Thursday, January 22, 2015

Work and Play, pt 2.

And now, the second post recapping the January 15 professional series meeting! Now that we're ready to WORK, thanks to Laurie's fantastic tips for sticking to our goals, another piece of the puzzle can come into the picture. Which brings us to––


Kevan Atteberry does it better than anyone. He is a visual wizard––his illustrations are whimsical and kinetic, colorful and textured. Kevan showed us exactly what PLAY means. His personal tour of  PhotoShop took us into the colorful mind of an illustrator. Kevan showed us the delight and the never-ending combinations of tools at his disposal. For those of us who have never completed a picture-book illustration (and, ahem, would probably never do so), this presentation was as riveting as if we were budding or experienced artists ourselves.

Kevan A. at PLAY!
Kevan's decisions, from colors to the process of creating gradations of shading and incredibly cool iterations of brushes, dazzled us all.

We saw how, in his new book Bunnies! (out January 28), he created a single page of ALL the bunnies, in all the positions and actions, that occurred throughout the entire book. This enabled Kevan to have a single, pristine version of each character in its variety of plot twists, so that when it repeated there wasn't a slightly-off or non-identical version. 

So. Dang. Cool.

PhotoShop, which is Kevan's toolbox of choice, might seem to be the antithesis of hands-on craft. Yet Kevan dispelled this notion, time and time again. His curiosity and willingness to experiment, and to create unique methods for brushstrokes and backgrounds, was something to behold. It was as if he had hundreds of real brushes and multitudes of paint pots around him, and he could grab various ones in combination to see just what the heck they did. PLAY-ing around, we saw, yielded some pretty amazing results.

Kevan's process epitomized PLAY as the key component of work––trying something new, which can end up a miserable disappointment or a completely fantastic discovery. The PLAY was the WORK, and as intense deadlines loom (as Kevan well knows!), experimentation and the ability to manipulate a palette left us all smiling and eager to try it for ourselves––whether or not we end up with something as great as this:

A still from Kevan's new book, Bunnies!

1 comment:

John Nez said...

Looks fabulous! And it's true, there really isn't any point to anything in making books if it isn't fun. I think it's the FUN that energizes everything and is ultimately the whole point. Life without fun is drudgery.