Thursday, October 25, 2007

Shooting photo reference

Today, I took photos of a few of my coworkers. I'll use them for revising my sketches of Ron. I'm really uncomfortable with photo shoots. I mean, I enjoyed art directing them when I worked for a children's publisher and Crayola Kid's Magazine, but shooting casual photos for drawing reference is awkward for me, to say the least.

When I received the contract to illustrate The Legend of the Valentine, I'd only lived in Austin a few months. Before moving here, I'd used friends or family as models, sometimes a talent agency. At the time, I didn't know anyone in Austin, and my book advance didn't allow for hiring professional models.

I needed an African American male, about the age of 8, and an elderly grandma-ish type, so I grabbed a handful of my books and went to the library. There, I saw a kid who fit the description of my character, so I asked him if I could speak with his parents.

When he returned with his mom, I showed her my books and told her I was an illustrator. I explained to her that I needed a model for a book I was illustrating, and that I'd like to take pictures of her son to use as reference for my paintings. I offered to pay for his services, in addition to getting him a copy of the book when it published.

She took her son by the hand and walked away, looking at me like I was an ax murderer. All she said to me was, "No." I never did that again.

Now that I've been in Austin awhile, I use friends or coworkers. Still, I'm not a very sociable, talkative person at work. So to suddenly approach a coworker and ask to take their picture, when I normally wouldn't say anything to them, is very uncomfortable. Luckily, they know what I do, and are always more than willing to help.


lisa sanford said...

Next time you need some child models,,,just let me know!

rindawriter said...

The life of an illustrator/artist/author is full of surprises! I have LEARNED so much from your blog, Don!

I am getting a small piece of quilt art AUCTIONED for charity. I decided to give away my first sell piece BECAUSE IT FELT GOOD TO DO IT!!! Pics on my blog. It's a local charity for women and children so that felt even better.

P.S. I can't really draw, so I don't use models very much, I fear.

P.S. I forgot to say I liked the cobalt blue in your snowflake too....I didn't mean to be persnickity or anything...