Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Corn or Sugar anyone?

Since my return to the twin cities on Sunday night, I was still thinking of how drastically different it was to be back home in North Dakota versus where i work everyday. The two biggest differences where the abscence of people and the lack of sound. I know sound might seem weird, but when you spend most of your time in the urban setting, you get used to all of the sounds of the city. In North Dakota, it was perfectly quiet (except for the couple of trains that ran through the town in the middle of the night). But the great thing was seeing the landscape that I was so accustomed to. The abscence of trees and the flatness of the land meant that I was home. There was also the harvesting and the huge piles of crop that were visible everywhere. The first photo that you see is of a huge pile of sugar beats that has to be a cool 1/2 mile long and 20 feet high. The second photo is of a pile of corn. This one is one of two piles(the second is behind this one). Pay particular attention to the size of the semi in the picture to get an idea of how much corn there was. So now that I am back to my current home, I have been working on the book illustration project some more. I will be spending the next couple of weeks finalizing the book mockup with all of the sketches and placement and text locations. Hopefully it will go smooth and the end product will be something that works well. When I am able to show more of the project with images, I will be sure to do so, but until then, you just have to trust that I am working (which I know some will find hard to believe!)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Richeson 75

"Superstition Mountain, AZ" 2007

After having worked on a book project for the last few days, it was a nice break tonight to sit and watch some of the World Series. This week has been a busy one with getting the sketching done for the character studies of a book and finishing up a small other project that needed to be done by last night. And now I am in the mode of packing a few things up as I will be heading back home to North Dakota for the weekend. It is hard to believe that it has been almost 5 months since I was last home. In other news, the Richeson 75: International Juried Lanscape show is opening up this weekend in Wisconsin at the Richeson School of Art and Gallery. Hopefully they will have a great turnout and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my hard cover catalogue that they are producing. If you guys get a chance you should really check out the Richeson 75 show. There is definitely a great mix of pieces and the quality of the show is amazing.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Illustration Friday: "Grow"

As the tale of Jimmys fishing expedition was told, the fish he caught did grow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hard work starting to slowly pay off

Well, in the spirit of being an artist and all of the ups and downs that go with the territory, I can finally say that some of the hard work that I have been doing has been paid off this week. It has been hard not to blog about all that has happened, but will spill a little of the beans. It all started with a phone call a couple of weeks ago from a publisher that was looking to get into the children's book area and was really interested in what I was doing. After going back and forth for the last two weeks, we were able to come to terms and sign a contract and book publishing deal. So, as of today, I will be their main illustrator for projects coming in and already have my first project in hand. I promise that as soon as some of the loose ends and the information is up on their website, I will divulge more, but I know that this is a great opportunity to really expand my capabilities and further my development into the childrens book market. And if that wasn't enough, I was pleasantly surprised to find out today that I was one of the few artists chosen to be apart of the Art on Grand event in St. Paul coming up in November. The event is a one evening extravaganza where they turn the historic grand ave in St. Paul into a gallery walk. Each business that participates sponsors one artist and that artist gets the whole store to showcase their work. It is an event that is very well recieved and attended and can't wait to find out who my sponsor is. But, now the realization of all that has to happen is also starting to hit home a little. The shear amount of work that must be done will be crazy, but with the excitement of all that's going on, I think I can get it done on time.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Illustration Friday: "Extreme"

What can be more extreme than your tourism advertising in the frigid cold?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cartooning around!

So, as you can see, I have been cartooning around a little bit lately. Thought I would share them with you to see what you think. Please try not to think too hard though, I know I didn't!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Illustration Friday: Open

Hello Everybody. Well here this weeks word for Illustration Friday; "Open". It is a reflection of the things to come! This week though is a little different in that they are holding an exhibition call for entries that will feature the top 25 pieces in a show in California starting in November. To go and vote for my piece, click on this link.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Why the bear has a stubby tail!

Here is a little illustration that I did for an extra portfolio piece. Hope you like!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A bit of good news

As you can see by the picture above, one of the things I have been busy doing is getting some illustrations done. This one is of two different illustrations that I am currently working on and will have done by Thursday. The reason that I have two of them going is because of the dry time that each layer of color requires for this technique. When I am waiting for the one to dry, I can simple work on the other and vice versa. It seems to work well and I will be doing three other illustrations after these two. In other news, I was delighted to receive a nice letter in the mail yesterday. It was from the coordinator of the US Bank show in St. Cloud saying that I received second place in the paintings category. It was really a nice surprise and I was also happy to see the comment cards that the judges used when looking over all of the submissions. It's not too often that you get to see what the judges wrote down about your piece in the juried shows. So, with the upcoming meeting with Janet at the end of the week and this new news, it has been a good week so far. Hopefully it will continue into the next week or two as well!

Monday, October 1, 2007

MNSCBWI Fall conference

Image copyright Derek Anderson

With the start of the week and a time in which many things need to get done, it was a very nice email that I received today that was a bright spot. It indicated that I was awarded the opportunity to have a portfolio review with Janet DeCarlo who is a pretty well known member of the children's book market and is also one of the guest speakers at this weekends Minnesota Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference. I know I have mentioned this before, but it is really a new venue for myself and the first of the conferences that I have decided to go to. Usually it is the money that has set them to the side in the past, but I realized that I needed to attend functions of this nature to meet people, get news about the industry and also expand my knowledge of the market itself. With this new mindset, I am really hoping to start dedicating more time and effort into getting myself known in the market of children's books. Another reason that I am looking forward to attending this conference is that Twin Cities illustrator Derek Anderson of the "Little Quack" Series is going to be there as a guest speaker as well. So, it will be a busy, sleepless week as I prepare to create the best work for Janet to view, and one that will end on a whole new foot!