Super excited to see my Benny the Whale book finally hit the press yesterday! I have been working on this book on and off for the last year and a half, and can’t wait for it to be finally out there… #bennythewhale
We went to see Smallfoot last night. Sony’s most recent blockbuster with some great character and environment designs. It was a nice little film, with a good message on the dangers of perception, and fearing the unfamiliar.
Well I think I’ve finally wrapped up my first children’s book, “Benny the whale goes to Niagara Falls” definitely alot of fun! I have to admit though I am looking forward to drawing some stuff that isn’t whales for a while! Here’s the last page I finished which is the Niagara-on-the-Lake page, where Benny’s dad enters the mouth of the Niagara River looking for him.
I’m very excited to be having an exhibition of my work at the Niagara Pumphouse Gallery for the month of November and wanted to share the poster. The opening will be the first Friday of November, Nov. 2 at 7, snacks and refreshments will be available and it should be a great night, really looking forward to it! Hope to see some of you there.
Tiago Hoisel is a Brazilian Illustrator and 3D artist who I’ve admired for some time. He recently posted these videos which demonstrate his creative process. I’m not sure how they were recorded in respect to the timeline, but regardless the techniques he uses are very interesting, in particular the one where he begins with a shaded sphere. I also stumbled upon some interesting funding options that allow Canadian and Brazilian artists to work together. I have included the link and some details below.
A simple video showing a bit of one of my creative processes.
It’s experimental, a kind of a brainstorm trying some different designs, so some of them may work, some not.
I recently read an article by Joyce Bainbridge and Brenda Wolodko titled Canadian Picture Books, Shaping and Reflecting National Identity. This article immediately resonated with me in a number of different ways, first in its summary of the Canadian picture book industry and secondly, on a personal level what it means to be Canadian from an immigrant’s standpoint.
My family and I moved to Newfoundland an eastern island province of Canada when I was a child, in 1981. I don’t believe it was the initial intention of my parents to make the move permanent for us, but I know that they liked Canada immediately. While leaving Ireland for North America was a journey that had been made by many countrymen in the prior 2 centuries, my family’s journey was perhaps different in the fact it was unclear if we would return, and in the early 80’s plane travel had become accessible, and for a number of years we returned every summer, and phone communication (although nothing like it is now) had become a relatively affordable option.
This is a picture of me as a child in Newfoudland playing with icebergs, good times!
For those reason we stayed very close toour large family back in Ireland, and I’m sti Continue reading “Reflections on National Identity, Ireland, and my childhood”
While researching art methodology I came across this great 10 minute video where Quentin Blake walks us through his typical workflow and introduces us to his work space. Blake is best known for illustrating books written by Roald Dahl.
I have never given work space a lot of thought, but I certainly recognize its importance in regards to process. When trying to nail down what makes a work space good, I’ve often felt that there are many intrinsic elements that are tough to put into words. However there are also a number of elements I have identified myself, some of which seem to be quite important.
First and foremost, the environment needs to stimulate creative expression. To a certain extent personal preference is likely a factor here, and I would say there are also a number of elements involved that fall into the category of un-quantifiable. I’ve worked in a number of studios throughout my career and have tried in other spaces to emulate some of the work spaces that seemed to work best for me, but to no avail. It’s tough sometimes to recognize what makes a work space good, but generally pretty easy to recognize what makes a work space bad.
There are a lot of little details involved in setting up a good work space, and that translates over to your digital work space too. For example, being left handed, there are many little things I would change from a work space setup by some one who is right handed. I’ve found that these little preferences may seem like small things but over time when you are using certain techniques repetitively they make you more efficient.
For me though, I think the two most important elements of a great work space are good lighting (and ideally the ability to adjust it) and just having enough space to be properly organized. If you don’t have the luxury of a large space, working in an organized environment often involves a fair bit of ingenuity and work.
I found some of the elements Quentin demonstrates in regards to keeping his work space organized inspiring, as organization is something that is easy to battle with as an artist. Its interesting to see some of the nuances he has setup in his work space and filing system.
Quentin and I share an affinity for the light box, so I found it noteworthy in an effort to define my process, that I too like to use paper where you can’t quite see the back image well enough to trace, but having drawn it previously can see it well enough to have the mind and hand replicate it loosely and freely.
Quentin’s demonstration includes a very clear example of how he uses pen and watercolor to create his illustrations. Coming from an animation background I’ve been partial to using the blue col-erase pencil for quite some time now. But watching Quentin work here makes me want to experiment with what I believe is a calligraphy pen, and watercolor paints, two mediums I have very little experience using.
He ends with a demonstration of the magic pencil, a medium I have experimented with a fair bit and have always found interesting, but have not used for some time. The magic pencil as Quentin points out is not in fact magical, but draws with random colors as the pencil is warn down. I’ve found that this effect and its busyness force you to simplify your line and subject matter which in some cases can be quite interesting.