February 13, 2011

Editorial Illustration

I started a new night class at CCA two weeks ago titled "Editorial Illustration". The class is taught by Caitlin Kuhwald, who is a professor in Illustration at CCA and freelance illustrator. According to Caitlin, editorial illustration is the bread and butter of a freelance career in illustration, and art directors for magazines, newspapers, and websites will always be in need of illustrators that are inventive, conceptual thinkers, and competent artists. In other words, it's one of those careers that actually has some money potential; well, for an art job.

Over the next few weeks, we'll have editorial illustration assignments that mirror assignments Caitlin has received in her own career. Our first assignment was to create a 3.7" x 5" (with .25" bleed) illustration for the following love advice column letter:

"Facebook is ruining my relationship. My boyfriend and I were fine until I figured out that his last girlfriend is a total Facebook whore who posts a new profile pic every week, updates her totally accessible wall constantly with quotes and photos, and has a zillion friends. It doesn't help that she's gorgeous too. I know she's made herself available to him again (though he declined); dealing with that is challenge enough, but being able to track her adventures and status is making me crazy. I visit her page way too often and sink into total insecurity every time. Help!"

And here is what I came up with...

While working on this, I quickly realized I don't remember how to draw. Actually, I realized I've done very little drawing and really should take some basic drawing classes. I remember the rough proportions of the human face from a high school drawing class, but other than that, I'm mostly a competent doodler. Drawing is one those things that just requires a lot of practice, and a class should help force that.

I also realized it's time to start practicing more on my tablet. I have a Bamboo tablet that I got as a gift a few years ago and got frustrated with and never really learned how to use, but I think it's going to be a requirement to get the kind of pen lines I want. In this illustration, I ended up scanning in a penned sketch and not really knowing how to smooth out or efficiently vectorize the black lines. So I'm not really happy with how that part turned out, but it's something to improve on.

Finally, I copped out and used Photoshop for coloring of this. I wanted to try out a more traditional medium, like watercolor or acrylic, but I just didn't have the time to experiment. To my defense, I'm traveling now and it's no fun setting up art shop in a hotel. Maybe next time.

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