tassosss: (Default)
[personal profile] tassosss
And speaking of slogging along. I mean, I love this series and I'm glad I've got some momentum on it, but it has been work to get it going again.

Sunday Dinner: Melissa (2312 words) by Tassos
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Teen Wolf (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Sheriff Stilinski, Melissa McCall
Additional Tags: Werewolf Sheriff Stilinski, Dinner, Friendship, Male-Female Friendship, Conversations, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence
Series: Part 6 of Lycanthropic Optics: Werewolf!Sheriff AU

John bumps into Melissa at the hospital. They have a long overdue chat.

writing is a thing again

Sep. 22nd, 2017 19:19
tassosss: (Default)
[personal profile] tassosss
So you know I've been complaining for months about how writing is like pulling teeth? I've been slogging along, working on finishing half finished things (and succeeding), poking at a couple new ideas that haven't stuck, and it's all felt like work and drudgery. Until, this week. When I started an Avvar!Cullen/mage!Trevelyan romance that is all about the dubcon and in basically two sittings have gotten out 5,000 words.

Let's back up. I've basically been writing a little over 5k words a month this year, with some variation, and definitely not in two days. And it wasn't even hard! What is that even? Writing? Not a painful exercise? (Sidenote: on top of that writing at work has been pretty good this week too...)

So, yeah, writing is suddenly fun again. Also, witness me be incredibly uncomfortable writing my own kinks. I mean, lbr, this is an idfic romance at the moment (though with my usual over thinking of how to make the situation work). It's also basically the first part of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, which makes me feel a little weird 'cause I don't actually like the movie, but, man, I sure as hell love Avvar!AUs, and forced closeness, and bedsharing, and a marriage of convenience, and ALL THE SILLY TROPES. I just prefer reading them to writing them. So I'm trying something new here. It'll help me grow as a person.

Anyway, I'm already worried about finishing it. This is the same feeling I've gotten starting the other three novel length fics that are about half done at ~60k. I'm hoping this one won't be that long. And that I finish it. Wish me luck.

[admin post] Admin Post: Reminder

Sep. 22nd, 2017 16:11
goss: (Rainbow - Pencils)
[personal profile] goss posting in [community profile] drawesome

This Week

*Drawing Challenge #8 is on right now.
The Round-Up post will be this Sunday, September 24th, 2017.

Emily Hare

Sep. 22nd, 2017 19:18
[syndicated profile] linesandcolors_feed

Posted by Charley Parker

Emily Hare, illustrations, beasties and creatures
Emily Hare is a freelance illustrator based in the UK who has a wonderful knack for creating beasties and creatures.

These have a nicely strange charm, or a charming strangeness, or, well.. you get the idea.

Though she used to work digitally, she is now working in traditional media, primarily watercolor.

Among the items in her online shop, is the option to preorder her book, Strangehollow.

[Via Eric Orchard]

[syndicated profile] linesandcolors_feed

Posted by Charley Parker

Falling Leaves, Olga Wisinger-Florian, oil on canvas
Falling Leaves, Olga Wisinger-Florian

Link is to the image on Wikimedia Commons. I don’t know the status of the original; it was sold at auction in 2014, so it may be in a private collection.

Turn of the century Austrian painter Olga Wisinger-Florian give us a wonderful example of how to handle a complex, colorful and highly textural scene with deft use of hue and value relationships.

For more, see my post on Olga Wisinger-Florian.

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

Falling Leaves, Wikimedia Commons


Museum Day 2017

Sep. 22nd, 2017 17:29
[syndicated profile] linesandcolors_feed

Posted by Charley Parker

Museum Day 2017
Tomorrow, Saturday, September 23, 2017 is “Museum Day” here in the U.S.

Organized by Smithsonian magazine, participating “Museum Day Live” institutions offer a free pair of admission tickets for the day.

You just need to order your tickets in advance (today), print them out and take them with you. Hundreds of museums are participating, but you must choose just one, and you are limited to one pair of tickets.

Search for a museum on this page.

You can search by name or by location. I found the Zip code search less than useful, because it doesn’t search a radius. The state lookup is more helpful (though it doesn’t cross state lines). Drill down by location on the map.

Once on your chosen museum page, click “Get Tickets” and enter your name and email to receive tickets by email.

This is all kinds of museums, art and others, and the event should not be confused with “Art Museum Day”, which takes place in the spring.


wolf 359 fic and BINGO!

Sep. 22nd, 2017 18:48
frith_in_thorns: I don't have to "agree" to anything. I'm the commander. (W359 Agree)
[personal profile] frith_in_thorns
...I have literally just realised the two sentences in my icon are the wrong way round. It will now really annoy me until I'm motivated enough to remake it, because I don't think I saved a draft copy. (If you are reading this in the future where it in fact starts with "I'm the commander" then please ignore this.)

Anyway! Episode 54 of Wolf 359, was, as promised, A Lot, and I wrote a ridiculously ott-angsty missing scene on the bus because MINKOWSKI AAAAAAAAGH!

Under Control, 500 words. SPOILERS. On the Hephaestus, everything is completely fine.

(I think I'm going to stop posting fic on DW again because I don't think anyone reads it here. Straight to AO3 seems to be the way to go these days.)

Then I realised that it fills the "slaves" square for my hc_bingo card, and therefore I have completed a bingo line! The first time ever I have done so in the actual challenge period rather than scraping in under amnesty.

I will be back before too long with a new bingo card!

ETA: Loooook I got a shiny (and very thematically apt) graphic! :DDDD


Sep. 22nd, 2017 17:00
[syndicated profile] edwardbgordon_feed
The autumn light is in the air, at the Körnerpark early this morning…

Herbstlicht hängt in der Luft, heute morgen im Körnerpark…

5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord

If you would like to purchase this daily painting, please send your bid by email. Startprice 150 Euro. End of sale September 23rd 2017 at 6.00 pm (local time Berlin Germany). Terms of Sale and Right of Withdrawal.

Wenn Sie dieses Tagesbild erwerben möchten, senden Sie bitte Ihr Gebot per email . Mindestpreis 150 Euro. Ende des Verkaufs gegen Höchstgebot am 23. September 2017 um 18 Uhr. Beachten Sie bitte die Informationen zu den Verkaufsbedingungen sowie die Widerrufsbelehrung.

© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.
musesfool: close up of the Chrysler Building (home)
[personal profile] musesfool
This morning I met up with boss3 to do a site visit at a conference space in the Empire State Building and gosh, it was a beautiful room. I say site visit like the meeting is not actually taking place there next week (it is); it was more to introduce me to the staff on site since boss3 will be away and I will be staffing the meeting. Just like my meeting planner days! Now I have to put together the BEOs for the caterer etc. It's so fun! If I only ever had to do meetings in NYC, I would go back to meeting planning. It was the travel that killed me. Among other things. (uh, the building on my icon is the Chrysler Building, but you get the idea.)

I hadn't been to the Empire State Building since I was a kid, and [tumblr.com profile] angelgazing was like, "Why even live in NYC if you don't go to the attractions?" and I was like, "I've never even been to the Statue of Liberty." *hands* Generally speaking, the thought of masses of tourists repels more than the attractions attract. Unless someone from out of town wants to go, I generally don't do those kinds of things, though they are always fun when I do.

Anyway. The Good Place had its season 2 premiere Wednesday night, but it started at 10 pm and when I saw that I was like, "oh hell no!" I am not cut out for 10 pm shows anymore. So I set the DVR and watched it last night.

Spoilers from here on out! Please don't read if you haven't watched. It's a show that works best unspoiled the first time around! spoilers for all of s1 and the s2 premiere )

[personal profile] rachelmanija has a much more thoughtful post here.

selenak: (Schreiben by Poisoninjest)
[personal profile] selenak
Back when I marathon-read Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, I saw he's also authored a lot of novels for children, and had a new one coming out this month, a standalone called Frederick the Great Detective, which, however, mysteriously seems to be available in German before it is in English. (Mysterious because Kerr's Scottish and writes in English, and the novel, which got released today, is indeed translated from the English original, I checked the imprint.) Anyway, the novel has a very similar premise to a movie I saw at last year's Munich Film Festival, Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday - the review I wrote about the film is here: boy falls in love with Emil and the Detectives, befriends its author, Erich Kästner, in the twilight of the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich ensues, boy tries to maintain ideals of novel versus increasingly awful reality. Having read the novel now, I can add a further parallel: both Friedrich in Frederick the Great Detective and Hans in Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday have an older sibling who is enthusastically joining the Nazi cause. My original suspicion as to why Kerr picked a fictional main character instead of Hans, who actually existed and did befriend Erich Kästner, was because Hans' fate was sealed by history, and that Kerr wanted a better fate for his young hero. Spoilers ensue. )However, by that point, I had already guessed various other reasons why Kerr chose a fictional over a fictionalized "real" main character, and the differences to Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday are instructive here.

For starters, there's the difference in focus: Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday is, as far as Hans is concerned, a coming of age story - he goes from child to teenager and young man in the course of the story - and has Erich Kästner as the other lead, whose perspective through the movie is even the slightly favored one. Frederick the Great Detective, by contrast, has Kästner only as a supporting character, aside from a prologue and an epilogue ends in late 1933/early 1934, and is above all a homage to Kästner's novel in structure, focusing on Friedrich and his same-age friends, who play detectives until it gets lethally dangerous. (The adults, whether benevolent or malignant or in between, are seen from the outside, the point of view is Friedrich's throughout.) For, befitting the author of the Gunther mysteries, there are actually cases to solve. (Though as opposed to Bernie, young Friedrich - who wants to become a detective through much of the novel - gets the point that you can't be a detective in a system where the criminals have taken over when Kästner desperately tells him just this.)

Indeed, while reading I wondered whether the basic idea for the novel might not have been a wish to write a sequel to Emil which tackles how Emil & Co. would act when the Third Reich starts, because Friedrich's gang with its twins has some similarities. Then again, Friedrich has a distinctly different background to Emil (or Hans Löhr) - no working class single parent mother, instead, middle class parents with his father a journalist and friend of Kästner's, which is the original connection, which allows Kerr to depict the way the press lost its freedom within a year. It also allows Kerr to let Friedrich and his parents vacation on Rügen where Friedrich meets Christopher Isherwood and Isherwood's boyfriend Heinz on the beach. (Leading to a charming scene where Friedrich manages to solve his very first case by finding Isherwood's lost watch.) Kerr provides quite a lot of real life characters making cameos throughout the novel - Billy Wilder (during the premiere of the "Emil and the Detectives" movie version which he scripted), Max Liebermann, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Walter Trier etc. - but the Isherwood cameo was for me the most vivid of these. (And I'm not surprised, having come across an interview where Kerr says bascially Berlin for him as a reader, before he got there, was invented by two British writers, Christopher Isherwood and John Le Carré.)

Kästner himself lis of course the real life character with the most page time, but he feels more like a generic version of Kästner's author persona than an actual attempt at depiction of the man. (As opposed to the Kästner in Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday.) Meaning: he's a benevolent adult the way, say, Justus the Teacher in "Das Fliegende Klassenzimmer" is, with no hint of any inner conflicts, and Kerr slims down the biographical and authorial data about him to "wrote Emil and the Detective, also works as a journalist"; in this book, there are no mentions of either Kästner's other books for children or his adult novel, Fabian (the one who got burned by the Nazis at the 1933 book burning), nor of his sharp political poetry (which in Germany he was and is almost as well known for as for his prose). (Hence ahistorically Emil ends up as the burned book, when in rl Emil and the Detectives was so popular that it got published, as the only one of Kästner's works, within Germany until 1936. Then it was for the axe as well.) The one biographical background fact about Kästner mentioned in conversation by Friedrich's father is in fact a wrong one, or rather, a wrong assumption, that Kästner's mother, like Emil's, raised her son alone. In rl, not only was Kästner's father around and in contact with his son, but he outlived Kästner's mother. There is, however, a reason why I didn't mind this particular wrong statement, which is: Kästner kept his father and his relationship with him very low key as long as his mother was still alive, while his relationship with his mother was intense and very public, so a colleague from work like Friedrich's father could be forgiven for assuming the guy was either dead or had left the family. ( If you've read Kästner's autobiographical writings, one of the most memorable childhood scenes which makes you cringe in sympathy is his parents' christmas competition about him, when his father, a craftsman, proudly presented presents he made with his own hand while his mother spent all her money on presents, and both parents would regard whichever present their son showed any favour to as proof whom he loved more or a rejection respectively. And thus it went on for as long as Kästner's mother lived.)

What the novel does really well, though, is presenting a group of children responding to their world changing radically, and Friedrich as a likeable child hero who ends up rejecting the demagogery, scapegoating and promise of glory that lures his older brother in because he sees how both people he knows and strangers are abused in its name. Again, in an homage to Kästner's novel which has a memorable dream sequence, Friedrich's ongoing crisis of conscience and wonder how to avoid becoming a Nazi himself climaxes in a surreal dream where the various things he has experienced come together. The lesson he draws from this is simple and profound at the same time, very Kästnerian and indeed great advice in current day circumstances as well, to the question as ow to act: Be kind. Being kind and you can't become what you fear and hate. Be kind.

Mind you, the 1945 prologue and epilogue does spoilery things ) But all in all, Frederick the Great Detective is still a very readable children's novel set in a dark time which also manages to pay homage to a classic while being its own thing.
[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney

Next month, two author/illustrators will be releasing visual novels set in imaginary worlds of their own creation. 

Armand Baltazar, formerly of Pixar, produced Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic, and illustrator Gregory Manchess invented Above the Timberline

They both agreed to be interviewed, and I thought it would be fun to ask each of them the same series of questions by email. Neither of them knew what the other guy said.

1. Please give us the one-sentence pitch of your story.

Manchess: On a future frozen Earth, an obsessed explorer goes missing on an expedition to a lost city under the ice, his only chance for rescue is a young inexperienced pilot…his son.

Baltazar: Timeless follows the adventure of a thirteen year old boy named Diego and his friends as they travel across the world fantastically changed by the fragmenting of time in order to rescue his father from a 2nd century Roman general and a scientist from the future who plot to reshape the world to their liking.

Art by Greg Manchess from Above the Timberline

2. How many illustrations will there be, and what is the balance between text and visuals?

Manchess: Including the book jacket and the case cover, there are 124 major oil paintings. Each turn of the page reveals the progress of the story through a combination of text and images, in varying amounts.

BaltazarTimeless is a 600 page book with about 440 pages written with about 160 pages of full color illustrations interspersed between the prose totaling around 200 mixed media paintings in varying sizes. It reads like a novel using traditional spreads and spot illustrations blended with graphic novel style sequential panel storytelling.

Armand Baltazar, preliminary and finished art from Timeless
Greg Manchess, sketch and finish from Timberline
3. How did you plan the book—for example, did you do written outlines, pencil storyboards, color scripts, value thumbnails, or compositional line drawings?

Manchess: I started with some simple notes, then began with very small, rectangular thumbnail sketches, designed for strong compositions, to get a feel for the rhythm. These led to writing, which led me to sketching again. Back and forth, until it was established. Then years of tweaking! It took seven years to get it in book form.

BaltazarFor the writing I alternated between traditional novel writing using outlines and revising drafts with elements of screenwriting and graphic novel layout. Visually I approached the chapters like a film script and would often thumbnail, then storyboard sequences, and build lighting and color scripting into those panels. I used a combination of thumbnailing, CG set model building, and drawing in line and in digital paint as part of my design and painting process.

4. How much did you have completed before you sold the idea to the publisher?

Manchess: While patiently waiting to get it sold, I’d already finished several drafts of the manuscript and had it completely laid out, page by page.

BaltazarI had about 12 to 15 full color illustrations and drawings completed and one complete "very" rough draft of the story. The first five chapters of that draft were more refined and what I initially shared with potential publishers.

Armand Baltazar, from Timeless
5. Did the making of the visuals cause you to rethink the story?

Manchess: Absolutely! The writing spurred visual ideas, and those initiated more scenes of writing and dialog. I played it over and over in my mind and got new ideas after many run-throughs. Then I’d start again to make the storyline cleaner and more interesting. Constant development.

BaltazarYes, but more specifically... how I wrote the story. We (with the editor) made the decision to use illustration to both bring the text to life visually and to replace sections of written text to tell the story. In those places the imagery would drive the storytelling, so in the written manuscript [there] were entire segments left unwritten to be completed with visuals.

Greg Manchess, from Above the Timberline
6. Is this a project you could do in your spare time, or did you have to clear off your other commitments? 

Manchess: I kept a busy schedule while writing, through several major projects, and taught every week online. Even through a couple of gallery shows. I couldn’t wait to get through an assignment so I could work on the book in the evenings, early mornings, whenever I got a chance. I was possessed. Once it sold, I spent eleven months painting all the images straight through.

BaltazarIt started off in my spare time but as I became more serious and invested in the project, I realized I needed more time to focus so after completing my work on Pixar's Inside Out, I made the decision to take a break from animation and work on it full time. Afterwards I was fortunate when HarperCollins read my story and wanted to publish it and later when Twentieth Century Fox approached me to develop it for a film.

Armand Baltazar, from Timeless
7. Did you get enough of an advance from the publisher to cover your work time, or did you have to cultivate other sources of income?

Manchess: The publisher gave me an advance, but I also had to supplement my income with other work. I was in a unique position to complete this novel, almost as if I’d been training for it my entire career. I’d written many finished projects before working on Timberline, and of course, I’d been training to hit deadlines for several decades. So I was able to manipulate my time between commissions and building the novel. 

BaltazarAfter I left Pixar to work on the book I took on freelance to pay the bills. After my story was picked up, it was the combination of both the publisher advance, and the movie studio option that enabled me to work full time .

Greg Manchess, from Above the Timberline
8. What kind of editorial input or guidance did you get? Did you meet any resistance or skepticism about being an artist-turned-writer?

Manchess: Initially, publishers were skeptical about whether it would sell, or even if I could get it done. I admit, I wasn’t always confident I could do it! But once it was sold, and I started, Saga Press was very hands-off. I built the entire book from the ground up visually, with minor coaching on writing from my editor, Joe Monti. He was brilliant, and helped keep the story from getting too cumbersome.

BaltazarI have a great agent who was an accomplished YA writer that gave me great guidance in finessing my story for a middle grade audience in terms of length, tone, and craft. I met with rejections, skepticism, and bias, but I understand that rejection is part of the journey and in the end it was about working hard to improve as a writer and ultimately find the kind of publisher that was right for my story.

Layouts by Armand Baltazar, from Timeless

9. Did you work on several paintings at once, or did you approach them sequentially? Why?

Manchess: I approached it like a film: between the beginning and the middle. This helped disguise my learning curve, allowing me time to get in a rhythm of painting which will keep the viewer from detecting my confidence levels. I got better as I got deeper into it, naturally, working back and forth. I had multiple paintings going at once, sometimes 25 to 30 pieces in progress, all pinned to the walls!

BaltazarDesigning and illustrating for animated film is sequential storytelling that requires all aspects of the visuals to be in lockstep like instruments in an orchestra performing a symphony. That discipline had a direct influence on my method and workflow for the book. I approached the chapters as sequences within acts of the story and I would compose, design, light, and paint illustrations that would define the arcs of the character and story.

10. What did you learn about your own productivity and time management, or your own psychological or physical limits?

Manchess: I learned a boat-load about how I work, and how I could set myself up to work in "The Zone." I worked with a general schedule: up, showered, breakfast by 9am, reference gathering and sketching until about 1pm, paint until 6pm, break for hot chocolate, dinner, paint until 11 or 12am, watch a film or read, sleep. Not everyday was exactly the same, depending on the specific image I was attempting.

BaltazarManaging time, productivity, stress, and health and wellbeing was one of the most difficult aspects. Writing and illustrating a dense epic adventure is daunting enough but learning to manage how to work, live, and have a healthy life with your family and friends required the same Herculean effort! I came out stronger and hopefully... wiser on the other end.

Armand Baltazar, from Timeless
11. Were you thinking about the potential of this project as a movie as you developed the book? Did you actively court movie producers with that idea as it was in development? Were the movie rights included in the book deal, or did you reserve them?

Manchess: My literary agent got us in touch with a film agent right away because of the strong cinematic visuals associated with the story. I was discussing film locations before I’d even painted a stroke! Crazy. But Hollywood is rather fickle. First and foremost, my mind was focused on making the book work as a novel. I did reserve the film rights, as the publisher wasn’t interested in them.

BaltazarI fantasized that someday it would be great if my story became a movie , but in truth that was the furthest thing from my mind as I worked on it. Early on I was approached by producers but refrained, wanting to secure Timeless as a book first before entertaining any opportunities. In the end I reserved the movie rights separately from the publisher.

Greg Manchess, from Above the Timberline
12. How is the nature of the illustrated book as an art form different from a movie?

Manchess: The book is definitely not a film on paper. I can control time far better in this format than a linear film can. I can jump back and forth, as long as it’s clear for the reader, they’ll stay with it. Our thoughts work like that anyway. We are back and forth, past and present, future and past. Our thoughts are rarely linear. Film is restricted, but the culture is learning to push out of that restriction.

BaltazarThe illustrated book is very different as it is your vision that drives the art and story of the book. A movie is a collaborative art form whereas the end result is the product of the director, producers, writers, artists, musicians, craftsmen, technicians, and support working collaboratively on a (sometimes) massive scale to create the cinematic story.

Armand Baltazar, from Timeless
13. Are you comfortable with your book being classified as young-adult or placed in the kid’s section of the bookstore, or will it be presented as adult science fiction?

Manchess: I had started with an older protagonist, but it was suggested that the YA market might open it up to a wider audience. I think the book will appeal to adults, because it’s written from an adult perspective, but one that young adults can easily access, and will appreciate the approach.

BaltazarI feel very good with Timeless book 1 as a Middle Grade children's book geared towards 9–13yr olds and up. It follows a path similar to the Potter series as Diego and his friends begin the series as young teens and end as young adults. The maturity in the themes, writing style, and tone will evolve with the characters with the last few books in the completed series transitioning to YA.

Greg Manchess documented the making of the first painting long before he envisioned the book.

14. How will you and your publisher be marketing and promoting the book? In an ideal world, if budgets and time were no obstacle, how would you want to see your book marketed? 

Manchess: Publishing, like the art world, is incredibly hard, if not impossible, to gauge what works and what doesn’t. Saga Press has been very supportive about this novel, but still the best promotion any book can receive is word-of-mouth; to have readers and fans talk about it. Honest appraisals. In an ideal world, I’d want every reviewer, librarian, and bookstore talking about it. I’ll be working hard to promote the book, and with that I’ve produced a few video book previews to get readers excited. And they’re fun!

Baltazar: We will be marketing the book in all the traditional ways with video interviews, school and store visits, book fairs, and conventions. If the sky was the limit...I'd love to have a traveling art show with models, maquettes, costumes and props we made on exhibition at all the schools, stores, and venues we are promoting the book and maybe a cool animated book trailer for later books!

Preorder on Amazon:
Releases October 10: Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic by Armand Baltazar
Releases October 24: Above the Timberline by Greg Manchess

If you are interested in 'visual novels', you might want to check out:
Gnomes by Rien Poortvliet and Wil Huygen
Dutch Treat: The Artist's Life, Written and Painted by Himself by Rien Poortvliet
Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee
Wyeth at Kuerners by Betsy Wyeth
Expedition by Wayne Barlowe
Dinotopia, A Land Apart from Time, Expanded edition by me
Dinotopia: Journey To Chandara, Expanded edition by me
The Katurran Odyssey by Terryl Whitlatch
Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi
Tales from the Loop by Simon Stalenhag
[syndicated profile] muddycolors_feed

Posted by D Palumbo

-By David Palumbo

A few years ago, I posted a piece on the varied landscape of my client base and how I shorthand what I do into “book covers and Magic cards” even if that's only a portion of the full scope. I thought I'd revisit this today and compare recent examples from six different avenues: Comics, Editorial, Gallery Work, Gaming, Private Commissions, and Publishing (book covers). Of course, these selections are anecdotal, but I tried to pick examples that I felt represent my experience overall

Comic Covers

Project: Joe Golem cover for Dark Horse Comics
Turnaround: Typically about 3-4 weeks
Client relationship: I've been working with Dark Horse for about 5 years now, probably about 40-50 covers in that time for several different editors
Rights bought: Work for hire
Brief given: Though it varies by editor, Dark Horse tends to often just provide me a script and let me pitch ideas which leaves me plenty of creative freedom. I'll sometimes ask guidance on what story beats to lean on. This particular cover was a collected volume so I just had to give an overall sense of the tone that also touched on some kind of story specific imagery

Sketch notes: My initial take was two directions. One was a montage of our hero backed by flames, a lonely abandoned row home, and the indication of rats filling the dark sky. The second was at the suggestion of the editor to see our hero (in his Golem form) with a statue of an angle standing over him. The montage sketch recycled a pose from an unused sketch of an earlier issue and, in the end, the editor decided to just go back to that original unused sketch (just Joe and the rats, far right)

Final notes: I don't often get much in the way of final revisions with these, and that was the case here. Smooth approval, everyone is happy!


Project: 2-page interior spread and a quarter page spot for Texas Monthly
Turnaround: Typically 1-2 weeks (my most recent piece for them was three days, brief to final)
Client relationship: I've done about half a dozen jobs for Texas Monthly
Rights bought: 1st North American
Brief given: These paintings were to illustrate a non-fiction excerpt from a book about the first Spaniards to arrive in Texas. The AD sends over the story and usually some rough indication of what the tone or concept might be. The pace in editorial is so fast, there isn't usually much fussing over little details. I generally feel a lot of trust is given over to me to do my job without interference.


Sketch notes: because of the short turnarounds, I tend to still do editorial sketches in digital. I had a very clear idea for the main spread and that sailed through no problem. For the quarter spot, I wanted to see a shot of the Spaniards established further south (which ties in later in the story) but it was rejected because that part of the story did not take place in Texas. It was replaced with a scene of Karankawa finding some shipwrecked Spaniards. My first pass at this could have been wrongly interpreted to suggested there had been a battle between the two, but the second pass was approved.

Final notes: Again, with the fast pace of editorial, my experience is that clients don't tend to have many revisions. Texas Monthly does usually have a note or two and in this case it was just some simple color adjustments


Gallery Work  (not a "commercial art genre", but it is essentially turning art into commerce)

Project: a piece for a two man show at Rehs Contemporary
Turnaround: I spent about a year preparing a few dozen pieces for this show, with the most intense focus being the final two to three months
Client relationship: I've been working with Rehs for four years
Rights bought: none
Brief given: none, though there is an understanding as to the general theme and scope of the show
Sketch notes: no sketches presented
Final notes: none

Additional notes: Working in a gallery is so different from commissioned work, I hesitated to include it. The reason that I did is because it is a facet of my career and income. And it's worth comparing as well. The one thing that particularly should be called out is that, along with all of this freedom, there is also no guarantee of compensation. I've taken part in several group shows with various galleries in recent years that produced no sales. With a long term gallery relationship, however, the gallery holds an inventory of your work and should be always actively promoting it to their buyers. Sales will, if all goes as it should, occur at openings as well as between shows. Several times, I've had gaps in my commission invoices covered by gallery sales on older work.


Project: Magic: the Gathering
Turnaround: six weeks
Client relationship: My oldest steady client. I'm just shy of my 10th anniversary working on Magic
Rights bought: Work for hire
Brief given: Artists are sent a style guide, which is a tome of artwork and notes used to help keep you on brand for the specific setting. The actual brief will describe in fairly detailed terms the scene to be painted as well as some notes on overall tone and focus. Card functions and in-game effects are rarely if ever given in the assignments.
Sketch notes: minimal, just a note on clarity of some details. This is typical for me: notes that don't require any revisions to the sketch, just to keep in mind for moving forward

Final notes: none, a clean approval. Again, this is usually my experience with MtG
Additional notes: As a traditional painter, it's also worth mention that there is a dedicated collector community for MtG art. The actual assignments don't pay as much as some other clients on this list, but the aftermarket makes up for it

Private Commissions

Project: original piece for a private collector
Turnaround: usually pretty open ended, though I aim to keep things inside 3-4 months
Client relationship: This piece was for a collector who I had no prior relationship to. We did communicate quite a bit during the commission though
Rights bought: none
Brief given: The collector had originally wanted a piece that was already sold, which then opened the conversation to creating a new piece with a similar theme

Sketch notes: I first sent over rough thumbnails to close in on the concept, and then the full sketch once I felt confident we were on the same page. Some suggestions were made based on the sketch that helped guide us in to the final

Final notes: none, everyone is happy!
Additional notes: I think the most nerve wracking type of job for me is a private commission. When working with a normal client, you have to satisfy their needs of course, but it's business first and foremost. The AD might not even really like my work for all I know, they just know it's right for the product and that is the primary concern. Creating a piece for an individual to own and love feels like a very different kind of responsibility to me. You have to connect with your client at a very personal level

Publishing (book covers)

Project: Book three of the Binti trilogy for Tor Books
Turnaround: Generally about two months
Rights bought: reproduction in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, ebook
Brief given: Publisher to publisher, this varies greatly. Some have a very specific idea, others just send a manuscript. The Binti books were of that open ended manuscript variety, which means I tended to present quite a few ideas in some cases before we found the right one.

Sketch notes: An initial round of thumbnails were sent to fix the focus of the piece. From there, three fleshed out sketches were created. One of those was then taken further with notes to recompose some details before finally being approved to move ahead to final.

Final notes: I usually expect some notes on a cover and this piece followed that trend. Minor details for the most part though: clean up a shape here, tone down a value there.

Bonus round: AdvertisingI wanted to also say a quick word about advertising, though I honestly don't feel I've done enough of it to speak with as much confidence as the above subjects.  I've done two projects this year that fall under the advertising umbrella and virtually nothing about them was the same except that they both paid better than any other clients for comparable hours.  Typically, advertising has strong budgets but can be extremely micromanaging on details.  If any category of illustration might reduce you to a pair of hands, it's advertising.  Turnarounds are usually pretty fast as well, despite that some jobs can also be fairly complex.  You're frequently dealing with a team of people, who in turn are dealing with another team of people, so there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen.  Bottom line, hard work but good money.  I've only ever had ad jobs come to me through my rep.

Any experiences in other illustration avenues (children's books, freelance concept art, etc.) that you'd like to add?  Please leave a comment!

ratcreature: RatCreature begs: Please? (please?)
[personal profile] ratcreature posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
It's time for our regular reccer recruiting post, and to look ahead to the next month. So far we have FOUR volunteer reccers who signed up for October with these fandoms:

* Aquaman ([personal profile] mific)
* Bandom ([personal profile] lucifuge5)
* Person of Interest ([personal profile] felis)
* Steven Universe ([personal profile] juniperphoenix)

So while we already have a few recs to look forward to in October, it would of course be awesome if we had some more recs. There is still plenty of opportunity for you to jump in and volunteer to rec next month (or to convince your friends to do some reccing). And many cheers for all of our members who volunteer to rec, especially if you rec regularly. Your valiant repeat efforts keep the comm alive.

Looking even further ahead so far only ONE reccer has volunteered for November, so that month definitely still needs some love (and recs! *g*) too. So please consider reccing in a fandom of your choice, whether small or huge, and comment on the sign-up post and volunteer for October, November or even further ahead if you are so well organized, that you know your fannish interests and time commitments in advance. It's only four recs as a minimum, and you can rec any genre or rating. Or promote us to your friends or in your favorite communities so others do the work.

Open Rec Posting

The monthly open reccing period for all members starts now and lasts until the end of September. Since the general prompts don't seem to work as inspiration, I've decided to stop adding them, but to keep the open reccing period in case anyone wants to slip a rec in, without having to come up with three others for a fandom. However the recs do still have to conform to the usual rec format and follow the rules for what is allowed to be recced here.

(Comments here are disabled, because I want to bundle volunteering in the sign-up post so that nothing gets lost, and you can see the list of claimed slots there too.)

goodbye homeland; hello homeland

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:32
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
So, in about 20 minutes I'm going to be leaving my parents' place, so that we can all go to the airport and travel to the country where my family has lived for as many generations as we know about (at least 4) and left when I was 7.

I've never been to the capital. I don't speak the language that people mostly speak there. (Everyone else in my family does speak it, but at home we always spoke Russian, the de facto lingua franca of the USSR, and that's all I managed to pick up by 7.) Kiev is new to me, and not new because I grew up on stories about it. (My aunt grew up there.) Odessa is familiar, full of people who will be happy to see me, but foreign too, like just another random European city, with buildings and customs that don't conform to the West Asian norms I find familiar and standard.

Anyway, if I started describing my feelings in earnest we'd never be done with parentheses.

I expect this trip will be a mindfuck. I expect being stuck with my parents for two weeks straight will be... a challenge. I hope, intensely, that the next two weeks will be wonderful and healing as well, as going home usually is.

Take care, friends.
sineala: (Avengers: Welcome back Cap)
[personal profile] sineala
In All This Wide World (10252 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel 616, Avengers (Comics)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Tony Stark
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Pining, Action/Adventure, Dinosaurs, Happy Ending, Avengers Vol. 3 (1998)
Summary: Tony's known Steve for ten years. With the formation of a brand-new team, with their bright future ahead of them, Tony's decided that it's finally time to ask Steve out. Now. Today. But his plans are interrupted when they have to go to the Savage Land -- where, of course, they are marooned together. Just the two of them, miles of jungle, profusely-bleeding injuries, and packs of vicious carnivorous dinosaurs. Not only are they not going to get to go on that date, they may not make it home alive at all.

This is my entry for the Superhusbands Aluminum Anniversary Anthology free digital zine, released today, of interest if you enjoy Steve/Tony. I collaborated with [personal profile] phoenixmetaphor, whose art can be found here.

The zine requirements were (a) nothing explicit and (b) no AUs and it took us FOREVER to come up with something that would be fun for me to write and her to draw until we hit upon DINOSAURS. Rawr. So here's some Savage Land h/c.

(Also, here is AIM Raptor, who did not make it into the story itself but is present in all of our hearts.)


Sep. 21st, 2017 18:10
[syndicated profile] edwardbgordon_feed
To wait, without knowing for what. To pause in a doorway in Neukölln.

Zu warten, ohne zu wissen worauf. Stehend in einem Hauseingang in Neukölln.

5.9 x 5.9 inch / Oil on MDF board / 15cm x 15cm / Öl auf MDF Bord

© Edward B. Gordon, all rights reserved.

OTW Guest Post: Henry Jenkins

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:06
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Claudia' written beneath the OTW Logo (Claudia)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Banner by caitie of an OTW-themed guest access lanyard

“News of the OTW bubbled up from many directions at once, most likely through my associations with Escapade, but also through an academic colleague whose partner at the time was involved. I was so excited to hear about the emergence of this fan advocacy network which brought together fannish lawyers willing to help protect our fair use rights as fans; fan scholars publishing their work through a peer-reviewed journal; fan programmers using their skills in support of the community; and of course, an archive where fans controlled what happened to their own works without the interference of web 2.0 interests.

Each of these things is important on its own terms, but taken together, this organization has been a transformative force, in all senses of the words, for fans and their rights to participate.”

For our anniversary Henry Jenkins talks fan studies, students, fandom changes over the years & why it's worth fighting for: http://goo.gl/fm19m5

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Danielle Richard

Sep. 21st, 2017 15:13
[syndicated profile] linesandcolors_feed

Posted by Charley Parker

Danielle Richard, figuresatve paintings in oil, acrylic and pastel
Danielle Richard is an artist from Quebec, Canada who works in oil, acrylic and pastel.

Her subjects are primarily young women in pastoral scenes, along shorelines or in idyllic views of small boats or canoes on lakes.

Though there isn’t an overt similarity, her work reminds me of the sensibilities of some of the Pre-Raphaelite painters in the attention to nature, fascination with value relationships and the presentation of beauty.

Her website is available both in English and French, and her blog, though in French, is easy enough for non-French speakers to browse. There is a short interview with Richard on The Art Edge (part 2 here).

There is something gently dreamlike about Richard’s paintings, as though evoking those special little moments in time when it dawns on you — somewhat to your surprise — that everything at that moment is perfect.


Comparison - head shapes (CSI:NY)

Sep. 21st, 2017 16:10
sexycazzy: (Default)
[personal profile] sexycazzy posting in [community profile] drawesome
Title: Two Detectives Take Two
Artist: [personal profile] sexycazzy
Rating: PG
Fandom: CSI:NY
Characters/Pairings: Don Flack & Mac Taylor
Content Notes: digital drawing - not for the DW Interests challenge but to show the comparison between the original drawing and this one with the faces. Still not satisfied with the eyes, eyebrows & mouth but more confident in drawing the head shapes, so many thanks to everyone who has given me suggestions on my last post - I really appreciate it very much!

Who are the detectives? Take Two )
musesfool: mal & zoe, out of gas (can't take the sky)
[personal profile] musesfool
Monday night, [personal profile] innie_darling and I met up to see the new Jake Gyllenhaal/Tatiana Maslany movie about the Boston Marathon bombing, Stronger. The acting was good, I thought. It was not the kind of movie I would have sought out on my own, but I was glad to have seen it.

While we were waiting for the movie to start, we were talking about fannish things as per usual, and about how I sometimes classify a pairing as "I don't not ship it" and in thinking about it more over the past couple of days, I came up with my own personal taxonomy of shipping:

- OTP OF OTPS (i.e., the all-time greats, ironclad, no matter what)
- I ship it!
- I don't not ship it
- I could/might be convinced to ship it
- I don't care (i.e., if it shows up in a story that otherwise has things going for it, I'll keep reading, but I don't seek it out)
- meh, I don't ship it / it bores me so I don't read it
- I dislike it but whatever, other people can do what they like, I can scroll past
- NOTP (i.e., it's blocked so I don't have to sully my eyes with it)

Generally, when I talk about a pairing as as "I don't not ship it," I mean that they are people who are most definitely weird about each other, which is one of my personal flags for shipping, but in this particular classification, I don't care if they are having sex with each other or not (or with other people, depending), as long as they are somehow together – partners, brothers, whatever. I think (I hope!) it's implicit that I understand why people would ship them*, but I just...don't take that particular read on the relationship under most circumstances.

*as opposed to pairings where I don't.

And if they are having sex, I personally prefer it not to be framed romantically? Or, rather, in most cases, in terms of canon (rather than AU) settings, I don't find the usual shippy romantic tropes particularly interesting with these sorts of pairings. I mean, sure, 'there's only one bed' or fake dating are always on the table, but I don't feel like even those tropes should follow the regular narrative path. The clearest examples we came up with were Sam/Dean and Mal/Zoe, and I mean, I don't see either of those pairings as people who go on dates or have traditionally madcap rom com hijinks (which isn't to say that that couldn't be done with great results, but I don't think it could be played straight, as it were [I mean, Sam/Dean is incest, so it has its own challenges]). And she threw in Middleman/Wendy (which I do ship more traditionally), and I brought up Obi-Wan/Anakin, which is what I'm having complicated feelings about lately, and so it seems like a useful category to have. idk.


Day to Night Photos

Sep. 21st, 2017 09:29
[syndicated profile] gurneyjourney_feed

Posted by James Gurney

Unlike plein-air paintings, which take hours or even days to complete, photographs are usually the product of a fraction of a second. 

Paris. Photo by Stephen Wilkes
An exception among photographers is Stephen Wilkes, who has documented a series of famous destinations in what he calls "Day to Night" photos.

Ellis Island, Photo by Stephen Wilkes
Locking the camera in a fixed position, he takes photos over a period as long as 30 hours, the light shifting gradually from nighttime to daytime illumination. He then combines them later digitally. The effect works best in urban environments, where artificial light defines the nightscape.

Link to the 'Day to Night' photos of Stephen Wilkes

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