For illustrators, building and maintaining a contact list for your marketing efforts is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Putting in the time and effort to build a highly targeted database of contacts is vital. To get your work seen, and for you to get hired – reaching out regularly to a targeted list of companies with whom you want to work is something you simply must do.
The software you choose for your database depends on personal preference. There are many contact relationship management (CRM) software choices out there – some free, some paid, many that are over complicated, and many with features you would never need to use. For myself, after looking at many of the options I settled on the simplest and most customizable choice – a spreadsheet. It’s simple, sortable, searchable, and exporting the data for labels or emailing is very straightforward.
The great thing about using a spreadsheet is you can customize the fields exactly the way you want. It’s easy to color highlight certain fields so you can get creative with color coding to help you track or remember certain details. You can set up drop down menus to select from pre-determined data. You can also set up additional spreadsheets in the same workbook – one for a list of publishers, and others for submission lists for picture book dummies, or lists for other contacts.
In my workbook, I have separate sheets for Publishers, Agents, and Picture Book submission lists (so I can track who I’ve sent to, who has responded, etc.)
For my main publisher list, here are the fields that I track:
Date of last contact (last time you emailed or sent a mailer, letter, etc.)
Status (Client, On file, Lead) – for this I built in a drop down menu with these choices built in so I don’t have to retype them when entering a contact
Newsletter (here I indicate if I have them on my email newsletter mailing list)
Category (Trade, Educational, Magazine) – again I use a drop down menu with these choices – I like to use these categories so I can group and sort contacts into sub lists to target mailings
Xmas Card (the last time I sent them a card and if they are on my card list or not)
Last Contact (here I keep notes on the last contact I had with this person)
Additional notes (here I note and submission guidelines, special considerations, etc.)
The key to maintaining your database is to regularly go through and make sure the information is still current (your database is only as good as the data that is in it). I like to break it into small chunks and try to check 10 or so records each week until I reach the end of the list, then I just start again, repeating the process.
Another really useful thing to do is to save your spreadsheet into an online file sharing service, such as Dropbox – this way you can have access to your contacts from any device are using. Even your phone if you need to check some information while on the go. Or, another option would be to build your spreadsheet in Google Drive – and again you could have it available to you on any device
I built my spreadsheet using Excel, and I am making my template available here for anyone who would like to use it as a starting point for their own list, or for reference. The template includes my main publisher list template, as well as a second sheet template for a picture book submission list.
Chris Jones is a Canadian based children's illustrator. He has always been interested in telling stories visually, and his colorful style focuses on humor and expressiveness. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD), he has illustrated for several magazines and educational publishers.
Chris is inspired by good music, good books, long walks, and generous amounts of coffee.
Chris is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Since it’s back to school time for many of us, I thought I’d focus on an old-school aspect of the illustrator’s journey: the critique. We all get them (if we’re smart) but how do we know what to listen to? I know seasoned illustrators who still ask this question. Over the years I’ve queried various illustrators about when they know how to listen and I’ve gotten many of the same answers.
Here’s when you tune in with all ears… and more than a grain of salt:
• When it’s someone in the position to move your career up a notch and you respect their opinion. That seems like a no brainer but notice I said AND. We often listen to one or the other. If it’s someone you respect but they don’t understand the particular industry you are approaching, then they may not be in the best position to offer advice. Likewise for someone who buys art… you may change your piece to fit their expectations but what if your long term goal is illustrating in a different field?
• When more than one person has mentioned the exact same problem, especially if it’s someone you trust, then it’s worth listening to.
• When the critique mentions a problem you already suspected was there in your heart of hearts….. you should listen, you were probably correct when you worried about it the first time.
• When it points out a way to get more story into the illustration, and it’s the story – the intent of the piece – you are trying to tell, then listen.
Here’s when you consider smiling and saying, “thanks, I’ll think about it.”
• When the advice seems in conflict with the story you are trying to tell. Like my last bullet, this is also a toughie and demands that you be completely objective about your own work. Are you sure of the story?
• When the critique seems more like a commentary on someone else’s taste. Just because a very respected and highly competent art buyer likes blue doesn’t mean you have to add it to the image IF it goes against the story you were trying to tell.
• When the critique comes from someone outside your particular illustration industry, even if you respect them. This is also a toughie because it’s possible they have sound advice. But before you listen make sure you are educated about the standards in your field. It’s possible that you can bend their advice to work for you. If, like myself, you are both an illustrator and a writer then that goes double. Some of the best critiques I’ve heard actually came from writers who were adept at thinking visually.
To paraphrase a comment from agent Michael Bourret about writers and editors: “sometimes the worst mistake is to do exactly what the editor asked for… instead of looking for the real problem.” And when it comes to critiques from buyers you are trying to impress but who have rejected the work, Jane Yolen said it very well in her interview on 12 x 12 earlier this year: “Just because someone offers you a free critique on work they ultimately don’t want, they aren’t taking it! Sometimes it’s just better to forget those.” While it can be hard to get good constructive critiques and equally hard to listen to the criticism, the only way to become good at it is to seek them out regularly. Similar to learning perspective or how to draw the figure, practice is what develops the artists’ ability to receive – and to give – great critiques.
Mary Reaves Uhles has created award winning illustrations in books and magazines for clients such as Cricket Magazine Group, McGraw Hill, Magic Wagon, and Thomas Nelson. Before beginning her career as a freelance illustrator, Mary worked as an animator on projects for Warner Brothers and Fisher-Price Interactive. A PAL member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Mary calls Nashville home and spends her free time behind the wheel of the family mini van.
When I talk with other artists, one thing people seem interested in is my experience transitioning from being a traditional artist to working digitally, and any tips I might have for other who also want to make the switch. The most important thing to remember for artists who want to go digital is that you are switching your medium, and just like if you were to decide to transition from watercolor to sculpted clay, there is going to be a learning curve. This post covers the basics that traditional artists who are considering transitioning to a digital medium should know.
Why Go Digital?
– Attracting new clients. There are some clients who specifically want artwork layered. This is only possible in digital programs.
– Evolving your style. As with any new medium, going digital opens up the opportunity to use new techniques and tools to create a new style and take your artwork in a new direction.
– Changing your work process. When I painted with watercolors, it was important that colors be applied in a certain way at a certain time, and so I needed a large block of time in which to work. When I became a working mother with a baby, I hardly ever had a few hours straight to paint. Going digital allowed me to work in smaller blocks of time – 10 minutes, 30 minutes….whatever the baby would give me. I could work, save the file, and then come back to the piece at the next available opportunity. There is also something to be said for not having to use up valuable time stretching paper or color-correcting scanned artwork.
– Pick your pen & paper. While it is possible to illustrate with a mouse or trackball, the majority of digital artists prefer to use a tablet and stylus. There are two general varieties. Tablets like the Wacom Intuos are like a mousepad that sits in your lap. As you move the stylus across the pressure-sensitive pad, the cursor will draw corresponding marks on your main monitor. This is an affordable option for those who want to try their hand at digital art to see if the medium is a good fit for their art. These types of tablets are also nice for artist who may want to work primarily traditionally, but want to make edits/touch ups to their artwork digitally before sending to a client. There are also tablets that allow the artist to draw directly on the monitor/screen. Ipads and similar tablets can be used in this way, but the most elite option for this type of tablet is the Wacom Cintiq. This tablet, though expensive, is a highly pressure-sensitive monitor that sits in your lap or on the desk, allowing the artist to paint directly onto the screen in a very natural manner. For those who want a more mobile option, Wacom released it’s Companion model last year, which is a combination Cintiq-laptop.
– Pick your program. There are lots of programs out there to use for digital art, but the most popular are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Corel Painter. Illustrator specializes in creating vecctor artwork, which is typically flat or gradated color, very graphic looking, and capable of being up or down dramatically without affecting image clarity. Painter is a tool for those who want to create realistic painterly illustrations that mimic oil paints, chalk, pastels and other traditional media. Photoshop allows for painting with a variety of brushes for different effects as well as image/photo editing capabilities.
Time to Learn
Traditional artists, particularly those not accustomed to scanning their own artwork, may find that they need to brush up on some technical knowledge. For example, digital artists must know what file format the final images should be delivered in. It is common for clients to want CMYK (color profile) 300 DPI (resolution) Tiff (file format) files. However, some clients may have other preferences, and the digital artist should know how to set up their image to reflect these preferences before they start painting. Digital artists also know that the colors on their monitor may not be trustworthy for print-correct-colors. It is helpful to preview your artwork on a variety of monitors to look for any colors or values that are not reading correctly, or to compare the colors on your monitor to a Pantone color swatch book. The digital artist must also understand file size, and be able to store and deliver large files in a way that is not inconvenient to the client. It is not uncommon for a layered working Photoshop file to be over 300 MB in size. Most email inbox can only take up to 100 MB total, so email is not a good way to deliver many 300 MB files to a client. Luckily, there are lots of online file sharing services, such as Dropbox, that can help the digital artist get his/her artwork to the client. Some of these services are free, and some are not. Other artists have personal FTP sites related to their personal websites to deliver files to a client. Before promising digital art to a client, it is important to understand file formats and specifications, and to have a reliable method for artwork delivery.
Time to Explore
As with any new medium, an artist cannot master it overnight. Some techniques that worked for the artist traditionally will carry over to the computer environment easily, and some will not. And just like every oil painter works differently to create the style that he/she wants, the same is true for digital artist. Every digital art program has brushes and settings that can be used to achieve different looks, and it will take time for the new digital artist to find the tools and techniques that are right for his/her own artistic method. After talking to a variety of artists who made the switch, you can expect about 6 months of practice and exploration before finding your digital style and being proficient enough at it to execute an illustration project on a deadline. Youtube has lots of great videos of artists working digitally and sharing their work method. These resources can be great sources of inspiration for those who need a little help learning the many techniques available for constructing digital art.
Time to Change?
While many new digital artists try to identify techniques and tools that will allow them to duplicate their traditional style on the computer screen, it can be an unexpected pleasure to find that changing mediums can also change and evolve your illustration style. For me experimentation has been the best part of working digitally. With watercolor, I was always playing it safe, particularly with colors, because one wrong brush stroke could ruin hours of work. However, in Photoshop, I am able to try out colors, lighting and textures on separate layers without risking losing hours of work. By having the freedom to explore, I have been able to diversify my colors, create more engaging compositions, and add scanned textures and patterns. I also found myself eventually gravitating towards more textured brushes, giving some areas of my artwork the look of chalk pastels rather than paint. This enabled me to achieve color layering and depth that I was unable to achieve through traditional means. Once I let go and stopped trying to get my new medium to behave like watercolor, I became open to using new color application techniques that eventually took my artwork to a more satisfying place. The image below shows one of my last watercolor images, my first successful digital illustration, and my current digital style.
I hope all artists who are thinking about making the switch to digital enjoy the process of learning a new medium and seeing where it takes their artwork! Happy illustrating!
Jennifer Zivoin has always loved art and storytelling, so becoming a children's book illustrator was a natural career path. Most of her illustrations are painted digitally, though she draws inspiration from traditional media. In addition to artwork, Jennifer enjoys reading, cooking, and ballroom dancing - especially tango! She lives in Indiana with her husband and daughter.
Congrats! You have been published! Your book is being carried in bookstores, and your local store has agreed to host a book signing event for you! Every author and illustrator has their unique way of presenting at events, but here are some tips, tricks and ideas to help make your next book signing a success for you and the kids…..so that hopefully the bookstores will want you back!
Publicize Your Event
Get the word out! Nothing feels worse than having a poor turn-out for your event. Make fliers to distribute to local schools’ a week or so in advance so that kids can bring the information home to their parents. It might help to provide schools a copy of your book along with that big stack of fliers. Contact your local newspaper at least a month ahead of time to see if they can do an article to feature your book and to promote your event. Make a Facebook sticker/image to promote your signing, post it on your timeline, and ask your family and friends to share it on their own pages. Make sure all of your friends and their kids know about the signing, and encourage them to come. Crowds draw crowds!
Is your book about pirates? Where a pirate hat! Does your book take place at the beach? Wear a Hawaiian shirt, sun hat and pass out cheap sunglasses to the first 20 kids! Creating a little atmosphere can generate excitement about your book. At a recent book signing for “The Summer Fairy”, the author Elizabeth Gillihan brought a vase of flowers (she let the kids be “helpers” and put the flowers in the vase), balloons and sat on a stool decorated like a toadstool while she read the story to the children. She also passed out pixie sticks to all of the children who attended the story-time portion of the signing.
Kristi Valiant, author and illustrator of “Penguin Cha Cha”, had these fun cardboard cut-outs made for her book signings.
Engage For Every Age
There will probably be a wide age range at your event, from parents to preschoolers. Remember, bored children are unhappy, restless, disruptive children. If you are doing an illustration demo, be aware that not ever child may be old enough or able to follow along, and not every kid likes to draw. Having coloring pages available can help those children be engaged even if they don’t feel up to drawing along with the group. An easy way to do this is to print out the sketches of pages from your book, pass them out and have a basket of crayons available. Also, encourage your audience to participate by asking them questions that you know will receive positive answers. If your book is about summer, ask the kids “Who going camping this summer?” or “Who likes swimming?!” Use questions as ways to help your audience connect to some aspect of your book.
While all freelance creatives have the unique benefit of being paid to do what we would do for free anyway, along with that benefit comes the responsibility to run our businesses wisely. There are several posts on Once Upon A Sketch about dealing with spec work, managing studio expenses and getting work. But what if you’ve done your homework; gotten what looks like a good, non-amateur client that’s paying a decent commission and the project still goes south? There is an old proverb that says “a learning experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.” For the last few weeks I’ve been getting a learning experience dealing with quite possibly the most challenging client of my career. We’re not at a finished point yet but I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve learned so far:
1) Don’t ignore orange flags. I take vetting a client very seriously. I don’t show my work in places where wannabe, McClient types would seek to get work for cheap or free. I understand my rights and make sure I understand the scope of the project and the contract. But let’s just say something innocuous, like the trim size, doesn’t seem right. In my example, I questioned the dimensions presented as they didn’t include a bleed and the single and spread sizes didn’t match. I was assured the dimensions were correct. When I started finals, I double checked the contract, surely they wouldn’t make a mistake there. Yep, the contract had the same strange sizes I was given. So I proceeded… but decided to add my own bleed area just to listen to my intuition. Three weeks later after a series of stops and starts from the designer’s side I was given the “actual” dimensions and they were quite a bit different. Fortunately my self added bleed helped some but not enough. The strange size wasn’t a big red flag, it wasn’t a terrible manuscript or teeny tiny budget. It wasn’t being asked to work in someone else’s style. In my opinion these are all reasons to bolt from a project. But looking back, that one wrinkle set up the entire trajectory of the project. Next time I will press and question, even to the point of saying “I want to confirm this doesn’t change after sketch approval”…. and if the answer’s not good enough, I might consider that a reason to bolt.
2) Once you see an orange flag, get explicit approval for EVERYTHING. I’d finished sketches, finished revisions for those sketches, the designer had said “everything looks great!” At that point the deadline was a comfortable three week margin away. Everything was rosy. I did what every responsible illustrator would do – I started the finals. Because when the client says “everything looks great” that’s what you should do right? Maybe not, looking back I wish I’d pressed them again and point blank asked “Can I start finals?” Because 10 days later, after half the project was complete, I hear there’s a new approval process… and my sketches “may not really be approved.” When I pointed out the earlier communication of everything being great, the client questioned whether they had ever approved anything. Fortunately I was able to lay out email correspondence showing the timeline of sketches, requested revisions, and how everything looked great before they ever mentioned a new approval process.
3) Communicate entirely in writing. It was tempting to pick up the phone and sort everything out with a single half-hour chat. That’s what I would have done with any of my long time clients. But as their changes, approvals, and deadlines got more and more tangled I realized that the person I was working with was only caught in the middle. Talking would leave me with no proof of what we decided and possibly start a “he said/she said” scenario. By communicating exclusively over email I was able to lay out my understanding of the project and have a record of it. Be as professional and enthusiastic as possible, but be ready to defend your side reasonably in writing.
4) Know when to say when. Once the process has started to tilt toward endless revisions beyond the deadline and beyond the budget it’s time for the illustrator to consider whether or not they will continue the project. At that point you can say “this is my last series of changes unless you increase the budget” or “unless this is approved without changes I can’t do any more on this project.” You can fight about a kill fee or just walk away. But the main thing is you have to know at what point you should move from helping the client to protecting your business. In the long run, a difficult client will drag your business down no matter how much money the contract says they will pay you. Finishing this project is on my to-do list but I grind my teeth when I think about it. I have other really exciting books to work on at the moment plus, my own projects which are close to my heart. This difficult client is sucking out my inspiration for those. Just like any relationship, once you reach this tipping point, spend time with the “good projects” and get the difficult ones out of your studio as quickly as you can.
As the process got more out of whack with this client I began researching them online to see if any other illustrators had had problems. I recommend doing this at the start of a new client project anyway. I didn’t find anything substantial but I did find a few other interesting tips for freelancers in this same position. I hope my fellow illustrators never have reason to need it, but in case they do I add this advice to mine:
I have been an advocate for illustrators to work on self-directed work for some time now. The problem is that making the time for personal work can be difficult when clients come calling and your belly is rumbling. Those are the times when a lot of us put our own comics, children’s books, and dreams back on the shelf to collect dust until our client work has been cleared off our plates. This can create another problem… It may take more time to build up the steam we had, on our personal projects, if we only work on them in the spaces between commissioned gigs. In my experience, this usually means the self-directed projects never get done and I remain a contractor that only works on the dreams of others.
I recently became inspired by a website called Giveit100. The big idea, presented by this site, is that if you practice something for 100 days you will gradually learn whatever it is you want to do, whether that be dancing, cooking, or playing a musical instrument for example. People who sign up at this site are asked to make a short video everyday for 100 days to track their progress and as a way to stay motivated to stay on course while being held publicly accountable.
I slightly altered the goal of Giveit100 to fit what I want to do, which is to consistently work on my personal projects despite the amount of client work I am often saddled with. In my case, I’m trying to finish my own books while working on books I’ve been hired to do for publishers. Right now I am trying to finish a 4 issue comic book story and am devoting, at very least, 30 minutes a day to it. That doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but as of this writing, I’ve finished over two whole working days worth of time on this project that I wouldn’t have had completed had I not decided to do this. The benefit I’m getting is that my motivation to finish my personal project increases everyday. I jones to work on it and feel satisfied keeping the ball rolling. Additionally, its becoming a habit already just 17 days in.
I want to encourage you to try something similar. All of us working professionals are making money for other people and making their dreams a reality. Its our job, but I’d like to see more of us take the initiative to get our own personal vision out into the public sphere. In a world of decreasing advances with no promise of retirement, where quality art is made mediocre through design-by-committee, I think we owe it to ourselves to live our dreams and give the public better alternatives.
If you’d like to follow my progress as I work on a comic book for 100 days in a row, you can do so here.
Free: The Future of a Radical Price is a book written by Chris Anderson that examines the pricing models of free and how companies can make money by giving things away. We see it all the time from Google giving away services like email, Google Docs, and music groups giving away their music in hopes that you will buy a ticket to their concert. Often the strategy is to attract users and up-sell some to a premium level. This model has become widely referred to as “freemium”. Anderson makes the case that some businesses can make money by giving products and services away rather then charging a premium price. Chris explains how this radical pricing model can be used for the benefit of consumers and businesses alike.
How does this apply to running an illustration business? Well there is a chance you’re doing it already. Maybe you’re writing a blog, giving away coloring sheets on your website, or just putting your work on the web for all to see. Things that cost you very little to produce, but can possibly give you a big return if seen by the right people.
Of course this model is not for everyone and not everyone will agree with what Chris has to say but he has made the barrier to entry very small because Chris walks the walk by giving away his book in digital form. Of course the printed version costs, but if this book sounds interesting to you its free to try. I personally see this model as a way we illustrators can use to promote our selves. No matter what you think about Free hopefully you’ll find an idea in this book that will be helpful to your career. Oh and did I mention it’s free.
Having grown up on the shores of Maui, Hawaii, Norm has always had a love for drawing. Since leaving the Islands’ beautiful beaches and landing in Oregon he went to college and received a degree in graphic design. Now living in Beaverton, Oregon, Norm has been working as a full-time graphic designer and illustrator for the last 12 years. He has spent countless hours perfecting his craft as a freelance illustrator working on several children’s books, a few video games and creating numerous educational products. His ability to draw has given him the chance to do the thing he truly loves — Create.
In the process of getting ready to interview varied artists within the Children’s Market I realized that many of you have some interesting names! Names that I sadly have no idea how to pronounce! I’m sure this is a problem that is common in a market that represents artists and writers from varied rich backgrounds and cultures all across the globe.
The last thing I wanted to do was get a chance to meet and speak with someone I respected and admired and get their name completely wrong when I spoke it. Luckily I found a solution that many of you will find useful, informative and fun.
TeachingBooks.Net has compiled a wonderful resource intended for teachers, but it can be used by fans and interested parties as well.
A few weeks ago I was able to attend a wonderful SCBWI, which had some very enriching sessions for illustrators, leaving me feeling inspired and excited to create new pieces and to apply what I learned to clients’ work! If you are not involved with your local chapter of SCBWI or other professional organization, I encourage you to do so. Attending national conferences, while obviously very great opportunities, can be difficult to attend, depending on your financial, traveling and other personal needs/situations. Local conferences can be a great alternative, and can offer a more intimate experience for the attendees. For example, in addition to participating in the sessions for illustrators, I was also able to volunteer as a reader for a picture book manuscript critique session, which was a fun additional way to connect with the staff and members and be more involved with the weekend experience. Here are some highlights from my favorite sessions.
Keynote Speaker LeUyen Pham
LeUyen Pham is an award winning illustrator and author who works in many diverse styles. If you haven’t seen “Big Sister, Little Sister”, you should check it out. My own daughter loves this book, written an illustrated by Pham. In addition to talking with us about her history and journey into the publishing world, she spoke about strategies she has used to stay fresh and relevant in the constantly evolving world of children’s book publishing throughout her career. Pham style is constantly in a state of evolution, and she likes to very her technique and look, sometimes drastically, from book to book. She encouraged illustrators to take on projects with which they feel a connection, to create samples that reflect the types of projects they would like to work on that year, and to send those samples to a small targeted group of art directors. Most of all, Pham spoke about the importance of making personal connections with clients, and allowing clients to see you as a multidimensional person rather than just a work source. IN noe of her breakout sessions, Pham talked about how she goes about constructing a picture book. We looks at the development of visual hierarchy to facilitate storytelling in each individual scene, as well as how that hierarchy fits into the overall scope of the book, creating a natural flow between page turns. She was such an inspiring and engaging speaker, and this particular session on picture book construction was so enriching!
Maria Middleton, Associate Art Director
Two of my other favorite sessions were offered by ABRAMS Kids Books associate art director Maria Middleton. The first few illustrators who signed up for the conference had the opportunity to work with Middleton on a “homework project” in which we had to create character and place them in a situation where they will encounter conflict, great or small. We got to send her our sketches, which she reviewed ahead of time, and then created final art to be reviewed during a session at the conference. This was so much fun! I love seeing everyone’s interpretation of the theme, and the evolution for sketch to final. Here is my artwork that I created for the assignment.
In a separate session, Maria talked about the makings of great cover design. She encouraged us to think about the spine, which is often the only part of the book that is visible on bookshelves, and giving attention to typography. For those illustrators who feel comfortable doing so, she suggested hand-lettering the title text, so that the cover has that added touch of image-text unity and customization. She also walked us through the many stages of some of the book covers that she art-directed, explaining how the team arrived at the final cover design for each book. It was intriguing to see the thought process behind each revision, and to see how those changes drove the cover towards a stronger design.
Who are some of the illustrators out there that inspire you? That was the question I asked my fellow contributors here at Once Upon a Sketch. Along with giving me some names, I also wanted to know why they loved their work. This is what I got:
James Bennett – One of my all-time favorite children’s book illustrators. From colors, to background detail and storytelling, just an overall superb illustrator. His editorial artwork is something I’ve looked up to all the way back to my art school days.
Peter De Seve – To me, one of the best narrative illustrators in the biz. He’s known for his character designs, and justifiably so, but his compositions and the way he delivers a story in just one image (His New Yorker covers are amazing) is also why I picked him. I also love his muddy watercolor palette and rough, free flowing sketch work that show underneath his paintings.
Phil Hale – All emotion and kinetic energy. His form & compositions are always inspiring. There is nothing static and boring in his work and I can always feel a dark intimidating energy from them.
Robert Williams – During my early school years he was a big inspiration and influence for me. I really admired his painting style and how he mixed it with flat compositional elements. And his mix of car culture and psychedelic and apocalyptic imagery are just plain crazy fun.
Dan Santat – I really admire his great character designs, sense of humour and playfulness in his work, and his wonderful use of colour.