Illustration Friday- Influence


influenceHello all!

I was going to skip this week’s post due to my state of “busy”. I have been emerged in an illustration project and just felt tackling another project while also entertaining my kids was a bit much. That being said, I was still curious what the word was and visited Illustration Friday to investigate and see what others were doing. You know what they say about what curiosity does to a cat, yup, it serves me right!  After I plunked out the web address, and the webpage came into sight the word chosen was the very word I had submitted. (Oi’!) So I felt it was only right that I take part. After all,  I had supplied the word for the week. So here I am with my little ditty. I wanted to represent the artists who have influenced me and my artwork over the years as well as practice other styles in the process. So, this is what I came up with. (I love feedback, so bring it! 🙂

Little did I know while beginning this, that it would take a heap of time and be a true test for my patience. The portrait for “Chris Van Allsburg” (Jamanji) was the ultimate hair pulling, expletive uttering, throw my computer across the room experience! I seriously don’t know how the man does it and still is not sitting and drooling on himself! The layers AND LAYERS (did I mention layers?) of crosshatching, lines and dots took 4 EVER!!!! (This also coming from someone who did the ONE drawing on my computer where I could cheat a bit using the ‘cloning’ tool to duplicate every layer.) So needless to say, he has earned another “I’m not worry” bow in his regard. (If you haven’t read and looked at the illustrations in “The Garden of Abdul Gasazi”, DO IT! The book is completely brilliant!)

It was one year ago today where I took the plunge and quit my job as a special education teacher to live my dream as an illustrator and stay-at-home mom. As I reflect I am kind-of taken back by how great the year went. When I made the decision initially I made the goal of spending my first year focused on and building my portfolio. I was able to do this, and was surprised when jobs found me via my webpage or someone finding me on The year has brought card, glass beads, and “Urban Inspiration” sales, murals, T-shirt designs, posters, powerpoint backgrounds, education worksheets, 20 illustrations for my blog, a cookbook cover and education flashcards. Every project was a nice surprise and a great way to add to my work experience and portfolio. The hardest thing about this past year is finding my rhythm as I balance illustration work with kids, house, husband, social life, etc. I think the balance of it all is an art in itself and is still something I am working on. (If you have figured it out please share!) I am excited for this next year as I will be more diligent building my business contacts and making connections with children’s book publishers and other illustrators. Since I am well aware that it takes years and years to get published I have decided to have different goals each year so I continue growing as an artist while continuing to ‘enjoy the ride’ along the way. Right now, despite the constant juggling, I LOVE what I do! I get paid to draw, people!!!!! How could I possibly complain about that!!!!!?
Hugs to all,


About emilywilsondesigns

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8 Responses to Illustration Friday- Influence

  1. AHAnto says:

    These all look like they took a lot of time – some of my favourites on the list too. If you feel your portfolio is coming together and you want to dig deeper into kidsbooks, I highly recommend an SCBWI membership and taking your portfolio out to the summer seminar weekend. Wonderful things happen there, as they do in your blog. Nice work!

    • Thanks for the feedback! I am a SCBWI member yet slightly terrified of going to a seminar. Despite how wonderful I hear they are there is that inside fear that they are going to look at my rookie portfolio and laugh me out of the joint. So maybe this year I will work on my confidence as well. 😉 Thanks again for the feedback, I love hearing from and meeting new people! Emily

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Jenna says:

    Holy crap, girl! I absolutely love this. Not only is the subject one of my very favorite people, but I can’t believe how well you’ve captured the different artists. When the picture first popped up on my email page, the words were too small to read. My knowledge of artists, as you know, is not that great, but I could actually identify some of them:) Anyway, awesome!

  3. Dina Thanki says:

    Love the idea you have chosen, a great way to express the subject. I think you have captured each of the artists styles really well. I especially love the Van Gough, that’s my fave! 🙂

  4. Juli says:

    Fabulous job!!! Especially love the Pooh!

  5. Cindy D. says:

    Amazing and terrific! That’s hilarious you were going to skip it but it was YOUR word. Many years back I decided I had to own at least one Chris Van Allsburg book and “The Garden of Abdul Gasazi” is the one I chose! (Also the “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick”) Your version is absolutely beautiful. I don’t think I could pull it off, or if I did, I wouldn’t have any hair left at the end. 😉 The Bill Watterson one is really great, as are the rest. Great work!

  6. great pic, Em!!! I love it and shows what you can really do —which is many different styles & WELL. I’m so happy for you that you are pursuing your dreams in this way! It’s an inspiration to me as someone trying to chase hard after my writer dreams. =) Kudos! love ya! xoxoxo

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