Ep 72 Creative Chat with Children’s Illustrator and Political Cartoonist Chris Riddell

Today’s guest is Chris Riddell, a British illustrator based in Brighton. Chris has illustrated many acclaimed books for children, including Pirate Diary by Richard Platt, and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver, which both won the Kate Greenaway Medal. He also writes and illustrates his own children’s books.

Podcast Ep 72 Creative Chat with Children’s Illustrator and Political Cartoonist Chris Riddell

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Chris Riddell was a Children’s laureate from 2015 to 2017. The role of Children’s Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. Chris is also a renowned political cartoonist, whose work appears regularly in UK newspapers. 

We have been trying to get Chris on the podcast for over a year, and wow was it worth the wait. He is such an interesting man, we hope you love this episode as much as we enjoyed recording it.

The Cloud Horse Chronicles: Guardians of Magic (c) Chris Riddell 2019, Macmillan Children's Books

The Cloud Horse Chronicles: Guardians of Magic © Chris Riddell 2019, Macmillan Children’s Books

Some of the things we chat about

  • We ask Chris how he took his influence from Raymond Briggs, his tutor (who illustrated the Snowman), but went on to develop his own unique style. 
  • His thoughts on whether artists are born with talent or if it’s something that can be learned
  • Chris offers his tips on drawing from imagination, something many of us struggle with and suggests an exercise to try
  • Why he recommends keeping a secret sketchbook
  • What made him decide to write his own children’s stories as well as illustrate? He also has a fascinating process of how he does this!
  • Chris’ work as a political cartoonist for the Observer and how the process differs from his children’s illustration
  • His time being Children’s Laureate and what that means?
  • How a novice illustrator can create their own opportunities.
Love in the Time of Coronavirus, text (c) Nikita Gill 2020, illustration (c) Chris Riddell 2020. From Poems To Save The World With by Chris Riddell, Macmillan Children’s Books

Love in the Time of Coronavirus, text (c) Nikita Gill 2020, illustration © Chris Riddell 2020. From Poems To Save The World With by Chris Riddell, Macmillan Children’s Books

Books that Chris has been working on

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland © Lewis Caroll 1865, illustration (c) Chris Riddell 2020, Macmillan Children’s Books

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland © Lewis Caroll 1865, illustration (c) Chris Riddell 2020, Macmillan Children’s Books

Find out more about Chris Riddell

 

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You can Tweet us your answers @KickCreatives or let us know in the Facebook Group, which by the way if you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend that you do! We will put the question up there and also on the facebook page… and of course, on our Instagram page @kickinthecreatives.

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Ep 71 The Importance of Presenting Your Artwork Part 2

This is the second part of our podcast about the best ways to present your artwork. In this part, we cover more of the physical side of presenting your art rather than sharing it virtually on social media.

Ep 71 The Importance of Presenting your Artwork Part 2

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Some of the things we discuss about presenting your artwork

  • Try virtually framing your art to test out ideas
  • Sandra recommends going to a professional framer and she explains why
  • Thoughts on choosing frames and mounts
  • Ideas on picking out colours from your paintings or where your painting will hang
  • Types of glass for paintings
  • Ideas for posting out your art when you sell it so your buyer loves it
  • Packaging up your art – Sandra gives an important tip on packaging oil paintings
  • Thoughts on business cards and email lists

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This week’s creative question

What is your favourite art-related joke?

Art Question Favourite Art Joke

The best answers will be read out on a future podcast.

You can Tweet us your answers @KickCreatives or let us know in the Facebook Group, which by the way if you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend that you do! We will put the question up there and also on the facebook page… and of course, on our Instagram page @kickinthecreatives.

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If you have any suggestions for the podcast or our challenges please feel free to get in touch.


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Ep 70 The Importance of Presenting your Artwork Part 1

In today’s podcast, we are talking about the best ways to present your art. Not just our art, but ourselves as artists too. It can mean the difference between selling or not selling your work or just how your art is perceived by other people. You need to appear confident in what you do because if you’re not, nobody else will be. In fact, we clearly had so much to say about the whole topic of presenting your art that this ended up being part one of a two-parter.

Ep 70 The Importance of Presenting your Artwork Part 1

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Some of the things we discuss about presenting your artwork

  • Why you should point out the elements in your art that you love, not the ones that you are unhappy with.
  • Why it can be interesting to weave stories in with your art when you post them on social media.
  • Some ideas for presenting your art on social media, both things we’ve tried and things that other artists do that we love
  • Why if you are selling your art it’s important to present an accurate as possible representation of a painting online.
  • How simple things like cropping in on an image and removing the scrappy edges of your sketchbook can make your social media images look better.
  • Thoughts on presenting art at exhibitions

If you enjoy the podcast you can support us by buying us a coffee. We want to make a coffee froth moustache. Thank you!

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Ep 69 Advice on Writing and Marketing a Book with Best Selling Author Russell Nohelty

Today’s guest is Russell Nohelty. Russell is a USA Today best-selling author who writes nonfiction as well as graphic novels which he describes as weird books for weird people. He’s also an inspirational speaker helping artists to build better creative careers. If you’re thinking about writing your own book, then this is the episode for you whether you’re looking at going down the traditional publishing route all the cells publishing one, he really is a wealth of information. 

Ep 69 Russell Nohelty Writing and Marketing your book

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Russell talks about

  • How he got started as a writer
  • What’s your process for writing a book, from idea to completion
  • Researching the book market for your niche before you write your book
  • Why it’s good to “start small” for your first projects rather than jumping into a full novel or book
  • Tips for planning and keeping your writing on track so it actually gets completed
  • Ways of building an audience for your book while you are still writing it.
  • The importance of title and cover of a book
  • How you can differentiate yourself and stand out from other authors?
  • Tips for marketing a book

Find out more about Russell Nohelty

katrina graphic novel


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Ep 68 The Importance of Creating Art from the Heart

In today’s episode, we are going to talk about the importance of creating art from the heart. And by that, we mean creating how and what you love to create rather than creating what you think you should, or what other people want you to. The more we grow as artists, the more we start comparing ourselves to other artists and telling ourselves we should be doing what they are… But what if we don’t want to?

Ep 68 Art from the Heart

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Some of the things we discuss about creating art you love

  • The difficulty with commissions and how to make them work for you, if you decide to do them
  • Why you should draw what you love and enjoy process over what you feel you “should” be creating
  • Why purposefully creating commercial art that you don’t enjoy creating might not be the answer as it could kill your art passion
  • Knowing the difference between drawing what you love because you love it or just continuing to draw it because you are avoiding drawing something you find difficult.
  • Why if your heart is telling you to try something different you should follow it and how it might be incorporated into your usual style of drawing later
  • If you feel like trying something new, remember not everything has to be shared publicly, we didn’t in the olden days!
  • If someone makes a suggestion by all means try it, but don’t be governed by what someone else suggests if it doesn’t feel good to you.

And I apologise but Sandra talks a lot about getting naked, because the weather had been so hot. Thank goodness it’s cooler that’s all I can say… phew 🙄 😬

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This week’s creative question

If you had a painting fairy, what would you like the most help with and why?

If you had a painting fairy, what would you like the most help with and why?

The best answers will be read out on a future podcast.

You can Tweet us your answers @KickCreatives or let us know in the Facebook Group, which by the way if you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend that you do! We will put the question up there and also on the facebook page… and of course, on our Instagram page @kickinthecreatives.

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If you have any suggestions for the podcast or our challenges please feel free to get in touch.


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Online Life Drawing Classes on Zoom Have You Tried One Yet?

online life drawing classes in zoom

I’ve been wanting to do some life drawing for a long time. There aren’t many local classes near me so I was pleased to see that you can now do “live” life drawing online on Zoom. When I say live, I mean that the sessions are done through zoom and a model is poses in real-time, either nude or clothed from their home. The pandemic has forced a lot of companies that were previously offering in-person “real” life drawing to take their sessions online. This means that you can now do life drawing where ever you are based.

When you’re using Zoom you will appear on video with the other participants in the class. However, you can choose to turn your video off if you want. I’ve tried taking a class with my video on, but find I can concentrate better with it turned off. Plus then at least no-one sees the ridiculous faces you pull when your drawing sucks

Most online Zoom life drawing sessions seem to cost between £5 and £10, though prices vary depending on your circumstances. For instance, some companies offer concessions to key workers like hospital staff or varied pricing depending on what you can afford to pay.

Now I have to admit the first life drawing class I signed up for was dreadful. It was two women who had made a video of themselves clothed standing outside at a distance from each other. But it didn’t completely put me off and I was pleased with the next life drawing class I attended with The Drawing Sesh.

The Drawing Sesh

Instagram: @thedrawingsesh

drawing sesh virtual life drawingThis is one of my favourite online life drawing groups. It’s run by two artists, a young couple who have recently graduated from Brighton Art School. Their niche is fashion, and so their life drawing sessions are clothed and have a fashion theme. They mainly do the modelling themselves. For the first few classes I took with them they used a green screen and projected images behind themselves. I thought this made them really unique, but they seem to be moving away from this a little more now. The duo are friendly and keep things interesting by sharing fashion themes and ideas each week. I also like the suggestions they make for ways you can try drawing. For example, this week started with a continuous line drawing. Other ideas have been to draw with shapes rather than outlines and to draw just the negative shapes.

This is a friendly class, so if you like a chat in between sketching you can optionally do that too.

Zoom Life Drawing Session Times

Monday 11am – 1pm BST
Thursday 5pm – 7pm BST

Cost and Booking Info

Sessions are £7 each at the time of writing or you can support them on Patreon for a monthly fee and get all the sessions much cheaper.

https://instabio.cc/theDrawingSesh

the drawing sesh zoom life drawings

The Jolly Sketcher

Instagram:  @thejollysketcher

This is another life drawing group that I really like. Funnily enough, it turns out that it’s run by an artist that Sandra knows called Tanja Hassel. They met years ago at some art classes they both attended. These sessions are normally run as a real “in-person” class in London, but have been taken online for the pandemic.

The sessions are well organised and have great models who are either nude or nearly nude who pose on webcam from their own homes. For all the sessions I’d have attended the models have been dancers within means they are fantastic at holding a pose. You can also tell that they are used to modelling as they have a good repertoire of poses.

The sessions start with very short poses from 30 seconds and gradually build up to longer ones, so there is something for everyone. You can optionally choose to share what you draw with the other participants on video if you want.

Zoom Life Drawing Session Times

Monday 5pm – 5:30pm (free session) and 7pm – 9pm BST
Tuesday 7pm – 9pm BST
Thursday 2pm – 4pm BST
Fri 10am – 10:30am BST
Sunday 11am – 1pm BST

Cost and Booking Info

Sessions cost from £5+ (pay what you can afford) for the 2 hour sessions https://bookwhen.com/thejollysketcher

Jolly Sketcher online life drawing session sketches

Life Drawing Plus

Instagram: @life_drawing_plus

Life drawing plusI have only attended this online life drawing session once, but I enjoyed it. The class I attended had a Tarantino theme and so the model was dressed and posed to reflect his films Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction. This also included the model sitting on and standing near a motorbike. It made the session more interesting. They also have nude model drawing sessions.

Zoom Life Drawing Session Times

Tuesday 7.30pm – 9.30pm BST

Cost and Booking Info

Sessions cost £6
Booking is via their link on instagram https://instagram.com/life_drawing_plus

life drawing plus sketches

Drawing Caberet Couture

Instagram @drawingcabaretcouture

drawing cabaret couture“Haute couture and cabaret themed online drawing classes”. Now, this has to be one of the most unusual life drawing sessions I’ve tried so far. The model was wearing some very weird stuff with a kinky mask like thing which reminded me of Hannibal Lecter. The model was filmed beautifully, it looked like it was a fashion shoot the way it was directed.

The only thing that I found a bit tricky was that I struggled to hear what duration each pose was for and when the pose was starting. However, this may have been because they filmed this session outside and the instructor wasn’t mic’d up. I have only tried one session so far so I can’t comment what it’s usually like. It’s well worth trying for the experience and wackiness.

Zoom Life Drawing Session Times

Thursday 11am – 1pm and 7pm – 9pm BST

Cost and Booking Info
Sessions cost from £8.14, but if you think you are likely to attend more than one session a month, it’s much cheaper to support them on Patreon. https://instabio.cc/20426qGJEA7

Cabaret couture drawings

Other Online Life Drawing Classes

I haven’t tried these classes, but check them out as they might have classes to suit you.

Free Online Life Drawing Resources

If you are looking for free life drawing reference (not live) check out this blog post.

____________________________________

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Ep 67 Mitch Bowler Teaching Artists How to Draw and Paint Realistically Online with Evolve

Today’s guest is Mitch Bowler. Mitch has a fascinating story from growing up in a small town in Canada with dreams of being a video games artist, to making his dream come true and moving to live and work in the industry in China. Since then Mitch has created the well known art platform and podcast called Pencil Kings where he has helped thousands of artists learn to draw. Mitch’s latest project is an online learning platform called Evolve. It’s a program to teach anyone how to paint to a professional level in a realism style in a year or less. It’s something Sandra would have dreamed of when she was learning to paint.

Click here to get a time sensitive discount off the Evolve program.
Please note that this is an affiliate link. So not only will you get a time sensitive discount if you decide to purchase the Evolve Artist Program, but KITC will also get a commission which will help us to continue doing what we do. Thank you for your support.

Podcast Ep 67 Mitch-Bowler pencil Kings and Evolve Artist

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Mitch talks about

  • How he wanted to be a video game designer even as a young boy
  • How he accelerated his learning to become a video game artist
  • What it was like working in China after coming from a small town
  • Why he set up the Pencil Kings podcast and platform
  • Mitch also talks about why he created Evolve because he realised there was a real lack of quality affordable tuition to learn how to paint realistically.  Mitch found out about Kevin Murphy’s Art School (a physical place) and the amazing results he was having teaching even beginners to paint. He came together with Kevin to bring his expertise online to make his teaching methods available to more artists.

If your interested in learning more about the Evolve Artist program click here to get a time sensitive discount

Please note that this is an affiliate link. So not only will you get a time sensitive discount if you decide to purchase the Evolve Artist Program, but KITC will also get a commission which will help us to continue doing what we do. Thank you for your support.

Sign up for a free Masterclass from Evolve

Sign up herelearn realistic art webinar

Find out more about Mitch and Evolve

 


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Ep 66 Andy J Pizza Illustrator and Host of The Creative Pep Talk Podcast

Today’s podcast guest is Andy J. Pizza from Creative Pep Talk. Andy is an American illustrator, podcaster and public speaker. He has produced vibrant illustrations for clients like Nickelodeon and Amazon.

Ep 66 Interview with Andy J Pizza Illustrator and Host Creative Pep Talk

Sandra and I are huge fans of Andy’s podcast the Creative Pep Talk where Andy shares creative advice, plus Andy knows how to tell fascinating stories which makes him a great speaker. You can’t help but find that some of his enthusiasm will rub off on you.

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let out your weird Andy J Pizza

Andy talks about

  • What made him use the name from Andy J Pizza rather than Andy J Miller?
  • Why he always felt like he didn’t fit in at school and wasn’t good at the things the other kids were?
  • What he means by calling himself the penguin who thought he couldn’t fly
  • What he means when he says that he thinks kids at school are treated as factory models. And why he thinks that some kids labelled as problem children, could be creative kids that haven’t had their talents nurtured.
  • What made him go into illustration and how he developed his style?
  • Why he gave up on creativity for a while when it wasn’t paying the bills and even took his website down, but eventually found his way back to it.
  • How Andy’s first speaking gigs went and what it’s like now to get up and inspire people by speaking on stage
  • How the Creative Pep Talk podcast came about
  • His advice to those people who recognise themselves as creative but haven’t yet found their place in the art world

Andy also talks about his SkillShare course “ Make Creativity Your Career: Six Exercises to Create a Successful Side Project“ which teaches creatives how to narrow down their niche and get paying work they love. Plus he mentions a new project he is working on https://www.instagram.com/coloopco/

Find out more about Andy J Pizza

INVISIBLE THINGS POSTER

Children's book Andy J Pizza

 


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Using Borders in your Sketchbook

In this video, we look at using borders to make a simple sketch look more interesting. Sometimes, we might like a sketch just as it is and we don’t always want to add anything more… but on the other hand, we want to make the page a bit more eye-catching. Using borders is a great way of doing just that!

If you have any questions please let us know in the comments.

The initial sketches

the initial sketch

Painting shapes around the sketch with gouache

painting shapes around the sketch

Adding borders to the sketch

finished sketches with borders

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Ep 65 How to Find Your Art Style More Quickly

Today’s episode is all about how to find your art style. But it’s a little different to our usual podcast. We’ll talk about we both found our art style, but Tara will be the main focus, because Tara found hers more recently.

Podcast How to find your art style more quickly

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Tara didn’t stumble across her style… It didn’t just creep up on her through pencil mileage… she made a conscious effort to find it by developing her own 60 day ‘Find your Art Style’ experiment. And she filmed her process and her progress, every single day. It was something she hoped would work, but there was always the chance that it might not, so it was a huge commitment to take on, with no guarantees.

So, we thought it might be fun if Sandra interviewed Tara about her process, in the hope that she can help you to find ways to find your own, or develop the one that you already have. Plus Tara will ask Sandra a few questions about how she found her style along the way too.

Some of the things we discuss about finding your art style

  • Our definitions of what an art style is, our views are slightly different on this
  • Why  finding a recognisable art style was so important to Tara and why it might be for you too.
  • Why Sandra was never concerned about finding an art style because she was more interested in learning how to paint like the masters.
  • How Sandra found her style more organically
  • Why Sandra paints both very dark and very light paintings, but they are still recognisably hers.
  • Why Tara  thought that  maybe she could actively go about finding a style, rather than it stumbling upon it over time
  • Why Tara created a 60 day challenge for herself called the ‘Find your Art Style Experiment’
  • How Tara went about finding her style including analysing her own work and the work of artists she loves.
  • Why sometimes you should go with your gut rather than doing what you think you “should” be doing
  • What happened during the 60 day experiment to find Tara’s Art Style. The high points, the low points and the doubts
  • Tips for starting your own Find Your Art Style Experiment

So you may be wondering, did Tara actually find her art style? Well you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out!

If you want to watch the videos created during Tara’s “Find Your Art Style Experiment” you can find them on the Kick in the Creatives Youtube Channel

Links mentioned in the Podcast

If you enjoy the podcast you can support us by buying us a coffee. We want to make a coffee froth moustache. Thank you!

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This week’s creative question

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Art question for podcast

The best answers will be read out on a future podcast.

You can Tweet us your answers @KickCreatives or let us know in the Facebook Group, which by the way if you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend that you do! We will put the question up there and also on the facebook page… and of course, on our Instagram page @kickinthecreatives.

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If you have any suggestions for the podcast or our challenges please feel free to get in touch.


We’ve now got a Youtube Channel where we put up a new Art Video every Sunday.
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Buy us a Coffee!

Love what we do? Support us by buying us a coffee.

Podcast Episode list

Click here for a complete list of our podcast episodes

Sign up for our Newsletter

join the Kick in the Creatives Facebook Group

Buy us a Coffee!

Love what we do? Support us by buying us a coffee.

Podcast Episode list

Click here for a complete list of our podcast episodes

Sign up for our Newsletter

join the Kick in the Creatives Facebook Group

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