Sunday, January 31, 2010

News from the front

Well the SCWBI winter conference has now been and gone.
After surviving snowboarding(although my watch did not) and leaving the hospitality of Cam's friend Dave and his family behind we got the plane to New York which was far far better than the flight to america- I even began to get into a groove of drawing which was good.
Once in New York - I/we stayed at Yanni and Kikki's-(friends of Cam also)- they have an apartment in Tribeca on Chambers St which is quite something to behold.

The illustrators intensive at the conference was sort of a mixed bag for me. The first speaker was Paul Zelinsky. Some of the books he'd done were quite labor intensive-( ie a kids book done in oil renaissance painting style) which left me wondering-
a:how much time he had to do them- and
b: just how much he was being paid?
That is,
clearly he wasn't spending half a day to 3/4 maximum per page(rough+cleanup+colour=total) but probably in the order of weeks per page(?).
Also I sort of had the feeling his education , training, and upbringing was a world away from me like I was looking into an expensive shop- ie him being educated at Yale or somesuch and me being largely self taught. I think he derived a lot of inspiration from paintings and fine art, which is good I guess in terms of using those styles to evoke some sort of association, but on the other hand I think it is most important to work things out from first principles and from the ideas and not rely on second or third hand information.

I sort of decided to start drawing while
I listened- the top left hand version of him is closest likeness although a caricature.

Next speaker was Lisa Desimini. Hers is a naive or folk art style-in some instances a bit Rousseau like utilitising photo textures(- so not very much like my style at all).
Her part of the workshop was the one I'd done the Snow White homework for (previously posted- I'd actually done a few other ideas that night in raw form but there were three I'd sort of finished as black and white.)
In the showing of our homework I was sort of pleased because I sussed out other peoples work and felt my work stood out pretty well.
Then she asked us to, in 15 minutes , take your idea and modify it to show what it might be like if the evil queen showed up on the scene- so I picked the forest scene as easiest to extrapolate and did this in 15 min.

Although afterwards it seems what she meant was a complete reimagining the whole image, perhaps using a sort of word association technique I 'd read before-
I think in a book on writing for animation fro example, however I tend to parallel that sort of thing in my own way- and I don't think generating ideas is a problem for me. Ah well.... I liked what I'd done of the cuff anyway.

By this time also I'd managed to locate Sarah Davis- so at least there was a solidarity of 2 Australians in that room however brief.

*have to go to bed briefly to catch the plane home in 5 hrs- I'll finish detailing the rest of my impressions and speaker doodlings between flights I guess- in the meantime- uptop are two images I did on the last day today while listening to the talks, and an initial couple of some of the other speakers which I'll explain later.*
I will say the guy above , called Peter Sis, depicted in a pirate hat and also with wings(because he kept making flapping hand gestures) was very funny and reminded me in his humour of none other than
Milenko- and though their art is very different visually I think Milenko puts a similar amount of thoughtful detail in his pictures.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

On my way.

Well after the crazed misspellings of the previous post, I'm back and it's not 2 am.
I'm currently spending a couple of days in Dillon, Colorado before heading to New York for the SCWBI winter conference. The plan is to snowboard a bit but also hopefully get some nice reference shots of wintery scenes/atmospherics- the sort of thing you don't get in sunny Kingscliff, and good for the sort of medieval fantasy etc that I sometimes turn out.
The trip over was slightly hellish, and I think the flight was cheap was because it was staffed by a very motley and misshapen bunch of air hostesses- however this was trumped by a wild haired gorgon on the domestic flight to Denver- talk about scary- it would be terrible if the plane crashed and that was the last thing you saw.
While waiting for the various flights my friend Cameron and I had a bunch of ideas for games,-so it wasn't all wasted time. I had planned to fill my sketchbook more but there really wasn't much time between flights- and not too much to draw in view. I've also done a bit of thinking about the remaining characters for the book series I'm working on-and I'm thinking I need to try and tie in the incidental characters in a given book that are actually main characters in a subsequent one.
Fortunately snowboarding was a bit like riding a bike,- I did remember how.
Amazing though how much dirt is on the roads/on the cars/exposed on the hills. I had no idea Denver airport was so huge- and it sort of looked like a moonbase with the terrain it was on.
I'm trying to pay attention to the details though and remember what I'm seeing.
We're staying currently at Cam's friend Dave's condo at the moment and he's inundated us with food and hospitality.
A bit tetchy about not working/drawing enough and looking forward to New York in a few days.
Might take a photo of my sketchbook and post it- its not brilliant but I was more taking down ideas for later.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In progress

Was done, but the characters are going to undergo some changes so here tis prior to refurbishment- some of the newly 'unfinished' spreads.
I've got a ton of roughs of the various books in the series. I'll post them too because they're kind of nice in their own right

Very quick Snow whites for upcoming workshop

In New York.
Would talk more but it 2am and I'm tired.

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