Sunday, June 13, 2010

IMC Day 1

Illustration Master Class began its first full day yesterday in Amherst, Massachusetts. Eighty-two students from as far away as Australia, England, and Calgary, Alberta assembled in the red-brick building called Fayerweather Hall on the college campus.



The faculty consisted of, from left to right, Dan Dos Santos, Donato Giancola, Irene Gallo, Greg Manchess, Scott Fischer, Me (with Jeanette), Rebecca Guay, Jeremy Jarvis, as well as Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell (not shown).

Students prepared preliminary drawings based on the themes of Joan of Arc, Beauty and the Beast, Warrior Priest, Jet-Cycle Getaway, Paranormal Romance, and Frost Titan.

From about 11:00 in the morning until 11:00 at night, faculty and students divided into two large classrooms, with the sketches posted on a large wall. We went through each of the drawings to suggest ways of improving the compositions, usually using tracing paper overlays.

We had brief breaks for meals and for presentations on art materials safety and how to shoot photo reference from models.

Illustration Master Class

17 comments:

N'Der said...

Woah, students must be afraid showing their work to those illustrators.

Amy Lilley Designs said...

wonderful...a dream situation for all those gifted illustrators, from as far away as Australia...very impressive...trust that it will continue to be a rich, full experience for all...

Alwyn said...

We're here,guys, at the IMC, it's terrifying and frickin amazing! 20 hours in and Brian Bowes is "weeping like a small child." Seriously, this is a life and career changing experience. EVERY ARTIST SHOULD TRY IT OUT! Every faculty member is so helpful and encouraging. Try to come next year!

--Ruth Thompson

goat89 said...

I can't paint or draw, but man, cherish this opportunity!

Rebecca said...

How does one go about signing up for this experience? Sounds like an amazing opportunity!

Will Kelly said...

Man I have always wanted to attend this; maybe someday in the (near?) future. I notice that Gregory Manchess is there again this year... I love his style.

A. L. Ryder said...

I attended last year. Terrifying-- check. Amazing-- check. Life changing-- check. Definitely a must-see. I'm looking forward to attending a second time in the future, since hopefully I won't be quite so flabbergasted and should be able to accomplish--and learn-- even more within the week allotted!

@Rebecca-- go to illustrationmasterclass.com and send an email requesting to be put on the mailing list; that should let you know when sign up becomes available again (I think it was available in December of last year, and fills up pretty quickly.) It does come with a price tag but I do not know anyone who has said it was not worth it. Everyone I *do* know from IMC is either attending again this year or frustratingly waiting out finances in hopes of attending again next year... there are also no guarantees that it will continue as an annual event, but I certainly hope that it will.

vulpesferox said...

I attended the very first IMC, wasn't able to make it to the second, and now I'm currently at the third!

Having the Faculty play art director is very similar to what one experiences doing an illustration job in real life. The difference is that this is a "safe" venue to go through the process with people who are your allies and believe in sharing information and personal experience.

If you want to break into the illustration scene but have lots of questions and doubt, attend IMC. They take the fear out of the unknown and are warm and helpful. I have more confidence about getting illustration work now, and what I learned in a week at IMC was more than I learned in my four years in a private art college.

The idea of these successful artists critiquing your work is intimidating, but once you meet them and see they are real people, it all melts away.

No matter what your skill level, they will treat you as they treat each other. With respect, honesty, and a sense of humor.

It's an added bonus that I was able to meet and chat with Mr. Gurney today!

Rayford said...

I attended the first one as well and can say that the price was a bargain considering the experience and lodging and food is covered in the tuition. Magical is the best word to describe the experience and I will definitely go back when I can afford to go again.

Rebecca said...

Thank you A.L. Ryder! I will definitely check it out. :)

Kelly K. said...

<3 Greg Manchess

ivo.de.wispelaere said...

What is the average skill level of the participants? I saw some examples on the website, but I suppose they show the very best ones?

James Gurney said...

Ivo: The organizer, Rebecca Guay, is very deliberate about not making an portfolio entrance requirement, so as to foster collaboration rather than competition.

Some of the students are established professionals with highly developed skills; others have expertise in other areas, like costume or model-making, but maybe are trying oil painting the first time.

There are people who do preliminary sketches in pencil and finishes in digital, others who do their concepting digitally and switch to old school for the painted finish.

What strikes me is that the air is filled with the exchange of ideas, not just from teacher to student, but among students, (and, I can attest, from student to teacher)

Everyone has a willingness to try whatever methods give them good results, even if they are methods they've never tried before. That risk-taking and exchange of ideas, I think, is why so many people have a life-changing experience.

Off the Coast of Utopia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Gurney said...

What a great idea! You must be having a fantastic time. The exchange of ideas must be positively electrifying, particularly since so much of an illustrator's work can be solitary. I hope you'll post more about this event. Guessing that's so, given the title of this post.

DavidStill said...

Just a quick glance at what people are in that photo of the faculty is enough to make anyone faint.. I've known about this event a few years now and every time it's happening I really really wish I lived in America. One day I will be there!

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