Posts

Fashion illustration - Elle Magazine cover. Editorial illustrations by Kayleen West

3 Habits For Great Art

“Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.”

~L. Drachman

1. The practice: Daily drawing.

Drawing something new every day is the most advantageous and time worthy habit I have! It helps my art in every way. Many people create and even publish art but can not all draw well. If you learn to draw you broaden your confidence to explore more. It is incredibly satisfying. I draw on an almost daily basis in my sketchbooks. The feature illustration was created with ink, the second with a biro, and third pencil, all drawn into a small A5 moleskin sketchbook.  My family TV time is usually my sketching and doodling time. They watch while I listen and draw.

Sketchbook montage. Daily drawing and doodling in my sketchbook journal.

Children in costume. Sketchbook illustration.

2. The inspirational: Observation

To stay motivated and inspired we can look at a lot of visuals often. I notice the details as an artist and appreciate creative projects all around. It doesn’t need to be paintings or drawings or other 2D art. Even unusual floral arrangements, fashion, or clever knitted items. There is creative stimulation everywhere if you look close enough. Learn to appreciate the visual world around you.

Stop and not only smell the roses but LOOK at them!

Note the colours, patterns and shapes in everything. You don’t need to be afraid of accidentally copying if you flood you mind with plenty of variety. Lots of imagery will fill you with many ideas. Ideas and you can pull together and make your own.

3. The Freedom: Permission.

Give yourself permission to play and experiment. We put too many restrictions on ourselves sometimes and creative restrictions can make good art suffer.

The more freedom to create the better the art because you discover more and end up creating much more than you ever imagined.

Try new materials, techniques and subjects and see what fun art can be. Let you imagination have as much freedom as you can and play! Spoil yourself with something new; a pen, new paper, craft supplies and explore!

Fashion illustration - shoes. Editorial illustrations by Kayleen West

Sweet Petite - Art Nouveau influenced illustration

Sketchbooks, Art Nouveua and Paris Indigo/Premiere Vision Print Show

There is no denying Europe is queen of decoration and I love decoration! I have always had a sweet spot for the elaborate, ornate and beautiful ancient artifacts of old. I didn’t realise until recently the appeal is all centered around pattern; simple objects combined in a flooded collection creating a visual explosion. A great example is Art Nouveau. As I look at styles of this area and those of Art Florentine and Art deco, it all accumulates into an inspiration that makes my heart pump that little bit faster.

This  week my evening downtime scribbles had a notable influence as this sweet little face fell onto the paper via my ink biro. I called this illustration, Sweet Petite

This is another inspired by this era:

Fabulous Fashion: Ink pen illustration in a sketchbook

Fabulous Fashion: Ink pen illustration in a sketchbook

Indigo/Premiere Vision Field Report

Earlier this month I posted on Supergraph to share a little insight on stall holders there. You can find the post here. This week my designer friend, Lidijia Paradinovic wrote an informative  report on Indigo/Premiere Vision print show in Paris.

It was interesting to note the preference of pattern buyers where drawn to the experience of feeling the pattern on fabric rather than when printed on paper. Additionally, the attraction to more traditional designs rather than trend orientated designs dominating the sales. You can read her report on Pattern Observer here.  Lidijia writes as she designs; decoratively. You can visit her website at Celandine Design.

ASA Professional Development Program

Illustration Opportunity for ASA Professional Development Program

Illustration Opportunity: ASA Professional Development Program

The ASA is once more seeking a member illustrator to provide a cover for the ASA Professional Development Program July 2014 – June 2015. Approximately 7000 colour copies are printed and distributed to members and to the broader writing community around the country. This is a great opportunity for portfolio exposure and is a paid gig and will receive a by-line in the program. The illustration may also be featured as the ‘cover’ of the ASA Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/pages/Australian-Society-of-Authors.

Past illustrators for the ASA Professional Development Program have been Ann James, Sally Heinrich, Cally Bennett and myself.

The successful illustrator must be available to provide preliminary sketches by Wednesday 30 April, and final artwork by Wednesday 7 May.  The program design will require a full cover sized 405 mm x 290 mm. The chosen illustrator will need to take some direction on design to allow space for title and other required logos and material.

ASA do a great job advocating for authors in a tough publishing climate, but this is another good reason to be an ASA member.

Cover illustration of ASA Professional Development Program 2014 by Kayleen West. Full sheet watercolour.

Cover illustration of ASA Professional Development Program 2014. Full sheet watercolour by Kayleen West

Blogger alert:

Okay so I have been hiding under a rock (for those who know about this little gem). I got pretty excited when I found this blog after browsing the net with bleary eyes at midnight whilst clearing my desk and saving my illustration work – long day!

Oh, you want me to spit it out? Drum roll…………. http://kidlitartists.blogspot.com.au/
Yes this awesome blog is founded by the SCBWI Illustration Portfolio Mentees (Class of 2010) and a talented lot they are. I will be haunting them in the future for sure.

Tweet: http://ctt.ec/1B9Hf+

Getting a children's book published in Australia. Top 3 Handy Resources To Get A Children's Book Published
Getting a children’s book published in Australia

3 best tips for getting a children’s book published in Australia!

Getting a children's book published in Australia. Top 3 Handy Resources To Get A Children's Book Published

Getting a children’s book published in Australia. Top 3 Handy Resources To Get A Children’s Book Published in Australia

Often I meet a newish illustrator or writer who is looking for answers to this question: Where can I find the most relevant and important information that will help me get published? This is the same question I had in the beginning.

Every time I am queried, 3 top resources immediately come to mind, these I believe, are not only helpful; but extremely important when navigating  the children’s publication industry.

Here are my favourite top 3:

  1. Join The Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). This society is an active group world-wide and a way to make friends in the industry, learn, and access a multitude of relevant  information. Go on… go join now! http://www.scbwi.org/Registration.aspx
  2. Sign up for PASS IT ON; a weekly newsletter for children’s literacy news that spotlights a children’s illustrator every week. (Australian based) It can be found on Jackie’s blog: http://jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com/ 
  3. Buy an updated version of the annual Writers Market book. This version is best: 2014 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition (Writer’s Market Online) You can sign up online and access updated contact lists for editors and publishers, but I prefer having a deluxe hard copy version that gives you access to the updated database as well.
    Sign up online: http://www.writersmarket.com/
    Deluxe book version: 2014 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition (Writer’s Market Online)

If you have any favourite tips on getting a children’s book published in Australia please share and I’ll add them here too.

‘FLOURISH’ – the 18th Annual 9X5 Exhibition will be on again in October.

Illustrators Australia 9×5 Exhibition & Illustrators Market

Illustrators Australia’s 18th Annual 9X5 Exhibition

The theme for this year’s Illustration Australia 9×5 exhibition is  Flourish. I will be painting madly this month as I prepare my entry.

‘FLOURISH’ – the 18th Annual 9X5 Exhibition will be on again in October.

‘FLOURISH’ – Illustrators Australia’s 18th Annual 9X5 Exhibition will be on again in October.

Details of the show:

OPENING NIGHT
Friday 18th October 6pm – 9pm
includes Silent Auction for original artwork on wood, drinks and launch of new IA APP

GALLERY OPEN:
Oct 19th – Nov 3rd, Mon- Sun 8am – 4pm

ILLUSTRATORS MARKET:
includes prints, original work, jewellery, cards, fashion and more
Sun Oct 20th & Sat Oct 26 10am-4pm

ST HELIERS ST GALLERY
Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford, Vic 3067

Illustration Friday Drawing: Hybrid, He's got a head for real estate.

Illustration Friday: Hybrid, He’s got a head for real estate.

This is hybrid man cross street scene is scanned from one of my sketchbooks. I have to say that this drawing is a classic example of an unfinished idea (one of hundreds). I would have liked to illustrate this in colour but never got around to it.

Why this one? Well, I thought would have been great for an editorial illustration; real estate in particular, but like so many, unless commissioned, I don’t have time to finish everything I think of.

Correction: I was unable to upload data to IF this week. Their form doesn’t work.

Portfolio Items