Happy New Year! Personally, I am looking at 2011 with rose-tinted glasses. The economy is starting to pick itself up off the littered floor, and I just got three books to help inspire and guide me:
The first is Spectrum 17, the latest in the series. A great source of lovely, beautiful, amazing, inspiring, shame-inducing, wonderful work. I am always blown away by how great the best contemporary artists are in every aspect of what they do. It simultaneously makes me want to lock myself in a room and paint until my hands wear away into little nubs or explode in a fiery ball of frustration and self-pity. This might sound strange, but I know many artists who feel this way after looking at the same book, or going to the museum, or a really great gallery opening. Inspiration is weird that way.
The next is the Graphic Artist's Guild's Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. It's a must-have for freelancers who don't want to be taken for the proverbial ride. It gives industry standards for pricing and an explanation of various terms that can be found in most contracts. Just seeing how many zeros are on the established artist's paycheck has much the same effect on me as looking at the Spectrum books.
The third is an amazing book called Framed Ink, by Marcos Mateu-Mestre. It's geared towards sequential art, but is full of great advice for narrative, lighting, composition, character design, and plenty of other stuff that's on pages I haven't read yet. I highly recommend it for any illustrator or concept artist.
Changing Houses in TriviaTown
As I have mentioned before, I have been working with TriviaTown Inc. on a Facebook game called Exorcists vs. Demons. Unfortunately, the game has hit a bump in the road, and it may be a while before we can get back to working on it. However, when a door is closed, a window is opened, as they say, and I will continue to be able to work with TriviaTown on illustrations for another game. Also, as it is unclear whether they will be utilized in the future, I have been given permission to share some of the 100+ illustrations I made for Exorcists vs. Demons:
8 months ago