I always try to use photo reference when working on an illo. If the situation calls for drawing a recognizable person I like to build a photoshop collage; maybe shoot seperate reference photos for the pose or incoporate parts of a sketch. The example above was an illo I did for wsj.com… a portrayal of the Worst President Ever.
I did this little test image based on a sketch of NYT reporter James Risen when he appeared on Meet The Press recently (side note, make sure you catch MTP every week, and if you miss it, you can nab the audio from the whole show in their handy podcast here). Anyway, I’ve been trying to refine my ‘formula’ for coloring drawings in Photoshop, by keeping my dozens of unnamed layers down to a minimum, and all of my ‘Mulitply”, ‘Normal” and ‘Screen’ layers all neatly labeled and grouped in folders. It;s amazing how quickly I can forget a step, so I’m taking care to document it in my sketchbook. So I guess that’s my nugget: Be sure to always document all of your processes and tricks. It can come in handy later.
I’ve been working on a children’s book for a while, a story about a family camping trip and a furry beast lurking in the woods. Recently I finished up the drawings and the manuscript and started thinking about how to create the mockup to show to publishers (I’ve made these mockups in the past with a previous story – think glue-sticks and kinkos trips). I was pondering how to go about presenting my new story when I stumbled across the booklets Apple will printout from within iPhoto:
I found this guide to reproduction online a few years ago, and I was glad to see that it’s authors have kept it up to date. Written by Ron Rege Jr, Dave Choe, Brian Ralph and Jordan Crane, this handy guide is described as “A Primer on Xerography, Silkscreening and Offset Printing”.
Print this out and keep it in your studio, as it will come in very handy one day. It has a great listing of specific brands of materials they recommend for each type of reproduction as well as where to order them from. I am gearing up for a super-secret Invisibleman project involving one of the aforementioned forms of reproduction, and no doubt this guide will be referred to frequently!
Link: Re: A Guide to Reproduction (PDF) 3.7mb
To properly promote oneself, you need a solid mailing list. Years ago, I had spent many an afternoon at Barnes & Noble with a foot-high stack of magazines scouring the infitesmal type of the masthead for the names of art directors and designers to send postcards to. Well, often by the time the magazine hits the stands, the AD has moved on to greener pastures and your postcard hits the trash can. The best way by far, is to buy (technically rent) a mailing list from a direct marketing firm.