Sunday, February 16, 2014

Belated Valentines...

Meant to post this on Friday. But, alas, it did not happen. Could have been that I was finishing up mailing 200 Valentines postcards out to Art Directors, or that I was hanging my charter school's art show at our local Art Center or that I had whooping cough and a fever, probably thanks to the little darlings. But I did save back a couple dozen of the valentine postcards to give to them, complete with a Kit Kat bar taped to it.
As they filed out of the art room, after their tables were clean on Wednesday, I "mom-ed" them and told them it was polite to appreciate the card and sentiment, before ripping off the candy.

But a late Happy Valentine's Day to you...

I shouldn't admit to this, but I will, cause well, that is what I do. The illustration is heavily Photoshopped because of changing my mind midway and well, not seeing some errors early enough.

I started on my 2014 Christmas card early in January, cause well, I have a hard time getting it done. This...

was actually my 2012 Christmas postcard, which just didn't happen and having the illustration from a year ago I still barely got out my 2013 postcard, which I sent out to 400 art directors at book publishers, magazines and ad agencies.
Promo is something that really slid when I was teaching three days, so now that is down to one and I'm in my studio four days, really trying hard to do it.
Where was I?
Oh, yes, so I started a very early attempt, still somewhat in the Christmas spirit of getting an image ready for next year, Card companies actually have a year lead time for Christmas illustrations. So started on collaging the illustrations, using a dark blue for the night sky, stitching the window, etc. Then...
I realized I am an illustrator not a fine artist and why was I illustrating pomegranates? And, Valentines was coming up and in my 400 postcards from Christmas, I had concentrated more on general markets and there was still many from the 2014  Children's Writers and Illustrators Market book, I had not sent a postcard to, so.....switched gears, kept the window, the snow scene outside, the cat, changed the holiday to Valentines and stuck a kid in it!
But I think moving on to make the collage, after all the planning is done, the fabric chosen, is kind of like finally getting in your car and heading out for a long road trip. It is when your mind relaxes and boom, you realize you forgot to turn off the iron or forgot your children, etc.
I was almost done when I realized there were some color problems. Here is the untouched original...

I'm sure many of you are thinking, "its wonderful," cause my readers are such nice people, but if you "squint" at it, you will have to admit that the girls overalls, her shirt And the chair behind her are ALL the same value!! The glue bottle is the same value as the table cloth and the scissor handle and her hand are the same value!! 
The same value as in squinting you can not differentiate between the two colors.
Plus on the other end, the night sky is so dark and the snow on the mountains is so white, well in digitizing that extreme in color value it gets..."whonky" and that is a technical term for " unsteady, shaky,awry or wrong"
Arghh...not like I went to Art School or anything!
But almost done and well, having as of late ripped apart too many illustration, I decided to use it as a practice in correcting in Photoshop, so finished the illustration and digitally did this...

The chair, shirt and overalls are still on the dark side, but they have contrast, as does the glue bottle and the green of the scissors handle, stands out from her hand. I did lighten the sky a little but too much messing can really effect the digital file, there is only so much you can do in Photoshop, well I can do in Photoshop.
I also realized too many of my illustrations are more of a landscape view and really need to more close up work, of faces and detail, so on the back of the postcard included him...

And am now, working on a whole gob of spot illustrations, which was hard to get started, but picked the Beach as a theme, cause it is February and the Blahhhhhs are setting in and my thought went here...

I'm collaging away at them and will post as I get them done. Kind of fun to have pretty much a one day project and am using a lot of my scrap fabric.
I have to give credit where it is due and a thank you to...

I just "snipped" his twitter header @pinocastellano  because his name is too hard to spell. It took me three days to pronounce it correctly at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference this summer in LA, where he gave several great workshops, real nuts and bolts stuff like...
1. Be on Twitter...check, you can find me at @moonflowermuse
2. Show process, sketches, line drawing....check
3. Throw out your neon colors......I'm trying!!
4. limit orange.....can't remember if he said it or someone else taking the workshop said it, but orange can get "whonky" in CMYK- what most books and magazine publishers are printing in, cause it is cheaper then what a fine art printer would use.
5. and no job is too little....which I totally agree with and would so love to get a bunch of little jobs!

Thus working on the spots and then am going to try and get some work in my portfolio for the educational market, as in "See Spot Run" sort of thing.

So get on twitter and let me know so I can follow you and follow Giuseppe for some good advice, he even does portfolio reviews on occasion.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sending me one! They really are wonderful! : ) Hope your family are doing well!