The SCAD-Atlanta Arts Forum 2008 was an amazing success, and we can thank our wonderful guest artists (and former SVA roommates) Yuko Shimizu and James Jean for blowing us all away.
Thursday night's event was a forum that began with a presentation of each artist's work: Eric Canete and Andrew Robinson represented the Comic Book/Sequential side, and Yuko and James spoke about their illustration work. Of course James has done a good bit of Comic cover work, particularly his ongoing Fables cover art. After the show-and-tell, they fielded questions about their lives and their work. The insights they revealed were often poignant, sometimes funny, and always valuable for students to hear. If you missed it, you missed a wonderful night of amazing work and thoughtful discourse about the life of a small group of successful artists who got to their lofty stations not by luck or sleight-of-hand, but by hard work and perseverance.
Yuko Shimizu condensed a 7-week course on "Illustration as Business" into a two-hour Crash-Course on Portfolios, self-promotion, effective web site design, client relations and the good and bad aspects of hiring an agent. Yuko is not only an amazing illustrator, but she has a degree in marketing as well, so her word is gold when it comes to getting your name out there in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
Yuko is an amazing communicator and teacher. She's only been in the illustration business for a few years but her insight into the world of illustration as an artform and a business is borne of her experience in the Public Relations and Marketing business in Tokyo.
A good mix of students from Savannah and Atlanta were in Yuko's workshop, and happily pored over her portfolio and promotional materials as she spoke.
Some admiring fans from Savannah visit with Yuko.
James Jean passes the SKETCHTRAVEL torch to Yuko. It is being passed to prominant artists and illustrators around the world; they will each do a spread in the book and pass it on until the book is completed. It will eventually be auctioned off, and will also be reproduced as a limited edition art book...it's just getting started and it's already amazing. Save up; it will be worth every penny!
During Yuko's Business workshop, James spent some quality time with students going over their portfolios. Here we see him ripping into Drew's work, and Drew's loving every minute of it!
James offered advice as to composition, color palette and drawing, and recommended other artists and illustrators to study for inspiration. His depth of knowledge as regards the masters of art and illustration is beyond remarkable. Clearly, he is as much a student of art and illustration as he is a practitioner.
Erik knows he's on the chopping block next...he can't wait!
James is praying that he doesn't totally bomb during his demo. No wonder, since he's being forced to use a Mac (which he hates) and a Cintiq (which he's never used) all while holding a microphone. Not an easy task.
James scanned a beautiful little graphite drawing (48 bit RGB) and showed everyone how to adjust the image for optimum results.
He then went through several different colorizing and texturizing techniques to give the piece dimension, a cohesive and interesting color palette, and an organic feel with various layers, creative use of blending modes and colorization of the linework.
James signing Rod Ben's Process Recess book. Jay, Julie, Erik and Yuko are looking at the new Illustrators Annual that features James's cover. Sweet!
After James's demo, he raffled off 10 signed prints. Can you tell Goni was glad to get one?
The Illustrators weren't the only folks doing incredible things; on Friday, Eric Canete had his audience entranced as one of his famous 90-minute drawings materialized right before our eyes.
On Saturday he held an amazing Story Telling workshop for which he produced an incredible handout that covered everything from blocking, framing, perspective, rhythm, you name it. It was like a full-blown course condensed into a 90-minute marathon. Yuko sat in on Eric's Saturday workshop and confessed that until this morning she knew very little about storytelling but came away with a clear understanding of it. Nice work, Eric!
Andrew Robinson also did a terrific workshop on several of his painting techniques, keeping Doug, Heather and Shawn mesmerized. He had several pieces in process, using alcohol to lift acrylic layers to reveal lighter values below. He also did magazine transfers using gloss gel medium as a binding agent; magazine images or text elements are "glued" to the substrate with gloss gel medium and allowed to dry for 30 minutes. The back of the magazine paper is then sanded lightly to make it more receptive to water. Water is painted on the magazine prints to saturate the paper, which is slowly rubbed off until the ink of the image is all that remains embedded in the gel medium. It can then be further manipulated with traditional media such as oils or acrylics.
Heather and Yuko: BFF!
Again, we can't thank James Jean, Yuko Shimizu, Eric Canete and Andrew Robinson enough for their generosity in sharing their talent, knowledge and insight with us this week. It was an incredible few days, and we will be forever grateful to them.
Best Wishes to you all,
The Faculty and Students of Scad- Atlanta