Monday, December 3, 2012

Chemers Gallery Illustration Event!

Yet another amazing annual Children's Book Illustrator and Author Event at the Chemers Gallery in Tusin! I look forward to this event every year too look at beautiful original artwork, to meet children's book illustrators, and see their wonderful presentations! I also got to see a few local illustrator friends as well!  Some of my photos are not perfect, but at least we can get an idea! Here are some tidbits from the day: 
 E.B Lewis, the prolific illustrator, fine artist,  publlic speaker, teacher, and inspirer
 I mentioned to E.B Lewis that I enjoyed his talk at the SCBWI conference a couple of years ago and talked to him about being an illustrator and a teacher and his main message was to not give up!! And also how meaningful it was to help other by teaching.

 Boris Kulikov, versatile illustrator

 When I met Sylvia Long, I also told her I was aspiring to illustrate children's books and I asked her how she got started. She said that her friend wrote a book and she illustrated it, and when she submitted it they had nice comments but no publisher would take it. So, then she said that she hung those illustrations up in her studio for 9 years, and then listened to her mom to "try again!" and she submitted the story again and it got picked up. Her message was to not give up!
Sylvia Long

A piece of Sylvia's I liked in the show: 

With Author  Kathleen Krull, making learning fun!

Illustrator Matt Tavares demonstrates how he draws people by demonstrating with a live model!
 It turned out pretty good, I thought and it was interesting to see his process, starting with simple stick figure and shapes first, and then defining from there and adding depth in the scene.

 Boris Kulikov spoke about starting out as a costume designer is Russia and then moving here and decided to illustrate books instead. This way, he says, he can take that theatrical approach and be part of the entire production since illustrating a book is kind of like a play- you can be the actors and designer all in one! I thought his technique was also interesting how he cut and pasted in Photoshop and how he captured the point of view of the children in his work. It was an important reminder how he used a basement as an analogy for composition, it is the structure that holds the house, or in this case the illustration together.
 Here is a piece of his that I liked in the show: 

In contrast to the technological approach, Chris Sheban does everything old school by hand. I like this because I remember when computers were not a daily part of life and things were more simple, but also seems to take a lot of time. I think he said it takes about a year to complete a book. He went through his process with us! First, he starts with the manuscript, below he shows us an example:
Then, he thinks of ideas and does small, light sketches of his ideas- he does a lot of sketches, he says for one book he can do up to 580 sketches in total! Then, he does a next sketch to show the publisher that is a bit tighter and larger which he shows us here:
Then, he goes to the library to photocopy the light sketches to make them darker, takes the charcoal to create light and dark tones-his influence of light from Jan Vermeer comes into play here. I think this a great step I will try with my own art! Then, he adds color pastel on the photocopy to work out the color, here we are passing them around, just gorgeous studies!

Nadia Roldan and Lauren Gallegos, local illustrator friends, admiring the sketches
example of a pastel over photocopy
 Then, he does a larger study with watercolor and colored pencil (which he shows us below), redraws on tracing paper, transfers onto final paper, completes the final, and snail mails it to the publisher.  And there you have it, Quite amazing work!

Here is an illustration from the show that I enjoyed: 

E.B. Lewis's speech was very touching, as his work is and every time he speaks at an event. Oh, the stories he told! I can't share all of them but I will share bits of gems he left with us. He talked about how art is the work that for him can be left behind for someone to use. He spoke about how you have to really get to know your character, take them out to lunch, go through their drawers, things like that. I also thought it was interesting how he talked about seeing the book as a movie in your head in order to illustrate it. Emotion is a key ingredient in your book, you must feel it first and then add it. There is too much to say about E.B. Lewis, but I recommend you see him speak someday and read his books if you want to be touched and inspired.

A piece I liked of his in the show:

I am now filled with inspiration and a bag of books to give as gifts and to savor for myself! Happy Day!


  1. What a great, in-depth blog! Thank you so much for sharing & for joining us!
    -Karen & Jennifer

    1. Thanks for reading, it is a pleasure! Looking forward to next year's event already!