Labels: Adobe, animals, characters, children's book, circus, concepts, digital illustration, elephant, New York, Photoshop, portfolio, retro, Russ Cox, SCBWI, scooter, sketch
© 2012 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio
Well, it is that time of year that many illustrators and writers in the children's book market begin prepping for the New York SCBWI conference at the end of the month. I have joined their ranks and begin putting my portfolio together for the conference. I decided to show around 12 pieces in my book. Many of them were created within the past few months. I am moving into a new style direction with my book illustrations. By using Photoshop instead of Illustrator, I am getting the traditional look that I have been yearning to achieve. Plus the comments that I have received over the past year have pushed me into a new and very freeing direction. Many have told me that they like my sketches and drawings better than the final vector pieces I was producing. They felt my Illustrator style was too clean and I need to loosen up a bit, especially for children's books. So I have taken these words to heart and begin experimenting with Photoshop. I will not abandoned working in Illustrator, which I still love. It is still a work in progress but it is getting there.
Back to putting my portfolio together. I noticed there was a hole in the story telling part of the illustrations and needed one additional piece that would help showcase the storytelling aspect of being a children's book illustrator. I spent about a week coming up with various concepts and sketches trying to get a visual story working. Thus "Wendell Takes A Ride" was born. The goal was to draw the viewer into the piece and have them asking "who, what, where, why, when, and how", hopefully that was accomplished with this illustration. As I worked on the piece, a full story started developing which I need to address once I have completed the story in the works at the moment. Details for that story will be talked about on a later posting.
Since the conference is a week away, I need to run off and get cracking on some paying work and get those off to the clients. When I return, I will give you a full report, with photos, on the conference. I am looking forward to seeing old friends, meeting up with some of the Pixel Shavings gang, making new friends and contacts, and taking in the city for a few days. Until then, ciao.