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Creating a book is a slow but worthwhile process.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

History Part II: After Art School

Illustration for a school assignment

In my senior year at SVA, William Low, suggested I make an appointment to see Laura Godwin, an editor at Henry Holt and Company.  She reviewed my portfolio and said to come back in a year.  In the meantime, I went to work full time as a t-shirt designer and went to SVA at night. 

When I graduated from SVA, I got a job as a security guard at the Guggenheim Museum.  I kept working on my portfolio until I thought it was worthy of another review. With my new promotional cards and a new portfolio case, I made another appointment with Laura.

Laura gave me my first job.  I quit my security guard job and went to work on Frozen Man by David Getz. I worked on it day and night.  This was my break into the market and I wanted to make a good impression.

David Getz; Illustrated by Peter McCarty Frozen Man
 The medium I used for books such as Hondo and Fabian and Little Bunny on the Move was developed in college.  I was comfortable layering graphite and adding water colors to create the "ethereal" look.  The biggest drawback was that it was time consuming and difficult to reproduce. 

When I got the assignment to do Frozen Man, the snow and the muted tones from the watercolors were a perfect combination.  I did struggle a bit with the portrait because I had do an artist interpretation based on his skull.  Henry Holt sent over some photographs for reference but I still had to add hair and a facial expression.

It was a good thing that I took a lot of math and science courses. Frozen Man is a book for schools and libraries and I had to resist the temptation to make him into a caricature. 

If I had not taken the other academic courses, I think he would have look like this:

The usual

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