Thursday, October 20, 2011

Project 8 : 25 basic promo packages

Research how 5 different artists promote their work. There are books on this subject, and design magazines often run annual issues on designer and illustrator promotions.

Design, prepare, and send out 25 promotional packages to 25 clients with whom you would like to work. The packages can take any form you wish, so long as they can be mailed. They must include: examples of your illustration work, a stamped response postcard, and your contact information, including your web presence.

Please note that this project is worth as much, gradewise, as either of your Visual Essays, and is just as important. These promos must look absolutely professional, and be absolutely captivating. Put a lot of work into them. The packages must be addressed, stamped, and ready to mail in order to receive a passing grade. Research due: 10/20 // Promo Packages due: 12/18

Project 7 : Illustrator Research Project

Research 45 contemporary Illustrators. Resources for finding contemporary Illustrators include Drawn! The Blog(, The Society of Illustrators Annual Showcase, and the Communication Arts Illustration Annual. Research due: 10/13

After you have researched all these Illustrators, select one as the subject for a paper. At least five sources must be cited in your bibliography. Use at least two non-internet sources. Select a living artist, as you must contact them by email and arrange an interview (note that some artists will not respond, give yourself time to discover this and find a new subject). Write a 2000 word paper about the artist: who they are, who their influences are, what their art training was like, what sort of work they do and for what sorts of clients, how they promote themselves, and what sort of techniques they use. The final paper should be emailed to my MCA account the morning of the presentation.

Prepare a 15-minute slide or Powerpoint presentation based on your paper. It should include at least twenty images of your artist’s work, and at least five of an artist who influenced your artist. You may wish to also include images that set the time and place that your artist worked in. Paper and Presentation due: 12/3

Project 5 : visual essay 2

The subject and format of Visual Essay 2 will be decided based on the needs of your portfolio and the successful completion of Visual Essay 1. This visual essay will be critiqued 11/17 and will be turned in on 12/1.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Project 4 : Visual Essay 1

You will create two visual essays this semester. Each will consist of a written element, multiple images, and a format intended to support communication of your visual essay’s thesis. For your first visual essay, select one of the two subjects below:

List 10 subjects open to current debate. Examples might be as weighty as abortion, animal rights, civil rights, the death penalty, genetic engineering, or as light as “wet or dry barbecue?” The issues may be local, global, or personal. Select the subject that seems most compelling to you as an illustrator. Create a mind-map of associations based on this subject. Write a 500-word opinion statement on your topic. Your opinion may be pro, con, or passionately ambivalent, but it should be informed. Cite at least 4 sources in support of your statement. Add to your mind-map, based on the research for your statement. Generate ten tangents or sub-sections to your subject. Prepare at least 50 thumbnails illustrating the tangents or sub-sections developed from your mind-map.

Choose a place, event, or organization in Memphis to document. Examples might include a nursing home, a night club, a Buddhist temple, a political protest, or a cooking class. Think of yourself as a journalist: find a subject which interests you and which you think other people would be interested to know more about. Through a series of images, tell us as much as you can about your subject. What is going on? Who is involved? Why? Write a 500-word statement detailing your proposed subject. Be sure that your subject is accessible to you: don’t just barge into a kindergarten and start drawing the kids. They will call the police, and I will not bail you out. Visit your location every week. Prepare drawings on location. You may take photo-reference if you want. Write about your experiences there. Interview at least two people regarding your subject. Make sure you sketch your interviewees. The location drawings and interview sketches may be done with the idea of using them as your final pieces, or as preparation for works executed in your studio. Subject Statements due 9/15. The completed visual essay is critiqued on 10/6, and will be turned in on 10/13.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Inspiration For Some of Your Assigned Daily Sketches

Images taken from the awesome blog post by James Gurney at (click here to view the post). Special thanks for the great Derrick Dent for finding this gem (

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Project 3: Illustration 1: What’s Missing?

Create an illustration in response to the State of the Union. Consider what you have declared/discovered about yourself and your identity as an illustrator. You may have uncovered areas or subjects that are very important to you but which are not represented in your portfolio. This piece can be the first attempt to remedy that. Subject, technique, size, and format are open. Critiqued 9/8, due 9/15.