I really adore your Pele illustration! umm, in the description the modern spelling would be Makole though, I think, considering the modern Hawaiian alphabet no longer carries the 'R' sound. Anyways, who was the text for?! This is super rad, we never had stuff like this when I was in grade school.
Aha! That’s good to know— I’m just going off the info the book company gave me, they spelled it as “Makore” for whatever reason. :P All of the content and the layout/sizes of the panels was given to me too, I just filled ‘em in with illustrations!
I was asked not to share the name of the textbook, since it isn’t published yet, though these comic pages are for the 4th grade reading section in it. :)
If you've been asked these questions before, I apologize in advance, but what program do you use for most of your work and what brushes do you use? I love the the textured edges you create.
Thank you! I have answered questions like this in the past, but you’re not the only one who has asked me recently, so I’ll summarize some of my answers here!
My medium (for everything): Photoshop CS5 & Intuos 3 wacom tablet.
I used to only use the standard photoshop hard-round brush, with the size set to pen-pressure. That’s what I used for the Amtrak kid’s book I did, and most of my pieces that came before that.
I added texture with scanned textures that I layered on top of my images in different opacities and layer modes like ‘overlay’, ‘multiply’, ‘color burn’, ‘soft light’, etc. Besides scanning/creating some yourself, you can find a lot of wonderful hi-res free textures at http://lostandtaken.com/.
Then I started experimenting with making my own custom brushes and using brushes I got from other people— these free Chris Wahl brushes are really great: http://chriswahlartbrushes.blogspot.com/ Now I use a lightly textured custom brush for pretty much all of my drawings, which creates the slightly textured edges.
I still use scanned texture layered on top of my images, and I’ve also started using some brushes as texture ‘stamps’, like the free brushes you can get from BittBox: http://www.bittbox.com/category/brushes
It’s fun to experiment with creating your own custom brushes, and easy to look around on the internet— there’s a bunch of sites with free, helpful content out there!
Are you using an old-skool Wacom tablet or some other kind of dark sorcery to make your luscious linework?
Yup! Just 100% dark sorcery, I make all the regular blood sacrifices.
Though the Old Gods must not like me that much because I only have a chewed-up wacom Intuos 3. From what I’ve heard, I wish I had a fancy Cintiq (though it would probably take a while to get used to), but I’ve been saving up to buy one at some point!
DO I EVER! (and thank you, Anon)
I tend to read sci-fi & fantasty books (escapism, here) but some of my favorites bridge other types of fiction too. If you’ve seen my Game of Thrones or Sabriel art you can probably already guess a couple!
My top picks, in no particular order:
The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin (fantasy! Also probably my favorite book series ever)
Summer of Night by Dan Simmons (horror)
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (sci-fi)
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold (historical fiction)
American Gods by Neil Gaiman (fantasy—also the only Neil Gaiman book I enjoy)
Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds (hard sci-fi)
Sabriel by Garth Nix (fantasy/horror)
And, for bonus points, youngster Kali’s favorite books were the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. (though rereading them as an adult doesn’t quite hold the same appeal!)
Hello Kali! I was wondering, how and when did you land your first job doing illustrations for magazines?
Hello there! Hmm, this is actually a two-parter….technically my first magazine job happened when I was in interning in college, but my next real job came my way because of another illustrator I knew. (I’ve gotten other jobs through emails, postcards, and word of mouth)
1. The summer after my junior year of college I interned at Carus Publishing in Chicago. I basically worked an an in-house illustrator for them (which they don’t usually employ) and did some illustrations for their various children’s magazines. It was a fantastic experience, and I’m happy to have continued working with them after school. I definitely recommend interning somewhere if you can find it/afford it! The more contacts (and experience) you have, the better.
2. Besides Carus, the first magazine job I got was for the Air Tran GO! Inflight magazine, after I graduated from MICA. Frank Stockton had to turn down the job, and recommended me to the art director. Frank had been one of my teachers at MICA my senior year, and I’ve always been grateful that he sent that first client my way. Whenever I have to turn down a job, I always try to recommend other illustrators that might fit the bill— friends, students, and artists I admire. I know many other illustrators do the same. We all try to help each other, so it never hurts to be friendly in the illustration community!
What books on illustration history would you recommend?
Hmmm! I actually don’t think I own any books that particularly focus on illustration history, but I do follow a lot of blogs that do a great job of talking about it. Here’s my favorite 3 that I’ve found so far:
Today’s Inspiration is THE place to find in-depth info & thousands of images for a whole slew of midcentury illustrators—from the more well known artists like Bernie Fuchs, to the many forgotten talents. Leif Peng, the blog’s owner, compiles life stories of hundreds of artists from 1st-hand accounts, interviews, articles, etc. and draws lots of interesting parallels to today’s illustration market.
Lines and Colors is another very informative blog that examines a whole range of illustrators from the past to the present (today there’s a great post about Howard Pyle, but a couple weeks ago Emily Carroll was featured), along with many gorgeous images. Links and sources are also provided if you want to do more in-depth research.
Illustration Art doesn’t always go into the history & lives of artists in great depth, but provides interesting commentary and examinations of the work for a variety of past illustrators.
Any chance you're going to start selling posters of your beautiful, beautiful horoscope drawings that've been rolling through Tumblr? I'd love to buy some.
Yes! I’m in the middle of setting up an online print shop with inPRNT, and will definitely put up a post when it’s ready. I’ve actually been thinking of drawing and handlettering all 12 horoscopes (once I have some time, that is!), and maybe selling limited edition runs of each one. Would something like that be appealing?
What issue of Vegas Magazine is your drawings in? I would love to buy the issue with them in it. They're so amazing, especially the Sag and Scorpio ones!
Thank you!! Each horoscope illustration has been in a different issue of Vegas magazine from last year, corresponding to the sign—i.e. Saggitarius was in the 2010 November issue…Unfortunately this means they wouldn’t be available now. Sorry!
This is The Cosmic Shroud. I created him for Rotopol’s Super Villains exhibit opening November 25 in Kassel, Germany. There are tons of really excellent artists taking part including Hellen Jo and Victo Ngai. This was a lot of fun, and I was so happy to be invited to take part. I wish…
Andrea Kalfas: supercool villain creator. I love it!
Hello,Kali what type about brush do you use with your works? ,and how do you add a texture to your works?
Hi there! I use some lightly textured custom brushes, but also custom brushes I’ve gotten from other people—these free Chris Wahl brushes are FANTASTIC: http://chriswahlartbrushes.blogspot.com/
I also add texture with scanned textures that I layer on top of my images in different opacities and layer modes like ‘overlay’, ‘multiply’, ‘color burn’, ‘soft light’, etc. (try a bunch out, the results can be really fun!) Besides scanning some yourself, you can find a lot of wonderful hi-res free textures at http://lostandtaken.com/!