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Archive for the ‘Illustrators’ Category

I’ve been cleaning out my studio. And filling the recycle bin. Filling and refilling the recycle bin. Wow.

Animation timing sheets and countless reams of old drawings have been collecting dust for too long. I saved a few things and scanned a few others. I spent hours going through character designs from old animation projects, odds and ends from sketchbooks (I was keeping way too many old sketchbooks for some reason), life drawings and random pieces that were no doubt the start of something great, 18 years ago…. I pulled out a book dummy or two. But I must have thrown out at least 80 pounds of paper. It will take two or three weeks to get it all in the recycle bin.3

You can’t keep it all. You just can’t. As I finish all my work digitally now the only physically tangible aspects of a project in progress I have are sketches and roughs. These past 10 years I have held onto way too much.

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I’ll post a few scans of stuff along the way.

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accI joined Adobe’s new Pay Monthly scheme. I had a ‘deal’ that ran out in 2013, it saved me like 20 bucks a month. I’ve put it off for a year and finally decided to try it. I’ll let you know how I like it.

If you’re not familiar with what I am talking about let me tell you about Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Adobe now sells access to ALL their apps for $50.00 a month or $30.00 (for one year) if you had a previous Production Bundle. So you pay a monthly fee for access to ALL of their apps. Which they claim they even update (debug) more often now. It also includes a lot of apps I will never open.

But it’s not a horrible deal, unless of course you get to a point where you don’t want to pay a monthly fee (or can’t afford to), but all your files are in the Adobe formats, then if you don’t keep paying I guess you are out of luck.

On the other hand, if you were buying the production bundle every two years, that was $1,500 or more.

All in all if Adobe actually spends time updating their apps instead of building new installs, I’d be happy I guess. But Adobe has really been nothing but disappointment for the past 15 years or so. Buggy apps, unsupported formats, they were late to support OSX with Photoshop, and generally it’s a company that seems to offer very little to its customers. Now I have no choice but to use Adobe products. I know them, I’ve used them for many, many years. I generally like them. Yet, I have no positive feeling for the company. And I use their software EVERY DAY to do my work. All my books are drawn and painted in Photoshop and sometimes Illustrator. I animate in After Effects. I edit sound in Audition and before that SoundBooth and I use InDesign for all my layout and ebook designs. So what went wrong?

Maybe it was how little effort they seemed to put into upgrades. Maybe it was how Adobe tried to force Flash on everyone, everywhere. Maybe it was how they reacted when Steve Jobs very clearly pointed out the shortcomings of Flash on mobile. Or maybe just how buggy much of what they shipped was.

But here I am shipping some dollars to them every month. I guess they win. You don’t need to like ‘em. Just pay ‘em.

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I’m fortunate to be taking part in a children’s book illustration show at the Multnomah County Library in December! This is sponsored by The SCBWI an organization I have been a member of since 1932. OK. That’s not true. It was about 1950 I joined…OK, OK not true. But I have been a member since the 20th century. That I can say.

I think there are 11 or 12 illustrators in the show and there is an opening reception where the illustrators fight it out with pencils until there’s only one illustrator left standing. Then we all have tea.

Wait. That’s not right. But there is an opening reception on Saturday, December 21st from noon-2. Stop by and ask if Dr.Seuss is there and say hi to all the local illustrators taking part.

The show looks at the work that goes into making a book. So we will have sketches and development work on display as well as some finished art.

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inefficient

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I had some energy to burn and I had been kicking this idea around. It’s part of a story. It’s kind of my version of pre-visialzing or development work. This will probably never be used for anything, but I managed to get it out of my head looking something like I wanted it to.

Click on the image to see it bigger.

big_gallery

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Still going through boxes of stuff that I brought back from my childhood home. And what’s this? Trading cards! I have a box and a half of trading cards from just about everything…shows I never watched. And movies that really shouldn’t have had trading cards. Of course I have a billion Star Wars cards which I need to sell at some point but I also have stuff like in the image below. What was I thinking?

cards

But the Pee-Wee Herman stuff is pretty cool. Still some unopened packs! Very nicely designed stuff in the packs. Stickers and games and cut-outs.

morecards

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I’m not usually a fan of Raggedy Ann and Andy books but I came across this one and I liked the size and shape of the book and the colors were still vibrant and cheerful.

rgyancvr

It’s not in great shape so it only cost a buck or two. But it’s filled with some beautiful spot illustrations. The title page is missing, so I can’t get the pub date from the book. It was published by the M.A. Donohue & Company which ceased to exist as a publishing imprint in the 1960’s. After a bit of research I believe this book is a 1925 release written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle. My mother grew up a big fan of Raggedy Ann and Andy and often told me stories from the books.

rai

It’s a classic story book where not every page has an illustration and many pages have small spot illustrations.

The history of the Raggedy characters created by Johnny Gruelle is interesting in many ways. It’s one of the earliest examples in the 20th century of children’s book characters becoming widely popular. It was also cross promoted from the start as the book was released with the doll. I’m not aware of a book and toy combination before Raggedy Ann, but maybe there were some that proved less successful and are forgotten now.

Released in 1918 the characters became a hit quickly. Eventually the characters became symbols of the anti-vaccination movement. I won’t get into the entire history here because – I don’t have to. That’s what Wikipedia is for, so click away if you are interested!

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