Resources for Illustrators

General discussion on illustration, art, and the business of same.

Resources for Illustrators

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:51 am

Hey, all... On another thread, I just sent Thomas a link to Duotrope. I don't know if it was new to him or not, but it was certainly new to me 18 months ago. Now I certainly don't mind posting a helpful Duotrope link now and then when someone asks; but it seems to me like there might be people who haven't yet figured to ask, but who would still benefit from that info.

So what I thought was maybe we need a sticky topic with a small handful of useful resources. I don't know if we need an elaborate FAQ, necessarily, and I don't know that we want to bury people in links. But it seems like we could put together something that would be helpful. And if we do it ourselves, we're not putting extra work on Brad. If he likes it, all he has to do is make it sticky.

I actually think we could do with two posts, one for writers and one for illustrators, so I'm making one of each.

Not being an illustrator, I don't have many links to suggest here; but I would start with...

Our forum cover workshop. I can't speak for anyone else, but you've all taught me a lot there.

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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby soulmirror » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:38 am

Great idea, starting these "Resources" threads, Martin!

Another internal WotF / IotF thread very helpful to newcomers is this one:

http://forum.writersofthefuture.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=786&start=30
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At the bottom of thread page 2 are many internal Illustrator Info links.
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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby soulmirror » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:34 am

Come visit the new(ish) website Val Lakey Lindahn and Meliva Koch (and no doubt MANY hardworking others, because it looks like a BIG project) are e-asking past IOTF folks to contribute to!

It's a glimpse of the BIG OL' BOOK to come!

It'd be super-neato to have BIG artist / contestant participation and turn it into an on-line museum of 25 years of IOTF artists' work!!!

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http://iof25.com/
"ILLUSTRATORS OF THE FUTURE: THE FIRST 25 YEARS"

All past winners come and share your artwork!
(Joey! Ryan! Irvin! Vivien! All you other #27'ers! And EVERYONE!)

All contest Illustrator and writer contestants ... come visit!
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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby MJNL » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:35 pm

There's the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists: http://www.asfa-art.org/

It's similar to the SFWA, though I haven't been able to find any professional requirements for joining (like SFWA's three pro-pubbed shorts, etc.). It does require a membership fee.
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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby Holly Heisey » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:56 am

Two places I've learned lots from:

ConceptArt has some of the best illustration forums and pro workshops around.

Muddy Colors is a joint blog by some of the top industry pros. Amazing advice flying around here.
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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby soulmirror » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:13 pm

Holly Heisey wrote:Two places I've learned lots from:

ConceptArt has some of the best illustration forums and pro workshops around.

Muddy Colors is a joint blog by some of the top industry pros. Amazing advice flying around here.



Those are cool sites, Holly, thanks!
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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby MJNL » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:37 pm

Sooo...anyone have any good resources specifically for improving composition? I think that's probably my biggest weakness as an illustrator.
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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby gower21 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:33 pm

MJNL wrote:Sooo...anyone have any good resources specifically for improving composition? I think that's probably my biggest weakness as an illustrator.


What part of composition?

Line, color choice, shading (usually it's a matter of being brave enough to go darker in your darks, and lighter in your lights), shape or the way you place things on a page (how items appear in space...or perspective issues)?

Sometimes a graphic arts class or book can help or drawing upside-down. Do you know any local artists you love? sometimes it's just a matter of studying their tricks with them or just doing a ton of light studies or sketches.

Break down each of the areas of comp you want to improve and work on each one by one. Practice sketches just like you do practice stories.

I'm not a talented artist, just thought I'd jump in and offer some ideas. Maybe it will also be a benefit to get chummy with the illustrators at the workshop and see if they have any good suggestions.
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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby MJNL » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:35 pm

Thanks, Tina!

Composition usually refers specifically to how things are placed on the page--as I understand it (Being self-taught, my definitions could be wonky). Making a cohesive, balanced imaged that directs the eye appropriately and divides the 2D plane into pleasing proportions seems to be my issue (This is my own perception, though. No one has specifically told me it's my problem. It just seems obvious when I compare my illustrations to illustrations I find highly effective.)

I have several art books that deal with anatomy, lighting, etc.--the basics. However, the basics of how to organize the elements in your image isn't touched on in any of them. :-/ And the local artists I know aren't exactly representational artists (and the few that are do figures and portraits rather than cohesive scenes)...all though I can see how practicing with abstract art might help my proportions.

I've found a couple of tutorials on DeviantArt that talk about dividing the image into three balanced sections, and discuss using foreground, middle ground (I do have a problem with leaving out middle ground), and far ground, but none are very in-depth and usually only have one example image.
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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby soulmirror » Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:40 am

I suck at perspective, vanishing points, etc ... I tend to stack my elements up like an ancient Egyptian painting a tomb wall myself. wotf012

These seem useful (?):

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/09/08/50-clever-tutorials-and-techniques-on-traditional-drawing/

http://www.scottmcdaniel.net/drawing/perspective/perspective.html

You seem to have a great eye for foreshortening! That's much more difficult imo than vanishing points etc, which is largely geometry.

I do know that alot of times, excitement and drama in an image will appeal much more to a judge than that which is technically correct but souless. Google up some bad Poser art to see how wrong it can go!
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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby MJNL » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:27 am

Wow, lots of links in that first one! And the second link about perspectives is definitely helpful. Thanks, Scott!

Still open to more resources, of course!
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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby gower21 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:34 am

There are some really amazing tutorial videos on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCW9D2GytHo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_6rmonNR4s

There are a ton more. I usually go for videos with the most views and favorable reviews. I like YouTube because I can see what they're doing as they're doing it.

I have a hard time thinking of composition without talking shapes, contrast, line, perspective. I'm a traditionally trained artist though who's also still working on the craft.

I bring up graphic arts, because I have a lot of friends in this field (since it naturally crosses over into what my husband does). They spend a lot of time learning and discussing how to divide up the page and get the eye to go to certain places. Some graphics books go into this in detail.
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Re: Resources for Illustrators

Postby MJNL » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:20 pm

Thanks Tina, I hadn't thought about youtube. What a great resource!

I'll see if I can locate some graphic design books...
~Marina

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