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Echo Chernik: Ask Me Anything

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Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41

Hello! Echo Chernik here and I am looking forward to having you Ask Me Anything about art, illustration, making a living as an artist, and the Illustrators of the Future Contest.

I have over twenty years of experience as a professional commercial artist in the advertising field, and five years as an instructor of graphics and digital illustration at Pratt Institute, Westchester Community College, Marymount Manhattan and Skidmore CCI. I specialize in art nouveau-influenced poster design, advertisements, package design, and book covers.

Some of my clients include Miller, Camel, Coors, Nascar, Trek, Celestial Seasonings Teas, Patrick Rothfuss, Arlo Guthrie, Dave Matthews, The Shiekh of Dubai, Random House, Penguin, Disney, Mattel, Sears, Publix Supermarkets, The Bellagio Resort, The El Conquistador Resort, the US Postal Service, The City of Tokyo, The City of New Orleans, The US Virgin Islands Tourism, The City of Chicago, Hasbro, Catalyst Game Labs, Langnese, and Lerche.

I am also very proud to have the distinction of being the Coordinating Judge for the Illustrators of the Future Contest.

I look forward to answering your questions on the 22nd!

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Topic starter Posted : May 7, 2021 3:33 pm
John Goodwin
(@johngoodwin)
Active Member Moderator
Posts: 10

If you aren't familiar with Echo's art, you should check it out. Here is the link to her page: http://www.echo-x.com/

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Posted : May 7, 2021 5:53 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084

Wow. THE Echo Chernik? WE'RE NOT WORTHY! Well, actually we are, because we joined the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Forum!

DON'T MISS THIS AMA, FORUMITES! SHE'S DA BEST!

Congratulations on your new beautiful public studio, Echo. What a perfect location to showcase your work!

 

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
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Posted : May 7, 2021 6:01 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 808

At first sight of the post I thought I'd missed the event. So happy to see it's the 22nd. I have questions to ask from one of the masters of her craft.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1

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Posted : May 8, 2021 2:29 pm
Wulf Moon liked
HabaneroPepper
(@habaneropepper)
Active Member
Posts: 12

Hello Ms. Chernik, I'm new to the forum (joined this year) and to the contest (joined during tenth grade). As I dabble a little bit in art and writing, I always try to submit something for both contests. My writing gets along for the most part, but my art always gets rejected. I have a style that resembles anime and I've looked at the articles on the blog that give advice on the topic (depict a story, I think?), but nothing seems to work. What can I do to improve my chances, even by a little? Please respond when you are able. 

Sincerely,

BlankCanvas

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Posted : May 10, 2021 8:08 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084
Posted by: @habaneropepper

Hello Ms. Chernik, I'm new to the forum (joined this year) and to the contest (joined during tenth grade). As I dabble a little bit in art and writing, I always try to submit something for both contests. My writing gets along for the most part, but my art always gets rejected. I have a style that resembles anime and I've looked at the articles on the blog that give advice on the topic (depict a story, I think?), but nothing seems to work. What can I do to improve my chances, even by a little? Please respond when you are able. 

Sincerely,

BlankCanvas

Hi BlankCanvas,

So sorry, Echo won't be taking questions until the event. So do save it up for when she comes to the Forum and the actual AMA gets posted. She'd love to answer your questions on art and the illustrator's contest then--she's wonderful. I didn't want you waiting, wondering why she didn't respond. Do be there at the stated times to ask your questions!:)

Coming soon!

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : May 10, 2021 5:03 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084
Posted by: @echochernik

Hello! Echo Chernik here and I am looking forward to having you Ask Me Anything about art, illustration, making a living as an artist, and the Illustrators of the Future Contest.

I have over twenty years of experience as a professional commercial artist in the advertising field, and five years as an instructor of graphics and digital illustration at Pratt Institute, Westchester Community College, Marymount Manhattan and Skidmore CCI. I specialize in art nouveau-influenced poster design, advertisements, package design, and book covers.

Some of my clients include Miller, Camel, Coors, Nascar, Trek, Celestial Seasonings Teas, Patrick Rothfuss, Arlo Guthrie, Dave Matthews, The Shiekh of Dubai, Random House, Penguin, Disney, Mattel, Sears, Publix Supermarkets, The Bellagio Resort, The El Conquistador Resort, the US Postal Service, The City of Tokyo, The City of New Orleans, The US Virgin Islands Tourism, The City of Chicago, Hasbro, Catalyst Game Labs, Langnese, and Lerche.

I am also very proud to have the distinction of being the Coordinating Judge for the Illustrators of the Future Contest.

I look forward to answering your questions on the 22nd!

Bumping this up. This is happening today, Forumites! Learn what illustration is all about by one of the masters. Echo Chernik is also the coordinating judge of the Illustrators of the Future Contest! Bring your questions and be inspired! 

See you soon!

Wulf Moon

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : May 22, 2021 10:22 am
HabaneroPepper
(@habaneropepper)
Active Member
Posts: 12

Hello Ms. Chernik, I'm not sure if you're answering questions on the forum, but I wanted to ask a question that I typed here a while ago:

I'm new to the forum (joined this year) and to the contest (joined during tenth grade). As I dabble a little bit in art and writing, I always try to submit something for both contests. My writing gets along for the most part, but my art always gets rejected. I have a style that resembles anime and I've looked at the articles on the blog that give advice on the topic (depict a story, I think?), but nothing seems to work. What can I do to improve my chances, even by a little? Please respond when you are able.

 

Sincerely, BlankCanvas (or HabaneroPepper, I guess)

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Posted : May 22, 2021 10:28 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084
Posted by: @habaneropepper

Hello Ms. Chernik, I'm not sure if you're answering questions on the forum, but I wanted to ask a question that I typed here a while ago:

I'm new to the forum (joined this year) and to the contest (joined during tenth grade). As I dabble a little bit in art and writing, I always try to submit something for both contests. My writing gets along for the most part, but my art always gets rejected. I have a style that resembles anime and I've looked at the articles on the blog that give advice on the topic (depict a story, I think?), but nothing seems to work. What can I do to improve my chances, even by a little? Please respond when you are able.

 

Sincerely, BlankCanvas (or HabaneroPepper, I guess)

I'm happy you're asking questions, habaneropepper! Just FYI, you will likely have to post it into the AMA discussion topic that will be set up when Echo attends today, or else she may not see it. So do come back at the appointed time and fire away!

See you soon!

Moon

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : May 22, 2021 10:51 am
Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41

Also www.echochernik.com

 

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Topic starter Posted : May 22, 2021 12:59 pm
John Goodwin
(@johngoodwin)
Active Member Moderator
Posts: 10

Hi Echo,

Recent volumes of Writers of the Future have an amazing diversity of art styles. This is a change from earlier books. Please explain what you are looking for that you can have such a diverse array of artists?

Thanks,

John

 

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Posted : May 22, 2021 12:59 pm
Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41
Posted by: @habaneropepper

Hello Ms. Chernik, I'm not sure if you're answering questions on the forum, but I wanted to ask a question that I typed here a while ago:

I'm new to the forum (joined this year) and to the contest (joined during tenth grade). As I dabble a little bit in art and writing, I always try to submit something for both contests. My writing gets along for the most part, but my art always gets rejected. I have a style that resembles anime and I've looked at the articles on the blog that give advice on the topic (depict a story, I think?), but nothing seems to work. What can I do to improve my chances, even by a little? Please respond when you are able.

 

Sincerely, BlankCanvas (or HabaneroPepper, I guess)

Hi BlankCanvas! First of all, congrats on getting a good response from your writing!   Why don't you try illustrating one of your stories that you're writing?  Sometimes anime doesn't get through, but I do try to put through all different forms of art.  Perhaps it didn't look OC enough, and it was mistaken for fan art.  I would suggest trying an OC version of one of your own stories - in a style you're excited about.  One thing that always shows through is EXCITEMENT about creating art.  Hope this helps!

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Topic starter Posted : May 22, 2021 1:02 pm
Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41
Posted by: @johngoodwin

Hi Echo,

Recent volumes of Writers of the Future have an amazing diversity of art styles. This is a change from earlier books. Please explain what you are looking for that you can have such a diverse array of artists?

Thanks,

John

 

I, myself, create a variety of art styles.  Pen and ink, watercolor, realistic oil paintings, cyberpunk - so I have a natural appreciation for different art styles, and diversity in art.  So, as the coordinating judge, I take a huge effort into choosing a variety of different styles to be passed on to the judges.  I think it's important that the selection of art in the final book showcase the individual artists - and in order to do this, we need to nurture each artists individual vision.  If only one art style were to be preferred, then all the art in the book would look the same! And people love WOTF and IOTF BECAUSE it showcases artists and ideas that are NEW and Fresh!  So, bring on your different diverse styles!

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Topic starter Posted : May 22, 2021 1:06 pm
Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41

@wulfmoonThanks Wulf!!!

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Topic starter Posted : May 22, 2021 1:06 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084

Welcome, Echo! Good to have you with us. Can you describe what concepts go into developing a good book cover illustration? 1. Color selection. 2. Font styles. 3. Dynamic image that resonates with the target audience. 4. The journey in the illustration for the eye, and where in the illustration should the journey conclude?

Many writers are creating covers independently, and I see so many that are static and actually do a disservice to the story within. 

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : May 22, 2021 1:07 pm
John Goodwin
(@johngoodwin)
Active Member Moderator
Posts: 10
Posted by: @echochernik
Posted by: @johngoodwin

Hi Echo,

Recent volumes of Writers of the Future have an amazing diversity of art styles. This is a change from earlier books. Please explain what you are looking for that you can have such a diverse array of artists?

Thanks,

John

 

I, myself, create a variety of art styles.  Pen and ink, watercolor, realistic oil paintings, cyberpunk - so I have a natural appreciation for different art styles, and diversity in art.  So, as the coordinating judge, I take a huge effort into choosing a variety of different styles to be passed on to the judges.  I think it's important that the selection of art in the final book showcase the individual artists - and in order to do this, we need to nurture each artists individual vision.  If only one art style were to be preferred, then all the art in the book would look the same! And people love WOTF and IOTF BECAUSE it showcases artists and ideas that are NEW and Fresh!  So, bring on your different diverse styles!

Thank you!

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Posted : May 22, 2021 1:08 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084

Another question: In any of the arts, making your living as a full time artist with your own creations is the dream, but paying the bills requires creating art for others. You appear to be able to straddle both worlds while staying true to your style. How do you protect your *voice* as an artist while meeting commercial demands?

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : May 22, 2021 1:14 pm
Arthur Bowling
(@kenbowling)
New Member
Posts: 1

Hello Echo,

Hope you are doing well! As an illustrator that is just starting out in their career would you say is the biggest challenge in not just getting a career in the arts off the ground but maintaining it as well? And do you have any tips to overcome these hurdles from your years of experience?

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Posted : May 22, 2021 1:15 pm
Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41
Posted by: @wulfmoon

Welcome, Echo! Good to have you with us. Can you describe what concepts go into developing a good book cover illustration? 1. Color selection. 2. Font styles. 3. Dynamic image that resonates with the target audience. 4. The journey in the illustration for the eye, and where in the illustration should that journey conclude?

Many writers are creating covers independently, and I see so many that are static and actually do a disservice to the story within. 

Well, as you know, the cover is what sells the book! The writing may be *amazing* but if people never pick it up, they will never read it. So, it's the artists job to get people to say "hey this looks cool!" and pick it up. It's the writers job to keep people coming back for more!!!!!  

There needs to be a dynamic element or visual to get people to pick the book up (or click the link).  It should be clear, and enticing, and it should *not* give the story away.  It's tough for writers to art direct sometimes, because writers know all the elements of the story and want to tell the entire story in the illustration - when in fact, you just need to tease them.     Colors - it should be an image that pops color wise. That doesn't mean it needs to be super bright colors - the main focus of the illustration just needs to stand out against the background of the art - and be instantly recognizable.  The reader needs to be able to glance at it and instantly recognize that it's a dragon, or a face, or a shoe full of flowers.  If it's hard to read, people will move on.   

Font needs to be legible and complement the story.  Typography is more complicated than it seems - there are nuances to spacing and font selection, as well as font placement that takes an artistic eye.  Bad font choice and placement can definitely make a book look amateur.   

I can write an entire article about the journey in the illustration for the eye.  We discuss visual composition in great detail during the winners conference down in LA.  Composition is so very important.   You have seen bad art compositions - those are the ones that you look at and your eye wanders off the page, bored.  I generally recommend a triangle (or several triangles) in a composition. The eye may go from the main characters face, to their hand, to something the character is pointing at - back to the face, back to the hand, back to the pointing at object - in a triangle. It's best if there are several sub triangles too.  Also, study the Golden Section (just google that) and you'll learn a *lot* about composition.

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Topic starter Posted : May 22, 2021 1:16 pm
Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41
Posted by: @wulfmoon

Another question: In any of the arts, making your living as a full time artist with your own creations is the dream, but paying the bills requires creating art for others. You appear to be able to straddle both worlds while staying true to your style. How do you protect your *voice* as an artist while meeting commercial demands?

Don't mistake "paying the bills and making a living with your own creations" as two different things. I actually LOVE working with clients.  I generally don't consider it a chore.  It's a *different* type of challenge than creating my own inspirations, and in fact, I often learn a LOT from solving the problem of my client's work - which finds its way into (and inspires) my personal works.  I have never been an artist who has desired to "express" myself - I've always LOVED solving problems.  Each bookcover is a problem. Each package design is a problem (or a puzzle),  etc.  

For instance - when I get a bookcover to illustrate I have to consider several things - WHO is the target market??? Is it targeted toward young adults? Is it towards a more mature audience? Is it towards a particular culture? Who am I selling this book to????    This helps me decide the style I'm going to illustrate the book in, as well as the font choice, and overall design.  Same with package design, game art and everything else. 

Which lends me to do a lot of experimenting and learning - and ultimately this makes its way into my own art.   For me, it's all part of my voice.  Smile

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Topic starter Posted : May 22, 2021 1:21 pm
Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41

I look at an artistic career and style more as an EVER GROWING and changing life form - like a river, finding it's way through new lands.  Each time I come across an obstacle, or learn something new, it adds on to my Style and makes me grow as an artist. I don't think I'll ever stop taking commercial work.

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Topic starter Posted : May 22, 2021 1:22 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084

Great answers on cover illustrations, Echo. Thank you! Most paintings have three dominant colors in the composition. As to colors that motivate the observer to click or buy, I've heard orange is a good color. Do you have colors you intentionally incorporate into a book illustration to send buying signals? Or is it more about using colors that compliment one another for the most pleasing eye appeal? And while we're here, what's your signature color. Smile

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : May 22, 2021 1:26 pm
André Mata
(@a-mata)
New Member
Posts: 3

Hi Echo,

 

Could you tell us how can an inexperienced illustrator break into the illustration industry today and what do they need know and be able to do? 

In your opinion are there particular skills that are essencial for an illustrator? 

Where would you start if you were an illustrator trying to get work right out of college?

 

Thanks,

 

André

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Posted : May 22, 2021 1:30 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41
Posted by: @kenbowling

Hello Echo,

Hope you are doing well! As an illustrator that is just starting out in their career would you say is the biggest challenge in not just getting a career in the arts off the ground but maintaining it as well? And do you have any tips to overcome these hurdles from your years of experience?

It takes on average about ten years to get truly established as an artist - so first off, don't get discouraged! Just keep creating!  I found that once you are published, people tend to trust you more, and you get more work - so be sure to promote your published work. When someone publishes your work it says "Hey! this artist makes deadlines, and I trusted them enough to pay them money - you should pay them money too!".  Which makes new clients instinctively trust you. So, paid published work is good.  Some jobs will pay bad, others very good - and the clients never know what someone else paid - so if you choose to do a low paid job in order to get it published and create great work, that's ok! Don't feel bad about it. BUT it's part of your negotiation - if they don't have a big budget, YOU get more creative control, which means in the end you get a better piece to promote yourself with, which will lend itself to promoting YOU for what YOU want to do.  You deserve to get paid for your work.  That's an entire blog in itself!  

So, a big challenge in maintaining a career is, of course, financial - getting enough paid work, and BALANCING the work. Learning how to make your deadlines, and learning how to balance the higher paying jobs with the lower paying jobs.  I STILL do low paying jobs, because I WANT to - but I have to balance these out.  For instance, I do a lot of work for the rpg Shadowrun, this pays low compared to, say, Hasbro.  SO I just need to balance, in order to keep affording to do the work I want and the work I need - Although I equally enjoy both.  

Another challenge is - it took me YEARS to learn how to balance myself as a freelancer.  It's pretty darned scary.  One thing I learned is that I always managed to get just enough money in to keep going as an artist.  So, don't panic, just advertise - something always pops up to save you at the last minute, and just keep going forward - and pretty soon you'll find you're successfully balancing everything.    

You're lucky - you have GREAT resources out there nowadays to ask for advice.  Back when I was starting, the internet was in it's infancy.  I had college professors to ask, but not nearly the worldwide reach you have nowadays.  

You'll figure out how to balance.  Once you figure that out you'll be successful!!! I'm happy to talk more on this.

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Topic starter Posted : May 22, 2021 1:31 pm
Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41
Posted by: @wulfmoon

Great answers on cover illustrations, Echo. Thank you! Most paintings have three dominant colors in the composition. As to colors that motivate the observer to click or buy, I've heard orange is a good color. Do you have colors you intentionally incorporate into a book illustration to send buying signals? Or is it more about using colors that compliment one another for the most pleasing eye appeal? And while we're here, what's your signature color. Smile

It's such a complicated subject, I could type for years on it. Lol.  Orange is a good color.  I think it depends on the book. There isn't one right answer.  I tend to do a lot of figures - so i like to balance the shape and colors of the main characters face - as one point of interest, and then use complementary colors.  For instance, google the Shadowrun arcanists edition tarot.   Her face and eyes are the central focus. Her face is skin tones. then your eye goes to the orange of the fire, and comes around to the other blade. Then back to the face. Then fire, then blade.  I also like to use blues, teals, purples and reds.  

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Topic starter Posted : May 22, 2021 1:35 pm
Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41
Posted by: @a-mata

Hi Echo,

 

Could you tell us how can an inexperienced illustrator break into the illustration industry today and what do they need know and be able to do? 

In your opinion are there particular skills that are essencial for an illustrator? 

Where would you start if you were an illustrator trying to get work right out of college?

 

Thanks,

 

André

Draw draw draw. Strong art and drawing skills are your biggest weapon. You don't need fancy equipment or fancy tools if you can *draw the pants off* of everyone else.     To break into the industry, put together a strong portfolio. It only has to be five or six pieces, but they have to be amazing.  Then promote them. Everywhere.  Get published. Once you have published pieces, it tells everyone else that you know how to make deadlines and keep them, and that someone paid you for your work - so you're worth it. Then keep drawing and promoting.  You're lucky, you have the internet. Promote everywhere online.  *Don't* beg for work online - just show your work and market yourself as an active, professional illustrator.     

When I was in college, I knew I wanted to illustrate right out of school. I spent my senior year in college studying all the forms of black and white illustration, because I knew I could get work doing that. It paid *terrible* but I was working! I did that for about five years and got tons of pieces from it. I finally landed a job from Trek Bicycles, which was my first mainstream advertising work. Then I promoted myself with that, and got another job, and promoted myself with that - and kept at it.   Keep drawing and creating illustrations and targeting them towards companies you would like to work for. 

What sort of illustration do you want to do? What is your DREAM job?

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Topic starter Posted : May 22, 2021 1:40 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Echo Chernik
(@echochernik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 41

@a-mata Answered this one, I think this is a duplicate post.

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Topic starter Posted : May 22, 2021 1:42 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084

Thank you for the answers about commercial illustration vs. personal projects, and how you view both as problem solving that leads to personal growth regardless of who you are doing it for.

One thing I teach my in my writing workshops is that to survive as a writer, you need multiple income streams. Few full time writers make 100% of their income from selling their writing. In fact, figures I've seen in recent studies reveal about one third comes from writing, and the rest from teaching, editing, public speaking, and the like. How true is this for full time artists? I would assume it's similar, as being diversified means if it's a slow month in your gallery, you can still pay the overhead because you have an assignment from Hasbro or Celestial Seasonings.

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : May 22, 2021 1:43 pm
AlexH
(@alexh)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 247

Hi Echo - what do you consider when illustrating written works? Do you look for a particular visual scene or descriptive detail, for example? I read your response about creating illustrations that don't give too much about a story away - can that be difficult to do?

Is there something us writers can do to make your job easier?

Finally, who or what were your inspirations, whether fellow artists or not?

Thanks. Smile  

35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM SHM | 38: HM

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Posted : May 22, 2021 1:44 pm
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Kary English
(@karyenglish)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 593

Hi, Echo,

What would you recommend for someone who's proficient with traditional 2D media only - nothing digital? There are so many online / digital tools out there, that I don't even know where to start.

Thanks!

 

Kary

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Kary English

WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists, 1 Winner
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Totaled (revised HM) in issue #9 of Mike Resnick's Galaxy's Edge
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Posted : May 22, 2021 1:46 pm
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