Last night I went to CCA for John Hersey's lecture. The photo is of some wrapping paper he was nice enough to give out to people after the lecture. I like the little cube faces. I have to admit that, even though I respect him as an illustrator and designer, his work is not really my cup of tea. I'm sure he would say the same about me, we have very different styles. Still, I think it's important to participate in illustration-centric events when you can find them, and it's always good to listen to lectures and interviews from illustrators. You never know what you might learn, and sometimes you can find a new respect for their work. John's presentation was light-hearted and very funny at times. I do like his isometric work quite a bit. When I saw it I wondered if e-boy had draw some influence from John's work, as he was doing digital isometric illustrations as far back as the 80's. I was especially interested when he was talking about an economic recession in 1993 that almost wiped him out. He took the time to make a book of his work and mail it to people. Not sure if that helped, but either way he made it through the economic downturn.
I talked to Barron Storey after the lecture about how I've been having trouble finding work, and my concerns about it being due to the quality of my illustrations, since I know many art directors have seen my work, and not hired me for one reason or another. He didn't think it was because my work was bad at all, and told me a story about how he had done some illustrations of Despair and sent it to Neil Gaiman. He heard nothing about for 7 YEARS then Neil started writing about it on his blog out of the blue. I suppose that the connections you make can sometimes take years to bear fruit. Doesn't really help my situation now, but it does put my mind at ease a bit. Robert Hunt weighed in on how he thinks that mass mailing is plainly not effective. I'm inclined to agree with him. Bob knows his stuff, and is excellent both as an illustrator, and a businessman. I'd like to know more of his thoughts.
I went out to drinks/dinner with everyone afterwords. Hanging out with a bunch of other illustrators is THE BEST, so I was happy to be there. I was glad to see Chris Koehler, Alexis Lopez, Caitlin Kuhwald, Randy Chavez, of course Bob and Barron, as well finally meeting John Hersey and Owen Smith. I saw Alexis Mahrus and Mark Eanes as well, but didn't get to talk to them much. Randy told me about figure drawing on Wednesday nights at CCA. It's free, 7-10. I think I'm going to start going after Thanksgiving. I heard about it, but didn't think much about going since drawing figures is not what I'm focused on at this point. I'm more interested in ideas, composition, storytelling, and color. I don't feel that technical skills like chiaroscuro, line work, and anatomy are really low points in my skill set right now, but still I'd like to go for community reasons. Hang out with some other artists, do some drawings, talk shop, etc. These things are fun to me, and productive, so it seems like a good idea.