Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ed Emberley taught me how to draw

Edward Randolph Emberley (born October 19, 1931 in Malden, Massachusetts) is an American artist and illustrator.
Emberley is best known for his work with children's books. In particular, Emberley has contributed illustrations to instructional books for drawing. From an educational standpoint, Emberley believes that everyone can learn to draw. His instructional drawing books for children present simple step-by-step instructions and often employ the numbers, letters, and shapes with which early elementary-school-age children are beginning to familiarize themselves. His book Ed Emberley's A.B.C. uses this style of instruction exclusively, presenting a single letter-based drawing for each letter of the alphabet.
Emberley has illustrated or contributed to over 50 books. Many of the books were published in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Emberley has experienced a renaissance with adults who fondly remember using the books in their youth, and are now purchasing them for their children (or for themselves).

As a kid, I hung out at the library, mostly because it was one of the only public places my over-protective parents would allow me to roam beyond eyesight. The kids section and the art/comics section were my stomping grounds, and I must have gone thru all the books there at least three times over. Even back then I barely had the attention span for any books without pictures, and ever since I was old enough to look at things I've been a visual person. But one of the things I got that I was OBSESSED with, and caused quite a sum of late fees, was the Ed Emberley's How-To-Draw Books. These were like, my artistic bible growing up. He breaks stuff down SO SIMPLY that literally ANYONE can draw this stuff, and it's perfect for kids who want to draw, cuz it helps them make SENSE of all the crazy scribbles they do, and learn basic structure and how to use simple shapes to make a picture. I mean,look at this:

Even if you 'can't even draw a straight line' you can follow Ed's instructions. And for the record, hardly ANYONE can draw a straight line, regardless of their artistic skill. That's why rulers are so popular.

Look how simple that is. And after you draw all of the things he shows you, it arms you with the basic artistic ability to break stuff down that you see in real life into simple shapes and then build them back up into a picture on paper. Which is, essentially what an artist does.

Here's a review I found of Ed Emberley's Make A World book, that they recently reissued, which was my favorite by far. Honestly, this book changed my life. It makes anyone capable of drawing SO MUCH STUFF, that it's like your imagination just pours out onto the paper. At least it did for me.

How to Draw a Werewolf, from The Big Book of Weirdos. He was my favorite. I'm actually gonna get a tattoo of him sometime next year or so.

For more information:
Ed on Wikipedia
Ed Emberley search results on Amazon.com
Ed Emberley.com (requires Flash)
Make A Word: The Film (upcoming documentary on Ed Emberley's book)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Aftermath: King Con Brooklyn (11/7-8)

Hi hi! So yeah, last weekend was King Con Brooklyn, which was quite a success! Was an intimate SPX-like convention, basically an entire artist alley, which was nice because it basically became a meet-and-greet for fellow NYC artists. I made back my table money in sales, which is all one can truly hope for when getting a table at a con. You always end up taking a loss somewhere- be it traveling, paying for product to sell, food to eat, etc, etc. It was super-cool since it was primarily local peeps in attendance, I actually got some recognition from being at other local events around the city and from plastering my stickers and postcards are around town. It was especially funny when someone recognized my cards from the Thai restaurant in Long Island City, Queens that I sometimes go to after work to pick up dinner. I've been dropping them off, thinking nothing of it. It's nice to know there is actually some sort of payoff in running around town with a heavy purse full of self-promotional material. My space was also very awesome. I had an 8' table up against the 'wall', which was actually a wall made of about 3 rows of church pews, so I was able to sit quite comfortably during the two long 10am-7pm days of the convention. I do love going to comic conventions and working my table, meeting fans and fellow creators- but I am also VERY relieved this was my last con for the year. As much as I love doing them, they certainly take alot out of me. Especially since I only leave my table when I ABSOLUTELY have to. XP All the talking, pitching, conversing, getting excited over things and humoring the occaisional weirdo while fun in short bursts can definitely become exhaustive over an 8 hour shift. I usually end up going straight home after the con is over for the day and throwing my jammies on. But I'll be able to rest up for MoCCA Fest in April, which will be my next convention appearance! More on that as it gets closer!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Miss MJ is DONE, son!

Huzzah! After 3 months of getting people to vote, order, and agonizing over revisions and getting the word out, the Miss Mary Jane toy is finished and ready to go!

You can order her here!!

So excited!! Beyond awesome that they were able to make the hoodie clear! I can't suggest PatchTogether.com enough- if you've got a toy concept, and about 150 friends who'll vote for it to put it into production, and some willing buyers, definitely go for it and submit a design concept. This whole endeavor that started out as a late night bout of 'I'll just do this for shits and giggles and see what happens' has transmogrified into something so much bigger and awesomer than I could have imagined. Seeing my artwork interpreted as a 3D sculpture and ultimately having my own toy out on the market is so surreal and awesome at the same time, and this is definitely not the last collaboration for a toy I plan on doing with them. The journey of making Miss Mary Jane into a toy has been a tremendous learning experience. The sculptor I worked with- Miller, has done an amazing job and had nothing less than the utmost patience with my 8 million revisions going back and forth. Kudos and high fives all around!

As a little sneaky-peaky preview, I wanted to share some doodles from my sketchbook of my next character I wanna submit to Patch Together to be made into a toy. She's a rollergirl and her name is Laika Phenomenon. Her design will be much more upfront and simplified, since she will be drawn with the intention of being made into a toy from the get-go. I also like how thick I'm making her. I want big boobs and big hips, and definitely a little gut. I think she'll probably also do better in sales as I plan on making her smaller, thus a better price point, and there's more of a universal appeal for a roller girl figure (moreso I'd say, than for a girl made of pot). In fact, I'm pretty sure there are no roller derby girl toys as of yet. I'm hoping to submit her as a design for the beginning of the upcoming year.

Also! This weekend I will be at King Con in Brooklyn! If you're in the NYC area by all mean come by, I've got a table and will be hocking my wares!

King Con in Brooklyn: Nov 7-8

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Miss Mary Jane Final Sculpt and some upcoming appearances!

Hey hey hey!!! For those who haven't seen her yet- the final sculpt of Miss Mary Jane is up on Patchtogether.com! She looks awesome! I can't wait to see her in person! And contrary to the picture, she *DOES* have her hoodie and it *IS* clear. Just finishing up final revisions on the paints and then I think we'll be good to go with the final unveiling!
You can still order her here at the PatchTogether site!

In other news, this weekend (Nov 7-8) is King Con in Brooklyn! I'll be there all day Saturday and Sunday, hocking my wares and chatting it up. If you're in the New York City area- come on out to the Brooklyn Lyceum in Park Slope! Tickets are only $7 a day or $10 for the weekend!
Also next week I will be attending the NYC Chapter of Drink & Draw Social Club's November session at Local 269 on Weds, November 11th. Me and a few or my artist friends will be kicking back with some beers and drawing some ridiculous shit.
I also put in my application for a half table at New York Comic Con 2010 yesterday. Applications opened at 12:00 noon, and I was on there at 12:01. They're doing at first-come, first-served for alot of the up-and-coming artists in artist alley, and they're apparently wanting to play up the diversity, so hopefully I'll get in there. I've got big plans if I'm accepted. ::fingers crossed::
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