So earlier this year I did a job for Reader's Digest Children's Publishing. It was a Transformer's Rescue Bots Lift-the-Flap book. The Rescue Bots are the "kiddified" version of the Transformers of whose existence I was, up until that point, completely unaware of. Once I got up to speed on who and what exactly they were, I jumped into the project with both feet. I had finished illustrating the book back in early June and I just got my artist samples in the mail yesterday. It was one of those jobs that took a bit longer than the publisher, or I, anticipated but it was fairly involved and I wanted to make sure I did the best job I could on it. Books are always involved affairs where the artwork is subject to a bunch of parameters that have to be followed for proper press printing. With this book the location of the lifting flaps were spelled out at the get go. The art had to be drawn to work with that in mind which made for some interesting compositional challenges. When I look at the artwork now I, of course, see things I would adjust or tweak but overall I'm pretty pleased with the work. I tried to keep the colors fun and the compositions dynamic and snappy. The cover image on the book isn't mine, it's a collage of existing artwork. But the interior is all my work.
As an illustrator you don't take on a job like this expecting a big payday. Margins on these kinds of books are small and the budgets are consequently slim and to be fair I don't think the publisher expected me to expend the amount of effort that I did. I just found myself having a good deal of fun on this one.
When it comes to compensation, most publishers notoriously take ages to pay artists. It's not meant to be a slam (much), it's just been my experience both with a book agent and without. Typically I don't expect payment until 2-3 months after my work is done. The record for me has been 9 months of wait. Reader's Digest, a company that was in the midst of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings while I was working on this book, paid my invoices within 1 month. To say I was shocked was an understatement! Their staff was also a pleasure to work with and a model of patience. I hope they recover financially and that things continue to improve for them.
If you are so inclined, the book can be per-ordered on Amazon US: Rescue Bots Roll to the Rescue,
or Amazon Canada: Rescue Bots Roll to the Rescue CA
Thursday, July 25, 2013
|Pulling a giant Hot Dog mat out of a "teeny-tiny" kettle grill has just an unexpected surprise factor.|
|Anyone who was a fan of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends might get a kick out of this little "wise ass" running around their screen.|
Friday, December 21, 2012
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The Works for more information about them and the event. There are several items and packages donated to the event by local business and artisans for auction. This one is mine. It was inspired by the vintage illustrations of artist Vernon Grant (the guy who created the characters of Snap, Crackle and Pop for Kellogg's back in 1933) but with my own twist. The Museum building itself used to house a factory that built steam engines in 1861. The Works logo features gears and Newark Ohio has a storied manufacturing history so the idea of a kid with overalls, work gloves and a giant sledge hammer just sort of competed the picture for me! I confess my mind works in strange ways but I'm really happy with the result and I hope the event guests will like it too. The illustration was drawn by hand and painted digitally with a combination of Photoshop CS6, Painter 12 and Art Rage Pro. It measures 16 x 20 and will be printed on canvas with archival inks.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
These are some sketches that I did for Hasbro a couple of years back for a project that I don't even remember what it was! I ran across these things when I was going through some drawing piles and I always liked the way they felt probably because I got to play a lot with the design aspects.
I seem to do a bunch of stuff that never sees the light of day!
Well, as long as the checks don't bounce......
Monday, October 24, 2011
A few days ago my friend, and former boss at Disney, Vince posted a piece of Busytown Halloween artwork that I helped work on for AAA. With his kind permission I am posting a few of the other Busytown pieces that I have worked on for Vince.
I remember these characters from when I was in elementary school. It's a complete joy to draw them now in my adulthood!