Tag Archives: portfolio

52 Weeks: Week 8

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Hello!

I’ve just wrapped up a five week (amazing) e-course with The Children’s Book Academy, all about the Craft & Business of Illustrating Children’s Picture Books. It was informative, interactive,challenging and just incredible. I was placed into a critique group, which I’ll be sticking with now that the course is finished, and this is where a lot of the motivation came. My awesome partners focused me and kept me going. The information was thorough and varied, and where some pieces of info (like humanizing animals) didn’t touch on something I cared to do, I had plenty to work with from other lessons. I now have something of a portfolio, too!

Check it out on my homepage at patrickg.ca under “Illustration”. (I am really hoping I can find a way to embed this blog into that site … if anyone knows how, send me an email, please! guindon.patrick@gmail.com)

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I don’t have anything ready to SHOW that is brand new for week 8, but I have been toiling away on my promotional post card and thought I would share it here. I LOVE love love monsters. Well, the friendly ones. The grumpy ones are fine, too, as long as they don’t eat people, but I especially love the goofy ones. Without further ado, here is the (back of my) FIRST PROMOTIONAL postcard!

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52 Weeks: Week 5

Hello!

I’m so scattered lately that it just took me about three minutes of pondering before I could remember what the name of this website was. Oi vae. It’s Friday night for sure.

I recently enrolled in Mira Reisberg’s Picture Book Academy course on the Craft and Business of Illustrating. This has motivated me ten-fold. I’ve been tightening up and loosening up (is that possible? Tightening up my approach while loosening up within the constraints of an approach, not that that makes sense to anyone but me). I’ve been sketching for hours each day, experimenting galore and receiving critical and constructive feedback from a fantastic group of critique partners. I am so lucky. Tonight during our big critique webinar, my character progress was one of the pieces critiqued by the instructor, Mira. She gave me fantastic feedback, and I had lots to work with from her on what to work on.

This character has undergone a NUMBER of changes. First, he was highly commercial and older and had darker skin and a very specific head shape. He also had a striped shirt. Then, he became a very young, simplified version of a little boy with wild, tilted hair (he was featured last week!). This version underwent a number of changes. Then, I perused my favourite picture books and sketched out what I liked. I noted the styles and approaches and looks that I loved and hated, then I went back to the drawing board, literally.

That’s when this guy was almost born. He was a bit more primitive – much lighter, very wide-headed, with a striped shirt in some of the work. He kept the hair from the middle version (the simplified boy) and the wardrobe (striped shirt) from the first attempt. I gave him glasses, and after tonight’s feedback, tightened him up even more. I need to continue working on the colour version, and determine how he will be rendered, but for now, here is my piece of the week. He’s my favourite, so far.

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52 Weeks of Art

I’ve been writing for years now, and I believe it’s been 10 years (on and off) that I’ve been tinkering away on picture book and chapter book manuscripts. I’ve been telling people I illustrate, and I did actually illustrate 3 small charity press picture books, but they are no where near the level of illustration I believe I could and should be working at. In addition to all of this, I’m dying to find an agent and market myself as an author/illustrator, author AND illustrator. Before I can fully submit myself to agents as all of these, I need to build my art portfolio in addition to my polished pieces of writing.

The challenge, as with any creative activity, is to find your voice – that style that is nothing other than YOU. I paint all of the time, but those are not illustrations, nor are they the style I want to illustrate in. So it’s been bogging me down – how do I build a really great portfolio? What do I include? How do I do this and not lose focus, when I’m working full time, side-jobbing part time, and now have a new (awesome) baby to be Daddy to? The answer struck me a couple of weeks ago, and fermented in my brain:

One illustration a week, for a year.

Yes, you read that correctly. I am committing to producing a MINIMUM of one QUALITY illustration per week, for a year.

The end goal is to have enough high quality pieces to build a portfolio that I can use when querying agents and publishers, but also I am hoping that much like PiBoIdMo does for those of us who do it (Picture Book Idea Month – 1 idea a day for a month), it will kick-start my creative brain and focus me in on producing. Once producing, I will certainly produce some garbage (just today I spent the afternoon TRYING to create … it didn’t work … but I tried …) and will eventually produce my voice on paper, visually. I’ll be posting them here as a motivator to keep me going. It’s a game I’m playing against myself! Your feedback will also come in handy (but be gentle, please!)!

I will organize these by having a focus per week, which will help me to build the sections of my portfolio. They include:
– children
– animals
– settings
– black & white (chapter book illustrations)

Sub-categories could include any of the above (ie., Children is the category, but there was also a focus on the setting, like a barn or field, etc.), and things like: high-action, holidays, music, etc.

During this, I hope to illustrate for my own pleasure and practice, the lyrics to some of my favourite songs by Angus Stone, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, and The Beatles.

I’ll post my illustrations on Saturday mornings, for the next year. By (Canadian) Thanksgiving next year, I hope to have a lot more to be thankful for than I already am!

Now, while Kingsley sleeps, it’s off to the drawing board – literally. Look for my first illustration on Saturday, October 18.

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