Illustration Rally Feature

On Saturday, I had the good fortune to be interviewed and featured on Illustration Rally. Natsuki Otani has created the blog as a rolling collaboration and also does occasional artist features. Natsuki is a great illustrator who is also very supportive of other artists and the intro to my feature is completely flattering! I urge you to check out the feature and check out the other artists there, along with Natsuki’s website.

Also, I just received word that 8: A Kid’s Anthology will be available for purchase later this week! I’ve ordered my copies and am waiting “patiently.” Stay tuned for the official release!! If you are interested in reviewing or helping to promote the book, please contact me for more info.

Breakfast Sucks! Editorial Piece

This weekend I finished my last assignment for the Tutor Mill. The class was really fantastic and I made a lot of progress in just a few short weeks. My last assignment was for a humorous article called “Breakfast Sucks!” The author is poking fun at the breakfast craze in the dining world and thinks that breakfast is overrated. Below is the first version of my finished piece. I was taking a bit of inspiration from the old Ren & Stimpy cartoons where they would zoom in on something in disgusting detail. I took that disgusting detail and added it to breakfast, which was hard to do because I LOVE breakfast.

After getting some comments back from my teachers, I made a few adjustments. I started to play around with the line quality and the color of individual lines. It’s something I’ve always been interested in working with and this provided a great opportunity to experiment. It’s a subtle change that I think makes a big difference.

Then I thought I would see what it looked like without the lines at all. Obviously I would need to push the contrast in some places to define things better if this was going to be the finished piece.

Ultimately I think I’m going to stick with #2 for this piece, but I would really like to hear your opinions on each and which one you prefer. Does the piece without lines still look like my work or does it lose some of my personal style? I’m looking forward to playing with line color more in the future and will plan it out accordingly. Eventually I want to start drawing directly in Photoshop instead of scanning finished line work, but one experiment at a time for now.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

I can finally announce the big project I’ve been working on for months!  Last year I was invited by Christopher Tupa to participate in a children’s anthology he was putting together. 8 artists, including myself, each wrote and illustrated an 8 page short story for the book. The range of styles and subjects make this a perfect book for kids of all ages. Here are the other incredible artists:

Mark Harmon

Sam Kirkman

Craig Pirrall

The book is currently being printed at Ka-Blam and should be ready for purchase through Indy Planet in November! For those of you who will be heading to the UP! Fair in November, Mark Harmon will have copies of the book available for purchase as well.

This process has been an incredibly fun learning experience. I don’t know how often collaborations like this actually go to print but we feel strongly about this project and about self-publishing as a way for illustrators to get their work out to the public. If you would like to follow our collaborative critique process, you can visit the forums over at Illopond created by Ben Powis. There you can follow most of our communication throughout the process and you can join the forums to find artists and start your own collaborations.

My story is titled The Panda in the Pantry and there are a few sneak peeks sprinkled around the blog if you look hard enough. Stay tuned for updates on the book and where you can find it. You can also follow Anthology8 for updates as the release gets closer.

Short Reports: Michelle Kondrich vs. A Confederacy of Dunces

Today my illustration for a scene from A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole was posted up on Picture Book Report. More about the site:

“Picture Book Report is an extended love-song to books. Fifteen illustrators will reach out to their favorite books and create wonderful pieces of art in response to the text that has moved them, shaped them, or excited them. From sci-fi to children’s books to fantasy to serious novels, we’ll cover them all. For three weeks out of every month there will be a new illustration every day from one of us along with our thoughts, process, anything we can come up with. Together we will try to excite readers both new and old and capture some of that magic of storytelling.”

This summer the creator, Meg Hunt, opened up the site to all illustrators. She is now posting Short Reports like this one when the regular contributors are not able to post. It’s such a fun website to watch and I’m thrilled that I was able to contribute. Please follow the site and the other illustrators there because there is some amazing work being produced.