I'm teaching a little class as a guest illustrator at Brigham Young University. It is a class of senior illustrators and the deal is that a different guest illustrator comes and teaches the class once a week for three weeks. The first week I do the song and dance routine. Show my work, talk about the business and give them the assignment. The second week I have the students come to my house and visit my studio. We review sketches and I do a demo. Then we finish up with a final critique the third week. (This year it might even involve food. They wanted to have some kind of pot-luck dinner. I'm game. I'm bringing brownies) Anyway, the assignment I gave them this year is this: Gallery O' Terror!!! (spoken in a creepy Vincent Price kind of voice) It needs to be a children's book illustration. Either a double page spread or a single page illustration and a spot for the other page. Each page is 9x10 horizontal or vertical layout. The only rule tis year is that they must include a pumpkin somewhere in the illustration
The idea started years ago when I worked with a bunch of artists animating educational software for kids. It was really cute stuff. I mean sometimes it was waay too cute. So we found the only way to balance the cute was to periodically delve into the dark. Every fall we would do the Gallery O’ Terror. We would make a topic and everyone would do their own version and then we would hang them on our cubicle-wall gallery. Loads of spooky fun. This is where the idea came from. The reason I give the assignment in September is so that if a artist wanted could make a promotional postcard to send to art directors or to Grandma in time for Halloween.
My wife started taking a bunch of my past gallery submissions, framing them and hanging them in our living room at Halloween time. Those crappy little paintings started looking okay with a nice frame around them. So, now I try to do something each year to keep the gallery growing and to keep the too cute stuff at bay.
This is the sketch for this years painting. It is also the painting I was doing as a demo for the class. I’ll post the final when I finish it.
And here it is.
I include this assignment here for any reader who might want to participate or might want to begin their own Gallery O’ Terror for themselves (even if your not an artist). Of course you don’t have to follow my rules. Do whatever you want. You could email me a jpg or a link and I could post it. Now get to work. Your grade depends on it.
My daughter and her cousin joined in. Aren't they awesome.