Interview with Andra, the owner of Cuteoshenii

Andra Cuteoshenii

Cuteoshenii, created by illustrator Andra Badea, are characters for the home, in the form of creatures painted on furniture and accessories.

CutosheniiCeleste: First of all, how did you end up painting your characters on furniture?
Andra: As most things in my life it was not a planned move, but a happy circumstance. I was invited by IKEA Romania to paint two dressers, in order for them to be given away as part of a store promotion. That was the first time i had to think about creating something specifically for a furniture piece and i discovered i loved the medium and the possibilities.
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Interview with the Book Dash Team

Book Dash Interview

Book Dash is an organisation that is committed to getting storytellers, illustrators and creative professionals together in one space, on one day, to create copyright-free books for South African children.

These books are then printed and donated freely to ECD centres, literary organizations , homes and libraries across the country. I had the privilege of interviewing the team this week.
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10 Twitter Handles for Illustrators to Follow

Twitter can sometimes be a little overwhelming, especially if you are new to the social media. Or you might be on twitter already, but find it useless because your feed is boring. Here are some illustration-related twitter handles that every illustrator should be following.

Illustration Challenges

Here are some twitter handles that have illustration challenges that could help you with your creativity. If you ever feel like you have ‘illustration block’ or need a little sketch warm-up, have a look at these guys:

Sketch Dailies
Sketch Dailies

Sketch Dailies

Daily sketch challenges from movie characters, to fiction. Illustrations with an unusual twist or are just plain good get re-tweeted and featured. Follow the handle and use the hashtag #Sketch_Dailies

Illustration Friday

This is a weekly challenge where a topic gets tweeted once a week and you have to submit your illustration via their website. Top illustrations get featured on twitter and on their site.

Pinch Punch Post

A monthly illustration challenge where you have to post a character. Just follow the handle and remember to use the hashtag #pinchpunchpost
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Win Henry the Troll Illustration!

By signing up for the newsletter – PIGment of my imagination this month, you can stand a chance to win a professionally printed and signed Henry the Troll illustration. The newsletter is full of tips, news and inspirations for any illustrator or person with a creative streak. It is send out every second week (no spam!) and I often run competitions as well for the readers.

Henry Troll

Post Book Launch: Katya Cat – The Bacon Chase

Katya Cat: The Bacon ChaseAs I walked down the stairs at The Book Lounge, in the heart of Cape Town, it all of a sudden hit me. I could hear the children playing and laughing from below, general chit-chat and social noises of their parents and the sound of tea and coffee mugs clinking with their fellow saucers. In a few minutes I was going to illustrate the three main characters that I created from the imagination of Julia Richman’s book, Katya Cat.

Julia was calm as ever. In fact, it was all a little reversed as just the week before when we had our meeting to determine our ‘game plan,’ she was incredible nervous and I was calm. Now we were here with swapped emotions, in this gorgeous environment, with (another) Julia Anastasopoulos illustrations on the wall with buildings and stick characters holding balloon. Although for those of you in South Africa, you know Miss Anastasopoulos by her alter-ego name – Suzelle DIY.

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Tips that Yoga can teach us in Illustration

For my new Twitter/Google+ header I thought doing a series of movements of a character would be a great way to fill up that rectangle space, which got me to pull out some books I have on animation. While I was reading through, brushing up on all the fantastic tips and techniques, it got me thinking of how there is an overlap between doing illustrations and Yoga, two of my favourite hobbies (and soon to be professions as I will be doing a Yoga teacher’s course next year – very excited!).

So what can we learn from drawing and Yoga?

Yoga IllustrationYoga: Inhale/Exhale

Illustrations: Stretch/Squash

When you watch a Yogi doing sun salutations, they will inhale when their bodies expand and exhale when their bodies contract. So for example, if they go into a cobra pose, they will breath in and expand their chest. They might afterwards bend inwards, lift their hips, lean forward, touching the ground with their feet and hands while exhaling and go into downward dog pose.

In illustrating we must do the same. Illustrations should never be the phase between poses, it should be the pose. So characters must either be breathing out and squashing, or breathing in and stretching. When they stretch, their full body goes into it. If they were to point it wouldn’t just be a finger, it would the finger, the hand, the arm, the shoulder, the whole moment. If the character jumps, they would stretch as they flew in the air, and then squash as they land on the ground.
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Using Google Search Tools Advance for Illustrators

Using Google Images can be really useful if you are an illustrator. Before the ‘Google Times’ illustrators would flock to libraries to gather images. They would go to different locations, take photos and have endless subscriptions to magazines with lots of photos and keep them as reference. Buying magazines and books is still a great habit to have and if you know of a source, it is also a good idea to go and experience, but being able to use Google Images is becoming more and more part of the ‘average’ illustrator’s skill set.

In a previous blog post about How to use Google for Illustrators I covered on how to optimise your search phrases and terms. Now I am going to expand that and tell you a little more the Advance Search Tool option in Google Images.

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Google Search Tips for Illustrators

Below are some tips and techniques on how to optimise your search and find what you are looking for in Google and Google Images. In another post I’ll discuss the ‘Advanced Search’ for Google Images, but today I’m just going to focus on optimising your search terms. A lot of the examples below demonstrate in Google Search, but you can use the same techniques in Google Images.

Before getting into some advanced search techniques, remember that Google pulls up results using the keywords you searched for. So the first thing to think about is how the website you are looking for is going to be categorised. For example, if you have a headache, instead of searching for ‘my head hurts‘ rather search ‘how to fix a headache‘ or ‘headache relief‘ as that is probably the title of the article you are looking for. Another example is instead of searching for ‘I have a flat tire‘, search for ‘how to repair a flat tire‘.

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