Illustration Academy is finally done. It was a great experience, for sure. I learned more during those four weeks than I can think about. I was almost overwhelmed by the sheer creative energy of all of my colleagues and the feedback I received from the instructors. Part of me is sad that it's over, but part of me is glad that I can finally get a full night's sleep for once! I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is thinking about seriously pursuing any sort of career in illustration.
I did promise ~JoeSlucher
I'd post about my experience
, so I guess I'll do that here.
The days were long - 6 days a week from 9 AM 'til 9 PM - and we had a project to finish every week, on top of all the lectures, presentations and demos that were going on. There was plenty of one-on-one instruction, and the visiting artists were all very willing to spare some time to look over my work (not only the assignments for the academy, but also my
collection of personal work. It was certainly an eye-opener for me.
Most of them said a lot of the same things:
Body of work shows a consistent, cohesive approach
Color palettes work
Compositions work, for the most part
The work overall would benefit greatly from more observed drawing in terms of accuracy (Both Sterling Hundley and Chris Payne said it was the one thing that would instantly make my work better)
Line quality could be improved
Hands need work
Anita Kunz specifically told me I need to write stories for my drawings, because they have such a narrative quality to them they lend themselves so well to telling stories. (And yes, I know that's what some of you have been telling me all along, so no need to tell me "Told ya so!")
Robert Meganck (my adviser at VCU) told me I should try exploring new subject matter.
Chris Payne told me I need to work on adding a level of believability to my work. He prefaced that by telling me (multiple times) he wasn't trying to turn me into a realist, but that I need to find some way of achieving some sort of method to creating more consistency in the drawing. He also suggested a list of artists whose work is in the same vein as mine in terms of "style", including Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, Brian Froud and Peter de Seve.
Doug Chayka said I need to work on value - creating contrast and diversifying value range within objects. He also suggested I experiment with media to create different textures in my work.
Jon Foster still owes me a review of my work.
All the advice has definitely given me a lot to think about, but I feel that now I can focus on shoring up my weaknesses as well as play up my strengths.
Phew, hopefully I didn't bore you all too much with that. Stay classy, folks!