Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Shaun Tan- Advice For A New Illustrator

I read an essay by illustrator Shaun Tan that I thought was really great, especially since I am always looking for clues from established illustrators on just how to do what they did, to get where they are. I'll share some of my favorite snippets with you here, or you can read the full essay at the link below.

Advice For A New Illustrator by Shaun Tan

Firstly, a good thing to keep in mind:
"That’s the first thing to be aware of, especially when either giving or receiving specific advice – every artist’s experience and circumstance is different."
So take this advice how you will.

I'm amazed at the way Shaun can create light with just a pencil.

"Enjoy what you do, to the extent that it is a pleasure to go beyond the call of duty."

"It’s very important to pursue personally challenging work, and small jobs can be just as significant as high profile ones for that reason."

"A good artist is (I think) an eternal student, and even when most confident, never feels like a master. They are forever pottering in their backyard spaces, trying to explore their craft with modest integrity."

"Communication is very important, even though so much time is spent working alone on what can otherwise seem an introverted profession. You need to be able to talk and write about everything you create in a clear and explanatory way to help others understand your ideas, especially when they are not immediately visible, especially to non-artists and certain folk who are, for all practical purposes, aesthetically blind."

"As long as you are doing something, even if it isn't successful, you are not wasting your time."

"Most people who do get published are very pleased, but not terribly surprised as if winning a lottery, because they've already done their homework and understand their surroundings. They have put themselves to some extent in an editor's shoes."

And if you're interested, you can see Shaun's website here:


Through the Looking Glass- Train

Second page is done! It's not actually the second page, but I see no reason to paint them in order. What I really should do, however, is lay out the text and then show you the painting with the finished text as well. I have the story written, but I feel as though the layout will go smoother if I have all of the pages finished first. Though I suppose there is no problem with laying out the text on the sketches. Very well then, that is what I shall do. Perhaps the next post will be a revision, and you shall catch glimpses of the story.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Through the Looking Glass- Humpty Dumpty

Here's the very first page of my children's book adaptation of Through the Looking Glass, from sketch to finish! One more finished, I'll be posting it soon enough. I actually finished this probably a few weeks ago. Been busy with holiday work, but once things settle down I'll be diving back into the pages of Looking Glass.