Baseball and Illustration

I’m a Baltimore Orioles fan. I’ll skip the blurry anecdotes and poetic waxing of what the O’s have meant to me. Suffice it to say my devotion runs deep. How deep? I still loved them after what happened in the spring of 1989 (look it up).

As a fan of baseball, I can’t help but notice the parallels and lessons that directly apply to something else I love: illustration. With outfield assists from fellow baseball fans Sarah Bunting, Tad Carpenter, John Hendrix, Kenard Pak, Elias Stein, Matt Tavares, and John Tomac, we discuss the lessons artists can learn from our national pastime. So pull up your socks and chew on some gum—we’re talking baseball and illustration!

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My Artistic Journey . . . So Far

Finding who you are as an artist is an ever-evolving, often frustrating journey of self-discovery. With every contour, color, line, and letter, we are either encouraged or dispirited. On some days, we unleash a deluge of art worthy of the finest museum. But on other days (often the very next day), we barely have the confidence to pick up a pencil or touch a keyboard.

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The Illustrator’s Portfolio

What should I put in my portfolio? Is a fancy presentation important? How many pieces should I include? Do I show one style? Do I show several styles? In this article, we review the illustrator’s portfolio.

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On SCBWI, Advice for Authors and Illustrators

“You should attend an SCBWI conference.” 

At some point in our journey as authors and illustrators, we hear this piece of advice. But what does it mean? How should we prepare for a conference? How do we engage the faculty? What can we realistically hope to gain? In this post, ten veteran faculty members and I share our tips on attending a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference.

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No, GO to Art School

In the post-Internet age, the traditional model of learning a discipline in the creative arts—i.e., completing a four-year program at a brick-and-mortar college or university—is being questioned.

With rising tuition costs, more people are asking, “Are art schools worth it?” Criticisms leveled against art schools are many. And even though I agree with some of them, I will always advocate for art schools. Here’s why:

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10 Mistakes Illustrators Make

Every illustrator is different. And yet—regardless of experience, education, or talent—there are common mistakes all illustrators make. Some of them are harmless oversights: while others can damage a reputation. 

Here are my top 10 most common illustrator mistakes.

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Forget “Style”

“Finding my style” is one of the most commonly discussed topics among illustrators. Entire semesters, seminars, twitter chats, and blog posts are devoted to “style”.

And yet, of all the words in the lexicon of the art world, “style” is the one I absolutely hate the most

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Do What You Don’t Love

There are two pieces of advice every illustrator has heard, but should never heed: “Do what you love, and the money will follow” and “Only choose projects you connect with”.

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On Managing Time, Insecurities, and the Magic Mirror Gate

When I was a kid, my parents would get me to eat by saying in their southern Italian dialect, “The more you stare, the more there is.”

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The Search for Illustrators

At conferences, schools, and through social media, I get this question a lot: 

What do you look for in illustrators?
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Welcome to the #ArtTips Blog!

Welcome to the #arttips blog! The purpose of this blog will be to provide insight into the professional practice of illustration.

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