Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Valerie Greeley

How is it that you became an illustrator?
I spent most of my childhood drawing or daydreaming so I suppose it was inevitable that I was drawn towards art and design. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to pursue a career that I love. Many of my ancestors had no such advantages despite showing artistic talent, circumstances did not allow them to follow in the same footsteps. I feel blessed to have been born into a world where education was open and free. I was not obliged to work in a cotton mill or factory nor I did not have to fight in any war in the way many of my predecessors did.
Did you go to art school?
 I went to Manchester Metropolitan University, Faculty of Art and Design in the UK. I studied textile design but our studies had a strong emphasis on drawing, mainly life or plant drawing.
Was there anyone that inspired you to become an illustrator?
When I was a student I discovered the work and teachings of Walter Crane and have been influenced by his decorative approach to art and design.
My art college had strong connections with the Pre-Raphaelites, there were textiles and furniture at the nearby Whitworth Art Gallery and their paintings hung in the Manchester Art Gallery. I loved the Arts and Crafts Movement and the way they were inspired by nature.
What inspires you now?
Nature has always been my main influence and inspiration. I love detail, pattern and the repetition of forms in the natural world. 
Is there anything you would like to share about how you work?
I tend to work mainly in water colour. I love working on stretched Bockingford paper, preferring cold pressed paper with a slight texture. My painting technique consists of building up colour by tiny brush strokes, sometimes on a wash background. It is very laborious and time consuming and is done entirely by hand in the traditional manner. I do sometimes scan my work into Photoshop and change the format to fit different shapes but I always start with a painting or drawing on paper.
What types of markets do you illustrate for?
 My artwork has appeared on books, stationery, calendars, ceramics, textiles, tableware, flags, needle work kits, jigsaws and many more. 

Are there any links to your work you would like to share?
Do you do other things regarding art like teaching or school visits?
 I have given workshops and have done many school visits although I tend to take more workshops than I give, in fact I am something of a workshopoholic!

Are there other creative interests that you pursue? 
 I am very interested in the book arts and bookbinding. I also enjoy quilt making and gardening.
Do you currently have product with you images on the market?
Here are links for several items.

What do you love best about what you do?
No two days are the same and I am never bored. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

David Galchutt

How is it that you came to be an illustrator?
 I can pinpoint the day I wanted to become an artist to a day in kindergarten.  We were drawing trees and the other kid's looked like brown and green q tips.  Mine, as I recall, had branches and a bird's nest.  I looked around at the others.  
Mine was "different". I guess I saw that as a good sign.  From then on I drew/doodled on every available surface.
My parents had met in art school in the 50's.  My dad was a graphic designer and my mother studied costume design.  Art was always in our house growing up. It was the one thing in school that I was good at and that I thoroughly enjoyed.  
At some point, later, I realized that I'd have to make a living at this so I steered into illustration.
Did you go to art school?
 Yes, I graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
Were there 1 or more individuals that were an influence in your becoming an illustrator?
I guess I'd have to say that my parents were a big influence as they were always there to guide me.  I have a love of good design and costume which, I think, I inherited from my parents.  I try to incorporate those elements into my work as the opportunity arises.
A list of influential artists would be:
Vermeer, Modigliani, Grant Wood, Gustav Klimt, Mary Blair, Gennady Spirin, Van Eyck, Toulouse Lautrec, Tony Duquette, Dorothy Jeakins (hollywood costume designer), Gaugin, Mark Ryden,  William Morris,  John Singer Sargent, medieval painting and sculpture, the architects Greene and Greene.
What inspires you now?
 Good graphic design and illustration,costume, most anything "vintage".  I'm very inspired by historic images and decorative art and certain juxtapositions of color, especially in nature.
Is there anything you would like to share regarding your technique or style of work?
 I work in a fairly traditional manner.  For many years I painted almost exclusively in watercolor.  It was expedient for the children's book/magazine market.  I never felt much affinity for it though.  5 years or so ago, I started to delve into oil paint... a medium that I had not received much instruction in art school.  This has proven to be much more gratifying.  The range of color is far superior to watercolor and I am glad for the extra drying time that it allows.
I do not paint on canvas because I do not like the texture or the "bounce" of a stretched canvas.  I paint on wood board that has been covered with many coats of  real gesso.  real gesso (as opposed to acrylic gesso) is a much finer surface on which to paint.  it requires much more prep time but it is worth the effort. From there I paint primarily with thin glazes of oil.
What types of markets do you illustrate for?
I  like many artist/illustrators today, wear many "art hats".  I have a day job as a designer in the giftware industry.  I freelance for children's magazines, primarily highlights for children.  I also have an art licensing agent.  The remaining time is spent painting "fine art" type work that I sell on
Are there links to your images you would like to share?

Are there other creative interests you pursue?
I am more of an "appreciator" than a "practitioner"  in other art interests.  I have no musical talent but I enjoy listening to classical music, opera and 80's music.
Do you currently have products with your images on the market?
I signed with an art licensing agency about 18 months ago.  I have had several images sold to a variety of puzzle companies and a few designs to needlework companies.  I've also designed for the garden art market.  What is great about art licensing is that the same image can be sold over and over for a variety of different products.
I wrote and published a children's book (there was magic inside) for Simon and Schuster.  It was a number of years ago and it is now out of print.  I had hoped to work more in that area of publishing but the opportunity has not presented itself.
What is the thing you love best about what you do?
 it is a privilege to be making art as a career and I'm very grateful for that.  it is not an easy way to make a living.  in a perfect world i would love to paint for myself (as opposed to a specific client) and sell the work in a gallery setting.  i am hoping one day that will happen.  in the meantime i love taking a blank slate and translating a thought or an image from my head on to it.  making pictures.... for me it doesn't get much better than that!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Two Can Art

                            What is Two Can Art?
Two Can Art is a collection of images that are a collaborative effort from myself (Patti Gay) and my son Noah who is autistic.
How does the collaboration work?

Noah paints all of the beautiful textures using a variety of methods, brushes, sponges, hands and even bubbles. For Noah the painting experience is both visual and tactile.
I take Noah’s painted textures and scan them. Then I do thumbnail ideas for images and sketches that I also scan in. After that the textures are pieced together using my sketches as a guide. 

How did Two Can Art Come About?
I have always loved and saved Noah’s painted textures. One year I made cards from them and gave them to friends and family. It just came to me that that it would be really great to use the textures in creating images, and I started experimenting with ideas. Two Can Art was born. I think that the images have really evolved since the beginning. I have also been influenced with the use of texture in some of my other work too, which I think is really exciting.
          Are there Markets Two Can Art images are in?
Two Can Art images have been licensed for cards and gift bags so far. My licensing agent is representing the collection. . There are over 200 images in the collection. The surf boards and red poppies seen here were early images. The others are more recent.
I ‘ve also written a picture book and am working on illustrations for that using Noah’s textures too. My book agent The Herman Agency will be shopping it around.
There is also a print on demand site that has Two Can Art images printed on fine art papers.  There are images that I don’t have on the site but I’m happy to give quotes for prints on paper or canvas in any size preference by 
I live in a great area for art (Santa Cruz CA) and have hung giclee prints on canvas in different local locations. 
All of the proceeds from Two Can Art go into an account we don’t touch that is set aside for Noah’s special needs trust. 
                    What is most rewarding about 
                         creating this collection?            
The best thing about the Two Can Art collection is that Noah and I are sharing in something that we both love. What could be better than that? Everyone has something beautiful that they can share. Noah's textures and challenges inspire me to be a better artist and person. We are starting to make paper together too, so I plan on adding some of those textures in projects to come.