Green Witch Tarot: Knight of Pentacles

Disclaimer for new readers: Welcome! I am in the process of illustrating a full tarot deck for Llewellyn Worldwide, the artwork has been shared here with permission from the editor. There is no release date yet for the deck, but it should be sometime in 2015. It will be a full 78 card deck with no borders. The author behind the project is Ann Moura, who is widely known for her Green Witch books.

The deck is at current tentatively named The Green Witch Tarot, however the name is NOT final yet. It might end up being named something else.


kiri leonard knight of pentacles Green Witch Tarot: Knight of Pentacles
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Art School Graduates: A Checklist for Aspiring Illustrators

So you just graduated from Art School with a Visual Arts degree? Here is what to do next:

Please click image to view hi-res version. Right click and save to download.

Illustration Graduate Checklist 540x700 Art School Graduates: A Checklist for Aspiring Illustrators

1. Your portfolio should only consist of your best pieces, remember one weak piece will weaken the whole portfolio. Don’t put too many images in either. 10-12 images are usually optimal. The content of the portfolio depends on what kind of illustration you want to do, make sure to do your research on the field you’re interested in first.

2. A good, strong bio will come in handy for your website, promotion mailers, emails as well as social media promotions so get to it! It shouldn’t be more than a few sentences but it should sum up your skills and attitude well. You can do a longer, more in-depth bio for your ‘About’ section on your website.

3. Using your own name as your domain name is just a nice, easy and professional way to go about it and as a bonus it makes it easier for people to look you up after you’ve networked in person.

I use One.com for my domain hosting, they offer the first year for free and then it’s about $35 a year afterwards, that’s less than $3 a month: Very inexpensive and my website has never been down in the 5 years I’ve been with them.

4. Now that you have your domain from #3 it’s time to get a website and out your portfolio online so you can start showing your work!

5. Now that your website is set up you need to start finding clients to show it to. Look up artists whose work is similar to your own and see who they work for, also just search on Google for magazines, publishers, galleries and what not in the genre you want to work in.

You can also go to book stores and see who publishes books you think you could be a match for. Make sure to update your client list regularly and make sure the companies already on it are still in business.

6. Now that you have a client list you need to design some promotion mailers/postcards and emails to send out. Research the best ways to go about this online!

7. Send out your mailers to your client list.

8. Personal projects are the best way to practice your art while gaining experience and building a body of work you can use to show to potential employees. For instance illustrate a well known story you really like!

9. Google Alerts are great for getting an email with call to artists directly to your inbox daily. Then you can browse through and see if any are a match for you.

Good luck!


Thank you for reading, I hope you found this helpful. Don’t forget to share with your fellow Art School graduates! If you have any questions feel free to drop them in the comments.

Links:
How to Write a Short Bio
One.com – Reliable and inexpensive web hosting
Google Alerts
Disney Artist Cory Godbey on Personal Work

Green Witch Tarot: Queen of Chalices

Disclaimer for new readers: Welcome! I am in the process of illustrating a full tarot deck for Llewellyn Worldwide, the artwork has been shared here with permission from the editor. There is no release date yet for the deck, but it should be sometime in 2015. It will be a full 78 card deck with no borders. The author behind the project is Ann Moura, who is widely known for her Green Witch books.

The deck is at current tentatively named The Green Witch Tarot, however the name is NOT final yet. It might end up being named something else.


In the comments of the last blog post I did on the Green Witch Tarot I was asked to show the Queen of Chalices next and here she is:

kiri leonard queen chalices Green Witch Tarot: Queen of Chalices
Green Witch Tarot: The Queen of Chalices © Kiri Østergaard Leonard, 2014

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Women in Fantasy Illustration: Heather Hudson

Welcome to the Women in Fantasy Illustration interview series. I am interviewing a selection of women who work in the Fantasy Illustration Industry. You will find the links to more interviews at the bottom of the page.

I’m very pleased to share with you today’s interview with Heather Hudson. Some of you may know her from her work on Magic The Gathering, but let’s get right to it. Enjoy!


Hudson.GirlGhoul45 Women in Fantasy Illustration: Heather Hudson
The Girl, the Ghoul and the 45 © Heather Hudson
Heather Hudson Women in Fantasy Illustration: Heather Hudson
Heather Hudson (2013)

1. Please give a brief introduction of yourself, your career and your work.
I’m Heather and I make pictures. My brand can generally be summed up as “I like monsters,” and the major personal project in my studio right now is an art poker deck inspired by early 20th-century Adventure Fiction; I’ll try to fund it on Kickstarter later this summer. In gaming, many people know me best from my work for Magic; the Gathering between 1993-2007.

I’m Heather and I make pictures.

2. When did realize you wanted to make a career out of illustrating?
Around the time I finished work for an MFA in Costume Design, back in the early 90’s. I remember looking at a Green Tiger reprint of Yoshitoshi’s “36 Ghosts” and thinking that it would be heaven to draw pictures all day and not have to build them afterwards.

(…) it would be heaven to draw pictures all day and not have to build them afterwards.

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Five Enchanting Classic Fairy Artists

Here’s a little artistic inspiration for my fellow fairy fans.

Arthur Rackham

1. Arthur Rackham (1867 – 1939) regarded as one of the leading illustrators for the ‘Golden Age’ of illustration, is perhaps one of the most well known fairy artists. He was born in London as one of 12 children and began studying art at the age of 18 at the Lambeth School of Art in London. He’s a common source of inspiration for many current fantasy artists and for good reason. He worked mostly in ink and water colors.

Please click image to see larger version.

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Personal work: Bloksbjerg Descent

Happy Summer Solstice everyone!

My latest piece is based on the Danish tradition of the Summer Solstice celebration named Sankt Hans. It is a dedication to the memory of all the women who lost their lives during the witch hunts of the church, with an added touch of deliberate phoenix symbolism. I hope you like it.

Please click image to see larger version.

kiri leonard sankt hans final web 600x410 Personal work: Bloksbjerg Descent
Bloksbjerg Descent © Kiri Østergaard Leonard, 2014

 

“In Denmark, the solstitial celebration is called Sankt Hans or Sankt Hans Aften (“St. John’s Eve”). It was an official holiday until 1770, and in accordance with the Danish tradition of celebrating a holiday on the evening before the actual day, it takes place on the evening of 23 June. It is the day where the medieval wise men and women (the doctors of that time) would gather special herbs that they needed for the rest of the year to cure people.

It has been celebrated since the times of the Vikings by visiting healing water wells and making a large bonfire to ward away evil spirits. Today the water well tradition is gone. Bonfires on the beach, speeches, picnics and songs are traditional. In the 1920s a tradition of putting a witch made of straw and cloth (probably made by the elder women of the family) on the bonfire emerged as a remembrance of the church’s witch burnings from 1540 to 1693. This burning sends the “witch” away to Bloksbjerg, the Brocken mountain in the Harz region of Germany where the great witch gathering was thought to be held on this day. Some Danes regard the relatively new symbolic witch burning as inappropriate.”
- Wikipedia.

The illustration process.

kiri leonard sankt hans step by step Personal work: Bloksbjerg Descent
Illustration process of Bloksbjerg Descent © Kiri Østergaard Leonard, 2014

Thank you for reading, I hope you like the artwork and tidbit of information of a part of Danish culture. If you do please share with your friends!

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8 YouTube Channels for Illustrators

I’ve compiled a list of YouTube channels that I have found to be helpful with both career tips, studying, motivation and inspiration as an artist.

  1. Marie ForleoSmall Business Tips
  2. Marie Forleo is passionate about teaching business with a focus on small business. She’s upbeat and has a lot of good videos with tips on how you can improve your small business.

  3. Will TerryIllustration & Illustration Business
  4. Will Terry is a Children’s Book illustrator who also runs an online art school. He is passionate about teaching and helping illustrators. If you’re into children’s illustration his YouTube channel is an absolute must, but it’s also very helpful for other areas of illustration.

  5. Art Connection AcademyArt Careers and Portfolio Reviews
  6. Interviews and portfolio reviews by high profile artists who have made it big in the industry.

  7. Stephen SilverIllustration Business, Contracts & Motivation
  8. Stephen Silver is a high profile animation artists who has worked for Cartoon Network, he recently started his own art school The Silver Drawing Academy. His YouTube channel is loaded with motivation and career information for artists.

  9. ProkoDrawing Tutorials
  10. Stan Prokopenko teaches the fundamentals of drawing in an easy to grasp format.

  11. FZD School of DesignConcept Art Tutorials
  12. This one is for the Concept Art interested. Lot of good info on the world of concept art.

  13. One Fantastic WeekWeekly interviews with high profile Fantasy Illustrators
  14. Illustrators Sam Flegal and Pete Mohrbacher do weekly interviews with high profile Fantasy illustrators.

  15. Bobby ChiuIllustration Livestreams & Motivation
  16. The driving force behind Schoolism.com – an online art school. Bobby Chiu is passionate about inspiring and motivating artists.

Thank you for reading, if you found this useful please share with your friends!

Friday: Arrival at the Artist's Alley

Special Edition: NYC – Artist’s Alley Experiences

Special Edition: NYC took place in the Javitscenter in Manhattan last weekend from June 14th to June 15th. I was in the artist’s alley alongside my good friend Betsy Peterschmidt, who is a talented Comic illustrator, and also with my assistant Rose Wong, who is a skilled Editorial illustrator.

There’s a new con in town

The vibe of the convention was very much like New York Comic Con but a lot smaller and therefore more low-key. The artist’s alley only took up about half of the room with the other half left for vendors. This is the first year Special Edition: NYC has taken place, I’m certain it will only continue to grow. It’s definitely an option worth looking into as an artist and even more so if you’re into comics.
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Women in Fantasy Illustration: Kristina Gehrmann

Welcome to the Women in Fantasy Illustration interview series. I am interviewing a selection of women who work in the Fantasy Illustration Industry. You will find the links to more interviews at the bottom of the page.

Today’s interview is with lovely German illustrator Kristina Gehrmann. I’ve been following her work for a while and was very excited when she agreed to do an interview and I can only say after the interview I admire her even more. Enjoy!


kristina gehrmann northwestpassage 457x700 Women in Fantasy Illustration: Kristina Gehrmann
Northwest Passage © Kristina Gehrmann
kristina gehrmann 187x250 Women in Fantasy Illustration: Kristina Gehrmann
Kristina Gehrmann

1. Please give a brief introduction of yourself, your career and your work.
Hello, I’m Kristina, a full-time illustrator with a focus on historical and fantasy subjects. I mostly draw book covers for corporate and private clients, as well as illustrations for book interiors, children’s books and game cards for clients in Germany and outside.

I grew up in a medium-small German town near the Rhine river in a family where nobody is an artist except my grandfather who very occasionally paints a watercolor landscape. I’m also practically deaf since birth but it was detected early and thanks to my indefatigable parents’ efforts I learnt to speak like most other kids. I can hear somewhat well using two cochlear implants.
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