Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Philo & Sophy Final Paintings

The ConTEXT show came down this past weekend, and I took my pieces over to a friend's house to have them photographed.
pages 4-5

You can see them all on my portfolio or flickr site

The printed book is still coming, hoping to have it available sometime in May.

Philo & Sophy Cover Sketch

The sketch I'm using for Philo & Sophy's book cover painting is also part of my week 4 assignment for the 12WC.
sketch with lulu crop areas

Weeks 4, 5 and 6 are all about creating 2 portfolio pieces each week based upon the research and planning you have completed in weeks 1 – 3.

The question of the day is... Can I complete 2 illustrations this week when I only have one sketch done? It is only Tuesday. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

12 Week Challenge - week 3

Things running around in my head, bookmarked on my computer, all coming out on paper. I keep thinking back to my senior year at SCAD when we were having discussions just like this - about where to send your promotional materials, how to research companies and target those art directors and publishers that fit your style. So, 10 years later I'm getting around to this, and even though a lot has changed, illustrators still make art, and they still mail postcards.

The assignment:

Based on your research, gather a targeted list of 10 Companies, Publishers, Art Directors or Manufacturers that you will be contacting when we get to that part of the challenge.

1. Frank Sturges, artist representative
2. Lindgren & Smith, artist representative
3. Marlena Agency, artist agent
4. Jennifer Vaughn, artist representative
5. Magnet Reps, artist representatives
6. Maili Holiman, George Lucas Educational Foundation's magazine
7. Jody Churchfield, O Magazine
8. Michael Schnaidt, Entertainment Weekly
9. Lexie Rhodes, Thriving Family Magazine
10. SooJin Buzelli, PlanSponsor Magazine

Armed with everything you now know about your list of contacts, plan out 6 portfolio pieces that you will be creating in the next 3 weeks of the challenge.

1. Participate in Illustration Friday for one week
2. The Water Babies book illustration
3. Book cover illustration for Philo & Sophy
4. Portrait of a famous person
5. Illustrations for a news article
6. Illustration for a magazine article

I took a trip to the library reference department to look through the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market book, and then to Borders to look through the magazines. It helped to go to the library first, then browse the most current publications and book covers second, to tighten up my list. Both things I need to probably do once or twice a month. A good excuse to go to the bookstore and look around.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Deity Hybrids

A sketch I did today, thinking about subjects for new paintings. I've always liked the styles in Byzantine art and Hindu deity paintings. So I did a hybrid of the two. Vishnu and some christian saint.

I'm almost done with my 12WC assignment for week 3. Its not art yet, but I hear the following 3 weeks will involve working on 6 illustrations.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rosy Cheeks

I bought a new watercolor sketchbook and one of those travel watercolor pocket things with a brush. I've used watercolors before, but never really sketched with them. It was a nice way to pass the time at work.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

12 Week Challenge - week 2

Week 2's assignment went a little bit faster for me I think because after completing week 1, and since I've been brewing all these thoughts in my head while working on my book, I had been thinking about this a lot. Getting it out on paper was the natural next step.

I read we will start creating work next week for the 12WC, but I've already prepped a board so I can work on the cover illustration for Philo & Sophy. I can't wait to bring the show down and photograph the work so we can get it printed. I keep thinking of this then remembering, "OH, I gotta do that cover...".

The assignment:

Create a 1-page strategic business plan for your project/career. Here it is:

Robyn Diaz Illustration OGSM

To work independently as an Illustrator, and travel with my family

earn an income of 50k this year
get work within the editorial market
form relationships with publishers and art directors

begin sending self promotional materials quarterly
maintain my blog with updated work, weekly
collect contacts through online resources and podcasts
continue to create work for my portfolio
sell prints of my work through etsy and my website and UAG
sell my children's book through my website and through lulu
mail my childrens book to potential publishers
Actions to take:
photograph my most current work for promo materials
design my promo materials
promote my etsy site
participate in Illustration Friday to develop my conceptual work
Contact art directors, at reps, and publishers
publish my book for the ipad

responses from my mailers
feedback from art directors or publishers
followers on my blog
income from illustration work
income from selling prints online
income from selling my book online
responses from publishers to my book
more work in my portfolio/editorial pieces

This is so OCD I'm almost embarrassed to post it, but I'm sharing, so here is my OGSM chart. next post will involve art, I promise:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

12 Week Challenge - week 1

This is the end of week one in the 12 week challenge thats going on through, and I've done a whole lot of internet searching. I usually spend hours looking and oogling over other artists' work online, but this time I had someone telling me to really think about it and apply it to my career.

The assignment:

Here's what I came up with for the first week, where we were told to ask ourselves, "If I could illustrate anything and get paid for it, what would it be?"

I pondered all week on this. I know one thing, stories inspire me to make art. I chose the Editorial market for my focus because the assignments can accompany an article or story, and it is fast paced work, which I love. I most recently finished some children's book work, and I imagine my style will still lend itself to that genre, but during the next 11 weeks I'd like to practice my conceptual skills and develop my editorial pieces.

Is my idea commercially viable? Part of my reason for choosing Editorial Illustration is because there are many opportunities for jobs through various publications. I found most Illustrators with Editorial work were published through magazines. Some I saw listed were:
Rolling Stone Magazine
Technology Review Magazine
Mens Health Magazine
Plan Sponsor Magazine
Runner's World Magazine

Big players? I searched for artists through Communication Arts Annuals, and Illustration Mundo, as well as the long list of artist faves I have bookmarked. Some of them I found working in this market:
Chris Buzelli
Christina Ung
Jon Reinfurt
Martin Haake
Alberto Cerriteno

Why are they successful? Each of these artists' have a clear focus and style that is obvious when you look through their galleries online. Most of them do more than one type of Illustration and have 2-3 different sections for them - Editorial and Book for example, but their style is consistent across. Their portfolios contains lots of images to show their technical and conceptual abilities, basically that they can do the job, and when a client hires them they can be sure to get a certain style and level of quality.

On Self Promotion... Most of the artists I looked through do not list flickr, twitter, and blogs on their websites. They just lits their phone and email and sometimes their address as contact info. Many of them do blogs which are updated regularly with news or work, lots of blogs with process images. Some have buttons for flickr, twitter, facebook, blogger, etc.

Prior to the 12WC I listed to a few different podcasts - BIPT, and EFII were a couple - and there were a lot of conversations about self promotion.  besides the internet, It seems like most artists still mail out postcards quarterly, and some will do a neat packages of cards, or calendars, and other quirky ideas to stand out from the bunch when doing mailers. One artist I found had a neat example of her mailer on her website under her "self promotion" link. Her name is Meg Hunt, and she also shares a lot of info about her process through an FAQ page, as well as videos of her work progress through her flickr site.

AH, words! I'm ready for my next project!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Philo & Sophy Opening

Friday was great, thank you to everyone who came out to support us and share a fun evening together. I sold 3 paintings, and finally met the inspiration for Sophy - Joe's daughter, Sophia. Look for a book available to purchase, sometime in May.
Joseph, the author, and I

The show runs until April 23.

247 Lark Street
Albany NY 12210

Gallery Hours
Thurs/Fri 5:30-8 pm
Sat 2-8 pm
Sun 2-6 pm

more pictures of the opening here.