Mj Arts Illustration 3


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The purpose of MJ Arts is to provide the individual as well as the professional community with the graphic tools they need to communicate their message to the world in a manner that is honest, attractive and in keeping with the timeless values that build society.
Marty Jones has been a professional illustrator for over three decades, and is committed to communicating a \'sense of wonder\' to the world. Using hand-drawn and digital media, he creates images in a manner that reflects the contributions of the great illustrators of the Twentieth Century; in a format suited to the Twenty First Century.

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Mj Arts Illustration 3

  1. 1. Presenting Marty Jones, Illustrator http://www.mjarts.com Part 3 A Day in the Life of an Illustrator - Creating a Children’s Book.
  2. 2. First Heroes for Freedom by Marcia Bjerregaard First Heroes for Freedom tells the story of Cuff, a 15 year old slave who lives on Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island in the year 1778. One night his owners send him on a journey to enlist with the First Rhode Island Regiment, a military company comprised primarily of slaves. While serving in the First Rhode Island, Cuff begins to learn the meaning of freedom.
  3. 3. Oregon At Last! By Lillian Foreman Oregon At Last tells the fictional story of 11 year old Maggie, and her family, as they journey along the Oregon Trail from Missouri to Oregon. I have a personal interest in the story in that my paternal great-grandparents journeyed from Missouri and Kansas to Oregon 20-30 years after Maggie's family made their trip.
  4. 4. The Declaration of Independence by Melinda Lilly "The Declaration of Independence" is an Easy Reader version of the story of Thomas Jefferson's writing of the document that began the Revolutionary War.
  5. 5. A Day in the Life of an Illustrator- One day I received a telephone call from a publisher... She had seen some of my illustrations on the Internet, and wanted me to illustrate a book for her. She said she would send a manuscript-- a copy of the story-- for me to read. This is part of the story of Forever and Always by Karen Schilling-Gould.
  6. 6. A word about my past expectations... I used to think that I would be working with authors in creating children’s books. Instead of working with authors, I’ve worked with editors. This isn’t bad; it’s just different than I expected...
  7. 7. The story is about one special celebration of the weekly Jewish Sabbath- Shabot -which begins on Friday at sundown, and ends on Saturday at sundown. This tradition has existed for centuries, and continues today in the same manner as it was celebrated thousands of years ago. The story is also about a girl named Sophie and a special pair of candlesticks. Forever and Always is an undiscovered treasure; undiscovered because it hasn’t been published yet.
  8. 8. A Day in the Life of an Illustrator - Creating a Children’s Book. Creating a children’s book is similar to making movies, in that the Editor runs the process- in the same manner as the Director of a movie. Typically the Editor selects the illustrator. Discussing picture ideas with the author is sort of discouraged.
  9. 9. However, working on Forever & Always was different... I’m not Jewish. I have an interest in Jewish history and culture, but it’s not the same. Ms. Shilling-Gould, realizing that the illustrator for her story might not be Jewish, added a clause to her contract requiring her review of the artwork to ensure cultural accuracy. I did a lot of Internet research on Jewish art and culture. I like my illustrations to be accurate.
  10. 10. The Anatomy of a Children’s Book: Finding the Pictures Reading a book is a ‘team effort’ between an author and the reader; sometimes assisted by an illustrator. My job as an illustrator is to find the pictures that the author’s words bring to the mind of the reader; and then to draw those pictures. I read the story several times, looking for ‘word pictures’ to draw. For this book, I needed to find 15 ‘word pictures’; plus a cover illustration.
  11. 11. Creating a Picture Book “Dummy” In this case, ‘dummy’ doesn’t mean stupid; it means making a small model of the book. It is similar to a storyboard for movies or television. This is the finished version; it starts more simply.
  12. 12. The Anatomy of a Children’s Book I drew 32 boxes, sized as directed by the editor. A 32 page book is very common-16 sheets of paper. The printing occurs on each side of the page. The last page is set up on the printing sheet so that it is located next to the first page. Picture books typically have a page count in multiples of 4
  13. 13. Creating a Picture Book “Dummy” The first step is to decide what portions of the manuscript are best suited to having illustrations; then decide how the illustrations will look.
  14. 14. Creating a Picture Book “Dummy” Sketches I start sketching scenes from the story; thinking about how the finished book will look. I often start by making anatomical sketches- first drawing simple skeletons, and then adding muscle groups. Then I start doing research...
  15. 15. Creating a Picture Book “Dummy” Research I usually do a lot of research for my illustrations, especially for historical stories. I use the Internet a lot; I also use books written on the subject of the story. Continental Soldiers for “First Heroes...” and “The Declaration of Independence” Re-enactors from the First Rhode Island Regiment- “First Heroes for Freedom” Oxen for “Oregon At Last”
  16. 16. Creating a Picture Book “Dummy” More Research I used historical paintings and drawings for references in creating the members of the Continental Congress for “Declaration...”
  17. 17. Creating a Picture Book “Dummy” Still More Research I often create ‘movie stills’ using my computer and my VCR, for use as reference images. I used to feel guilty about using photos for references, until I came across this quotation from my hero, Norman Rockwell, who often used a balopticon- an opaque projector- for his drawings
  18. 18. "The balopticon is an evil, inartistic, habit-forming, lazy and vicious machine! It also is a useful, time-saving, practical and helpful one. I use one often—and am thoroughly ashamed of it. I hide it whenever I hear people coming. My two lame excuses for using it are: most of the other fellows use it, and nowadays you don't drive a horse and buggy when you can use a car. Nevertheless, I always will have one on hand because it is a great help in many wholly good and legitimate ways." My ‘balopticon’ is my computer, scanner and printer.
  19. 19. Creating a Picture Book “Dummy” Making Line Drawings When I’ve decided how the drawings should be laid out, I then make line drawings from my sketches. Page 3 from Forever and Always
  20. 20. Creating a Picture Book “Dummy” Making Line Drawings The Editor wanted me to contrast the ancient Jewish Sabbath traditions with modern furniture in the house. I used photos from interior design magazines for general layout; and then designed similar furniture.
  21. 21. Creating a Picture Book Developing the Drawings I then take the line drawing and add shading, to make it more realistic. The drawing often changes in the process.
  22. 22. Creating a Picture Book Developing the Drawings - Faces Drawing faces is difficult. Putting a line in the wrong place causes a face to look too fat, too thin; too old, too young. I was having trouble drawing Sophie’s face from my imagination. So I contacted the author to ask for photos of her daughter, who was the correct age for the story; and she became “Sophie”.
  23. 23. Creating a Picture Book Developing the Drawings - More Faces One of the advantages of being able to work with the author was ‘meeting’ Nana Pearl, and being able to include her in the illustrations.
  24. 24. For this book, I’ve colored the pencil drawings with my computer. Sometimes the drawings change as I work on them. Sophie’s door started on the other side. For the drawing on Page 13, I decided a closer view of Sophie was important for the telling of the story. Creating a Picture Book Final Art
  25. 25. The End of the Story Or Maybe Not... This book doesn’t have an ending... yet. The publisher who wanted me to illustrate Forever and Always decided not to publish the book. Fortunately, the author retained her rights to the story. To my knowledge, no other publisher has shown interest in publishing the book; and this is sad- it’s a wonderful story. So I keep working on it during my spare time. Hopefully it will get published some day.
  26. 26. Return to PowerPoint Index