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The Illustration Graveyard, lets bring this shit back to life

rtsrts Registered User regular
edited February 2009 in Artist's Corner
So, on Bacon's encouragement I have decided to go ahead an push forward with the idea of creating a new thread for all of my incomplete illustration work (or...my illustration work in general).

I will explain how this is going to work. I am going to post every illustration I have ever started that I would like to complete, whether it be all the way into the painting, or still in the thumbnail phase. I will mark off on a checklist for each illustration what has been completed in it's progress, and then as I move forward in completing it I will check off the new steps which have been done.

Why am I doing this? Because I need to get a portfolio together, and prove I am capable of being a working illustrator. I have been pretty idle living off of an inheritance from my father for years and now I really need to get into gear, for my health and my finances.

What do I want in my portfolio? I want at least six strong illustrations that I can put in the hands of art directors. I want a spaceship piece, a pretty girl piece, a fantasy piece, a scifi piece, an animal piece, and a wholesome piece if possible. I should have one piece already started for each of these with the possible exception of the animal piece. I may want you guys to help me decide which of the pieces I have started would be best to fill one of these slots in some situations, as I have started more than one fantasy or scifi piece in the past.

What I need from you guys is to make sure I am constantly getting shit done on these. Trust me, if I am making any real progress you will know about it because I am proud as hell of myself whenever I get anything done. So keep me in check!

Tonight I will only post the one illustration to establish the format, but I will update the OP with the rest of the 10+ that I think I will have in here as I find them. This isn't going to be a new image, but some of the pieces I post in the next few days will be stuff you haven't seen before. I usually avoid posting my creative work on this forum because it is rather weak, and also difficult to shoot.


Illustrations:


The Lunch Pad

Current image:
1047.jpg

Piece for: Scifi

Thumbnail: yes
Photoreference: yes
Sketch: yes
Projection: no
Underpainting: no
Painting Started: no
Finished painting: no

Issues: From the current perspective the reflection doesn't make any sense. I think that the best course of action is to actually redo the entire sketch to be looking up at them, instead of from above. That way, the reflection will be showing the sky (where the spaceship is) instead of the street.



Pale Wayfarer

Current image:
wayfarer10.jpg

Piece for: Fantasy

Thumbnail: yes
Photoreference: yes
Sketch: yes
Projection: yes
Underpainting: yes
Painting Started: yes
Finished painting: no

Issues: I cant decide if I want to leave the guy in the foreground in, or take him out. He is there to help establish scale but I don't really like him.

skype: rtschutter
rts on

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    XALXAL Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    would be a shame to scrap such a cool sketch! even if the perspective is wrong.
    maybe you could change the reflection to an incoming missile or military aircraft for giggles? maybe add a shrieking fat lady behind them... :P
    Whenever i screw up a drawing and know i won't use it for anything/hate it, I try to see if I can save it somehow - limiting myself to around 5-10 minutes of doodling over it. Sometimes I get pretty satisfying results, but most of them times i have to kill them D:

    click for epic tablet/general drawing skillz fail
    lols.jpg

    I'm sure your creative work isn't as weak as you say it is - and you'll get nothing but support from the people on here...even though most of us are poop compared to you.

    Can't wait to see your new stuff!

    XAL on
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    crawdaddiocrawdaddio Tacoma, WARegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2009
    By "projection," do you mean you project the sketch onto the canvas in order to transfer the lines there?

    crawdaddio on
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    GreatnationGreatnation Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    OK, whats your market. Your putting together a portfolio with a wide range of content, I wouldn't suggest that. Are you trying to be a concept artist? Editorial? Are you persuing weeklys?

    For the up and coming, it is a better business decision to pick a theme, a concept about yourself. Are you a masculine or feminine illustrator. Is your work loud or quiet. These are the bigger ideas that you are trying to sell, because if your just another illustrator with pretty work you will go unnoticed. Think big ideas that you can translate into every aspect of your work. Think about how these ideas are going to play out in your work, how these choices will affect line, color choice, and arrangement.

    In the words of one of my mentors, "Learning principles of drawing and painting is EASY by comparison to finding your own unique voice. It basically will take you between 3-5 years to become really good at those principles, but you're going to be spending the rest of your life trying to find your own voice. And in the end, your own voice is all that matters. So whatever you do, you have to own it."


    Your at the foot of this path now, and its a very crucial time in your own decision making.



    "Simplicity is key for getting an art director's attention. They don't have time to wonder how they should use you and they don't like to think about what "style" they should ask for.

    You'll get more bites if you're specific about what you do and if when you leave them they have a visual impression of what your work is like."




    So to better help you, I'm asking for a list. Make a wish list of clients you want to work for. This will give us a better sense of how to guide your portfolio into the solid peice of work its going to be.


    Shit son, I'm in the process of making my own portfolio as well, if this thread takes off I might put one together myself.

    Greatnation on
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    F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Greatnation - Great advice. I've been struggling for a long time on making a portfolio. What you said is inspiring.

    F87 on
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    rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Thanks guys.

    XAL - I appreciate the thoughts, it does seem wasteful but I really like the concept and I want to do it right.

    Craw - That is precisely what I mean, I usually project my sketch to save time.

    Greatnation - I have heard some of this coming from the people at my school as well. A diverse portfolio is not necesarily a good thing, but it can be. I am fairly certain of that. Anyways, I don't want to be a concept artist, or an editorial illustrator (at least not the majority of editorial illustration), or doing weeklys, though honestly I don't even know what that means actually. I just want to be a storyteller, and I want to tell a diverse range of stories. What is also a little different in my situation is that I have put in an unusually high amount of training in the figurative and traditional side, and I plan to at least in the future make the majority of my income by selling originals...not the commissions themselves.

    So while I agree that it can definitely be for the best to have a very focused portfolio, I think the focus of mine will be more on how well rounded I am technically. Something I have watched a lot of my buddies getting into illustration go through is getting 'type-casted' to paint certain things. And the purpose of putting a specific focus on your portfolio is basically to get type-casted and honestly I don't really want to be, because such a wide range of subjects interest me. If I get type-casted for anything I would like it to be for subtle storytelling, which I think is a good aim for cover work, if ambiguous. And speaking of that, here is a list of clients I would like to work for:

    Wizards
    Tor
    I don't know?

    And so that I don't seem like a total douche who is completely ignoring your advice, I will say the theme I am most interested in is Spaceships/Scifi. It is important that I work hard in this category because I have a personal project I would like to work on down the road that falls in this theme. Unfortunately there isn't that much Scifi work out there, it is mostly fantasy stuff it seems.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
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    SublimusSublimus Artist. nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You can do it cakemikz!!!

    I will also have to respectfully disagree with greatnation. I dont think style/voice is something you should be thinking about consciously. It is really the result of all other aspects of your life and work, not something you decide on and work towards. I can understand the merit of gearing your portfolio in a direction for the purposes of marketing, but I would say that more directly affects the content of the work rather than the execution. (Not to say that execution doesnt matter, but that it is far less important.)

    Shit Andrew Wyeth didnt find his true voice until he was like thirty after his father died.

    Sublimus on
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    GreatnationGreatnation Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    late reply, my tubes have been all clogged.



    Cake, your technical skill cannot be the focus of your portfolio. At a professional level of competition it's meaningless. No art director will ever look at a new portfolio and say, "Hey this guy can really draw lets give him a shot!" Because they already have an excpetionally long list of talented artists that they know can not only draw better than you but deliver fresh content in a professional matter.

    You had something going there with the storytelling bit, but its still too broad. An art director is going to have a hard time noticing this as special, because again, its taken for granted as a skill your supposed to have.

    I don't know if either of you got the point I was trying to make. I'm not talking about choosing between elves and spaceships, or about "style" in the most obvious sense.


    Best illustrate my point. John Avon isnt known as a fantasy landscape painter to any art directors. Yes in shorthand, but as far as decision making, he would be more of an atmospheric realist. Todd Lockwood isnt a figurative fantasy artist with lots of color who can draw really really well. Hes an artist that can deliver drama when its needed.

    See what I'm getting at? Find what you do best that only you can do. And sure, you can say that you shouldn't focus on this but let it find you, and this will be fine but you wont get any work and you wont get anywhere. You have to make for yourself a stable point of departure. Art directors will be interested to see you develop and you can fall into doing whatever you end of doing, but for right now try not to sign yourself away into drawing good generica.




    Sub- What you say is true, obv, but not quite related to what i was trying to say. Hope the above cleared this up.




    Cake- Again, try putting together a real list of clients. Think hard and research well. Look at publishing houses, because you seem to be in the direction of book covers. After you make this list, look at all the artists who work for these clients. Get a sense of how their portfolio is formed, and what the bigger conceptual themes might be. You should at least have 15-20 possible clients.

    Greatnation on
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    KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Cake, great nation has covered most of the essential points.

    If you want to save yourself a headache when it comes to advertising and promotoing your work you have several easy options for a man who has money at his disposal such as your self.

    1.) www.theispot.com

    it is basically a gallery website that every art director who knows anything about anything will go to looking for talent when they want to.

    2.) www.adbase.com

    It is a list service. They have like 30,000 contacts. All art buyers. They offer an emailer service, where it will send a personalized email to each person. Basically like digital postcards.

    I personally subscribe to adbase (they make you pay quarterly, so if you dont make any money that quater, just cancel until you hit your next job.)

    They also make mailing out postcards exteremly easy.

    This is a very shitty description of what they offer. You should really just call them and speak to a rep. The list of their services is so comprehensive I started to type it up and said fuck it.


    Also. Start promoting now if you can. Any one who says you are not ready can honestly go and suck shit. I see so much absolute shit get commissioned, why shouldnt mine or your shitty stuff be paid for?(Im not calling your stuff shit just triying to make a point) Learn on some one elses dime if you can.

    Kendeathwalker on
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    falconirefalconire Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I'd like to comment on the artwork itself if I may.

    The first piece confused me when I first looked at. I only understood what it was after I read about the perspective. I would suggest redoing it, possibly by pulling back the image a bit, or maybe showing more of the building so that viewers can see that the spaceship is a reflection (which is what confused me to begin with). Overall I love the concept. To be honest if you redid it and did it as a time piece in the late sixties it would honestly be brilliant. Just an idea though.

    The second doesn't do much for me to be honest. It just seems generic superhero/djinn artwork.

    falconire on
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    rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Thanks guys, I appreciate the time you spent putting together all of the marketing advice. I have a lot of connections at the school and I have watched several people go from student to professional at this point, so I have a good idea of how to approach it. Right now though, I want to focus primarily on just getting some illustration work done.

    Falconire - The Lunch Pad is going to be redone from a lower perspective, so that the reflection will make more sense. I think that should solve a lot of the issues, as well as the sign/labeling that will be on the front of the glass. As for the second one, I specifically took it upon myself to redesign a magic card for this one, and I think to go any further with it would be counter-productive to the purpose of a creature card.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
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    KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Id really like to emphasize that you not limit yourself to just wizards of the coast and TOR.

    Just go to a comic con and you will get a feel for the vast array of publishing houses, comics and such that would suit your work.

    Kendeathwalker on
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    GreatnationGreatnation Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    So what are the deets on your plan to get work? I'd be interested to hear how the people you know did it.

    Greatnation on
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    KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    So what are the deets on your plan to get work? I'd be interested to hear how the people you know did it.

    Kendeathwalker on
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    LoomdunLoomdun Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    What greatnation and kendeathwalker said is very true.


    But also I think that you are jumping way to ahead of yourself cakemikz. You are going from practicing models, speed paints, and studying how to observe/draw the figure, to illustrating fantasy and using your imagination to create portfolio worthy pieces.

    I personally feel that you should take this slower and perhaps try to sketch/draw the ideas in a sketchbook you may have, kind of like how Tam is sketching out little alien things and detectives, and ect ect. Not only will it help you to start thinking in a more imaginitive mode, it will also give you some practice in placing it down on paper/canvas/whatever it is you plan to place it on. And also give you ideas of what you would want to theme your creations on.

    Loomdun on
    splat
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    rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    No I am not Loomdun.

    And deets? If you mean dates I should already be going. But today I have to drive to LA and back to take care of some shit that should have been done weeks ago.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
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    crawdaddiocrawdaddio Tacoma, WARegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2009
    I think he meant details...

    crawdaddio on
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    LoomdunLoomdun Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    okayyyyyy

    Loomdun on
    splat
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    rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Oh alright. Well I will get a lot more of this figured out when I get back from LA tonight. I gotta get moving now though or it will be dark by the time I get there.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
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    DeeLockDeeLock Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Loomdun, cakemikz has been doing that shit for years. It's about time he gets some portfolio-ready illustrations finished.

    That being said, i would love to see you finish the Lunch Pad piece. Do it. Right now.

    DeeLock on
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