any other job/company. I see the other side of the equation since I owned my own company for about 8 years. It was a small studio, but until you work “out in the real world” away from mom and dad’s money and/or a companies’ steady paycheck, you have no idea how hard it is to stay afloat as an artist. I don’t suggest it to people right after art school by any means. That doesn’t mean I think that studios are run poorly at times.  They OFTEN are.  Its is near impossible to find a person that understands creative people AND knows business well enough to run a studio.  That person was NOT Walt Disney, as many of you think.  Walt had his brother Roy, to handle the money side of things and make sure Walt didn’t destroy the company.  And he would have.  Imagine a world where Disney animation only made “Snow White”.  That’s the Disney company with Walt as the sole head.  You need both sides and I admit, the Disney company of today (and for years now) is short sighted.  They want quick money and are not looking long term at investments and legacy, as they should.
They say they are, but its obvious they are not.

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Mickey new look

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Since first appearing on our screens back in 1928, Mickey Mouse has had a lot of different looks. But this latest iteration might be my favorite. Designed by Paul Rudish of Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory fame, Paul has designed a character that feels classic but at the same time updated. There’s a distinctive 1930’s vibe to his new look but I couldn’t love it more. It’s not only the characters but also the world that these characters live in. I’m sure there will be a lot of people who don’t agree with me but what can you do. Mickey’s new-look will appear in 19 new adventures. The new series has a very classic 2D styled, animated look that merges “classic comedy” with “contemporary flair.” The cartoon shorts will have the mouse globetrotting to exotic locales like Paris and New York. I’m sure there will be a lot of other familiar faces as well. Disney Channel’s Worldwide president and chief creative officer Gary Marsh had this to say about the new look.

“By bringing Mickey’s comedic adventures to life with vitality, humor, inventiveness and charm, the entire Disney Television Animation team of artists, animators and directors have worked to capture the essence of what Walt Disney himself created 85 years ago.”

Disney also released a sneak peak at the new series. It’s called Croissant de Triomphe. You can view it below or follow the link here to watch the entire short on Disney’s website.

It’s crazy to think that Mickey Mouse has only been in three films since the 1980s. Hopefully, this new look will bring the mouse back to prominence.


Croissant de Triomphe on Disney Video

The house of mouse is looking for summer interns

wdaslogoThe house of mouse is looking for summer interns. So if you are a student the information to apply is below. Once upon a sketch is not affiliated at all with Walt Disney Animation Studios so please don’t apply in the comments. We would hate for someone to miss out on a great opportunity. This is strictly just news and hopefully an exciting opportunity for some of our readers.

Walt Disney Animation Studios Summer Internship Program is an eight-week experience designed for students studying art, design, animation, computer graphics, graphics engineering, film & media, and production management. As a Walt Disney Animation Studios intern, you will have the unique opportunity to work directly with a Disney mentor as you explore all aspects of art, storytelling, and filmmaking. This immersive program offers hands-on experience focused on individual craft and multidisciplinary team collaboration. If accepted the 2013 Summer Intern program will be held at our Burbank, CA studio starting Monday, June 17, 2013.

They are looking for internships in these areas: Look Development, Layout, Lighting, Production Management, Character Rigging, CG Animation, 2D Animation, Visual Development, Modeling, Summer Intern – Effects, Summer Intern – Technical Director and Summer Intern – Story. The deadline is coming up quick (Monday, April 16, 2013 at 11:59 PM PST) so get your resumes ready and good luck. You can apply by following this link. (Source)

Photoshop tutorial- PS basics for newbies

Today we are proud to bring to you a tutorial on the basics of Photoshop from a truly dynamic duo of Illustrators.

Twins, Valentina and Marina are a pair of 20 year old illustrators who hail from Slovenia. They have skills that are beyond their years and are truly a phenomenal illustration team.  (And they are still in college! Peep your future competition folks!)

You can see more of their artwork on their web page and Deviant page. Today we feature the first half of their Photoshop basics tutorial and we’ll post the second half  next Wednesday. Enjoy!

steampunk_forever_by_tincek_marincek-d3bzau2

Photoshop tutorials

I’ll describe some Photoshop basics for all newbies who try to learn to use Photoshop. So in this article you’ll find tutorials: How to make layers, How to change color to a layer, How to make groups/folders, How to change background color, How to rotate canvas and all basics in tool menu on the right side.  In this tutorial I used my newest image Mermaid’s Wisps, just to show you few things (I just had to open something )
If you wish to see images in full resolution then simply click on the images below (they are big as my screen 1920 x 1080px… OK I cropped bar below). I used Photoshop CS6 here, so some things may be different in lower PS versions. I’ll make even more tutorials like this, so stay tuned. Thank you and enjoy. I hope it’s helpful

How to make layers and change colors

photoshop_basics_by_tincek_marincek-d60we5m

Alright… first step is how to make LAYERS. It’s really simple. Just click on the Layer button, on the right bottom side of your screen (see image above) and new layer will be added (or Ctrl+Shift+N on your keyboard). When you click with RIGHT MOUSE button ON that layer, then you’ll see many options…below you can see colors (I added colors on the image). Just simply click on color which you like and layer will color (with color which you chosen). In older PS versions you may click with right mouse button on IMAGE which layer have (NOT THE TEXT)…when you click on the text, then you have other options, like Delete, Merge… when I used older PS versions it was like that

photoshop_basics2_by_tincek_marincek-d60we5hRENAMINGa layer… if you don’t want to get lost, then it’s good if you rename your layers. Simply click TWICE with LEFT MOUSE BUTTON on a layer text… but not too fast…because FX tool will open.

Making groups/folders

photoshop_basics2_groups_by_tincek_marincek-d60we4h
1.) OK… on first image on left you can see how color changed when I selected yellow color for a layer.
2.) When you want to make a Group/Folder then click on Folder button on the right bottom side of your screen (see image above)… and Folder will be added. You can also rename it as layers (you can also add layer color on them).
3.) If you have more similar layers (like more layers for Face, Hair, Clothes…) then you can add them into Folders. Select layers which you want to add into a Group… for selecting MORE LAYERS then hold SHIFT on your keyboard.
4.) Then simply DRAG/DROP them into a Folder…and all layers will be under that folder. When layers are in a Folder then you can see that layers are a bit moved from left edge of Layer menu.
DUALITYPart 2 next week.Original Article here.

How to contact an Art Director Part 2-Jon Schindehette

Hey folks! I ran across this series of four interviews with Art Directors(primarily from the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre of Publishing) from Kiri Ostergaard Leonard. Where they go into some depth on the best way to approach them and your work and portfolios in general. We will be highlighting one article per week. Please find a snippet below from the article and then a link to the full post. Enjoy!

JonSchindehette

To summarize from last post, this is a blog series to help art students as well as new artists familiarize themselves with the best ways to go about contacting art directors, when starting out as an illustrator. The goal is not to be a nuisance and make a good impression.

In order to give you a well rounded perspective I asked a handful of art directors to answer 10 questions on the topic. First was Marc Scheff from Tree House Brand Stores and next up we have highly regarded Wizards of the Coast Art Director Jon Schindehette. Enjoy!

1. What is your preferred method of communication if a new artist is looking to make contact and why? (ie. Postcards/email/phone/facebook/meeting in person)
ArtDrop(at)Wizards.com – send 3-4 jogs, and a link to online portfolio (message cannot exceed 6mb)
Also like postcards with contact info and url to portfolio.

2. Social media is becoming increasingly popular amongst artists as a tool for networking, how do you feel about artists befriending you on Facebook? Is there a right and a wrong way to go about it?
I don’t have an issue if their friend, prefer just subscribing though. And never, ever, contact me with a request for a portfolio or sample review.
Also, never tag me in any image that I didn’t directly take part in the development of.

3. Conventions are a great opportunity for networking, both for artists and Art Directors alike. However some new artists are nervous about approaching Art Directors in person just because they would like a job. What is your advice to this and how do you prefer that artists introduce themselves to you during conventions?
My advice – Get over it.
How to introduce yourself? Walk up, say “Hi” give a 10 second talk about who you are, and what you do. Hand them a card, and then step out. If they want to continue the conversation, they will.

Find the rest of the article here!

Words of Wisdom-Will Terry-Preparing To Become A Children’s Book Illustrator

wordsofwisdom

Children’s Book Illustrator and educator Will Terry drops in with a new video where he discusses what it takes to make it as a Children’s Book Illustrator. Take notes folks!

penguin-vacation2

In the video below I answer some questions from a fellow artist in Serbia who is trying to break into the children’s book market. I think many artists can relate to his frustrations and challenges so by answering his email hopefully I’m also speaking to a much broader audience. I know I get long winded but if you’re working on some art just let it play in the background and perhaps some of what I say will resonate with you. Also – feel free to disagree – I welcome differing opinions so others can have more to think about.

Original post is here.

Infographic on Why to Showcase Your Work On Online

infographiconlineshowcase_01

By now we should all know that to be successful in our industry you need to have an online presence. Freelance artists must promote their work in as many places as possible to gain exposure and attract as many clients as we can. This infographic made by the PrintRunner Blog shows statistics and sites that designers and illustrators can use to promote their portfolios.

infographiconlineshowcase_02

It was originally intended for designers but it is definitely applicable to illustrators’ work. They discuss using seven different sites to promote your work as well as statistics for each site. I have used most of these but a few I haven’t tried yet. The sites are Carbonmade.com, behance.net, coroflot.com, dripbook.com, viewbook.com, deviantart.com, and krop.com.

infographiconlineshowcase_03

The infographic discusses statistics for each site and the advantages of paying for each service. Most offer a free version but a few do not. It also talks about the pros and cons of each site, whether it offers mobile support and the site’s community size. It also has a few best practices when showing your portfolio online. Here is the full infographic. Take a look at the graphic and decide which service you would like to use to promote your work.

 

Using Dropbox to Share Files With Clients

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Lately, I’ve been sending a lot of large files to clients. As an illustrator I get my drawings done and the files saved, compressed into a nice, neat package, but in our line of work, we end up with pretty large files that we try to send to our clients. Even if it’s over 5 MB you could still get the dreaded bounced email message. I had one client in particular that this continually happened to. No matter what I did or how big the file was it would always come back as a bounced email. The email provider did not like attachments of any size. Well last year a service called Dropbox updated their product so that anything you have saved with their service you can share a link out too. There are a few different services like this, but Dropbox is the one that I prefer and it’s really helped me out in these types of situations.

What is Dropbox? Dropbox is a free service (for the 2GB plan) that lets you save your files to the Dropbox service and access them anywhere using your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website. It’s really handy. It works great for me when I need to share files between computers or two other people. I have a folder on my computer that I save files to and they automatically get saved to Dropbox.

Like I mentioned earlier you can send people links to specific files in your Dropbox. This makes Dropbox perfect for sharing Large compressed files of illustrations to clients, or just sharing a PDF for them to proof. This means that I can share a single link with a client and if they have other stakeholders they need to show it to they can simply just send them that link and they can view it in browser or download the file. It’s pretty simple let me explain how.

1) Sign in to the Dropbox website or sign up if you don’t already have an account.

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2) Go to your list of files and folders and then navigate to the file you would like to share.

3) When you’ve located the file you’re looking to share hover your mouse over it. While hovering over it on the right-hand side a chain-link icon should appear. If you click this link it should open a new page and give you the options to either email the link or “Get link”. I normally just click “Get link” and it automatically copies it to my clipboard allowing me to paste it into an email. That’s it.

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Of course there are other ways Dropbox lets you share files but this is the simplest way I’ve found. It has saved me from getting bounced email messages in my inbox which is really frustrating. Hope you found this tip helpful.

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