Really interesting video with Peter Fowler who has his hands in various artistic disciplines.
I recently became familiar with Kristi Valiant’s work and how valuable she is to Kidlit. So I thought I’d post her interview and some of her bio on TIJ website. Of course I will try to get her to talk with me for an article in the next issue of TIJ Ezine.
The whimsy and color of her illustrations and the movement of her characters are so appealing and fun you can sense the delight she gets when she goes about her work. I’m so happy to see another user of a computer to do her work. Forward thinking and steep in tradition here’s Kristi’s own bio.
In fourth grade, I got in trouble for drawing too much during class.
After graduating magna cum laude from Columbus College of Art and Design as an Illustration major, I worked in the graphics department at an educational publisher. Now I write and illustrate children’s books.
I wrote and illustrated PENGUIN CHA-CHA (Random House, 2013).
I’ve illustrated the following:
PRETTY MINNIE IN HOLLYWOOD (written by Danielle Steel, Doubleday)
PRETTY MINNIE IN PARIS (written by Danielle Steel, Doubleday)
THE GOODBYE CANCER GARDEN (Albert Whitman)
CORA COOKS PANCIT (Shen’s Books)
THE LITTLE WINGS Chapter Book Series (Random House)
DO YOU LOVE ME MORE? (Standard)
OLIVER’S FIRST CHRISTMAS (Accord)
DANCING DREAMS (Accord)
Some of my favorite things in life are my husband and daughters, dark chocolate, hot fudge pudding cake, collecting picture books, reading, swing dancing, musicals (especially Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers), monkeys, penguins, and my faith in Jesus.
I grew up in Wisconsin, studied in Ohio, moved to Texas, taught English for a summer in China, and now live in Indiana with my husband, daughters, and a room full of hippos and monkeys. I tend to draw a mouse, hippo, monkey, and penguin somewhere in each of my recent picture books.
I create my art in Photoshop using a Cintiq display and pressure-sensitive pen. I find that working digitally allows me to be creative and edit easily, without the hazard of spilling dirty painting water or drinking it by mistake.
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.”
This is what I worked on this week. It’s an illustration from my upcoming book about imagination.It’s not done but it’s close enough to show. It started as a sketch of three kids modeled after my daughter’s kids and blossomed into what it is now.
I ask the question of you like I ask the question of myself. What have I done this week, this day, etc Most of the time we are on auto-pilot and don’t think too much about what we’re doing. We have house chores, bills to pay, assignments to complete, kids to take care of etc. The thought of having another goal or task is overwhelming, especially a personal goal. So those goals like I’m gonna write a children’s book or create a painting seems like it can wait.However taking it in small does you can accomplish a lot. That’s how I approached this art and all the other projects I set for myself.
Keep up the good work, watch for the Spring Edition of the Journal and much more to come!
For those of you who don’t know Zaha’s work here is a reprint from Arch Daily. What is especially relevant to us as artists is how she started building her ideas in architectural masterpieces. The process is one of discovery which is relevant any form of artwork. What we do at the highest level is not paint-by-numbers, it is exploring the possibilities from all angles…literally and figuratively. I’ve found that the most I explore my tools and my ideas the stronger they become. I encourage you to do the same. Read about Zaha and strive to be great!
Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, DBE, RA (Arabic: زها حديد Zahā Ḥadīd; 31 October 1950 – 31 March 2016) was an Iraqi-born British architect. She was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. She received the UK’s most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture, and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
A year after her untimely passing, we take a look back on one of the hallmarks of Zaha Hadid’s career as an architect: her sketches. In October we wrote about how her paintings influenced her architecture. Now, we examine her most emblematic sketches and the part they played in the initial formal exploration of her design process.
Drawings, whether done by hand or digitally, are the result of a personal, intimate process of thinking through a project and setting a path for the general development of the design. Possessing different characteristics and intensities, each sketch is a reflection of the author’s thoughts–acting as both a kind of signature and the theoretical seed of a larger process. Some architects use sketches to define details and create their design from that starting point, some use the drawing itself to determine the form of a project, and other architects draw the context in order to imagine the specific location of their project.
Zaha’s exceptional, unique sketches don’t have much to do with concrete visions of what a project will eventually be. On the contrary, her drawings are profoundly influenced by her admiration for artistic abstraction. The beauty lies in the formal liberty that Hadid mines as she approaches what will eventually become her buildings. The drawings depict formal exercises, spatial conceptualizations, compositions, construction systems, structures, or contextual relationships (among other things). They are an invitation to use the liberty gifted to us by the act of drawing.
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.
This story about Agnés Varda is enlightening in that it shows how careers evolve. While it may not be your intention to be a gallery artist when you start out you may end up one in your later years. As someone who has had multiple careers this is something that is not uncommon to me. I believe most artists have to deal with this reality to support their creativity.
While we all can’t be in New York for this show we can view some of her work here and google for more.
Take is keep on doing what you’re doing. Keep your vision alive while being truthful with who you are as a creative person. If you are not meeting your expectation then start changing things until you do. You only fail when you stop working and give up.
By her own calculation, Agnès Varda has had three lives, each corresponding to different parts of her career. “I have been a photographer, then I turned into a filmmaker, then I turned into a visual artist,” she told me earlier this month, adding that she didn’t need anyone’s approval to keep changing. “I gave myself the right to become a visual artist.”
Though canonized in the history of cinema, Varda’s work including installations, sculptures, and photography has been little-seen in New York. But now on view at the Upper East Side gallery Blum & Poe is the French New Wave filmmaker’s first-ever New York solo show: a survey of five decades of art from Henri Cartier-Bresson–like photographs from the 1950s to video installations from the 21st century.
When Varda and I spoke at the beginning of March in the gallery’s back room, I was warned that she might be tired and might not have much time, but the 88-year-old artist seemed happy to be there for the opening of her exhibition, which runs through April 15. By her own admission, she is a “talkative person.” She wears her dyed red hair with a skullcap-like circle of white at the top and chats vivaciously.
In the show, Varda reflects on her past work, often re-staging old photographs and playfully messing with the boundaries between film and reality. “What is time? What is memory? What is imagination? What is one picture?” Varda asked, rhetorically. “Images are so important in my life and in everybody’s life. Imagination nourishes our look at an image. One picture doesn’t exist if no one looks at it.”
She explained that she had been keeping tabs on the art world for many decades. Since she was 18, Varda studied modern art—“Braque, Picasso, Rouault, all these people,” she said. And she was there during the ’50s and ’60s when artists throughout France drastically broke away from the oil-on-canvas formula. She recalled Nam June Paik’s early experiments with video, which excited her because they were, in her estimation, “very new.”
Around that time, she garnered critical acclaim for her film Cléo from 5 to 7, a masterpiece about a Parisian woman who awaits news about a biopsy. Will those results include news that she has cancer? For 90 minutes, the film follows Cléo in real time, observing her as she frets about the results and her own mortality. But, like most Varda productions, it has a light touch—there are musical numbers and a subplot involving a budding romance.
“I’ve always been trying to make work without the truth of cinema,” Varda said. Film is “obviously image and sound, but also time. You can feel the time—90 minutes to 90 minutes. But you can’t tell a story over ten years and make it under two hours!” Her feature films, which have earned top honors at the Venice and Cannes Film Festivals, reflect on time, the slippery divide between fiction and reality, and film itself.
Though she didn’t make her first art-world appearance until 2003, dressed as a potato at the Venice Biennale, Varda began her career as a photographer in the ’50s. Some of her early photographs draw influence from Magnum, creating striking black-and-white tableaux composed along sharp diagonals. In one, a nude man stares at the ocean while a boy stares at a dead goat that has tumbled down a cliff and fallen on the beach next to them.
Varda recalled saying to herself, in 1982, when she looked back on the photograph, “I have to question that image.” She made a film called Ulysse that imagined what would have led to that picture—a technique she used again for a 1956 photograph of people in Marseilles that appears in the Blum & Poe show. For a 2008 film, Varda carefully restaged the old photograph, offering a brief narrative for the picture’s protagonists: a couple holding a baby, a woman taking their picture, and two people observing the landscape. “In a way, my question was, ‘Did they put themselves in the mise-en-scène?’ ” she said. “But it was chance—chance put them there at the right moment to take the picture.”
Varda’s cinematic imagination has remained, so a few works revel in the childlike glee that sometimes accompanies filmmaking. Two miniature sculptures in the show take the form of a shipwreck and a shack, their walls formed by strips of celluloid prints of Varda’s first two feature films, La Pointe Courte and Le Bonheur. What, she wondered, would happen to her films when they went unused? “I’m not the one who decided you can no longer screen films,” she said. “I spent my life with 35mm, then 16mm, then video—I did everything. But what do we do with all that equipment, all that material?” It’s also a way of reflecting on her filmography. “I’m not living in the past, but I’m reviving it and reinventing reality,” she said.
So why not create a work in which fantasies become reality? That was the thinking behind Bord de Mer, a 2009 installation that recreates a seascape. It’s one-third still photograph, one-third looped video of crashing waves, and one-third real sand—all displayed on the floor and a wall. Asked about the work, Varda responded, as she often does, with questions: “How can we bring such a strong of feeling of the seaside, which has sky, ocean, and earth—the three elements of the Earth? And how can we make it in a real room, with one photo becoming cinema becoming sand? Are these elements enough to make you feel like you know the seaside—to make you feel like you’re there?” (She noted that one thing is missing: people playing games. “I hate sports, so no swimming, no sailing!”)
Standing in front of the work can be a hypnotic experience. Although the video and its soundtrack are looped, the work seems to go on forever. Yet it’s just two images—one moving, one still—and some sand. It isn’t a beach, but because of the play between real and reel worlds, it certainly feels like one. “I give myself a structure,” Varda said, “and I allow my mind to go elsewhere.”
Copyright 2017, Art Media ARTNEWS, llc. 110 Greene Street, 2nd Fl., New York, N.Y. 10012. All rights reserved.
“The most enriching rewards for creative endeavor are intrinsic; that is, the reward is in the pleasure the creator takes in doing the work itself, and in achieving the result, and not from the pay or the prize.” – Jane Piirto
Monday Morning is here again and here’s some food for thought to start your day. If you’re creative and you enjoy doing whatever fuels the creativity do it. Don’t worry about how good you are or whether you’ll get rewarded for your work. That is not the point. It’s taken me a long time to realize I am driven to create. Though I’ve tried to suppress this urge and do things that are “more practical” in terms of making a living or creating wealth, I cannot hide from the fact I need to create. So I embrace the beast. I don’t try and tame it, rather I am riding it and enjoying the journey.
Professor Jane Piirto, in her book Creativity for 21st Century Skills covers the motivation to create.
She writes, “The main cause for creativity is that the creative person wants to be creative, in whatever domain he or she is working – whether it be woodworking in the basement, dancing, acting, drawing, singing, doing science, mathematics, inventing, being an entrepreneur, being an athlete, cooking, sewing, building, designing.
“People who are creative must have motivation. Creators intend to be creative, to make—something. People have to want to be creative. Creativity takes a long time and a certain amount of obsession.”
She thinks “Motivation is the only and main personality attribute that all creative people have and need.”
If you relate to this you are part of the tribe, so stop judging yourself so harshly and take comfort in the thought that millions of creative people all over the world are in the same boat. Piirto notes, “Creators must have the talent necessary to create in their area, and have had the environmental influence and support necessary.”
I’m sure most creatives feel this way. The way to get there is to day by day practice your craft and seek support from those who can relate to what you’re doing. IT DOES NO GOOD AND IT’S TOXIC FOR YOUR SOUL TO SEEK APPROVAL FROM THOSE WHO DON’T GET IT!
“What are the rewards for being creative? Fame is not usually one of them.” Piirto quotes musician Mat Callahan: “I have never found any correlation between money and the effectiveness of the creative process and its results. Do I produce a demand for my creative work… do I produce marketable commodities? Maybe. Do I apply my energies to my creative work, regardless? Certainly. Continuously. Why? Because of the satisfaction I derive from the process itself and the pleasure it brings to others.”
I leave you with that. The results of your mindset, your talent and your work will dictate the outcome. Focus on the work and being the best you can. Embrace the beast, take it for a long ride and enjoy the journey.
Rosalind is a terrific illustrator and storyteller as her book The Frog Princess can attest to.
The creator of The Frog Princess, a delightful fractured fairy tale, Rosalind Allchin describes herself thus: “I think I’m an illustrator who writes stories. I start off with some kind of visual image, probably of a character. Although I’ve never had any formal art training, I’ve always been interested in the visual arts. When I was in my teens, we used to go family camping in Europe, and visiting the art galleries in Italy was a wonderful introduction. However it’s only relatively recently that I’ve taken up a brush myself.”
Although presently a resident of Ottawa, Ontario, Rosalind was born in West Sussex on the south coast of England on March 26, 1949, the second of four children and the only girl. “We all went to the local primary (elementary) school, and those years I remember as a lovely period in my life, full of painting and reading stories.
In talking about her approach to illustrating, Rosalind says, “I tend to complete each picture before moving to the next one. Sometimes there are perspectives that I can’t work out. For example, the picture on page 14 in which the Frog Princess is jumping down from the royal balcony took me ages. I actually made little sculpture clay heads of the prince, his bodyguard and the queen. Faces look so different from different angles. I’ve learned of the magic of mirrors. Sometimes a drawing just doesn’t look quite right, but it ‘s difficult to see quite where the error lies. But viewing the drawing differently, through a mirror, magically jolts the perceptions and the problem is revealed.”
Picture books, even fractured fairy tales, require research. “Out of interest, I borrowed a lot of library books on costume. Over five hundred years of medieval life, styles changed dramatically, not to mention differences between classes and between countries. I’ve actually mixed periods.”
“I work a lot, but I guess I’m really slow. I go up to my desk every day except one day a week when I pot, a wonderful therapy. I rent space in a studio which is nice because I meet other people. I have a wheel and am hoping in the near future to buy my own kiln. It’s good to have something constructive to do when I’m having problems writing or drawing. I have a lovely attic space where I work. I’m gradually acquiring all sorts of amazing things, like a scanner which will make sending off manuscripts easier. I used to photograph the art or get color copies made which is very expensive.”
“I have four or five stories more or less written up. I find the writing quite hard in terms of creating language that is clear and simple and yet interesting. It’s so easy for it to fall flat. My initial writing tends to be much too long winded, and I am getting better at ruthless cutting. As soon as I’ve got the story idea worked out, I play around dividing it into pages and thinking about the pictures and how I can have a different action or setting on each page. Right from the start really, I’m working the two things together.”
Source: Profile by Dave Jenkinson/Canadian Review of Materials
There are very few times in life you get a chance to talk with a giant in your field of endeavor. The other night I got to do just that, I spoke with Kinuko Y. Craft, master illustrator and one of the few females to regularly get published in Playboy magazine during it’s heyday. Her work has also appeared in and on the cover of many magazines and in numerous picture books. Awards for her work are too numerous to name however it bears mentioning that she was voted in the NY Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2008. And this quote by famed writer Ray Bradbury sums it up “Kinuko Craft is a Renaissance woman. By this I mean not that she paints like the Renaissance painters, but that she is an artist for all seasons, for all kinds of subjects, and in all kinds of styles. If you will survey her works, you will find little duplication in form, color or texture. She fits herself to her subject with charming ease and yet leaves herself free to remain herself. There is an air about all of her illustrations of one who is a true connoisseur of art, wide-ranging through all the countries of the world. One cannot help but think how delightful it would be to walk into gallery of her kaleidoscopic talents.”
The other night I was walking my dogs to the park and my phone rang. I picked it up and this girlish voice with a slight accent starts talking, introducing herself as Kinuko Craft. I was dumbfounded. We started our conversation and she told me she’d be happy to give me an interview for the upcoming issue of the Illustrators Journal. We spoke for about 10 minutes while my dogs did their business occasionally staring at me wondering why I wasn’t paying attention to them. How could I explain the joy I was having connecting with one of the illustration goddesses I admired. After a few minutes I told Kinuko I’d love to call her back and that my dogs were getting restless so I should pay attention to them. She laughed and told me how much she loved her dog and she understood.
Later that night I called her back and we had a delightful conversation for an hour and a half. The contents of that talk will appear in the next Journal coming out in April, so please come back and visit us, because we’re gonna start rockin n’ rollin’ with all sorts of great interviews and articles.
Next up…Political cartoonist Mark Stamaty whose work has appeared in too many magazines and publications to count especially his cover art for the Village Voice. We are also expecting original work done for us by Millenial superstar artist Molly Crabtree!