Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Well, now that it seems like I have a chance at being an actual illustrator I want to tell you why I want to illustrate in the first place.
Ever since I was a young'un I've loved looking through picture books. While perusing Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel I would spend a lot of time looking at the beautiful mounds of soil Virginia Lee Burton drew (and of course I would wonder along with Ramona Quimby, "how did Mike go to the bathroom?"). Dr. Seuss' illustration of the pet for girls who like to brush and comb made me want one of those pets too (even though I was very against any brushing and combing going on anywhere near my hair). In The Hundred Dresses I marveled at the way Louis Slobodkin could make illustrations with so few lines, but still perfectly capture the mood of the scene. All these books and more are the reason I want to be an illustrator. Children remember the pictures they see in books and their imaginations can better grasp the story being read to them. The books we read as kids mold who we are later on. For instance I remember a time where my younger brother couldn't get enough of the Pokey Little Puppy. Even now just like the Pokey Little Puppy, Paul Hugh has a way of not getting punished. My mother used to read a picture book called The Surprise Doll in which a little girl has a doll made for her. My mom spent many years of her adult life as a doll maker. So that is what I want to do, give children images they will remember and take with them through life. I want to use illustration to glorify God, but am not quite certain how yet, so I'll just start with the basics at school.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Art School Results!

On Saturday night I found out that I got into art school! They accepted eight kids for illustration and I was fourth. I was so excited that I couldn't sleep. I can't wait to start learning art from really good teachers, being in a room full of kids who love drawing like me, and taking the train all the way to Ostrava every day. Unfortunatly I still have seven months before I start there.
Well, thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Talent Exams II

So, where was I? Ah yes, so I couldn't hear if my number had been called. My dad waded through the crowd to ask somebody if my number was moving onto the next round of exams. It was! I was very excited and a little giddy, as happy people tend to be.
Next day we did a pen and ink comic to a well known fairy tale about a magical porridge pot. Then we pasteled a complicated still life. We had to experience the same anxiety as the day before to see if we moved on to round three. this time I heard the man clearly when he called my number. The thirteen kids remaining and I had to write a short essay and take a test on basic knowledge. Afterwards we collected our portfolios and left. While leaving it was strange to think that either I was leaving that building for the last time or the first of many times.
I get a letter sometime this week teling me if I got in or not. I'm kinda nervous about it.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Talent Exams

This is my first post of 2009 so before I get started, Happy Belated New Year!

On Monday I had my exams get into the Stredni Umelecka Skola (Art high school) in Ostrava (you may remember from previous entries I mentioned the school or the portfolio they required each student to create). I had already sent in my application in November and I got an invitation to the exams in December. so on Sunday the night before the big day I was frantically gluing pictures to pieces of cardboard, sorting them by size and theme and making little touches to the pictures here and there. After a night of dreams filled with waterlogged portfolios being handled by sticky fingered children I grabbed my huge folder and art supplies and drove half an hour to Ostrava.
When I got there I was distributed a number: 167. I stuck that number on all my stuff so that the judges could examine my portfolio anonymously. Then I was shown into a room with a huge drafting table and about 8 girls sitting around it. Our instructions were to paint a picture depicting “the way to the treasure”. I made mine a sunset in the desert and foot prints leading to a cave guarded by a dragon, there was also a vulture flying above with the treasure map in it’s beak. I’m afraid I didn’t have the foresight to take any pictures. I was nervous about it not only because acrylics are not my forte, but I saw a girl doing something very similar.
Round two was drawing a portrait of a live model. I was fast and did two. That is something I feel pretty comfortable with, especially since I had drawn the exact same person two days before in the preparatory course. The model kept yelling out tips from her chair, which I’m not sure models are allowed to do…
After a break for lunch with I spent freezing my artistic nubbins off, we all shuffled back to the school and drew a still life in pencil. I didn’t quite finish that one.
We had an hour before they posted the results. My parents and I then waited half and hour on the stair well before they let us in. We all stood there straining to hear the man read out peoples numbers, starting with Painting and then Illustration. He read all the Illustration numbers and just when he got to the end somebody yelled loudly so I couldn’t hear if my number had been called.
To be continued...