Thursday, June 30, 2011

Illustration Master Class 2011 - Day 8 The Voyage Home

During the week it felt like we had been at the Illustration Master Class for a month and each day that passed it felt like we had weeks of time left before us. I say this as a good thing. It was so intense and each day was so full of stimuli that time seemed to slow down. It has been just shy of two weeks since I started driving back from Massachusetts and I have been rolling everything around in my head that I learned and experienced at IMC. Some of it is a little vague to put into words, but I will try to address some of the larger points...

• Diagonals! Make sure you get diagonals into your compositions, they imply movement and lead the eye. A lot of verticals and horizontals give the felling of stability and can make a piece feel posed. More on this tomorrow when I post my painting from the IMC.

• Be aware of the foreground, middle ground and background.

• With figures: have a clear line of sight (this helps direct the viewer around the piece), give them movement, CLUMPING - People and things tend to group up and are not isolated, and lastly the thing Greg Manchess was practically jumping up and down screaming to everyone... OVERLAP! Have figures overlap each other, especially if they are suppose to be interacting with each other in the illustration. This will mean that you may want to take reference separately and together and work out compositions on the computer or with tracing paper till it is right. This will mean you may draw all the figures out completely and then overlap to make sure they are correct and you see everything you need to.

• Making good art is hard work. It takes years of hard work and effort to improve and learn your craft.


• Clients do not hire you because you can do everything - they hire you because you can do something no one else can.

• Be aware of the three aspects of color: HUE / VALUE / CHROMA (great... there is a third thing I now have to be aware of now... the intensity of the color!)

• To make color pop surround it with neutrals and grays.


• "Revisit your reference" is a really nice way of saying it looks wrong and you need to fix it.

• Chroma Shift, using color to define form rather then value alone. Still getting my head around this one, but I think it is really important.

• Adam Rex made three points: 1) Shake Hands 2) Sleep in car 3) They wouldn't call them bottom feeders if there was not food down there. (some thoughts on the early stages of his career)

• Portfolios should: have 8-12 images, show consistency, only show work that answers the client's problems, show the kind of work you want to get and show great figure work.

• Website should: be updated regularly, have no popups, thumbnails shouls be small versions of the final and not indecipherable little cut outs and keep it easy to navigate.

• Interviews, you should: impress - don;t embarrass, NEVER APOLOGIZE, don't argue critiques and send thank you notes - they are an excellent excuse to follow up.

I am sure I am forgetting dozens of more things, if not more, but that covers a lot of my written notes. So much was just absorbed slowly across the whole week. Lets get onto some images of leaving the IMC and heading south...

Green Man says good bye to the giant green man that was out in the green way near the dorms.

The great exodus has begun! Cars were packed and good byes were said. Everyone seemed to be already be eagerly looking forward to IMC 2012, including myself.

I salute the person or people that have to tackle this mighty pile of laundry.

Oh Hi, New York! I see you are right were I left you on the way north.

Unfortunately, there was not time in my schedule to stop at South of the Boarder on my way south. I think one visit was more then enough for me... but there will always be next year!

And so ends my adventures with the 2011 Illustration Master Class. I want to extend a huge thanks to Rebecca Guay for making this amazing think possible and to all of the rest of the faculty for their time, advice, patients and excitement for illustration. Without you all it would not be possible. And thanks to all my classmates for their friendship, companionship, enthusiasm, and encouragement through the week, you all made it so much fun and dispelled all my doubts and self consciousness.

See you back here tomorrow on the blog to see a step my step walk through of my 2011 IMC painting. Until then...

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  1. Interesting posts about the IMC, it sounds like the experience of a lifetime! Thanks for posting so extensively about it. I like this specific post as well, some good points for me to keep in mind for new pieces. (And some new things to learn about... I have a hard time figuring out value/hue, not to mention chroma!)
    Could you explain the context for 'never apologize'? Does it have to do with not apologizing for your skills, but be confident about them, or something else?

  2. Really enjoyed reading your IMC series of posts this week!

    They've been a great 'fly on the wall' insight into what must have been an awesome experience.

    Look forward to the walk through tomorrow!

    David : )

  3. Thanks, guys! Glad to hear the coverage of IMC has been well received! I appreciate it!

    As far as 'never apologize', it is pretty much just that. When talking about your work never speak ill of it, never say things like 'I meant to... I was going to but... If it was not for the constraints of the assignment I would have...'. Never put doubt of your abilities and your capacity to make informed correct decisions in the mind of a perspective client or employer. Irene Gallo was talking about this and she even caught herself apologizing to the us in the audience when talking about it. It can be a nervous habit but something to watch out for.

  4. loved this series of posts

    you don't happen to know if any of your compatriots have also posted about there experiences and things they learned while there?

  5. I think I saw some had posted photos and notes from their time at the IMC on blogs and websites... and there were a ton of photos going around Facebook.