October 22, 2009

Brook Slane Interview

The only worthwhile assignment in my writing and research was to interview someone in our profession, so I met up for coffee with my best friend's older brother, Brook Slane. A lot of his answers were rather enlightening for us illustration juniors who were still under the bubble of teachers and school, and because I keep saying I would post this, here are some of the highlights of the interview:

AS (moi): Did you get a job from [your senior thesis]?
BS (him): Oh, well, sure. It actually helped me get a rep, which is good. It gave me a good body of work to show to a rep and it helped me in that way.AS: Do you think MIAD prepared you for the real world?
BS: I think it was mainly focused on editorial stuff and I guess like thinking heavily about your illustrations and making it the most conceptual thing ever. It just depends on what you want to do, but for me, like, er, I’m not a very conceptual person, like, and this is awful to say, but I like to make pretty things…Yeah, and I mean, I do fine art, too, so it helped me in that, but in general I think it just helped me to prepare the kind of work situation I’d have, in terms of juggling a lot of projects, and trying to get the stuff done, and deadlines. It did not prepare me for working with people, which is probably the hardest for thing. Because a lot of the stuff that I do it completely collaborative, I mean most of the stuff in my job right now, and that’s probably the biggest thing that we didn’t even, like, touch on. And it’s really difficult, especially if you’re working with a lot of people… a lot of people who are extremely difficult to work with, who aren’t artists, who don’t get it at all…AS: So, do you think it’s necessary to have a nine to five job in addition to commissions and everybody else?
BS: I think for me it has been, but, I mean, I don’t know, it’s been good that I’ve been able to do something that’s been able to contribute to my portfolio, too, and also stay in art and things of that nature, but I don’t know, even with having a rep and I’ve been doing that for about three years or so, it’s not consistent work. You can have like one job that is a quarter of your income for a year, but you don’t know if you’re going to get that job that year, you know?... So it’s completely a little bit random. And art shows, starting out, you can be with the best gallery in town and everyone likes your stuff but you don’t make a lot of money at it, especially at first.AS: How do you price your work? Especially right when you’re coming out of school, versus now?
BS: Oh, okay. Like, for illustration or fine art or both?
AS: Both.
BS: Okay, well for illustration, at first they basically tell you what they’re going to pay you for it and you either take it or leave it. The other thing is you can put in bids, and that’s for like bigger jobs, and I don’t deal with that at all, that’s something that a rep deals with, which is nice, but they take 25% and they take advertising money every year and then they do random advertising things you have to pay for and don’t tell you about it until they’re done with it, so, yeah. But anyway, so they price it, and as far as galleries, you can work with them and they’ll just be like, ‘You know, people don’t know your work’ or like, I dunno…
AS: Do they give you like guidelines? Like, this is what we think…
BS: Yeah, and like ‘This is what’s selling’ and it really depends because like fine art and illustration are so different like fine art is like building up a following and building up a career slowly, raising your prices slowly; illustration, it doesn’t matter. They don’t care if you’re two years out of college or twenty years out of college, just as long as the art that you make looks great they’re still going to pay you the same amount.
AS: Any bits of advice for me or my peers?
BS: Hrm, I don’t know. I guess I would say don’t feel bad about doing a certain style or whatever you’re doing, just make it the best you can and there’s going to be an audience for it. It doesn’t matter, like, I think people get caught up in- I think people get caught up in a lot of things, but like in the whole style issue like people get caught up in ‘what is my style?’... I think the big thing is what are your strengths and weaknesses and using them to your advantage, like if you draw really poor figures, make them really disgustingly poor and just make them look like folk art and you know, that’s what you do. And don’t feel bad about it. Don’t feel like you have to draw like- I’m not going to name names- but don’t feel like you have to draw like certain people perfectly or perfect proportions. Just do what works for you and do what you do really well and if it’s something that’s bad you do well, like drawing faces, if they’re so disgusting, it might be something people like.

More of Brook's work here.

October 20, 2009

James Jean

I'm doing a tiny presentation on James Jean tomorrow so I thought I'd just post a few of my favorites.More here.

October 17, 2009

Bottom of the River

I saw this on Drawn! blog and just had to repost it because it is simple and gorgeous and creepy and awesome.

Tom Fun Orchestra-Bottom of the River from trunk animation on Vimeo.

October 14, 2009

Catherine Campbell

If Marisa doesn't like this stuff, then I deserve to have my eyes scooped out of their sockets with a melon baller. All from the kick ass Catherine Campbell. More here.

Cute Little Monsters

They may maul 74-year-old ladies half to death (read here- Benj has excellent timing when it comes to sending me articles he thinks I might find amusing), but damn, raccoons are cute. And still some of my favorite animals. I'm just not dumb enough to, you know, go poking at them with sticks.

For an uber-quick poem illustration:
(And I say uber because Benjamin was here all weekend, therefore I started and finished this baby tonight. Why I am staying awake to post it here, I have no idea whatsoever. Call me a masochist.)

I kind of want to tweak the opacity on the garbage stuff... but since I was tired and did the garbage like three different layers that it didn't belong on in the first place, that's not gonna happen. Not sure what I think of the author's name being cramped up in there, either. It was cute fifteen minutes ago, now it just looks... squashed and uncomfortable. I'm moving that sucker.

October 9, 2009

Get Used To Dealing With Ridiculous Feedback

What left-brained clients would say if artists turned these famous paintings in. It made me giggle. And, of course, a Comic Sans joke. I feel embarrassed for whoever designed that font, it's the butt of every designer's jokes.

More here.

October 8, 2009

Rodent Shoes

I've been in love with these flats by Marc by Marc Jacobs for much too long.

October 7, 2009

Almost Too Cute, Even For Me

And I consider myself an expert on all things disgustingly chubbeh and cute.

The Evolution of Milwaukee

This was regarding an article about the Visual Resources class MIAD offers, where Communication Design students go out and work for companies in the area. The students get valuable real world experience and something great to put on their resume, while the companies get good, cheap labor.

Tight Sketch

The first version of my final art, which I disliked greeeeatly.

My final art. Luv!

The art we actually went with for the article. I don't love it as much as I did my original final art- in my opinion MIAD is a lot harder to see in this version (something that was mentioned in critique-- I had to grit my teeth through the suggestion to stop from telling my designer "There was a REASON it was there before") and I felt like the dotted lines in the previous version made it a lot cuter and more light hearted.

October 3, 2009

This Is MY Coffee

Even the best of us get bored at work.