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To view online veLEVINLAND PROMO MAG.v2rsion of the LevinLand Magazine Portfolio click on cover or here.

This is the digital home of the ‘Illustrators Journal’ (dot) com, a place where you can  see great art, photography and read insights of the proprietor for those interested in the art of illustration, animation and creative expression through narrative design.

I’m looking forward to keeping you updated on the art of illustration and my experience on the road to meeting my expectations and  goals for the future

Please join in the fun, and do consider subscribing to our blog!

The Illustrators Journal/Spring Edition 2014 is out!

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Xanatemedia is proud to bring you the spring issue (volume 6) of the “illustrators Journal”. It’s gotten a whole new look and design as well as all new articles and interviews! We sit down with children’s illustrator, Bob McMahon, take a look at legendary gaming creator/writer Christy Marx and talk with master of lighting art Bruce Munro. In addition, LPIK, our photography magazine debuts with three new interviews; James Vaughan, Justin Rosenberg and Tony Donaldson. Please let us know what you think and offer any suggestions you like to enhance our upcoming issues. We are always on the look out as to how we can make a better read!   Editor

The Illustrators Journal

The Illustrators Journal

Arcimboldo and Bread is Raw Toast

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Recently I started work on an exciting project “Bread is Raw Toast” with a very unique personality Mark Oppenheimer. Mark is an assistant director of films by day and an avid chef in his off hours. His passion is to teach kids how to cook exciting, simple and healthy foods to facilitate their independence and knowledge of what to eat.BIRT_1 In the process their friends and family may benefit as well. Our project will consist of a quirky recipe book chuck full of interesting, scientific, historical notes antidotes and of course recipes. In the process of our initial talks the artist Arcimboldo came up as a lightening rod for the kind of feeling we both had for the project. And so here are some interesting facts about a largely forgotten genius. (courtesy of the Smithsonian website) And stay tuned for updates on this exciting project

The job of a renaissance court portraitist was to produce likenesses of his sovereigns to display at the palace and give to foreign dignitaries or prospective brides. It went without saying the portraits should be flattering. Yet, in 1590, Giuseppe Arcimboldo painted his royal patron, the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, as a heap of fruits and vegetables. With pea pod eyelids and a gourd for a forehead, he looks less like a king than a crudité platter. Lucky for Arcimboldo, Rudolf had a sense of humor. And he had probably grown accustomed to the artist’s visual wit. Arcimboldo served the Hapsburg family for more than 25 years, creating oddball “composite heads” made of sea creatures, flowers, dinner roasts and other materials.Arcimboldo-Four-Seasons-in-One-5.jpg__600x0_q85_upscale

Though his work was forgotten for centuries, Arcimboldo is enjoying a personal renaissance, with shows at major European museums. At the Louvre, a series of Arcimboldo paintings is among the most popular in the collection. Sixteen of the jester’s best works, including the Louvre series, are on display until January 9 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the first major American exhibition of its kind.

“We wanted people to have the experience that the emperors in the Hapsburg court had,” says David Alan Brown, a National Gallery curator. “To have the same pleasure, as if they were playing a game, to first see what looks like a head and then discover on closer inspection that this head is made of a myriad of the most carefully observed flowers, vegetables, fruits, animals and birds.”

The show is also a chance to get inside Arcimboldo’s own head, itself a composite of sorts. Part scientist, part sycophant, part visionary, Arcimboldo was born in 1526 in Milan. His father was an artist, and Giuseppe’s early career suggests the standard Renaissance daily grind: he designed cathedral windows and tapestries rife with angels, saints and evangelists. Though apples and lemons appear in some scenes, the produce is, comparatively, unremarkable. Rudolf’s father, Maximilian II, the Hapsburg archduke and soon-to-be Holy Roman Emperor, welcomed the painter in his Vienna court in the early 1560s. Arcimboldo remained with the Hapsburgs until 1587 and continued to paint for them after his return to Italy.  Click here for more…

 

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From My Window Sill: Art

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Two weeks ago I found an insect on my window sill that was incredibly well engineered and beautiful to look at. It’s head almost looked human and the antennae were marvelously curved. It’s abdomen was long and had a barbed tail that was as long add the body. My Facebook post of the photo I took of this creature yielded a description of what it is Black Ichneumon with Red Abdomen. They lay their eggs on the worms that eat corn. They are one of the good guy insects. http://somethingscrawlinginmyhair.com/…/black…/ My friend and great illustrator Bob McMahon provided the info. I was so taken with this guy I sketched out a drawing brought it into photoshop and created this picture. One never knows where inspiration comes.
FLYING WONDER1

Patience, Focus, Integrity

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HAPPINESS
I’m sure all of us at one time or another felt like we were chasing our tails. The more you try to make something happen the harder it becomes. Happiness and being at peace with yourself is one of those intangible feelings that falls in this category. This quote by Hawthorne speaks to not forcing the issue. I’m now a firm believer in this simple proverb. I think of it as doing the best we can to prepare for good things to happen. As an artist that means keep moving and exploring and sooner or later if you are approaching your work with a realistic perspective, then the path will appear. Whether you take it or not is your choice.

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A Word To The Wise

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GOAT HOUSES
What does this mean?
Ok, so if you are trying to market or sell yourself one way and it hasn’t worked, then doing more of the same won’t help. As artists it’s incumbent on all of us to move on, try something else, explore. The ideal would be to create something that is perfectly in line with who you are, something that springs out of you easily. Don’t sit and admire your work wondering why no one appreciates it as much as you do. It’s a process once you’ve achieved a certain level, congratulate yourself and strive to be better.

Facebook Gaming: Are You Ready?

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unnamed“Should You Integrate Your Game With Facebook?”
by Mary Longshore/Illustrators Journal correspondent
Social games are bringing great success for game developers. According to Newzoo.com, the global mobile market grew 35% in 2013 to reach $12.3 billion. Successful developers often integrate their game with Facebook’s Canvas Page. Facebook reports there are over 200 games on Facebook that support over 1 million active players each month. That is a huge audience!
 imagesAccording to AppData, King.com makes three of the top five Facebook games including: Candy Crush Saga, Farm Heroes Saga, and Pet Rescue Saga. King reports over 30 billion games played per month. The option to play games cross platform is a part of their success. A Facebook case study of Candy Crush Saga reported,  “Users who play Candy Crush Saga on mobile and desktop are almost twice as engaged as single platform users…” It certainly seems to be working for King, although business is not completely predictable. “We knew it would be big on Facebook but I think the mobile success is what really took us by surprise,” King’s Chief Creative Officer Sebastian Knutsson said in an interview with BusinessInsider.

Read Mary’s entire article in the Spring Edition of The Illustrators Journal magazine coming out in March.

Painting on Buildings: Graffitti or Advertising?

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unnamed-1Recently Jonathan Barnett was selected to participate in the Art Wall project, a public art initiative organized by the Ralph Lauren Corp. that turned the Denim & Supply [a Ralph Lauren brand] shop at 99 University Place into a showcase for emerging artists. The exterior serves as an approximately 31 ft. x 80 ft. “canvas” for his site-specific illustration, which was printed on vinyl and heat-applied to the building’s surface.

Inside, shoppers can purchase limited-edition T-shirts based on Bartlett’s art.   Ok…so hold on a second…is this any different from artists covering the the buildings in downtown Los Angeles (or any major city in the world for that matter) with fantastic art? (see art to your right) IMG_0308.lrI acknowledge that the process is different and of course Mr. Barnett’s work was paid for and assigned but the effect is the same. A building is covered with contemporary artwork. However one is lauded over and considered fresh and new, the others possibly not. In fact Barnett says “When’s the last time a major brand not only covered the entire facade of their building with conceptual illustration, but let that art continue through the windows and into the store itself?” I don’t know, but I do know it’s been done by some faceless nameless street artist who at best gets a pat on the back from his friends and a few bucks from the buildings owner and at worst gets thrown in jail for defacing public property.

imagesThat is the way most things go. From renegade underground figure wanted by the law to  advertising friendly street artist who go from obscurity to art gallery flavor of the week. Think Basquiat.  Do I sound jealous?

What’s my point? Well I’m a little uneasy about the marketing machine behind all this, knowing marketing and promotion as I do. It feels kinda of like what Buffalo Bill did with the proud Indians he employed when he toured the country giving city folks a “real” live view of the American Indians. Make no mistake Mr. Barnett’s work is not original or new. It is a scrubbed-down version of what street artists have been doing for years and without the heart and bravado.I applaud him and for the commission and his work is certainly good.  It is rehearsed and carefully planned. But,f you’re going that route I’d rather see CF Payne’s work on a building or at least my friend Keith Batcheller’s. Or mine for that matter. Hear that Ralphie boy!?

Here’s a link to the story I read about Jonathan Barnett’s work and his interview from Design Arts Daily. Draw your own conclusion

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TOMORROW’S YOUR FUTURE YESTERDAY

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RIP VAN IPHONE
I love that line. It’s the words from Craig Ferguson’s Late Night TV Show theme song. I find it intriguing and it gets me thinking about how far technology has advanced in the last twenty-five years.

To illustrate this point, I had a “wow” moment one day in 1989, when I walked into Graham Nash’s home studio(Crosby Stills and Nash) and saw him working on a MAC Classic with a color monitor. I felt like a caveman who just witnessed fire for the first time. I immediately put a second mortgage on my home in order to buy a fully outfitted 80 MB Mac Classic with a 20MB syquest drive, an Electrahome monitor (which weighed a ton), a black and white laser printer and an $8000 Howtek scanner. I recently saw some of those items in the Smithsonian Museum. Within a year or so that equipment was outdated and another year or two made it worthless. But I was ahead of the curve and I was hooked for life. My next buy was much cheaper and far more effective and powerful. Now the same power can be found in a cheap phone and the screen resolution is far better. The prices have dropped to levels that anyone can afford.Today I am as comfortable using new media and the power of the internet as I am breathing. My life has been enriched beyond what I could’ve ever imagined. Anyone who hasn’t kept up with the amazing advances in technology is really missing something that’s exciting. Being a “Techie” so to speak is probably the best way to keep yourself relevant and informed. And you just might have a ball doing it.

So how does that relate to being an artist or getting work as an illustrator? Branding, social media marketing baby! You are your own marketing and advertising firm. Write the copy, create the visual, do the PR, shoot the video, and post it all to a list you acquired from Agency Access.  Well does that work? Will  get a job if I do that? The answer is who knows, but it won’t hurt. You can save a lot of money by learning these easy methods of promoting yourself and you can monitor it and analyze the data.

It is easier today to contact people who make decisions than it ever has been and with a little calling around to people who have opened your Mailchimp promo you will start to penetrate the market and find out if you have the juice you need to get jobs or if you need to hone your skills a little more. Don’t stay put and don’t stay in the dark, Your greatest chance to be a success is to become a Techie. Learn all you can about the apps and programs design to help you, then start peppering the Gatekeepers with your work. Jack down some coffee then start calling them one by one  and you may get lucky!

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The “Lounge Lizard”

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lounge lizard
The Lounge Lizard is a guy we all know. He’s a expert at everything, wealthy, sexy and full of enough hot air to float the Good Year blimp. He’s that guy who hangs around the Beverly Hills Hotel calling attention to himself and his next fictitious movie deal. He’s fashionable and knowledgable about the type of BS that drives “real” people crazy.

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A “Best Of” The Illustrators Journal is out

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IJ.5.MAG.LAYOUT.alt-1 After a long absence the Illustrators Journal is back. The design is new, the vibe is new and in this “best of” issue you will see and read some of our best pieces of the past year and a half as well. There is an interview with the Journal’s newest member and very talented illustrator/writer, Mary Longshore. And a second interview where Mary talks with well-known gaming artist Jon Wong Park. Both interviews sport great illustrations as well.
Finally the Journal previews it’s new photography section, LPIK. This sneak peek sports the photography of the publisher, Lon Levin, to show what future issues will look like. Interviews and articles are being lined up now to fill out the LPIK section of The IJ’s Spring issue.

As always please comment and let us know what you think and suggest things you’d like too see and read.

Click on the image or use this link to see the new issuehttp://issuu.com/lonlevin/docs/ij.5.mag.layout.alt

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