I got to say that I had my moment, the instinct that you get inside you, that really inspires you the most. Honestly, I couldn't believe how many graphic novelist there are that have a successful full-time job as a freelancer or illustrator for their client. Just a little background, the convention in titled The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo MICE that is held at Cambridge's University Hall, where numerous of illustrators display their artwork and merchandise to the public. There were over 100 artist from all over the western coast, who have graduated or currently in school. There are panel talks with different illustrators and creative workshops for the youth, so it isn't just a large panel of artist to look through. But what is great about this is that you can talk with the illustrators, whether you what to know how they illustrated the graphic novels or where they went for their education. I got to meet with a selection of them so I will give my input from what they said, be free to check out their websites for those who are into illustration major.
First, there is Ira Marcks who has the most beautiful watercolor illustrations in his work. As you know, digital art has taken over half of the meaning of graphic so it is really nice to see traditional work in novels, and well all of his work was done in watercolor. His cartoon characters has a great sense of color and memorizing characters that his viewers could recognize. The book that I purchased is titled Witch Knot, which is actually his web comic story that put together in a blinded book. I assume that web comic were just digital comic strips with comedy or style but this proved me wrong. You can slow put a story together in three panels and build them up into an unique novel. You just got to see his watercolor pictures because they are just amazing, which mix the sense of traditional and modern art in the illustration department. Ira Marcks is currently residing New York where he actually teach cartooning classes so check him out :)
Another creativity illustrator named Jerel Dye, who illustrated short stories like One Android series. He does impressive work in digital but I do like his hand drawn illustration the best. In the page layout has a great sense of rhythm where traveling from panel to panel, for example where there is a threatening creature shown the page will display the reaction creative. Also Jerel has a great collection of character creativity, showing the vivid expressions and features on the fictional creatures. The technique that I want to follow is that you draw and ink the picture, and then scan them in the computer so you then color them in on photoshop. Coloring on the computer can be difficult but this is a great opportunity to experiment with color, style and tone values for the finish print.
Then, to my surprise, I met Joel Christian Gill. How I know him is actually from the pre-college program at the New Hampshire Institute of Art who taught the graphic novel class for high schoolers and also peeked at my portfolio during my junior year of high school. It is just made my day that he remembered me and get to see him advertise his passionate art to the public. I do feel bad that I don't have him as a teacher for foundation since I am at a different school but I feel like that will see him in the far future if I continue on this path. Anyways, his illustrations expresses his love to his culture and I love how he show it in his graphic novels. His characters are stylized were professional, as well as the defined contrast of colors in his panels. He does the same technique of scanning and coloring on the computer in order to get to vivid details. So big shout out to him and hope to talk to him soon.
Finally, Carl Antonowicz, thank you so much for your knowledge. He is a cartoonist/ illustrator who did liberal arts in Texas university. His illustration are stylized very personal, showing interesting mark making and designs of page layouts. By even illustrating the myth of a black dog that preps you for death combining a supernatural plot hole can be a creativity story to read about. But what was very helpful was that there was an actually art school that teaches cartooning, creating graphic novels, not to mention find a career in what you love. The Center for Cartoon studies is located in White River Junction, Vermont, which is some where in the small town in the wilderness. I had no idea about this about this but everyone at the expo said a positive comment about the school. Carl,and even two illustrators named Amelia Onorate and Lena H. Chandhok, said that it was wonderful to attend. By the way, big shout out to Lena for asking to looking at my sketch book and giving great feed back on my illustrations. Lena illustrations cute short stories, who just captures the emotions and imagery in her book "Abominable" :) Then Amelia Onorate illustrations are creativity stylized in her novel Rockail, with such vivid pieces in each panel. Right now I just am motivated to go attend this school, right after completing college, go there and get connected with the cartooning community.
Finally, there were just some really fascinating artwork that stuck out to me from these illustrators. One is Rosemary Mosco, who created a great blend of biology and art as she designs cute interpretations of nature creatures. The color are beautiful and she just has a great sense of humor in her art. Next illustrator, Eric Feurstein, draws these creativity characters in "Rutabaga, the adventure chef". Just imagine a story about a hero who travels around finding the best recipes with his giant kitchen and his animated cook cauldron. He illustrations very creativity, and his line work is just beautiful in each panel. Lastly, Writer Erik Carlson and Illustrator Bill Hewitt come together put create Tiki PI, Hawaii's only supernatural detective. I got to say that Bill Hewitt's art really makes this character come alive, showing right shades and value in every panel.
So lastly, I will wrap this up soon by telling about the panel talk I attended, which was about Comics and the Career department for illustrators. The representer were Collen AF Venable, Joe Quinones, Shelli Paroline and Dan Moynihan. I can't quite remember what they said but I can list the notes I took when they answered the questions.
- Be outgoing and passionate in the cartoonist/ comic community
- Continue to read books and discover web comics for inspiration
- Research other illustrators, learning from their styles or choices in their artwork
-Find ways to show off your exhibit in a gallery, expo or anywhere else
-Don't start big, start off with a mini stories, which could be put together in a book
-Start a web comic so you can get connected in the social media
Have a good relationship and connection between your co-workers, other artists and clients
-Figure out stuff with your editor, and learn to say "no" once in a while
- Time management!! Have an estimation on how long it takes you to finish a project
-Don't de-value your art ability to jobs for no money so much
-Teach or go on school tours for children
-As a illustrator, you are devoted to your art but have at a least to relax and communicate with your peers
-Find your editors and publishers at expos or online
-If you fear that you won't finish your project that specific deadline, tell your editor immediately
-Be connected to the illustration community, so you can work off one another and draw with each
-Ask yourself WHAT'S YOUR BUDGET?
They all are helpful to follow, but I think the first step I will take from these guideline is to do a web comic. Something that I can build up and show off online so editors can actually look me up in the future, and see my past artwork. My only hope that my college life doesn't consume this task to happen, I just feel this would be a good start to go for.
Overall, all the artist I saw did have unique talent and I wish them all the best in the future that they continua with their art. I do recommend this to you for attending and see how successful illustrators can be. By talking to them or viewing their printed work was just the best moment to feel as a young artist. Now my future goal is to join them at the expo, with my illustrations professional printed :)