Wednesday, July 7, 2010

End of a Journey :D

First of all, thank you everybody for making the 5 days trip being a fantastic experience for all of us. My feelings are basically the same as other people. Here I'm just going to post our final events on the last day, to bring back the happy ending of our NYC journey.

The Fantastic Mr. Talon took us to Ziegfeld Theatre, a lovely historical cinema on 54th street to watch the premiere of TOY STORY 3 ~!

To be frank, at first I was not so enthusiastic to it because I forgot about ToyStory1 and I didn't see number 2. But I bought the ticket anyways's the last event on the list. Now I'm really happy about my decision because it was absolutely Hilarious and what a wonderful feast to the eyes ! We all laughed so hard when Buzz got into Spanish mode...
At last, here are some shots from the theater, and a random truck I saw on the street in SoHo, which looks just like a scene from the movie :)

Have a great day !

---Peach Tao

Monday, July 5, 2010

To Bite the Apple, or Not To Bite the Big, Juicy Apple?

I learned a lot from the New York trip. Not only did I not want to leave all the bright lights of the city, I had a greater appreciation and understanding of what it takes to live there. The saying is true, “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”
I think I learned the most from Zelda Devon and Kurt Huggins. They truly explained the ins and out of the business end of illustration. It is no walk in Central Park. (cute joke right?) I loved how honest and straight forward they were. Many illustrators who I have been fortunate to meet, are either currently established in the field or have moved to a more educational position. It’s refreshing to meet someone who is just starting out. It definitely puts everything in perspective and helped me personally to understand more of how that initial first step really works (though it’s really more like 100 little steps to get to the first one). It seems as though many people forget how hard they have struggled to get to where they are. It all seems like a blur until you’re on the other side. The whole thing kind of reminded me of a workout. You need to struggle and work so hard constantly motivating yourself until you reach your goal in which after you’re there you can’t remember how much pain you went through in the workout, just the results. It’s great to see other artists persevering and currently struggling to get an understanding of what it takes and how hard it will be, an art education being the very beginning.

Their visit really resonated with me more than any other visit. It’s nice to meet other people who are involved and excited about working. If it works out, it really is a life to be loved. Seeing other people so passionate, really made me want to do art of my own right then and there. I don’t think there is anything better than that. I think the best influence on me is just other artists. Seeing their work and their own process is what makes me excited to make my own art and if I learned anything, it’s that you just got to figure out what works best for to get to where you want to be.
It also seemed as though the most successful artists had that support of a spouse who was also in the field. I never would have imagined. It seems as though there are so few working illustrators and all of them seemed to be married or dating one another. It’s a great observation though. The people who are doing the best are those who are surrounded by what they love. The ones that are truly immersed in the lifestyle. They also have a strong support and maybe even a slight competitive edge from their partner. You can tell they all loved what they were doing and finding someone you can share that with is really special.

The whole seminar made me so excited to do art. I don’t think there was a single artists I met that didn’t make me want to pick up a pencil or a paint brush…something that I’ll really need if I want to be an illustrator. I think this is a trip that everyone should really experience. It is one thing to learn about it but it is another to actually see it and see it through another’s eyes. I think this was my most valuable class I’ve taken so far and doubt others will be able to top it.

-Cassandra Mazur

Friday, July 2, 2010

Two weeks ago, I arrived in New York City with my portfolio in one hand and a stress ball in the other. I was on my way to a week long illustration seminar -- the perfect way to close out my time at SCAD.

And sure, I knew we were showing our books around. I knew we would have a chance to network, to shake a few hands, and to snap a few pictures. What I didn't know was that I was going to meet a group of illustrators, art directors, and designers who would completely change the way I thought about self promotion, portfolio organization, and client relations.

Our itinerary was chock-full of heavy hitters, and if you take a peek at the post below, you'll see just how many amazing people and places we had a chance to visit. Each stop on the trip was insightful and beneficial in its own right. Different personalities offered different advice and experiences. I think we all left the city feeling humbled, inspired, and eager to get back to illustrating. (Ok, we were completely wiped out, too.)

Caitlin did a great job of tackling the trip from start to finish, so I decided to just highlight a few people we talked to and make a list of the comments that resonated with me most.

Murray Tinkelman on Self Initiated Projects

•As illustrators, it's crucial that we always find time to work on personal projects that fascinate us
•Illustrators who generate their own projects and execute them with passion and professionalism will be able to work on their own terms and create their own employment
Draw what you love. Simple as that. If you take a genuine interest in your subject matter, your work will be honest, alive, and original. Art directors pick up on that sort of thing!

Paul Jean & Rodrigo Honeywell, NY Times

•Your relationship with the art director is important. Be direct, be dependable, be down to earth. It's important for an AD and an illustrator to have a good working relationship because each is depending on the other to pull something fantastic off in a short time frame
•The art director has to sell your idea to editors before giving you the green light. Editors aren't artists, so your sketches need to be clear and indicate the final aesthetic as much as possible -- especially when you're not an established illustrator
• Editorial art directors prefer to see IDEAS over pretty pictures. You may create beautiful illustrations, but if there's no concept or context, they will often look elsewhere to hire

Charles Hively, 3x3
• It's the responsibility of illustrators to revitalize our field and show art directors that illustration is vital to the success of their publications
• We have to accomplish this through consistent and frequent self promotion -- regular e-mail blasts, mailers, or announcements about new work
• When organizing a portfolio, you need to be highly critical of your own work. Include only the best of the best -- scrutinize your pieces from every angle, detail by detail. Even if this knocks your numbers down, trust your most self-critical instincts
• Most art directors would rather see a book with six brilliant images than a book with 15 images, some of which are mediocre


Ever since I've been home, I've been illustrating furiously. I'm pushing my portfolio out there with every resource I have available, and as a result, I'm beginning to get phone calls for work. Who knew?

This trip to New York was more than just a fun cap-off to my time in the illustration department. It was an electric introduction into the field -- invigorating, eye opening, and more inspiring than I ever could have imagined. I now have my sights set on moving to New York, and until I get there, I'll be visiting regularly, knocking on doors and getting my work in front of people.

A special thanks to Durwin Talon, a top notch professor, mentor and friend during my time at SCAD. You pulled together a fantastic seminar, and I feel so grateful to have been a part of this last trip with you.