Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2012 Midsouth Conference Art Intensive

 Martha Rago, Associate Creative Director for Harper Collins was our fabulous Art Director at the Fall conference this year. Word of her reputation was widespread and the 10 person max for the Intensive was filled within 3 days.

She gave our Artists the choice of illustrating a spread from one of two manuscripts. Besides the manuscripts she supplied helpful tips for pacing and creating a rough dummy, as well as developing character studies.

5 weeks before the Conference, sketches were sent to her for review. At the end of two weeks she wrote each participant a private detailed letter of one or two pages, with encouragement and suggestions for improvement.

The day of the Intensive she critiqued each illustration in the group setting, incorporating her sketch feedback and other helpful advice that applied to most illustrations in general. Her comments were thoughtful, honest and kind.

 Here are some samples of those before and after sketches with comments. Many thanks to Martha for her expertise!

Mary Uhles

 comments were to connect the image more with the words. She could not tell which dogs were curly and which were burley etc. Think about  exaggerating the descriptions in the image. She also said push the interest of the piece - does it just have to be dogs running over the hill or is there a way to put in even more story?

Cheryl Mendenhall- Thumbnails

Cheryl Mendenhall sketch

recommended that characters be made younger to fit the manuscript and target audience and clarify the setting for the right hand corner spot.

Rebecca Rae Mudd
Comment was to simplify backgrounds and make children younger
Susan Eaddy

Comments were that B.Bear looked kind of like a gopher with his skinny arms and legs. Lolly looked too old. Type needed to have more consideration in the page and illustration design
Kris Sexton

Martha's suggestion was to make the girl look a little younger, and Kris loved running with her suggestion of adding fairy tale characters into the background, with maybe little bit of mischief going on.