For Class March 2


Illustration by David Lloyd, guest artist at MoCCA Fest 2017

For class, bring in your MoCCA product to show. The artwork should be nearly done and ready to go into production before spring break.

Start work on optimizing images for your website; see instructions below. Even if you have a well designed site, ensure your images are of the correct resolution. Most CMSs (Content Management Systems, like SquareSpace, WordPress, Wix, Cargo, etc.) will automatically adjust sizes for your images but if you don’t have enough pixels to start with, your work will look crummy on art directors’ big retina display monitors.

Prepare your artwork for your websites. Using Adobe Bridge, attach metadata to each file. Select a picture file in the Content panel, go to the Metadata panel and scroll down to IPTC Core. For Creator, click to the right and type in © 2016 Your Name. (Option G for copyright symbol.) Scroll down to add your web site url and email address, and at the bottom add the copyright again at Copyright Notice. Hit Return to save. Repeat steps for each image.

Open the high-res file in Photoshop. Go to Image > Image Size. Change the resolution of the image 1o 72 ppm (pixels per inch), then change the width to 2070 pixels (it doesn’t have to be 2070px, but no less than 1500px). Whatever you choose, be consistent with all of your images. Let the height be whatever it is. If the image is very wide and not very tall, you’ll have to modify the dimensions. Your CMS (Content Management System) will adjust so that your artwork sizes look compatible on screen.

If you’re using Adobe Creative Cloud Go to File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy). If you’re using Adobe Photoshop CS 6 got to File > Save for Web. Choose the tab that says 4-Up so you can study the original art compared to the different settings. Fiddle around with GIF and JPEG so you can see what they look like, selecting a different panel with your image and look at the metadata below to see the file size. In the end, choose jpeg and adjust the Quality slider so that your file size is under 2MB. Study areas with fine detail and gradients to make sure it looks as good as possible while keeping the file size small enough. When done, click “Save” and when asked, create a new folder for you web images and save them all there. The file names cannot have spaces and hyphens will be added where you do have spaces between words.


For Class, February 2

Hand in your Elevator Pitch, Mission Statement and Business Plan. It’s OK to send it to me in an email, or print it out, your choice. Just meet the deadline, OK?

Elevator Pitch: a phrase or sentence that concisely describes who you are as an illustrator. I like Sam Wolfe Connelly‘s: “I rob graves and draw treasures that I find.” If yours is adequately evocative you can use it as a tagline on your site or blog. Mission Statement: a paragraph outlining what kind of an illustrator you want to be. Business Plan: a page or more breaking down into concrete steps your plans to accomplish your goals.

Read Morgan & Gaynin Nuts & Boltsall 4 parts. There will be a quiz to start the class. This is the easiest, most subjective of the quizzes. There is just one question that requires close attention to the readings. You’ll see.

Shrinky Dinky for MoCCA Fest?

Thanks to 2016 illo grads Sabrina Elahi and Cecily Thomas for visiting class today. It’s great to see both of you making things (even a beautiful baby boy!). Sabrina gave a great tip for a MoCCA product, to make shrinkydink pins. Here’s the link to the material she was using. She recommended printing with an inkjet (rather than laser) printer, working at twice the finished size, and coating the end product with ModPodge. You could even bedazzle the end product, if that’s your thing.

For Class April 21


Illustration by Jerry Pinkney

Send me the draft of your email campaign, for feedback. Make changes if any and then send it out to all of the department faculty. If you’re having trouble with the design, here’s an article from this class blog’s Resources page with tips about putting together an email campaign. Its focus is for the writing of an email, not taking into account the illustrator’s need for a dominant image. However other points are well-made.

Non sequiter: Here are some FAQs about the copyright law. Please read this, for your own sake.

In class, let’s look at your emails, resumes and websites. Let’s double-check to see if there is any outstanding work that you have yet to hand in. After all, next week will be the last Class of the semester. Gasp.

At 6:30, please come to Shemin Auditorium to see Illustration Legend Jerry Pinkney. He is one of the industry’s greats and we’re honored to host him here.

For Class March 31st


Illustration by Scott Bakal

Read Morgan & Gaynin: How to Speak to an Art Director and How to NegotiatePEGS on negotiation pages 83-100. There will be a quiz on negotiation.

Compile and expand on your art-director list; get art director and designer names, get street addresses to send postcards, get email addresses to send email campaigns. In class I’ll show you how to set up a Google doc. spread sheet to organize your data.

We’ll also go over any remaining details re MoCCA Fest.

Don’t forget, at 6:30pm Scott Bakal will be speaking in Shemin Auditorium as a VALS speaker. He’s a terrific illustrator. You probably remember his work from both Bob and James’s teachings. Don’t miss it.

For Class March 3


Bring to class your laptops with your optimized images.

To remind you of spec.s and process in optimizing your artwork: First use Adobe Bridge to enter your metadata. With your image selected, go to the Metadata panel, select IPTC Core and on the Creator line, enter copyright © (option g) and your name. You can also write your name and url discretely right on your image.

Resize vertical images to a minimum of 1200 pixels tall (could go as high as 2000 pixels tall) and 72 pixels per inch (ppi). Horizontal images can be resized to a larger number of pixels, say 1500 pixels wide minimum (up to 2200) and of course 72 ppi.

If you use Adobe Photoshop CC 2015: Go to File >  Export > Save for Web (Legacy). If you use Adobe Photoshop CS 6: Go to File > Save for Web. Art with flat fields of color and simple line art might look fine saved in GIF file format. Art with detail, texture and gradients is best saved as JPEG. Choose the tab that says “4-Up” and set different parameters in each of the 3 panes, comparing different settings to the Original. Study the metadata below the image. How large is the image? Will it load fast? Be methodical in the way you name and save your picture files. Your life will  be easier when you upload them.

We’ll work on your websites in class, taking a look at your current web presence and seeing what tweaks (or massive changes!) need to be done.