This is the blog home of #kidlitart, a live Twitter chat Thursdays at 9:00 pm Eastern, for children's book illustrators, picture book authors, author/illustrators and friends. Check back weekly to read transcripts, comment on previous chats and suggest topics for upcoming chats.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Transcript: 6/24/10; plus takeaways!

TOPIC: After-market use: how can you extend the life of your work?


Special note: This topic will be repeated next week: join us at 9 pm Eastern on July 1 to continue the discussion!

Three avenues for extending the life of your art:

1) Selling art directly through your own web site, or internet shopping sites such as Etsy, Big Cartel

Tip: Develop your own maining list via a widget on your blog, subscriptions to newsletters (@KatGirl_Studio shared a link to her subscription form, as well as a link to MailChimp, the free service she uses to manage her lists); sign-up sheets at events.

Types of products sold:

Fine art prints (re-purposed, or new work):
Imagekind (affiliated with CafePress)

Handmade objects

Pdf downloads for DIY printing, from coloring pages to paper dolls, stationery and themed party accessories

Artist sketchbooks--examples:
Renata Lewka
Ming Doyle
Collections at Stewart Ng Books
Alina Chau (for iPhone!)

Artist-designed line of mass-produced paper products, toys, fabrics, home decor
Spoonflower for fabric design
Vahalla Studios for screen prints/letterpress

2) Licensing art to a third party for use on mass-produced consumer products and publishing collaterals

Artists on Twitter to follow if interested in licensing:
@Devas_T (Don Tate)
@wellerwishes (Kathy Weller)
@ArtistTaraReed (Tara Reed's interview on @jonwoodward's Zero2Illo site)

3) Exploring eBooks/iPhone apps

Article by Elizabeth Dulemba in March/April issue of SCBWI Bulletin, for process from artist's point of view

App developers on Twitter (a partial list--please notify us with additions):

When considering secondary use for art:

1) Try to sell only those rights the client will actually need or use; retain all other rights

2) ALWAYS retain rights for use of art in self-promotion

3) Most publishing contracts will allow an artist to sell original art, or fine art prints (giclées) of art created for a publishing project.

4) With so many artists entering the secondary market, it's important to find your own niche.

Tweet of the night:
@Storybird: "Ideally, the artist becomes a platform, able to flow across devices and materials. Challenge is assembling the pieces."

Full transcript below--enjoy!

#kidlitart 6-24-10

Friday, June 18, 2010

Transcript: 6/17/10; plus takeaways!

TOPIC: How do you use color to convey mood?


Attitudes on use of color range from confidence to agony
Illustrators' approaches range from instinctive (self-taught) to struggling, to conscious application of theories learned in art school

Cool=distant; warm=cozy
Lighting is key
Try underpainting to set values
Use blue/purple for shadows
Scan/take photos of favorite color combos in packaging, magazines, IRL--to build personal color inspiration board
Try limiting color palette
Change up expected colors, e.g. in landscape: trees not green; sky not blue
Juxtapose complementary colors, a la Delacroix and the Impressionists
Mix colors to make vibrant blacks--not straight from tube

Sites for color experimenting/theory:
James Gurney's blog (scroll index for posts on color):http://www.gurneyjourney.blogspot.com (new book on color out this fall)

Books/illustrators to note for their use of color:
In a Blue Room, Tricia Tusa, illustrator
One Riddle, One Answer, Linda S. Wingerter, illustrator
Leaves and Pouch!, David Ezra Stein
Ugly Fish, Scott Magoon, illustrator
Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, Pamela Zagarenski, illustrator
Around the World with Mouk, Mark Boutavant
Kevin Henkes' recent titles: Old Bear; My Garden
the later Harry Potter jackets
Guilano Ferri
Richard Johnson
Peter Sis, for selective use of color

Tweet of the night:
@JohansenNewman: "Trying to limit my palette is like giving up dessert for me."


Discussion on pros and cons of digital hardware/programs
Illustrator vs. Photoshop
Wacom, Intuos, Cintiq

Sites to check for pricing: coolgraphicstuff.com; J&R; Amazon

Bob Staake--digital illustrator to note

Cintiq tutorial video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE2APo_EORQ

@KatGirl_Studio shared tutorial on creating multi-page pdfs in PS: http://www.katgirlstudio.com/blog/how-to-make-a-multi-page-pdf-in-photoshop/


outlining tips:
use flat color/limited palette so as not to overwhelm line quality
scan ink work before beginning color, for backup

Read the full transcript below:

#kidlitart 6-17-10

Friday, June 11, 2010

Transcript: 6/10/10; plus takeaways!

TOPIC: Are art supplies, client files, & assorted flotsam cluttering your space? How do you deal with it?


What everyone wants:
Flat files and a supply closet

What many of us have:
Baskets everywhere, furniture "doing double duty as art supply storage"
Baby gates
File drawers full of reference photos
Art going back to childhood
Dubious paste-up supplies from Before Computers

Nostalgia starters:
Art supply stores (remember those?)
The smell of Magic Markers (ah, high times)

Good ideas:
Corkboards for schedules, inspiration, works in progress
Back-up hard drives and auto-saves

Tweet of the night:
@SnevCo: "My whole house is my studio. I use the "pilot" method of organization. "Pile it here, pile it there . . ."


Please, all kidlitart-ers and friends, remember the Ripple project: create, donate & appreciate the efforts of @kellylight and the wonderful artists contributing to the cause:

Discussion of the Ripple project led to mention of Illustration Friday, which is adopting the project for this coming week's topic.

Last, Wendy asked for future kidlitart topic ideas. Suggestions included:
Setting up a Flickr stream for critiques
School visits
Sources of inspiration
Hosting art directors or editors willing to answer questions during chat

If you have any additional topic suggestions, leave a comment here, or DM Bonnie (@BonnieAdamson) or Wendy (@lyonmartin).

The full transcript is below:

#kidlitart 6-10-10

Friday, June 4, 2010

Transcript: 6/3/10; plus takeaways!

TOPIC: How do you keep from becoming too isolated; how do you push yourself out into the real world?


Some illustrators pointed out they really don't mind the isolation, and that some isolation is necessary in order to work.
Others pointed out online (Twitter, etc.) is often the only way to connect with other artists.

What keeps us connected IRL:
family (kids!)
friends (artist and otherwise)
volunteering at local events
art classes
conferences & workshops
offering art classes at home

Suggestions for ideal illustrator meet-ups:
share work, ideas, dreams; talk shop with people who "get it"
chat, vent (like Twitter, only "more personal")
portfolio display (with prizes)
bring in industry pro (intensive workshops with ADs)
themed group painting
share workspaces, in person or through photos (@Illo_Island is compiling artist workspaces for future posting)
local version of annual sketchcrawl (http://www.sketchcrawl.com); use kidlit books instead of geographical locations; use classic kidlit as theme, similar to idea behind http://picturebookreport.com/
community art project/charity project (SCBWI Illinois Illustrators' Network's "Tree of Life" for Haiti: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13397053@N02/; "Heroes for Haiti" art auction) [See BUZZ]

Tweet of the night:
@cheriwilliams: "Wait. What is *too* isolated? Also . . . what is this Real World you speak of?"


Illustrators may spend their days working in isolation, but they are among the first to respond to events taking place outside their studio walls:

@kellylight is sponsoring sketchcards for animal victims of the oil spill in the Gulf at http://ripplesketches.blogspot.com/. Your participation, by supplying art or by purchasing a card, will be greatly appreciated.

For illustrators wishing to provide art, @DiandraMae offers a starter list of animals affected: brown pelicans, shrimp, sea turtles, crabs, alligators, spoonbills & other marsh birds.

Full transcript below:

#kidlitart 6-3-10