Wednesday, January 31, 2007
MERMAID PAINTING is done!
After many weeks painting after work and on weekends I am proud to bring you my mermaid. I produced her because I was tired of working with tight deadlines and as you may have noticed, I LOVE mermaids! The ocean is such a vast unexplored place and it's right here on this planet. Who is to say merpeople do not exist? I would dare to say that they are probably not as "human" looking at my painting is but maybe they have hair like seaweed and sea animals flock to them. If you are a careful observer of ocean creatures you will notice several things. The first is that there are two fictional animals in this piece (you guess which). The second is that some of these species do not belong together (and no, not "shark and little fish, I'm thinking more geographically). I wanted to paint something that reminded me of the great barrier reef, which I visited a couple of years ago. It's so packed full of creatures of different sorts that it's hard to turn in each direction and not bump into something.
New species of fish are being discovered all the time. Coral reef populations in many parts of the world are being fished by dynamite (Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, etc) which is devestating the fish population and reef life and therefore must be respected, documented and painted (haha, cue for me). Fish are such amazing creatures too! Did you know that salmon return to the same river they hatched in to spawn? Some shark species do not lay eggs but rather bare live young. Every place you turn there is a wonderful new creature doing something amazing.
Why not paint it!
Illustration Friday: RED
Click on image for better preview.
This little illustration is a product of staying up too late. It evolved into a representation of what employers imagine their employees capable of (or want them to be). Unrealistic expectations of the multi tasking angel who is diligent, ontime always and stays indifferent to office politics.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Today was my first "free" working day. I finished the cover to the handbook (only three more illustrations to go, whew!) but cannot post it here (hark! Must wait until it is published, if it does get chosen). I was invited to subcontract at my old employment and am waiting to review the contract to decide what to pursue.
After the meeting, however, I rushed to Chapters and bought two very important books: 1). 2007 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market and 2). Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market. If you have never heard of these books I would suggest you go out and read them (even if you have to read them while sitting in the middle of the business aisles in Chapters). Handy little guys, let me tell you.
Time ticks on by as I try to get lots of art completed before the big book show in New York. That's right, in case I havn't said so earlier I am going to Book Expo America to talk to publishers and hopfully make a couple contacts. Maybe learn a bit more about the big guns... who knows?
Saturday, January 27, 2007
My business is officially up and running. I already have one logo finished with the help of my husband (who is also a graphic designer) and the second logo is in very close to final approval. There are three children's books in the quoting stages and a possible ongoing group of contract work through my last employment (a local publisher).
I had a big "open for business" party last night with so many wonderful people I have known throughout the years. They seemed to like my mermaid painting, which I must admit is going rather slowly these last few weeks due to other more pressing portfolio matters. (I am doing a large piece on wood that is full of fish, coral and other oddities. I've always wanted to complete a painting that reminded me of the great barrier reef, which I visited in February of 2005). However! I have a good start on the handbook painting which is encouraging. I almost want to redo it though because I'm simply hating the darn paper I've chosen to paint it on.
So here officially begins my illustration "journey".
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I completed this odd sketch while watching Hero last night. I got so lost in the crazy shading that I finished quite late. I should probably get onto painting some things so that I have actual color work in here...
thanks gabe for signing my guestbook, first to sign!
Monday, January 22, 2007
Today's sketch is a little bitty of fun I created at Christmas time. I dreamed up Samuel's story as such: a lonely musician playing for coins on the street, happy as can be. There are ideas that involve Sam travelling with his guitar and singing on the road, gathering different friends and contacts until someone trys to sign him. Samuel doesn't feel this would be good for him but signs anyway and eventually... well heck! I can't ruin the end of the story. Stay tuned to find out about Sam!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
I am rather excited to get back to painting today. Yesterday consisted of much figuring out of web material (setting up a flickr account, scanning like crazy and waiting for my husband to finish playing xbox live so that the internet could work again... or just go to sleep because the playing never stopped!). I have a really good sketch done for the cover of that teenage handbook. (and no, it's not the mermaid picture on here) I think that I can not attach it to this blog until after the contest runs it's course as I wouldn't want unpublished material to surface before the publishers had their run of it (that is IF I win the contest which may prove difficult).
I have also discovered a marvelous website called childrensillustrators.com which I am going to join as soon as I have 20 of my own pieces (unless of course I can get my current employeer's permission, which would be so great and save so much time). Here's hoping!
In the meantime, enjoy a sketch I put together at my parents house on the farm. I really enjoy drawing mermaids. There is something so exotic about them. You can put anyone's face on the body but as soon as you add that tail it's a whole new dimension.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Unfortunately for me, I have to completely redo my portfolio of four years (having been under a work for hire contract as a full time employee.) so most of my work for now is still in the sketching phase. Keep checking for updates as I finish paintings and upload sketches.
This week has been quite surreal. I am still at the local publishing house for one week and each day that I return it feels like nothing has happened and life is going to continue like always. Yet I have this wonderful sense of hope and excitement that I can't seem to shake off so I guess it must be real. I have been so fortunte to have worked with such amazing people. They are so talented, inspiring and hard working and most of all have become dear friends.
This picture was done over Christmas holidays. I really love drawing girls with weird necks (not sure why!) and odd creatures are of course one of the coolest things in the world. Sigh...
I have spent the last four years illustrating full time for a local publishing business but have been craving more time to work in my home based studio. I am one week away from cashing in my card to be there, and going part time at our local provincial museum. I am going to approach children's book publishers, local magazines and various other local business's that require personal artwork. Scribbled Business is going to be the journal of progress that my business takes as I make my way from no name corporate artist to crystal driedger, "that illustrator now featured in communication arts", or "that artist who did illustrations in that new book at Chapters".
My goals are to create pieces that I feel comfortable entering into Communication arts and Applied Arts (deadlines are in February and March) and there is a local publisher that is doing handbooks for teenagers and children and I am going to enter there as well (prize 10,000 big ones, enough to get my business good and started full time). I have been painting a mermaid for a good month now and will finish that this February and plan to post it here as well. I am going to create an original mail out sampler that goes to local business's and a great brochure type mail out to go to the big gun publishers.
A little teaser of my work appears on my website splash page at www.crystaldriedger.com and I have included a recent sketch I did while watching some movies on my couch. It is certainly inspired by Maurice sendak as I had received a copy of "where the wild things are" for my birthday in October. I love Maurice's characters hands and scribbled etching type under layer pen work. Do check it out if you've never read this book. It is certainly a classic beauty!