Leanne Barrett: Getting Reading for the SCBWI Story Time Art Exhibition

Monday 27 November 2017

Getting Reading for the SCBWI Story Time Art Exhibition

Create. Replicate. Frame. Pack. Celebrate.

DAUNTING is the first word I would use to described how I felt when I was invited (or was it coerced?) to be one of the artists showing their illustrations at SCBWI ACT's exhibition, Story Time. The exhibition is open from 6pm,    28 November to 10 December 2017 at Smith's Alternative Gallery, Canberra.

The second word is AFFIRMING. As an aspiring illustrator there are many moments of self doubt, is my work good enough to share? Thank you to my colleagues and friends for the lovely comments you have made about the my illustration sneak peaks.

The third word is SUPPORTIVE. I have appreciated the support that I have received from other creators over the past two months while I have created my exhibition illustrations. Thanks for the encouragement and tips.

Inspiration from intuitive painting classes
My exhibition illustrations began their CREATIVE PROCESS in week 30 of the 52-Week Illustration Challenge, then a pinch from my intuitive art classes with Sylvia Marris and a splash of inspiration from Tony Flowers's chapter book illustrations, along with his advice to draw while on my flight to Perth. Combining these inspirations together my ideas flowed to create my Black & White Illustrations and the inclusion of ducks and hens in my Colour Illustrations.

The next dash of INSPIRATION came during the selection and developed my colour pallet. The idea of choosing a colour pallet's began after listening to Tania McCartney's presentation at the SCBWI Level Up Conference. The second inspiration came from the front covers of the Australian Women's Magazine. See my blog about my colour selection journey here.

REPLICATE. Mmmm. As part of the Story Time Exhibition we were invited to sell some of our book, illustrations or other items relating to our artwork. As an aspiring illustrator I have no books but I could sell copies of my illustrations.

To print or to create hand painted copies? A month out from the exhibition I had a setback, I hurt my back and I wasn't sure if I could even finish my exhibition illustrations let alone create any copies. During this time I asked questions and researched copying artworks. Then decision time came. Due to my back pain I couldn't sit at my desktop computer long enough to edit my scanned illustrations in Photoshop. But I knew that I could manage creating hand coloured copies of my originals.

Limited or Open Edition of Copies? This is an important question to answer. As I might use these illustrations in the future for books or for promotional images, like my business card, I have decided that for the Story Time exhibition my illustration copies will be an open edition.

How many copies did I make? I have only made two unframed hand coloured copies of each illustration for sale at the Story Time Exhibition.

ILLUSTRATED HAND COLOURED COPIES. I used my light pad to transfer my line work to A4 watercolour paper and then hand coloured each illustration. In my opinion some of the colour in these copies are better than the original. My Black & White Illustrations Copies were created the same way.

FRAMING ILLUSTRATIONS. The organiser of the Story Time Exhibition, Grace Bryant, suggested to buy Ikea frames and these have worked well. A good lesson to learn early - make sure that you leave space around your illustration for printing or framing. In printing they talk about a 2mm to 5mm bleed for printing and trimming purposes. However with framing this space needs to be larger to allow for the matting around the picture. While one of my illustrations did not allow for matting I made sure that the rest of the illustrations did. This means that the illustrations in the A3 frames are actually A4 in size.

PACKAGING. Again a steep learning curve compounded by timing. There were many questions to consider as I'm an aspiring illustrator that has never sold my artworks before yet alone packaged any of them for sale before. To frame or not to frame? How do you package the artwork if unframed? What information do you include about the artworks? I'm happy with my packaging but know that more research will be needed for next time.

PROMOTION. Facebook, Website, Flyers. The invitation and its image were created by Grace Bryant. A few sneak peeks of my illustrations have been posted on Facebook. My excitement around the opening event begins to grow.

DELIVERY of ILLUSTRATIONS. Thanks to Grace Bryant who took delivery of my illustrations and will be hanging the exhibition with her sister who works at Smith's Alternative Gallery.

NOW? Wait for opening night on 28 November 2017 and to celebrate.
For more information see here.

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