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I feel lost

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OddBerryCreations

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I am curious if there are any forums or sites dedicated to JUST illustrators. This site is a lot of fun and I find myself becoming addicted to checking in  :grin3 which is great!! However, the majority of the information here seems to be focused on writers and I'm looking for a community or group that will help me in my illustration journey. What i mean is, I'm looking for artists that offer the same tips and suggestions that this site offers for writers...but geared more towards illustration. There are some very talented artists here...very, but it sometimes feels like I'm swimming in the wrong direction...if that makes sense. I mean no disrespect in anyway, but for someone like me who is struggling, i find myself getting more and more confused in one direction when I haven't even figured out what direction I want to go in. I hope this makes sense.

 :grouphug2
#1 - November 18, 2012, 10:21 AM

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A definition of illustration is "A picture illustrating a book, newspaper, etc."

I think you will find it difficult to find a forum that is only about illustrators without having some kind of relationship with writers.  But maybe not completely impossible.

Or you could always start your own like Wilson.  ::-)

Check out sites like
-- concept art [mod note, see link below]
-- http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/
-- http://www.deviantart.com/
-- http://cghub.com/
-- http://www.cgsociety.org/

You might find more artists in any of the above sites who work in various fields of illustration and concept art (editorial, books, in-house, games, film) and from there you might find that smaller niche of like-minded illustrators that you're interested in joining or being inspired by...there are also various illustrator bloggers that might lead you further in your journey.  Keep looking!   :yup

- Tanja

Second message:

I'm having trouble modifying my above post as the ConceptArt link is invalid as written...  Bah.

What I also wanted to post (after fixing the CA link) is also a section with ConceptArt.org that I'd been a part of as "Tatiana" that was specific to the business side of illustration (not only children's books).
That link to the discussion thread on CA is here:
http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?126596-Business-of-Illustration

- Tanja

Mod note: Stepped in to modify Tanja's previous post on request and fix the link; had to copy/paste her original post into this one to do it.
#2 - November 18, 2012, 11:47 AM
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 04:11 PM by Joni »

Jacqueline Buffinet

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For a purely artist site with feedback, lessons, and discussions down to the very minutia of your chosen media, you might check out Wetcanvas.com. There is a particular section for illustrators, though I don't find it is very "busy" with posts. There is enough going on that you can ask your questions there, post your work and get feedback. There is also a grouping for practically any media or style you might work in with participants of a wide range of talent from beginner to pro. Some of those groups are very busy with posts.

It is my theory that there can be long bouts of silence with artists, since we tend to speak with pictures and when heavily creating are less wordy. Even though I am a writer and I think possibly better as a writer than an artist, I find that when I am deep into a visual project I have very little to say, word-wise. Right now I am in between projects and missing my writing so I am more apt to chatter.  As I said just my theory, but that could explain why there are not a lot of forums for artists that are just brimming with discussion. :)

Hang in there, OddBerry. It takes time to find your own path in art. The best way is to just keep creating, try the things that excite you and take note of the things that "stick". We all know that practice makes perfect, but it also helps to define your style.

I hope this helps.
#3 - November 18, 2012, 01:08 PM
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 01:15 PM by Jacqueline Buffinet »

This IS a forum for writers and illustrators interested in working in children's books, so if you're not interested in children's books, then you're in the wrong place! Maybe that's why you're lost.

Here are some illustration sites you may like:
http://zero2illo.com
The articles on Illustration Mundo may be of interest to you, too. http://illustrationmundoblog.tumblr.com/tagged/Interview
Also, if you want to get inspiration, check out Illustration Friday http://illustrationfriday.com/ There's also a blog on that site that you may find interesting.

I hope you find your way!
#4 - November 18, 2012, 02:48 PM

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Sorry to hear that you feel lost! And, yes, this is a forum for children's writers and illustrators, so if that's not where your heart and focus seem to be leaning, I can see how you'd feel out of sorts.

At the same time -- and, I'm not an illustrator, by the way -- I just want to say that in recent months we've been enjoying the thoughts, wisdom and presence of many more illustrators than I've seen before, at least in regards to the discussion of craft and technique. It's been such a great asset to this community! (And, as a PB writer, I should add it's very helpful to me to understand the illustrator's POV, to gain a little insight into an illustrator's process). So it might be that if you hang in for a while, this piece of the boards will continue to grow and flourish. And you'll be right there along with it.

 :goodluck
#5 - November 18, 2012, 04:06 PM

Jacqueline Buffinet

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Actually, if you came here with any interest in being a children's illustrator I think you owe it to yourself to try it for a while. If anyone would have told me a few years ago that I would be illustrating for children and loving it, I would not have believed them. Ditto for digital art. I spent YEARS working at wildlife art. And saw oils and acrylics as the only media I really cared to work in. It took saying yes to one person to get me into this art form in order to find out that it's so very right for me. I can suggest that if you want some real inspiration you should look up some videos on YouTube for digital painting and illustration art. They are very inspiring and often quite informative. You have to study it with the same drive you study any other art form. And you have to work at it enough to get past that feeling that "this is drek!" Develop at least one character that you can put into different situations and see how you like that connection.  Find blogs from established Children's illustrators and follow them for a while. After a while you will have a more clear idea of whether this is for you or not.
#6 - November 18, 2012, 04:37 PM

Jacqueline Buffinet

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JennaWren, I look forward to seeing your predictions for the illustrator's portion of this forum happen! So far I am feeling at home here.
#7 - November 18, 2012, 05:39 PM

evilrobot

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Well, I have to tell you right away that this is one of the most active boards I've ever been on. Also just in the last couple of days there have been several excellent articles about illustration posted on this board, so you might want to stick around for awhile. JennaWren stated that it's great to learn how us artists work and I'd turn that around as well to say that this is an excellent place to learn about how writers work and thus helps us artists as well.

I think your confusion comes from you really don't know what direction you want to go in. You need to pick one and go in that direction for a while and if it doesn't fit go another direction until you find what fits. I didn't even start out as an artist I was in business management for years and I did freelance commercial illustration on the side, then I worked as a graphic designer and illustrator at the newspaper, I worked on an online comic strip for five years, I did logo design, it took me a while to go in the direction of children's illustration but when I found it. Well that was it.  You may even find that after you try it for awhile illustration isn't for you and that's fine to. Truth is everyone is lost at first. You have to find your own way.

I would recommend this free cartooning course to get you started with your skills I recommend it only because it really helped me wrap my brain around a few things I was having trouble with. It's written by some of the old time great cartoonists from the 30's thru the 50's it covers everything from basic anatomy, perspective, setting up a scene, to color theory. Do every lesson, don't skip, and you'll learn.

http://comicrazys.wordpress.com/category/famous-artists-cartoon-course/page/2/

Most important thing have fun....if you're not enjoying it, it's just a job. And if it's just a job do something else because you'll sure make a lot more money.
#8 - November 19, 2012, 09:01 AM
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 09:07 AM by evilrobot »

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I'm an illustrator and a writer mostly focused in all-ages comics and children's books so as far as I'm concerned this site is a revelation! I suppose if you're not really interested in children's books then, as Lynn said, you may feel lost as you're in the wrong place. William (evilrobot) gives some great advice as well. First thing you need to do is figure out exactly what it is you'd like to do with illustration. That may take some time but the fact is if you don't have a focus you'll most likely feel lost anywhere you go.

A few good sites/forums I've found for cartoonists/illustrators to start with are:

http://dailycartoonist.com/
http://blog.drawn.ca/
http://www.cartoonist-forum.com/
http://www.beartist.com/

Have fun exploring and finding your place!  :jump:
#9 - November 19, 2012, 09:13 AM
http://alexschumacherart.com/
World's Crummiest Umbrella (2014, Wandering in the Words Press)

Jacqueline Buffinet

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I have to say that this has turned out to be a great thread. I didn't know about a lot of these sites and I have been looking around for quite a bit of time. I can't wait to go through the cartoon course that you recommended, EvilRobot! I have been self teaching myself art since I was nine years old and I never like to think I have "arrived". Besides, I enjoy classes of this sort. My holiday week just got busier. LOL
#10 - November 19, 2012, 10:20 AM

evilrobot

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Jacqueline the best way to do it is to download the PDF's and print them all out. It takes a lot of paper and ink but makes it easier to follow. There are 14 parts to the course I think it use to be an old mail order course back in the 50's and 60's but man do I love it. It's cool how even back then artists were doing things like this to help the next generation. Whittney Darrow Jr is the main guy who worked on it and he is one of my all time favorite cartoonists his works for The New Yorker were amazing. Good luck with it and have fun.
#11 - November 19, 2012, 11:02 AM
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 11:07 AM by evilrobot »

OddBerryCreations

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You guys are awesome!! Thank you so much and I appreciate the feedback. In the time it took me to post this original posting and wait for the responses, I have joined conceptart. Let me tell you did I get a rude awakening. With all of the skilled artists on that site, none of them hold back their opinions which is EXACTLY what an amateur like myself was looking for. There is just so much talent everywhere it's intimidating and exciting at the same time. That being said, I love this place. I'm so glad I found it and I can tell you I'll never leave. This place is more of a very personal and friendly message board whereas conceptart is huge and there are so many artists and illustrators there, it tends to lose that personal feeling. I feel at home here because everyone seemed to accept me with open arms and it made a difference in my approach to learning art. I have to build on my skills and as I do that, I'll gain more confidence in my art and myself. I couldn't have done it without all of the help, advice and suggestions from you guys and so to my new illustration friends...thank you so much. I still feel lost but as many of you said here...it's because I'm not really sure of which direction I'm going in which is to be expected. I'm going to go back to square one essentially and start building up my fundamental skills and as those get better, I will get better. There are some brutal critics out there (I found a few) but any feedback is good feedback. Thankfully I have thick skin. I will look into the tutorials and books you guys suggested and again, thank you for your support. One day when I'm famous...I'll invite you all over!!  :grouphug2
#12 - November 19, 2012, 12:57 PM

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Agreed with above post! Awesome thread with lots of great direction for getting information! Concept Art is definitely brutal.  Another site that is primarily for Illustrators and not for the thin of skin is http://www.satellitesoda.com/

A lot of great artists who are NO HOLDS BARRED!

Also, Thanks Tanja! I'm working on building a community for the Children's Market. right now I'm really trying to figure out why other communities that should be huge seem to be struggling so much like SCBWI. The more I learn the more I can build a solid foundation and community. When we have a steadier group of readers we'll introduce forums or facebook groups and stuff like that. We'll see!!

Oddberry-I'm not sure how to tell you what aspects of illustration to pursue. I pursued the subject matter I loved to draw. What kind of things do you like to draw? There are a lot of specialized communities(niches) within Illustration. If you tell us more about your interests and what you WANT to draw then we can probably better point you in the right direction. Otherwise you'll just be chasing your tail.
#13 - November 19, 2012, 03:56 PM

OddBerryCreations

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This is true William. Well, I like drawing characters and I like creating each character with a unique expression. I like having emotion and feelings in each of my drawings and I like learning how to enhance details. I like color, I like highlights and shadows, and I like each of my drawings to be different than the previous one. I'm not sure about realistic art but I'm not skilled enough yet to create amazing fantasy art. I would like to though...I'm just not sure how to get started.
#14 - November 19, 2012, 04:29 PM

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Definitely a lot of great sites/info being shared on this thread.

Quote
I have been self teaching myself art since I was nine years old and I never like to think I have "arrived"

Just to touch on this quote for a moment because I think it's great. I don't think an artist should ever feel as though they have "arrived". You should always be pushing yourself and learning new techniques, mediums, etc. regardless of what level you are. I have done plenty of professional jobs and still know that my work has a LOT of room to grow. That excites me though. If I ever feel as though I know everything there is to know about creating (which I obviously never ever will) then that's the day I'll stop forever.

You'll find your way. It may even end up being something that you never expected. Be open to every possibility. Most importantly, enjoy yourself!
#15 - November 19, 2012, 07:06 PM
http://alexschumacherart.com/
World's Crummiest Umbrella (2014, Wandering in the Words Press)

OddBerryCreations

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Thanks AJ and that's exactly what I'm trying to do. I'll figure it out...until then I just have to make sure I still have fun. The second I get frustrated I have to walk away.  :flower
#16 - November 19, 2012, 07:23 PM

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That's exactly the right mind set. Absolutely make sure you have fun. Aren't we all in this because we love it? Even if you get frustrated, walk away for a little bit and then come back to it. There will be days like this  :rain and days like this  :gaah. Don't let those days stop you from having days like this  :writing3  :paint  :love5:

The only way to ensure you'll never reach your goals is to give up. Keep at it no matter what!

#17 - November 19, 2012, 08:21 PM
http://alexschumacherart.com/
World's Crummiest Umbrella (2014, Wandering in the Words Press)

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