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.
Illustration by Selina Alko and Sean Qualls
Bring your MoCCA product in progress; be prepared to show the rest of your work as well. Selina Alko and Sean Qualls will specifically talk about marketing and self-promotion to the class at large and then look at your work. They do children’s books, however for anyone working in any genre, it can be enormously instructive to get outside feedback.
Even if you’re not signed up for VALS at 6:30 in Shemin Auditorium, do come to seen Sean and Selina talk. They have the lived experience of being an interracial couple with parallel careers in illustration. The ways in which they work together and support one another creatively and socially are positive exemplars.
Illustration by Steve Brodner
Hand in your written (yes, please print it out) proposal for your MoCCA Product. Include sketches or comps, production budget and timeline for creative work and production. Pace yourself to have product ready for MoCCA Fest on April 1st. You’ll probably want to get pieces printed before Spring Break to play it safe.
Class will start with a quiz from the readings: PEGS pages 106-118; Morgan & Gaynin Websites and The 3-T Method.
For the remainder of class Steve Brodner will be looking at portfolios and giving feedback. After the bruising election cycle last year and the current political climate, Brodner is an acerbic and insightful voice for the left. Even if your politics don’t align with his, you can marvel at his caricature skills, his craftsmanship with media and his thoughtful conceptual process. He teaches a class at SVA so can give knowledgeable feedback no matter what style or genre you work in.
Also, do come to the VALS lecture at 6:30 in Shemin. You will be entertained.
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 & Bolts, all 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.
Illustration by Jessica Hische
For the first class, we’ll go over the syllabus and talk about the upcoming semester. Share with everyone your specific goals, your professional and creative ambitions. We’ll spend the semester teaching you the tools to reach those goals.
NOTE: No class next week, January 26.
To end the semester on a dry but necessary note: here’s an article published on AIGA’s (American Institute of Graphic Arts) blog site that goes into some depth on the current state of affairs. Protect yourselves, protect your work.
Class will begin with you filling out the teacher evaluation forms. I do read these and value your insights and suggestions that make the class better. So, bring your fully charged laptops and take a few minutes to do this.
Hand in your Schedule Cs. Please don’t write in your Social Security numbers (use 123.45.6789). You don’t need to write your exact expenses necessarily (I’m not trying to pry into your private economies!) but rather to understand the importance of saving receipts and writing off valid expenditures.
Bring a sample MoCCA product to hand in. For some of you, it will be wip. That’s fine. But get something done: one set of stickers, a sample card with envelope, something to show that you’re on your way to getting it done.
Bring too any edited resumes if you still had refinements due on them, as well as any other missing homework.
Once you’ve sent me the draft of your email campaign, do any tweaks needed then send it out to all of the illustration faculty. Include me. You’ll get 5 points for the draft, another 5 points for the final version.
We’ll end the class in the computer cluster, each of you taking turns at the teaching station to show us your web presence: if not a full blown web site at least a professional looking Tumblr blog.
That’s all, folks.