Friday, February 02, 2007


It's been a busy couple weeks. About half of it was spent working on an illustration assignment. The other half was spent in bed with a variety of flus. I was productive in both cases, though the fruits of my labor from the "bed office" wasn't nearly as satisfactory:

The better half (health and production-wise) was spent working with the art director of Revenue Magazine on a feature article about newspapers "folding" as more people get their news online. He had a pretty clear idea of what he wanted from the start, and sent me this sketch:I had a couple other ideas as well, so i did a preliminary sketch of his idea, as well as one of my own.He liked both of them, so he asked me to stick with the first one, and to do the newsboy as a spot illustration to put in later on in the feature. Here are the finals (though a few changes have been made to the first one since having turned these in):
I'd love to do a bit more writing tonight, but it's my wife's turn to be sick now, and I've somehow managed to burn the soup so I think I better pay more attention in that regard..... seriously, how do you burn soup?


Unknown said...

Haaa- burnt soup! Well, I know how it is to be in a sick household, so I will make this short and sweet. These are great! Really nice to see your style being put to proper use.

- Hope you and the wifey get well soon*

Julien alday said...

Hey ! I want you two in good health next month... So please take care, ok ? ;) You allready know all the good I think about your latest production, but again, respect.

singinghawk said...

Hey Mike,

Glad to see your update. It almost looks as though your bed is in the front yard! Good drawing. I typically bury my head underneath a rock while sick, so kudos to you for still feeling motivated. I like the "story book" style that is apparent in your work --nice. It's great that you're finding work as an illustrator. It seems as if it's more difficult than ever to find work in the illustration industry as compared to about ten years ago. May I ask how you market your work?

You and some other art bloggers have inspired me to start my own blog and post a few of my images. Hope you'll stop by and take a peek.



Tom Scholes said...

Mike, as your unpaid promotion and marketing intern I need you and your family to get better and stay better so I don't have to worry about job security anymore.

P.S. I burn soup a lot actually :(

Bruce said...

Great to see your current works and I really like how you handled the crumpled up newspaper. However, that "extra extra" computer font doesn't jive with your painterly style! Boy, is that a stupid thing to notice, or what? Good stuff, Mike

Tom Kidd said...

Sorry about the days spent ill. It was nice seeing your thought process in this entry. I like the bed sketch too. Left handed I see.

In the future, just put the soup in a mug in the microwave. On second thought, you might find a way for it to explode. I have.

Marco Bucci said...

Burnt Soup? Call the guiness book! Nice. And nice illustrations too. Are these digital or traditional?

Mike Dutton said...

Hi everyone. I'm happy to report that the missus is feeling much better. We both had a couple other funky bugs the past few days, but I think we're finally back to normal. Julien - we must seem like a real bundle of joy, eh? Are you sure you still want to host us for a few days? :P Actually, I think it's good we're getting all the sickness out of the way now, so that we'll be healthy through Europe. But going back to this past weekend, I wanted to say thanks to all for the good humor and well wishes.

Scott - Thanks. I remember some of our old emails during my "style and genre" crisis, so I know you must be glad to see the editorial work.... it means less whiny emails from me! hehe.

Ana - I'm glad to see you've started up a blog, and that you're also no longer called "Anonymous". :) You have some very nice work, and I'll be stopping by again to comment.

My means of self promotion has been a very slow snowball effect. Mainly, it's just trying to create exposure. Blogs, artist forum sites. It's mainly a way to network with other artists, which is important to me, because it's so easy to feel isolated when you work at home. But potential clients and employers also visit these sites. Oddly enough, however, my last few jobs have come from posting on Craigslist. You can't beat free advertising! I simply post a link to my website along with a small introduction, and that usually works. I'm surprised it landed me an assignment with a high circulation magazine, but I had no complaints! I do plan on sending out postcards once my website is revamped. Another great way to market yourself is to try and get into annual books such as the Society of Illustrators (which I did not get into this year), or Spectrum (which I am still crossing my fingers for), or Communication Arts (which I still need to submit to).

Take a look at That's James Jean's blog. His latest post describes his method of self promotion when he first finished art school. I think it's a good example of creative marketing, but it's also very time consuming and does not guarantee any results. He said he never got any calls based on those, but I still think it put his name there, and when he began surfacing in other publications, I'm sure some of those art directors were reminded of his work, and sought after him. Again, create exposure.

Lastly, try to set up appointments to drop off a portfolio. I'm still working my way up to this. Since you're a bay area local, I can recommend starting out in San Francisco. If you can even get a face to face meeting, however brief, that's even better. I've noticed less and less of the human element is involved in working with art directors. Everything is email. Maybe it's a mutual preference, but there's still something about a face to face. You're a lot less fleeting than a postcard for starters. After San Francisco, target other publishing meccas.... like New York.

Hope this bit of rambling helps!

Tom - I'll do my best, especially since my severence package leaves something to be desired.

Bruce - Not a stupid thing to notice at all, and I agree with you. I plan on using this illustration for my website revamp, and the font and text will definitely change. Thanks!

Tom Kidd - I've exploded coffee in the microwave before. I used to jokingly call caffeinated coffee "rocket fuel".... not realizing it actually possessed compustive properties.

Marcobucci - Hey Marco, I really enjoy your caricature work on your blog! I've done a lot of digital work, but these last two are a mix of blue pencil, acrylic washes, colored pencil, then digital to finish them off.

singinghawk said...

Hi Mike,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I really appreciate the feedback and will be posting more, soon. As well, thanks for all the info regarding marketing. I have thought of craigslist for marketing, but have not posted there so far; I wonder how much visibility one really has with the steady stream of posts. That's great that you were spotted! I'll have to give it a try; I hope you don't mind. The last time I tried The Society of Illustrators, no luck. I guess my work is not that innovative. Yes, I know of James Jean (he must have been drawing since out of the womb), I'll look up his site for more info. Unfortunately, I am more than a bit of an introvert so setting up face-to-face meetings seems daunting to me...oh well...

On the bright side, my husband keeps me living a cushy (and lazy) lifestyle! While I sip on Margueritas, I sometimes ponder the usefulness of looking for "real" work...

Julien alday said...

" We must seem like a real bundle of joy, eh ? Are you sure you still want to host us for a few days? :P "

Hahaha, don't worry Mike. Of course, I still want host Alex and you, that will be a real pleasure and an opportunity for me to meet you... At last, should I say. That's something like one year and a half we comunicate, hide behind our screens. Well, I still busy at work, but I know we start to be close to D Day ["Dutton's Day" for me] so feel free to mail me if you have any question.
Glad to read that Alex and you are better, aside a few "bugs".
Cheers, mes amis !