Monday, September 6, 2010


Welcome to the “Illustration Intro: Lecture” blog for the Sketchbook/Scrapbook.

Buy a hardcover sketchbook (preferably 8.5 X 11 or thereabouts). You can use one side of it for the “Intro Illustration: Studio” class, and the other side for this class.

Every week, collect 5 pages (MINIMUM) of “found” illustrations and paste them into the Sketchbook/Scrapbook. These found images could come from anywhere; the only requirement is that they be some kind of illustration: magazines, animation, the Web, newspapers, packaging, brochures, comics, and so on. Look anywhere and everywhere for samples of illustration!

You will choose 1 illustration, or a set that you’ve grouped together, or a whole page of your Scrapbook, or even a spread. Scan at 150 dpi. If you want to show multiple illustrations, use Photoshop to merge them into 1 image. You will blog each week. You will upload and write about 1 image each week, so try to keep the image at a manageable size.

We’ll be keeping this blog through Week 9, and you must hand in your physical Scrapbook on November 3. The blog posts are worth 6 points per week, and the actual sketchbook is worth 10 points.

Upload 1 image per week, and write a 250-300 word essay each week. You’ll be judged on the quality of your posts. You should be commenting on others’ posts as well. In addition to creating your own entry, you must give at least 3 people a comment each week.

Some suggestions for essay topics:

Why you think this illustration is particularly well done.

Write about an illustrator you’ve discovered.

Write about an illustrator you admire, and why the illustration you picked is a perfect example of what you like about their work.

Something you found interesting or surprising or unexpected, that you wouldn’t have thought otherwise.

Finding an Illustration in an unexpected place or venue.

Something you found that gave you some ideas about what you want to do as illustrator.

Something you had never before noticed had an illustration on it.

Something that blurs the distinction between illustration and some other artform (for example, graphic design, typography, fine art, etc.).

A particular theme you pursued that week, in terms of the kind of illustrations you searched out.

Something that inspired you from childhood that you rediscovered with “adult eyes” and looked at with a newfound appreciation.


Make sure to check out what everyone else is posting each week. You’ll be inspired to look for stuff you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. You’ll find about artists you weren’t familiar with before. You might even discover some new favorite artists.

The point of the Scrapbook is that we will all learn from each other. We’ll expand our horizons. Not only that, we’ll learn more about ourselves and our own goals as illustrators.

You’ll be graded on:

Neatness and organization: you are creating a research toll for yourself as well as an art object.

Scope and breadth: are you looking everywhere for illustration, searching far and wide? Are you looking closely?

Variety of sources: you should have aim for balance. Don’t limit yourself to one or two sources at the expense of others.

Look for samples of illustration that are from print, web, books, magazines, brochures, packaging, and anything else you can think of.

Look closely and find the illustrations that surround you every day.

Look for digital, traditional, hybrids, what have you. Look at everything and anything, and keep your eyes peeled for illustrations.

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