Art Adventures at Comic Cons

By | Children, Children's book illustration, Comics, Conventions, Illustration | No Comments

Krister Eide at Norwescon 42 Comic Con
This past weekend was Norwescon 42, a great science fiction – fantasy convention that takes place in Seattle. I’m early on in my adventures as an artist in comic cons, but it has been a great experience.

It was inspiring to be in an art show with so many artists I admire. I also ended up selling 10 prints and a large digital canvas and to cap it off, I was able to have my portfolio reviewed by Guest of Honor Tran Nguyen, Scott Douwes, Bryan Syme, and Chelsea Santamaria! They were all super positive and had great practical advice about how to make some of my portfolio pieces better. I also went to a bunch of great panels that ranged from world building to writing children’s books and empathy in characters. Probably about 100 people or so took my business cards.

This is my third con. The first show I ever attended was the San  Diego Comic Con Art Show. I didn’t even have a badge to get into the convention proper, but the art show didn’t require it. The next con was a local con, Radcon, another science fiction fantasy convention that takes place in Pasco, WA. They have a mail order option for artists, and was also happy to find out that I sold just about half of the prints that I sent.

I’m still on a huge learning curve for these, but I can’t say enough about what a great experience they are. It’s great to get to meet and enjoy the artwork of fellow artists, but also connect with people who like my illustrations. I’m grateful to the professional artists who took the time to give me helpful feedback.

I’m graduating soon, and I’m looking forward to finally working full time on my own projects. I’ve already heard that I can send pieces to Orycon in Oregon, Bubonicon in New Mexico, and Armadillocon in Texas this summer and Fall. My next step is to have enough material for an artist alley – and of course I’ll still be working on my picture book dummy.

ADVICE FOR ARTIST NEWBIES CONSIDERING THEIR FIRST COMIC CONVENTIONS AND ART SHOWS

If any of you have any questions about conventions, just ask me.  The easiest conventions for artists to send work to are those where the organization running the con collect the taxes. Conventions in California still require registering with the Board of Equalization, but it’s pretty straightforward.

There are some great blog posts and videos out there about resources for artists alleys. Here are some of my favorites:

Naomi Van Doren at 1 Fantastic Week Traveling to Conventions By Plan (how she packs)

Based on what I learned from many other con artists, I prefer to print at 11×14 inches and sell prints with a backing board in a clear bag. Sometimes if you have too many sizes, your end up paying more for supplies and the bookkeeping can be more difficult.

If I have a lot of prints to make and have time, I will order through Cat Print. If you click at the link, you will get $10 off your first order and I will get a similar coupon. I recommend getting the free hard copy proofs to adjust the exposure. The majority of prints I ordered were great, but a few were underexposed and dull. When I contacted support, they sent a return label and credited me for them or offered a 30% off a new order.

After getting to know it better, we finally love our Artisan Epson 1430 printer. The print quality can be great, but it’s also dependent on the paper you choose and buying cartridges can be very costly. At a CTNX convention, I spoke to an artist who was at the Red River Paper booth. He told me about CISinks.com. YMMV, but I only wish I had discovered this sooner. You can dramatically reduce your prices per print with this continuous ink system and also make color and exposure adjustments that otherwise could be expensive with an outside printer. I initially bought Red River paper, but their matte paper catches in the Artisan 1430 (I learned about other artists who had this problem). Instead, Finestra Premium Matte is a terrific paper, it feeds smoothly and it’s less expensive too. I just set the printer on Epson Photo Quality and had great results.

Other Convention Print Supplies

Clear Storage Bags
Backing Boards

The nice thing about comic cons is that without too much $ up front, you can promote your work to prospective fans, clients, and art directors, sell some work, and get to know other artists and creatives. There are a lot of differences between cons (some are more popular entertainment oriented, others are more literary, and others more arts-focused ), but there’s a wide variety of art at these conventions and  with a little research, you can find the ones that suit you best. Some of the more popular cons are getting harder to get in (need to jury in), but many are still first-come, first-serve.

For more information about getting started in cons, check out
1 Fantastic Week
3 Point Perspective Podcast
Artist Alley Network International on Facebook

 

 

Home Stretch on my BFA – More Squids

By | Animals, art school, Children, Children's book illustration, Comics, Cute Animals, digital, Fantasy, Fantasy Illustration, Illustration, Jules Verne, kids lit art, SCBWI | No Comments

Dustcover-no-title

Hard to believe it, but I’m finally on the homestretch on my BFA. I just finished Children’s Book Illustration II and I only have my graduation portfolio to go.

I’ve been working revising my Captain Nemo the great horned owl and Professor Arronax’s trusty research assistant Consay the badger has also gotten a little rehab.

I’ve got more illustrations to show you. The best thing about the past few weeks is that I have a animal picture book dummy on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea that’s finally coming together!

Artists’ Reception This Weekend at WA State Convention Center

By | Animals, artists groups, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals, Fantasy Illustration, GNSI, Painting | No Comments

 I’m in a group exhibition called “Natural Musings” through my local chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. It’s a very talented group. We’re having an artists’ reception this coming Saturday that you’re all invited to. I have my gouache painting of a Turkey Vulture in the show.

I’ve been posting on my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristereide

A lot has happened since I last wrote a blog post. I did go down to San Diego Comic Con and even sold some work in their Art Show (!).  I also was able to participate in a group board from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists at World Con 76 in San Jose.

There’s a lot to learn!

The past quarter, I also took Landscape Painting and I’m hooked on oil painting. I’m grateful for the Muddy Colors art community for sharing so much practical information about painting and also sharing through knowledge about non-toxic options. Instead of turpentine, I use walnut alkyd and I wash brushes in safflower oil. 

It was pretty distracting painting outside. Geese were landing to my left and neighbors came around walking their dogs, but it was a perfect morning and really fun.

I also had a chance to paint this hillside from when I had visited the Marin Headlands. The poppies were in bloom all over the hillside.

I even had a chance to work in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in an assignment to create a narrative landscape.

Here it is:

I really liked cobalt blue turquoise. What color!

Baby Raven and Two More Shows!

By | birds, Children's book illustration, Fantasy, Fantasy Illustration, GNSI, Illustration | No Comments

It’s still intense baby time in the wildcare center. First time I had a chance to take care of a raven. He’s still a baby at 6 weeks old, but he’s huge compared to the crows. 

We also admitted a hummingbird with an injured wing.

A duckling we had with an injured foot, got better over the course of a week and was released to another center with several other similarly aged ducklings.

I forgot to share my photos from my group show in Laguna Beach. It was a blast! I’m so glad I didn’t miss it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’l’ll have one piece (my turkey vulture painted in gouache) in another group exhibition that’s going up June 30th at the Washington State Convention Center with my fellow artists with the Northwest Chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. The show will be open from June 30th-September 25th. I think there will be an opening reception. I’ll post it when I know the details.

Also, very exciting – I was accepted to San Diego Comic Con so I’ll be going down next month! There will be 150,000 attendees, so pretty overwhelming. Now I’m working hard to touch up some pieces before the event.

Dragon Rider

By | Animals, Children, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals, digital, Dragon, Fantasy, Illustration, kids lit art, Painting, People, SCBWI | No Comments


I just had this postcard made up in time for the SCBWI Publisher’s Bootcamp this weekend. There’s going to a talks by local agents and art director Goldstein from Sasquatch books and a 4 minute pitch round where I’ll get a chance to pitch a book idea.

SCBWI Western Washington has been a great branch of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators helping people learn more about book publishing and hopefully get published themselves.

NYC Trip and Sargent Master Copy

By | Animals, Children's book illustration, digital, Fantasy, Illustration, Painting, Portraits | One Comment

My trip to New York city was great!  It started off with a trip to the Society of Illustrators which was pretty amazing itself because of its collection (see Peter de Seve‘s owl).

We had portolio reviews there and then Scholastic!  I’ve long been a fan of Arthur Levine Books, so it was an experience showing my work to Editor Weslie Turner. She said it was a great portfolio overall, but she wanted to see if I could bring the emotions and movements of my animal characters to kids – so I have more work to do.

I also spent hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and even some of the Frick collection. As it should happen, at the same time, I had assignment to do a Singer Sargent master copy. At right is a portrait I painted digitally of Julia inspired by Sargent’s The Daughters of Darley Boit. The more I looked, the more colors I saw. I tried to capture that piercing look that so many of Sargent’s paintings have.

I also got to see the Broadway show Aladdin while I was there. It also was great. A friend of my parents even knew some members of the cast.

Tomorrow I’ll be heading down to California for the Comics, Anime, Cartoons, and Fantasy show at Las Laguna Gallery. Here’s the flyer!  Say hello if you stop by. I plan to be there from 6:30-9:30 by my painting (Squid Attack on the Nautilus). More information can be found here. The show will be up from April 5-27th.

Spring – New Animals in Our Wildcare Center

By | Illustration, Mixed Media, Painting, Photoshop | No Comments

Here’s a newborn baby Douglas squirrel. Their nest was found broken on the ground with no other babies or mom in sight. We think it may have been a predator.

We also have 6 Western cottontails and a new screech owl. The last screech owl has recovered well and has been released.

 

 

I’m in Digital Illustration II now and we’re doing practicing realistic techniques. Not as fun as narrative illustrations, but I’m definitely picking up some new things. I had a great trip to New York City – I’ll post that later this week. The smaller picture is the photo reference.

 

 

 

I’m Accepted to the Comics, Anime, and Fantasy Exhibition in Laguna Beach!

By | art school, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals | No Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just heard the great news that my Squid Attack on the Nautilus got accepted to the Comics, Anime, Cartoons, and Fantasy Exhibition at the Las Lagunas Gallery Laguna Beach California! This is the first time I’ll be showing and selling my work in a international curated / juried exhibition. Pretty cool.

My family’s been saving up frequent flier miles, so I’ll even be able to attend the Artists’ Reception on April 5th. The exhibition will be open from April 5-27th. The opening also takes place on Laguna Beach’s First Thursday Artwalk. Say hello if you can make it!

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Octopus Card

By | art school, Children's book illustration, digital, Drawing, Fantasy, Illustration, Jules Verne, kids lit art, RMCAD, SCBWI | No Comments

I just finished this playing card today. It’s an octopus holding Captain Nemo’s Nautilus as the Ace of Spades. I had fun making this.

Next month I’m going to be going to New York City with other illustrators and my department chair. We’re going to be visiting museums and the Society of Illustrators and have some portfolio reviews.

Since I posted, I’ve also joined a SCBWI critique group and getting a picture book dummy together for 20,000 Leagues.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Book Cover

By | Animals, art school, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals, Fantasy, Illustration, Jules Verne, kids lit art, Painting, RMCAD, SCBWI | No Comments

Eide-Twenty-Thousand-Leagues-dec3I just turned in this illustration last week for Illustrating Literature class. It  continues some ideas I have about Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea with Animals. I learned a lot more about painting water, textures, and lighting on this one and this week I’m working on more sequential illustrations from the story.

It’s been so busy, I haven’t had a chance to post to the blog, but I had an incredible time at #CTNexpo2017. I’ll have to follow up in other posts, but one of the sessions I went to was on publishing. Many of the artists at this expo were involved at least some point in huge animations studios like Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar, Blue Sky. Greg Manchess and Armand Baltzar talked about how they had a dream of getting their artwork and stories into book form, although they didn’t clearly fit into either picture books or graphic novels. The result is Greg’s Above the Timberline and Armand’s Timeless.

Here’s an example from Greg’s book. The inset is a personalized inscription he gave me.

manchess

Here’s an example from Armand’s book:

armand