ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

General discussion on illustration, art, and the business of same.
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soulmirror
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ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby soulmirror » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:59 pm

Maybe this will be a useful thread where more IOTF / Illustrators (and those writers interested in taking a walk on the wild side, to paraphrase Lou Reed :) ) can join in and discuss our art / contest issues ...

:?: My first question is:

When constructing our artist's portfolios ... If some of our artwork is horizontal "landscape" format (wider side-to-side than it is up and down) ...

Image

... and our portfolio is vertical "portait" (taller than it is wide)

How should we present horizontal "landscape" composition art in a vertical portfolio?

Do should you reduce the artwork's size so the landscape art fits on the vertical portfolio page, held upright?

Or should you leave the artwork larger by rotating it "sideways" in the portfolio ... and make the viewer turn the portfolio sideways?

My artwork is split about 50-50 ... so it's an issue.

Any insights, experience, advice or warnings etc?
Last edited by soulmirror on Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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arcadia
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby arcadia » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:50 pm

Hi soulmirror--

Thanks for starting this thread, which has inspired me to register. I keep checking the forums, hoping to find more topics that directly pertain to illustrators, so I appreciate your taking the lead here! Your post makes me wonder if there are e-portfolio conventions among professional illustrators that would dictate how horizontally oriented pieces should be presented. I think that too much gets lost when rotating such a piece into a vertical orientation, but maybe portfolios are supposed to be designed to maximize viewer convenience.

Maybe you can ask the pros about this one when you take the workshop, and then report back to us here?

Cheers,

arcadia

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby gower21 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:32 pm

I've been tossing around the idea to enter a few pieces of art work. I'm wondering if certain mediums are inappropriate. For example- if I had a drawing or a painting. I have a huge painting I did and do I take a picture of it to send it digitally? Or should I only send in work that can easily be scanned? I just really like the big one and want to use it!!

Thank you soulmirror for starting the thread. When I first considered entering the contest I never would have thought I would try to enter the illustrators too!! I cant wait to hear about your experience at the conference.

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Stephen Stanley » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:27 am

In a physical portfolio, it is okay to display art both vertically and horizontally (i.e., turning the portfolio to view a piece that is placed "sideways"). It might be wise to group them so that whoever is viewing doesn't have to keep turning the portfolio sidewise, and then back.

In a digital portfolio the viewer cannot turn the monitor, so all art should be "right reading."

I have recommendations for portfolios elsewhere on the forum.

There is no "original" size requirement for entries, as long as you can photograph/scan and enter with the required size of print (8.5" x 11"). Paintings have been entered (James Galindo, Volume XXIV entered digital prints of large paintings). As I've reported before, the most important aspect of your entries is that they tell some sort of story, make the judges wonder what is going on in the illustration.

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby soulmirror » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:21 pm

Excellent to know! Thanks for the answers (and good news), Stephen !!! :)
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby soulmirror » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:16 pm

:?: Nudity in art portfolios ...

We've all seen the typical Fantasy cover featuring the iconic "amazon warrior babe" in her barely-there armor or chrome battle gear (and the amazing Frank Frazetta was a master of mixing the sensual with the sorceryful & sinestery!)

Image

Obviously, there is usually some modesty-saving coverage from total nudity on book cover art that will be displayed to the general public on the bookstore bookshelf ...

http://fantasy.mrugala.net/Frank%20Frazetta/index.php?page=2

:?: But is there a need to avoid "topless" style nudity in our art portfolios?
(And here I'm not speaking of any serious or discomforting sexual or erotic content, just straight art nudity)

http://animewallpapers.lt/albums/DESIM/DarTinka/Fantasy-Art-Frank-Frazetta/normal_frank_frazetta_catgirl.jpgFrazetta's famous "Catgirl" being an example I guess ... (nude image: Not Safe For Work)

Should one avoid nudity in their portfolios?

And is there a difference between how a painted or drawn nude ... versus a photo-real digital art or photographic nude ... are perceived?

Or can the artist assume they're not giving unintended offense in the context of an art portfolio?
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby gower21 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:12 pm

Thank you!!

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby JoeyJordan » Sat May 28, 2011 9:37 am

How to imply emotions and mood... I know most of you already know most or all of this, but I myself was self taught and even though I understood a lot of things, a few things slipped my own images till attention was dirrected to them (I once was reamed by Ron in an IotF entry on my contrast, I didn't blur my backgrounds, I had everything in detail, and we would not really see it that way in "real life" so it was not dramatic, so I started playing with black and whites till I got contrast down, and how to dirrect the viewers eyes to where I wanted them. And to hold them in the scene as long as I could... that will always be a key bit of knowlege to use forever, in cover art, once you get their attention, amongs all of the other covers, you must hold them as long as you can, so that they realize "this is the book I want"! =)

Facial expression - deffinately a number one thing to work on, the human face can express all of our emotions, but what if it's not a human that you are drawing or painting?
Still the eyes of any creature can express emotion... you can dirrect attention to the eyes by color or layout of the image. We are naturally dirrected to the eyes anyway so that's a bonus... Body position can also set mood, in anime and comics they do it all the time. Dynamic positions can imply fear or superiority. I recomend checking out a few books on dynamic pose in comics. Maybe a few of you have some suggestions on good ones. Go to a books store and flip through a few books (unless you love the book then of course go ahead and buy it) But if you are going to only use one section in the book, I normally just read it and keep it in my mind. "YouTube" An awesome place to find free videos on art, painting and material use if you take the time to search... I look up tips and watch videos all the time if I have an issue figuring out how to paint waves or want tips on portrait colors.

Color choice - color can add so much to the mood of an image. Don't make your color choices too crazy (unless you think it works) You want to control the viewer not confuse them. And you don't want them to not understand the purpose of the piece. Turn your pieces upside down... Can you find flaws that don't feel right?
Of course one can go all out and have a sad piece that has happy colors, but then they would have had to do an awesome job with the body positions and facial expression... so this is all artisty suggestions and tips and we can all add to this to help all of our arty selves and other arty folks. :D

Symbols... symbology can be a powerful tool if you use ones that key groups would recongnize or universal symbols for what ever it is you are trying to express. This can help if you don't have human characters. =)
Watch me, I understand I am powerful, now see what I become when I am focused and truely understand myself......

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Sat May 28, 2011 9:57 am

I am loving this thread. Thank you Joey, and others, for doing this.
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby JoeyJordan » Sat May 28, 2011 10:02 am

Oh another quicky... I used to enter "Character art" that would be more like taking a staged photo of someone... ("hey Bob can I get your picture, here stand by this building and look at me and smile") sure a character in cool clothing but not "telling" a story as is needed with illustration.

One thing I found with more Dynamic illustration is that it was more like you are watching a movie being played out and you catch a quick photo of one key event. ("hey Bob, here's a rag to wipe your sweat off, I got a cool photo of you kicking so and so's butt back there... I almost thought you were going to lose at first but then all of a sudden it's like you had so much anger in you that you couldn't let them win... you guys didn't even know I got the great shot with my camera") Doesn't have to be an action scene it just has to be a real scene.

Never give away the end... (I don't ever use the first scene either seeing you want them to read... then flip back to the image and understand it more once they read... "oh that's so cool, I know the characters more now")

Don't ad lib besides just the basic basics... if you don't know all of the story (if you are given only a part of the book to read) don't assume...

Example... An artist in Canada told me this senario... You get only a piece of a novel to do the cover... You paint a flying ship with pirate-like men running ropes and looking at the island it said they are approaching... You have a lot of detail about the ship and the island... but no detail about the crew...

You find out later the crew were all magical monkeys... so the writer dislikes your cover, and all of his audience feel misled and dislike the whole band (you, the writer and the publisher... for messing up so bad)

How can you avoid this senerio... use what you have... if you do not know the crew in this case, do the ship from enough of a distance as to leave the crew to the imagination... You had the detail of the ship and the island, so just do the ship and the island. You have a lot you can add to any assignment, but don't go crazy :twisted: ... illustrate the story...
Watch me, I understand I am powerful, now see what I become when I am focused and truely understand myself......

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby JoeyJordan » Sat May 28, 2011 10:04 am

Hi Brad! =) Just saw you there! :D thought I was ranting into an empty screen =)
Watch me, I understand I am powerful, now see what I become when I am focused and truely understand myself......

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby gower21 » Sat May 28, 2011 2:19 pm

Thanks Joey for all the insight. So many cool techniques and knowledge that we would never have gotten!

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Canotila » Sat May 28, 2011 4:10 pm

How many illustrators entered through the e-sub vs. printed and mailed? And for those that mailed, what is the best way to get a good print of your work?

I do mostly traditional art, but like to photograph and keep digital copies as backups. Is the best way to get a print to photograph, tweak the photo settings and then print? What kind of paper is best to use? And what file format preserves the image best? JPEG? PNG?

The one time I entered art was before the e-sub was running, and I had a really terrible time getting a decent printed copy of anything. They kept coming out grainy, dark, etc.

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby JoeyJordan » Sun May 29, 2011 9:55 am

I think the e-sub is the best way now that it is an option.

I have an Epson Pro Stylus 2400 and would print on Fine art Luster, I would have issues at time with color matching when I printed and sometimes if I needed a replacement cartrage it would print more faded. I was never able to get a good print on matte paper. Luster looks cool for prints but is not great for showing publishers what it will look like in print for their use. Digital is how the world is going, so all of your published works will probably be sent digitally.

E-Sub 300dpi jpeg. =) I think that is your best option, I would work 11x14" (sometimes 8x10") original works then take them to a scanning place, like Fedex Kinko's.
If you go to a Kinko's, stay with your art, ask them if they can scan it on their 11x14" scanner (unless it's smaller) But make sure they know what you want.

Ask them to crop for no boarders, to keep the original at size, and 300dpi as a jpeg. If it is color or even a cool tone black and white, think of having them scan in color. (Color scans cost more, but they will not screw it up and mess up your image, I have had this happen far to many times if the Kinko's employee does not know what I really need) Bring your own flash drive to put your images on so they don't charge you an extra $10.

Fedex would run me anywhere from $1-$7 normally per image it is $7 for an in color jpeg scan but if you go in enough and get the folks familiar with you and like you they may only charge you for the basic scan which is like 99cents. :D IF ANYTHING IS WRONG WITH THE SCAN, check on their screen before you take it, or even if you get home and notice an error in their scan, go back, take your reciept, they will make it good and correct it for no cost seeing it is their policy. I have also had to do that a few times. I also noticed that their scanners do better than my little house scanner, the best quality you can find is who you should go with. If you have larger works getting a photographer to take images then fix any issues with a computer art program is a good way to go. You never want to degrade the quality of your art by taking on a crappy printer. Just make sure it still looks great any form you are reproducing it in. :wink:
Watch me, I understand I am powerful, now see what I become when I am focused and truely understand myself......

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Canotila » Sun May 29, 2011 1:49 pm

Thanks Joey! That is really helpful. The person at the counter at our fedex/kinkos was pretty clueless, and I had no idea what to ask for to get good prints so that was just a giant fail. I'll probably do a digital submission this time around.

And hello from another local. I grew up in Olympia, we actually just moved out of the Olympia area last month. :)

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby soulmirror » Sun May 29, 2011 5:15 pm

I'm thrilled to see so much good information and advice starting up in this thread for illustrators (thanks for your in depth advice, Joey!) :)

I hesitate to even add anything, except in a "Do not do as I have done" sense! At the recent workshops in L.A. I realized just how ratty my portfolio and reproductions looked compared to others! So certainly take Joey's advice and try for the absolute best quality reproductions you can submit, I'd say

(I happened to be submitting straight-forward b&w line art, so really my submissions per se wouldn't have been much better anyway, but I could've had better repro art in my portfolio, to show at the workshops. Without naming names of other contestants -- and I'd only be praising them anyway, I just don't want to use names -- I'll just say that several of you HERE and others NOT here had amazing quality repros in your portfolios!)

Definitely, if I were submitting artwork to the contest in COLOUR now, I'd use e-submission: the few images I did send in colour when they were only finalists certainly didn't have the vibrancy of my original art! We talked about the importance of LIGHT and COLOUR alot in the workshops (the majority of the winning artists were painters, and the instructors had amazing insights to share) ... but I'm not the one who can give best insights into that. Probably Joey or Meghan are better gifted to do that!

:arrow: At some point, maybe after the book is released and more folks here at the forum have seen it, and we can compare the illustrations, it would be invaluable to have a discussion about how dark some of the illustrations turned out in the book!

Because that's an issue worth exploring.

Our ART was judged, not the quality of the book's reproduction of it ... but certainly artists might keep in mind how -- given that our art appearing in the book is such a powerful showcase -- things will reproduce best to show us at our best!

I say this knowing I was one of the luckier ones because my illustration pretty much reproduced as I'd submitted it ... others turned out quite darker (at least in the copies I've seen)

Art created in colour is shown to the contest judges at some stage in black & white, I believe.

But can anyone here tell us if the judges ever see it in colour, and when? It's obviously a moot point for myself and others who have already done the contest ... but might be info others still entering here would be eager to know!
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Canotila » Tue May 31, 2011 10:09 am

soulmirror wrote:Art created in colour is shown to the contest judges at some stage in black & white, I believe.

But can anyone here tell us if the judges ever see it in colour, and when? It's obviously a moot point for myself and others who have already done the contest ... but might be info others still entering here would be eager to know!


That's fascinating, and something I didn't realize. Especially significant since two of my three entries are in color at the moment.

What exactly is the judging process for the artwork? I know that the writing goes through Joni and then to K.D. who screens everything and sends stuff off to the judges. Does K.D. have an artist counterpart who screens their entries? And if so, why does this mysterious person not have their own "Ask >insert name<" subforum for the artists?

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Stephen Stanley » Tue May 31, 2011 11:39 am

Ron Lindahn is the coordinating judge for IotF. I assume that since they now accept color and electronic submissions, that he and the finalist judges review the color work as submitted (i.e., prints or electronic). Perhaps Brad can get Ron to do a Q&A?

The reproduction in the anthology is always "dicey" because of the quality of the paper and the web printing. Printers work to ink density readings and especially in a B&W run, do not (and often can not) adjust density readings at a "per page" level. So the quality of the printing is based on the quality of the scan. Scanning color to black and white is an art and a craft (especially when the reproduction will be on softer uncoated pulp paper). Without being able to compare original art with reproduced art, I can't really say what happens, except what generally happens. Reds will turn black, some blues will disappear. Contrast will increase. If the art uses colors (not values) to delineate shapes, then those colors of similar value might bleed together and definition might be lost. Lots of factors. The book being printed on soft uncoated paper was the main reason I continued to work in pen and ink, even after the contest allowed color. I knew I'd get the best reproduction. Some of the winners in XXIV who were fine art painters complained about the reproduction of their work, because they didn't understand the limitations of web printing on soft uncoated paper. As long as the anthology is printed this way, I would recommend the winners work with this in mind. You can still work in color, but before submitting to the art director, convert a copy to B&W and print out a black and white print yourself to see how it might print. You might find that you'll want to make adjustments before submitting the final art.

Not all artists are or want to be art directors/graphic designers, but we're the people who need to know this stuff. In defense of the anthology's art director, she is limited by the reproduction quality of the paper a mass paperback is printed on. And since they have now moved up the workshops/awards ceremonies to May, she now has even less time to make sure the scans given to the printer compensate for the use of color in the originals. I knew they'd have trouble reproducing color as B&W as soon as they started allowing color submissions/final art. Perhaps the worse I've seen is in Volume XX (I don't have my copy handy). The reproduction quality of the Gold Award winner's art was terrible. Obviously they didn't judge her art based on how it reproduced, so you can all start breathing again. However, the more you can learn about how color work "translates" to B&W on soft uncoated paper, the better your chances of creating work that will reproduce better when the anthology is printed, and thereby not have to make "excuses" for the illustration as it appears in print.

I've commented on this before in this forum, but it's probably buried back a few years now.

more than enuff from me.

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue May 31, 2011 12:18 pm

Stephen Stanley wrote:more than enuff from me.


Respectfully: no, I don't think it is.

Some people, soulmirror prominent among them, have lamented how writer-heavy the forum is. I see his point, but that can't change unless illustrators take the time to change it. And I like to learn more about the illustrator side.

In your last few posts, you've educated me a lot. Thank you. And please keep doing so when your schedule permits.
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Canotila » Tue May 31, 2011 3:06 pm

Agreed!

There are so many places, both on and off this forum where writers can go to find all the specifications publishers want to see their work submitted with.

As an artist, it's been really frustrating trying to find all that stuff out. For one thing, it seems like people have a hard time agreeing on the best file formats, or whether you should use CMYK or RGB for digital work. Then the paper quality like you've said.

If I ever do make it as a winner for the IOTF, even though my preference is color I'd definitely enter in black and white. And that's something else that's good to know. If this is a winner's big chance to make an impression on publishers and readers, it would be really sad to mess that up with a piece that doesn't reproduce well. And these are things we need to know as aspiring illustrators anyway if we want to be successful working with publications at any point. They're going to want pieces that are tailored to reproduce well on whatever equipment they work with.

Edit: And I'd LOVE to see a Q&A with Mr. Lindahn.

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby soulmirror » Tue May 31, 2011 4:44 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote: Some people, soulmirror prominent among them, have lamented how writer-heavy the forum is. I see his point, but that can't change unless illustrators take the time to change it. And I like to learn more about the illustrator side.


well ... I don't mean to 'lament' that the forum is 'writer-heavy' :shock: ... I just wish it could be more balanced and equally ILLUSTRATOR-heavy! :)

That's no reflection on the contests or the folks here. The contests are set up to treat us fairly the same, and do ... and the forums are a fair tool and could be whatever we make of them!

Realistically, Writers are probably more likely creatures of the Word and so more writers come to trade words here in a forum.

Realistically, the contests have had a rich history of MANY (many!) Russian, Ukrainian, and other "non-native-English-speaking" artist winners ... who simply may not frequent our own English-language forum (it would be interesting to know what IOTF forums may exist where the discussions are in non-English languages.)

"Welcome, Russian-speaking illustrators! We invite you to join us in our discussions about art and how to win the IOTF contest!
You can go here,
http://www.babblefish.com/freetranslator.php
type your Russian comments in and have them automatically translated into English!"

"Добро пожаловать, русско-говорящий иллюстраторов! Мы приглашаем вас присоединиться к нам в наших дискуссиях об искусстве и, как выиграть конкурс IOTF! Вы можете пойти сюда,
http://www.babblefish.com/freetranslator.php
типа вашего Россию в комментарии и их автоматически переведены на английский язык!"


re-translates as:
Good to grant, the Russian- speaker of illustrators! We invite you to be joined to us in our discussions about the skill and how to win competition IOTF! You can go here, the type of your Russia in the commentary and them it is automatically translated into the English!


(I'm not quite sure, but ... odd translations creeping in ... I may have just gotten mail-order-married to Russian supermodel Irina Shayk! :)

Image

If so ... it'd be another example of how IOTF has been a very, very good run! :) And if not I would still like to offer to steal American rocket secrets for you, Comrade Irina ... except that it appears we'll be thumbing our rides on Russian spaceships for the foreseeable future now that the space shuttle is ending. However, as a wanna-be sci-fi writer, let me add that I'd be happy to make up whatever outrageous 'rocket secrets" that might win even the smallest of smiles from you!)

In your last few posts, you've educated me a lot. Thank you. And please keep doing so when your schedule permits.


And I cannot possibly agree with that sentiment more: It was YOUR initial example of being a "double-winner" Stephen, that inspired me to keep trying to write and enter stories too (when there was never much question in my own mind that writing prose was a much less-likely, longer-shot for me)

And there's no doubt that it was your presence here and continual helpful advice that made winning even the Illustrators side of the contest possible for me! I know your insights help ALL the illustrators too! So THANK YOU for your continued help and presence here!
Image
'The only tyrant we accept in this world is the still voice within.' -Gandhi
IOTF:Winner Q1 vol.27 (3x Finalist); WOTF: HM x2

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue May 31, 2011 5:19 pm

soulmirror, if this is some clever ploy to distract me so I forget to submit for Q3, you'll need to post a lot more Irina pics. At this rate, I probably won't finish the one I wanted to submit (been stalled on the same scene for a month); but one of my favorites is currently not submitted anywhere. So all I have to do is file off my name and hit Submit. It will take a lot of pics to distract me that much.

Just in case, I'll brush up on my college Russian lessons. (Two decades old, and I never got better than a C, so I'll need a lot of brushing up.)

Clearly illustrators have an opportunity that writers don't have: you have to read and write English to submit a story, but you could (in theory) submit art without knowing a word of English. So I would hope to see IOTF submissions even more global than WOTF submissions.
Martin L. Shoemaker
F:1V28,1V29
SF:4V28
HM:2/3V28,2/3/4V29,1/2/3V30
3rd:1V31

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
NNiNN

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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby soulmirror » Tue May 31, 2011 9:59 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:soulmirror, if this is some clever ploy to distract me so I forget to submit for Q3, you'll need to post a lot more Irina pics.


Or the alternative, equally evil plan would be not to distract you with a lot more pictures ... but one single fatal picture with alot more Irina! :)

And hey, buddy, stop lustin' after my mail-order-wife! (Anyone who has a chance to see the nicole kidman movie BIRTHDAY GIRL where she plays the Russian bride / con woman setting up the lonely gent with her Russian gangster sidekicks ... luv that movie)

Wishing you either best of luck (or the actorly 'break a leg') going all the way with your Q1 Finalist story ... but you are far wiser than I was to be working on Q3!

The lamest thing I did early in my own IotF arc was to not submit a follow-up immediately while I was still hanging waiting for news as a finalist my first time (Oh! aha! I'm one out of 5 finalists, I am, and they'll pick 3 winners? How can a bloke lose with those odds? um .... how about like :shock: this!?

Naw ... all that did was take my horse out of the next race. Once we go for it, go for it every possible quarter, until we win. It's the best trajectory to win, as many will agree here ... and it develops a pro's approach to deadlines and perserverance! Everyone needs their follow-up sale, might as well be working on it without pause!
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'The only tyrant we accept in this world is the still voice within.' -Gandhi
IOTF:Winner Q1 vol.27 (3x Finalist); WOTF: HM x2

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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue May 31, 2011 10:32 pm

soulmirror wrote:Wishing you either best of luck (or the actorly 'break a leg') going all the way with your Q1 Finalist story ... but you are far wiser than I was to be working on Q3!


Not my wisdom: it was Joni's! I was such a WotF newbie (I'm almost embarrassed to go into details), I honestly hadn't considered submitting for Q2. Joni called me with the Q1 news with only two days left for Q2; and she all but ordered me (paraphrasing): "Make sure you send in a Q2 entry. We'll have no problem pulling it if you win Q1, and we don't want you to miss the window." So I just submitted the one story that wasn't currently in the hands of an editor. (I gotta start building up more backlog!) Fortunately, it's one of my favorites, too.

For Q3, I had a vision of the perfect story: an idea, followed by three striking visuals; and I knew somehow those were my story. It has a unique angle, and combines many of my favorite themes. But after 6,500 words, I've incorporated the idea and the first two visuals, and I kinda know how the third visual plays in the climax; but I'm having trouble getting from the second visual to that climax. There are one or two critical emotional turns that have to happen on the way there, and those aren't easy for me. Plus a minor character is demanding a major role, and so I need to go back and give him more stage time in the early story. So it may not get done by June 30. In that case, I'll again fall back on a favorite that I'm holding out in reserve.
Martin L. Shoemaker
F:1V28,1V29
SF:4V28
HM:2/3V28,2/3/4V29,1/2/3V30
3rd:1V31

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
NNiNN

Canotila
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Canotila » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:59 am

Ack!!

Okay, here's an urgent question. I went to e-submit my entries for this quarter. In the contest rules it states that e-subs must be larger than 5"X7". Okay, that's cool. Done.

But when I went to actually upload them, this is what I see:

Submission Criteria:

***Uploaded files will not be reviewed if they do not fulfill the following requirements***

Minimum: 300dpi
Minimum: 5"x7"
Maximum: 8.5"x11"
Minimum: 5MB
Maximum: 100MB


Okay, this is a big problem. One of my submissions is black and white, and even if I change it to PNG format it still is only 1.1 MB. I can't increase the size any more without going over the maximum limit. My other two submissions are color, and I'm really worried about getting a remotely accurate printout of them if I have to submit hard copies.

Is it possible to make the file size bigger somehow? Argh. This is really frustrating and I wish the criteria were listed in full in the contest rules. This might not have happened then. :(

JoeyJordan
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby JoeyJordan » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:23 pm

If it's only a 1MB at the 300dpi, I would recommend scanning at a higher dpi to get the larger file size.

Are you scanning at home (or office) or having them scanned by someone?

Scan then save to your desktop so you can check the size by putting your mouse over the image without clicking (I AM NOT VERY COMPUTER SAVY), if it is not high enough go up a bit, 600 or maybe even 1200... That works when I send things...

Hope this works, if anyone else has a suggestion, please pipe in SOON for Canotila! Oh and I never worked in png. always jpegs, tiff and pdf... so I don't know anything about png...
Watch me, I understand I am powerful, now see what I become when I am focused and truely understand myself......

Stephen Stanley
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Stephen Stanley » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:30 pm

Wow, I'm really surprised by the "Minimum 5mb" file size. As you point out, a B&W (or greyscale) 300dpi, 5" x 7" (or even 8.5" x 11") image saved as a jpeg or other compression enabled format will be well under 5mb. I often scan my B&W art in at 600dpi or even 1200dpi knowing I'll gain in resolution without creating an huge unmanageable file. I'd advise you not to worry, but that doesn't usually wash on this forum where people want answers. Joni is always available. I'd advise contacting Joni, the administrator for both contests, and questioning that Minimum 5mb requirement. You have until June 30. Ask Joni, then let the rest of the forum know her answer.

Canotila
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Canotila » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:50 pm

Oh phew. Joey that was brilliant. I went in and changed the file to 600 DPI and that puts it at 5.6 MB. It still looks okay. Honestly I'd rather the sacrifice a bit of quality on the one black and white entry than compromise the other two. Rescanning won't work because I made a graphite sketch, photographed it, and then digitally "colored" it. I don't really do digital stuff but we were stuck in the middle of moving with all the art supplies packed up.

I was really surprised at the file size requirements too. I wonder if that's standard for the industry? Learning a lot anyway while trying to make entries. In the future, start working on a piece at a larger DPI.

Stephen Stanley
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Stephen Stanley » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:21 pm

Industry Standards.

(I've written about this before, but things tend to get buried deep within Internet forums).

For print (printing presses and many color laser printers):
300dpi (dots per inch, which is not the same as pixels per inch, but most people don't make the minute distinction between the two) for all scans — artwork or photographs. Why? The most common halftone screen for printing is 150lpi (lines per inch, or printed dots per inch — absolutely NOT the same as dpi). This is for both B&W and four color (CYMK) printing. The wonks have determined that in order to get good reproduction, the dpi of digital scans must be at least twice that of the lpi of halftone screens. There is some leeway. In a pinch you can get by with a scan as low as 250dpi, but there will be some loss of quality. What happens? When a low-resolution scan is converted to the halftone screens needed to print CYMK (the four process ink colors: Cyan Yellow Magenta and blacK) the image will soften or even pixelate. You cannot change the dpi of a low resolution image to a larger dpi (i.e., from 72 dpi to 300dpi) and expect higher resolution because there is no detail there to enhance (most "enhancement" software shown in movies is unrealistic).

So, when working for print always start with or scan at a file size of 300dpi and a physical size of the final reproduction size or larger (i.e., if you work at 200% final size at 300 dpi, when the image is reduced it will become a 600dpi image). Always work in CYMK mode for print. Both mode and file size can be easily converted to web use (72 dpi, RGB). Web use is not easily converted to print use. Note: you can work larger than 300dpi (say 600dpi) which will give you some flexibility if the image ends up being used larger than anticipated (or in the rare cases where 200lpi printing is done), but you will not achieve any greater detail when the image is reproduced in print. So, stick to the 300dpi base.

Web or Computer Art (screen presentation)
72dpi because monitors display at 72dpi. If you use a larger file size, without designating image size in the html code, the image will display in the equivalent of 72dpi (i.e., 300dpi will be roughly four times as big on the screen as the same image at 72dpi, with the same physical dimensions — say 5" x 7"). Most web/computer art should be sized 100% at 72dpi because this will facilitate efficient loading time. Large resized files can be used, but they will take longer to download and quality will not be significantly noticed. RGB (the three colors of light used by monitors to display colors — Red Green Blue) is the standard here. Most CYMK files will either not display or will show as greyscale, so all images for screen use should be converted or created in RGB.

A note about CYMK and RGB conversions. It's better than it used to be (in Photoshop), but there are still differences in colors. If you work in RGB and convert to CYMK, your colors could (usually do) shift and you might not like the result. Same for converting CYMK to RGB. Why? Because the CYMK programs try to mimic ink colors on your monitor, but the monitors are displaying in RGB ALWAYS. I've found that blues are the colors most often affected, although reds and oranges can shift too. Until you are familiar with how your program and monitors display, work in CYMK for print and RGB for web/computer.

I always work in CYMK at 300dpi (or higher) because conversion to 72dpi RGB is easier than the other way around. However, if I knew my work was exclusively for the web/computer I might work 72dpi RGB. Or I might not, if I thought I'd want to eventually reproduce that image in print at a decent size. So, I always work CYMK at 300dpi.

I hope this helps. It's hard explaining these things. It's easier if you just accept the "industry standards" and work within them, but it does sometimes help to know why.

Canotila
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Re: ILLUSTRATORS' Q & A

Postby Canotila » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:38 am

Thank you so much for laying that out Stephen. It's extremely helpful. The CMYK vs. RGB is exactly why I didn't want to try printing hard copies. The other two are photographs of large pieces which were then tweaked and fixed a bit. When I tried converting to CMYK both images got a weird cloudy look, like I had cataracts or something. Not sure how that would translate to print, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be good. Working in CMYK from now on sounds like a really good idea.


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