The Illustrators Journal/Winter 2020
26 Sunday Jan 2020
Posted ARTICLES, EDITORIAL, illustration, ILLUSTRATORS JOURNAL E-ZINE, INTERVIEWin
26 Sunday Jan 2020
Posted ARTICLES, EDITORIAL, illustration, ILLUSTRATORS JOURNAL E-ZINE, INTERVIEWin
13 Monday Jan 2020
Posted ARTICLES, CHILDREN'S BOOK, illustration, INTERVIEWin
children's book illustrator, digital media, digital painting, illustration, kidlitart, levinland, Levinland studio
I’m quite aware that sticking an interview with myself on this website is a little self-serving but I believe it’s also constructive. I started the Illustrators Journal because I was interested in how other illustrators work, live and go about their lives. I wanted to connect with them, know them and do right by them. We artists work alone most of the time, and in some cases don’t sleep much or when necessary do “all-nighters”. So reading about each other’s lives is a good way to connect and to know that you’re not alone. So here goes…
How does your work take form?
I start with an idea then thumbnails sketches. The sketches are very crude but they serve as a guide.
Once I have an idea I either collect scrap, use stock or take pictures to support the poses and the look and feel I’m after. I build a rough look in photoshop then switch to Illustrator. I usually sketch over the rough art in Illustrator with a stylus. Then I started rendering using tools in Illustrator. The ability to use layers to separate elements makes it easier to resize or rebuild individual areas without disturbing the entire image.
You were an art director, so you ve worked with many illustrators. It seems like you might have a leg up on other illustrators knowing how they think. How does that affect your work as an illustrator?
It doesn’t. My time as an art director is over by choice. I love creating imagery that enhances whatever project I’m working on. I want the art director to guide me and give me feedback. Besides things have changed so rapidly in our industry my knowledge of what an art director does these days is very different than it was back 5-10 years ago.
Do you do experimental work completely different from your published work?
Always. In fact I think in many ways that confuses potential clients and/or reps. I know they like to see consistency in an illustrators work. If you show one piece that’s different from 12 others it places doubt in their minds, which I find odd. To me versatility is a gift. It’s what made me such an effective art director and kept me on a roll when I worked as a freelancer.
How long do you see yourself doing kid lit art? Do you have any ideas for books you intend to write and illustrate?
I do kidlit art all the time. If I don’t have a paid project I create my own. It gives me a chance to explore new techniques and styles. I have ideas for books and I’ve written a few but I’m not pushing that part of my creativity right now. I’m leaning towards creating large paintings that are more intuitive and not planned. When I start out I don’t want to have a plan of what I want to do. I want to see what forms then shape it as a sculptor would.
Anything new you’ve wanted to do for a while that you are excited about?
The Illustrator’s Journey and Podcast!
My publication partner, Gregg Masters and I have stepped up our efforts to make the Journal a destination publication. I am always searching for great stories, ideas and illustrators to interview. I’ve been very lucky and I’m very thankful that artists worldwide have taken time to speak with me and reveal a little about their life and artwork.
I have some other longer term projects like my semi-biographical graphic comic novel “The Kid From Beverly Hills” and a series of gallery paintings as yet untitled.
I also created a new publication called REAL CREATIVE. The format is essentially the same as The Illustrators Journal but it encompasses all creatives whether there’re Actors, Musicians or kitchen designers! I still go behind “the curtains” to get to know people.
Do you do your work using traditional materials or do you do work digitally or both. How has working on the computer helped or hindered? Do you do any social media marketing?
I do use traditional materials, specifcally pencils and water oils. I sketch out on cold-press boards and paint into the drawings. Mostly, however I work digitally. It’s more liberating because the concerns an artist would have working traditionally are not a problem working digitally, specifically changes, or alterations. I can also experiment a lot quicker and easier. Additionally I can get real close to my art and fix details which traditionally would be very difficult to do.
Working on the computer has helped me quite a bit, especially timewise. I can do things a number of different ways to cut time which would be impossible traditionally. The only hinderance I perceive is there isn’t a physical piece of art. Somehow I think there are still clients that place a special value on art they can touch and feel. It seems more real to them.
I do tons of social media marketing. It allows me to reach out and communicate to many more people than I ever could call or meet in person
How long did it take you to establish yourself in the kid lit area? Was it hard for you or did it happen very easily?
I’m still establishing! This is tough question for me. I’ve illustrated 15 or so children’s books but none that have broken thru. Most of them are done in a style I no longer work in. I do like some of the work in “There’s A Kid Under My Bed” and wish I still had the art but a Canadian art collector bought them all. I’m working towards getting that one great project that’ll be a break through for me, the publisher and the writer.
How has your wife reacted to having an artist as a husband. Do you talk about your work together?
My wife is a saint. She puts up with my ADD behavior and my very active imagination. As long as I do my chores (washing dishes, making the beds and taking out the garbage) she’s happy.
Actually we talk about everything and though she’s not an artist she is very creative and has great ideas. She is also a brutally honest critic. I couldn’t do what I do without her.
22 Tuesday Oct 2019
Posted by Illustrators Journal | Filed under ARTICLES, CATCH-ALL, illustration, ILLUSTRATORS JOURNAL E-ZINE, INTERVIEW
09 Tuesday Apr 2019
Posted cartoon, ILLUSTRATORS JOURNAL E-ZINE, INTERVIEWin
Animated Personality: Aglaia Mortcheva
When did you first think about art as something you wanted to do? Were you encouraged or discouraged by family, friends, teachers, mentors?
I always loved drawing, but remember deciding to become an artist at age seven. I had just started school andhated it. Mostly hated getting up so early! I was under the impression that artists don’t have to wake up early or go to school.I was sorely mistaken! My family always supported me. My parents are artists and very bohemian. They hardly noticed what I was doing, but were supportive to a fault. Still are.
What kind of kid were you? What were your influences?
I was very independent kid and quite wild. I grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria. It was a communist country back then, very closed off and repressed. But as kids none of it affected us too much.My parents made sure to shield us from a lot. My biggest influence was my dad’s amazing library of art books and literature. Nothing was off limits, there were no age restrictions and no censorship. Also, my grandmother Daphna’s crazy stories, very picturesque and saucy. She would embellish them daily, depending on her mood.
Your style is very unique. Did you work on developing a style or is that what naturally came out of you?
It came naturally, but I lost it along the way, especially during my years in art school. I went to art school in Bulgaria. It was very rigid – Socialist Realism all the way, as you can imagine. My weird creatures and playful color pallet were not appreciated.
It took me awhile to get the confidence to bring my natural style back. Illustrating children’s books and working in animation as a character designer helped a to free me and get back to what I love.
You work in a few different areas like children’s books,
animation, magazine illustration, etc. How did that happen?
Mostly it all happens by accident and also very naturally…
I am a very curious person and I can’t say no to work. I say yes to all kinds of projects. Often I will take any little job that comes my way, at least half of the time it leads me somewhere interesting and brings more opportunities, and more contacts with great people.
I just think of artistic challenges as adventures. Some people jump off cliffs and swim with sharks, I face a blank canvas and it thrills me.
How has the advent of the computer affected your work? Do you work traditionally and digitally?
I work both ways. I love the new technology. More fun tools to play with and it keeps me learning new stuff. Also, I have become a bit of a clean freak and minimalist in my old age, so when I work
digitally I like how clean my studio is! Also it keeps my toddlers from eating the paints and drinking the solvents…which is very useful!
For More of this interview go to https://issuu.com/lonfellow/docs/ij.best_of_2018_v2
28 Friday Dec 2018
art, art teacher, design, fun, illustration, Inspirational, working artists
08 Friday Dec 2017
Posted EDITORIAL, illustration, INTERVIEWin
I came across Caroline’s work while trolling the internet and I’m fascinated by this style. I’ve done scratchboard art in the past and it is not an easy medium to work in. However Carolinehas mastered it.
Caroline Church is a scraperboard artist, and the perfect illustrator to approach if you’re after something with a vintage engraved look to it. Based in Twickenham, she grew up in Uganda, where she had pet chameleons and was encouraged to make greetings cards by her mother.
First, Caroline got a BA in Illustration at the Chelsea School of Art. She then learned wood engraving as a guest student at Royal Academy Schools.
Scraperboard is card with a layer of white clay covered in black ink. Caroline marks out an initial drawing using transfer paper and then scrapes away the white layer with a craft knife into the black, creating the look of an engraving.
She has used computer software in the past but finds it frustrating and unnatural. The authentic look requires the tr
ue, physical medium, though sometimes she’ll add a colour wash in Photoshop to come up with something a bit different. When complete, her work is scanned and sent to the client digitally. Amendments can be made either by going back to the scraperboard, or using Photoshop.
Caroline’s style is reminiscent of 19th century engraving, so it tends to lend itself well to projects that aim to convey traditional and time-honoured values. Not surprisingly, her main influences include the engravers Thomas Bewick and Gustav Dore.
14 Thursday Sep 2017
Art Activism, artist as brand, artists, artwork, digital painting, drawing, illustrators journal, innovation
I had the pleasure of talking to Shelley Zentner yesterday, a fine artist whose work is clearly steeped into the classic form as embodied by DaVinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and others.
Shelley and other artists living in Northern California’s winter paradise, Lake Tahoe, CA have banded together to show their resistance artistically to the current government’s policies as personified by Donald Trump. The Illustrators Journal’s Gregg Masters was at a recent meeting of the creative group and was inspired and encouraged by this tiny faction of brilliant people who are taking on the powers that be they only way they know how to do it. Through their ART.
Both Gregg and I are looking forward to working with Shelley and the group and look for our up coming coverage of Shelley and the Tahoe Activists Artist Group in the Winter Edition of the Illustrators Journal
24 Monday Apr 2017
Posted INTERVIEW, This Week In Digital Mediain
Really interesting video with Peter Fowler who has his hands in various artistic disciplines.
20 Thursday Apr 2017
Posted INTERVIEW, Profile, This Week In Digital Mediain
12:01 – 20 April, 2017 by Patrick Lynch
The words of David Adjaye are so on point in design that it’s appropriate to include this video and article on our site. Whether you’re an illustrator, painter, sculptor or architect his words ring true.
TIME Magazine has named architect David Adjaye to their annual list of 100 Most Influential People, recognizing the world figures who have had the most impact on society in the past year in five categories: Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders, and Icons. Unlike Bjarke Ingels and Wang Shu – who were selected under the Artist category in 2016 and 2013, respectively – Adjaye was nominated in the Icons category alongside champions including media personality RuPaul, subversive photographer Cindy Sherman, and US Congressman John Lewis, the civil rights leader who was the original advocate for a National African American Museum in Washington, which was eventually designed by Adjaye and inaugurated last September.
In the citation for the award, Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem (and currently working with the architect on an expansion project for the museum), describes Adjaye as “one of the great architectural visionaries of our time,” and lauds his work as “deeply rooted in both the present moment and the complex context of history.”
31 Friday Mar 2017
artist as brand, illustrators journal, levinland, social media, this week in digital media on blogtalk radio
As we go through our “archive spring cleaning we wanted to highlight some of our more interesting interviews. The PodCast will be a regular feature on our site moving forward with interviews and views that will entertain and enlighten.