Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First Annual Nuts and Bolts Conference

The speakers:
Marsall Arisman, Chris Buzelli, Marcos Chin, Charles Hively, Paul Hoppe, Nora Krug, Aaron Meshon, Steven Tabbutt, Sean Qualls.

The Nuts and Bolts Conference was simply right on. It was inspiring, it gave a lot of new ideas, it made me sing. It was held at the Society (Society of Illustrators in NYC) which is simply a shrine to anyone who is in love with illustration. Charles Hively and his team did an amazing job organizing the event. After attending the Illustration Academy last summer where we had a whole lecture week with 4-5 speakers each day I thought there would probably be not that much more new to hear. I was wrong. The speakers were young, but successful with very personal and different stories to tell. Not a single one of them had a very easy and straightford way to where his or her career is today. When we work at home or look for jobs, all we see is the success that these guys have, the annuals, the articles, etc. But it is so important to know the struggles, the beginning. Every single one had doubts, obstacles, fears and failures, but they are stubborn and they just kept going.

We also made a trip to the Pencil Factory, which has studios of many young illustrators. I was so excited to see the studios because I heard so much about them and I finally had a chance to see them. I hope we didn’t disrupt the artists’ work too much.

Since the Illustration Academy last summer this conference was the most inspirational and educational atmosphere I was in. It’s a beautiful thing to be surrounded by the people who are as passionate and obsessed with illustration as you are.

I am looking forward to more events like that.

The Pencil Factory:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Exhibit: Emerging Artists in Massachusetts

I am participating in the exhibit "Emerging Artists in Massachusetts" organized by New England Art Education Conference.

July 12 - September 3, 2010
Massachusetts State Transportation Building
2nd Floor Balcony Gallery
10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116
Artist Reception July 9, Friday, 5-8 pm

The exhibit will feature the work of recent graduates and current students of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. It sounds like a really fun exhibit and brings recent MassArt graduates together.

Unfortunately, I will miss the Artist Reception, as I will be in New York for the Illustration Conference - Nuts and Bolts Conference - sponsored by 3x3 magazine. I'm really excited about this event and all the people I'm going to meet and all that valuable information I'm going to hear. One more trip to New York!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Not All Instruction Books are Created Equal: Improving Drawing Skills by Copying

While there are many poor instruction books on how to draw, there are a few excellent ones that were published in the 1920s through 1960s. One of my older instructors liked to joke that people write instruction books to pay for their groceries and those books have no real value. The books that I find extremely useful are all the books by Andrew Loomis (thank you, Illustration Academy friends for introducing me to this instructor) and George Bridgman. While Bridgman's books have been reprinted since their original publication, Loomis's books are extremely hard to find. By copying every single drawing from these books, I try to learn to think how the authors did in order to improve my drawing skills. Both of these instructors pay a lot of attention to the structure and 3-dimensionality of the figure, and all the parts of the figure. This type of exercise doesn't require a lot of time, concentration, or inspiration. All it needs is 30 minutes here, 30 minutes there. All the same, this kind of copying is very helpful and one can learn a lot about movement, structure, shape, form, muscles, proportions, bones, gesture and just about everything else.