Friday, 19 May 2017

Tell Me a Story...

With the recent release of The Wishing Boat (Amanda Tarlau) I thought it would be interesting to provide a personal
insight into how I created the illustrations for this picture book. I’ll describe my process in a way that will hopefully provide
a brief overview of my methods.

Start at the Beginning.
The first time I read a story I’m simultaneously imagining the events playing out like an animation. I then begin to isolate
images that best resonate with the text and I start sketching. These sketches are quite reactionary, unrefined, a visual
response to a particular line, word or feeling during reading. 

I begin to create the character(s) early in the development process and The Wishing Boat was no exception. The girl 
is the focal point of the story, the narrator in this case, as the whole story could be perceived as her soliloquy.
Gathering Pace.
Storyboards are important, very important. This is the stage at which my ideas become refined and integrated with the text.
The storyboard is an opportunity for me to gather together my sketches, develop my initial ideas and start to build the
overall pace and structure of the book. 

The storyboard is the first look at how the book will read as a whole, offering the people you are collaborating with a visual
synopsis of what you are trying to achieve. In the case of The Wishing Boat I worked in black and white for the storyboards
as it’s easier to figure out the depth of the images this way - it’s also quicker to make changes upon request.
Roughs usually follow on directly after the storyboards are complete. The rough illustrations provide me with an opportunity
to start thinking about details, refining composition, light sources etc. These are important factors to consider before moving
on to the colour stage and the final artwork. 
I work mostly digitally and the final print-ready artwork is usually supplied as CMYK, at least 300dpi. Time management is
critical when you are completing 32 pages and covers whilst juggling other projects at the same time. 
*If you work traditionally, in watercolour for example, then factor in the required time it will take to send your illustrations to
the publisher. 

Closing Thoughts
The Wishing Boat is the first picture book that I've worked on that is in my own style and it’s both exciting and rewarding to hold
a physical copy in my hands. I have since developed my illustrative method and continue to learn and improve with every
new project I tackle.
The Wishing Boat is currently published across Australia and New Zealand and is available from Scholastic
The book is also available online in other countries at the Book Depository.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Feature Friday: Johnathan Reiner Art

Where are you from?
Born in Los Angeles, grew up in Jerusalem, New York, New Jersey and San Fransisco and currently bouncing between
East London and Tel Aviv.
Where do you currently practice your artwork?
Mostly at home in my improvised studio space or at Print Club London.
Are you self taught or have you completed any training?
Self taught all the way. My day job is being a doctor-no joke.
How would you describe your artwork/process? 
Heavily based on the tradition of Collage. A mish mash of surreal, colourful, photographic elements and patterns. 
What is your biggest influence/inspiration? 
There are too many to recount. My mother is sitting quite high up there-being an artist herself-and teaching
me to this day to explore my creative mind. 
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
My Solo exhibition 'Femme Fatale' at Hang Up Gallery last December through to the end of January this year. 
It pushed me to my limits and has been so rewarding.
What are you working on at the moment?
Several original pieces and in edition tackling my take on Marilyn Monroe!
Where can people see your work? 

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Feature Friday: Louise NcNaught Art

Where are you from?
I was born in Paisley, Scotland, so I'm Scottish but we moved down to Surrey when I was quite young so unfortunantly I
don't have a Scottish accent.

Where do you currently practice your artwork?
I have a purpose-built studio in my back garden which is so useful, especially having a 3 year-old girl, it's important to have
my artwork nearby so I can get on with it with any given opportunity!
Are you self taught or have you completed any training?
I would say the drawing and painting skills were mainly self-taught as neither of my parents were artists but I did do a Fine
Art Degree that really helped hone my ideas and focus.
How would you describe your artwork/process? 
The materials I use are mainly various kinds of paint, oil, acrylic and spray paint. I also sometimes use gold leaf and pencil
so mixed media is perhaps the best description, though sometimes I find this a bit vague-especially when I see it on
paintings for sale as I like to know what media has been used.
What is your biggest influence/inspiration? 
Animals, obviously. I would say 'nature' but it really is the animals and insects I focus on. I'm going through a real insect
phase at the moment with bees, moths and butterfly wings-blowing them up really large to draw attention to them.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
So far it has been having my work projected on the biggest screen on Europe on the Vente Privée Building as you enter
Paris in December 2016 as part of an ecological venture with Pucci.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am mainly focused on my endangered animal series of which I have had two solo shows. The first in 2016 called
'Survival' in Nottingham at the George Thornton Gallery, and the most recent called 'Edge of Existence' in London with
Curious Duke Gallery. The series will eventually become a book in 2018 with Templar Publishing which I am very excited
Where can people see your work? 
I have a list of galleries on my website where my prints and originals can be seen,
I also part-take in art fairs which are in the Exhibitions section.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Wishing Boat

I've just received an advanced copy of 'The Wishing Boat', written by Amanda Tarlau and published by Scholastic Australia.
This is the first children's book I've illustrated in my style and I'm pleased to let you know that it will be on sale
from May 1st 2017.
Once the book is released I'll upload a full blog post but for now here is a look at the cover!