Friday, October 21, 2011

Illustration Master Class open for registration

Two days ago I received the following letter:
“I am an aspiring fantasy artist, and I'm trying to figure out ways to move forward and get started.  I would love to produce work for book covers.  I am currently in the midst of a great research quest in search of information and ideas on how to get to that point.”

I told her that in my opinion, the best way to move forward as a fantasy artist would be to attend the Illustration Master Class in June in Massachusetts.

For one intense, unforgettable week, a group of about 100 85 students stay in the dorms of Amherst College, a quiet, leafy Ivy League campus. They eat meals together in the dining commons and stay up late looking at art books. 

But mainly they work. Throughout the week, each student goes through all the steps in the process of making a picture, from preliminary sketches to gathering reference to drawing up the subject and painting the finished piece illustrating one of about five assigned topics. The students choose the topic before the class actually begins, and they arrive with initial thumbnail sketches.

There are both digital and traditional students set up in three big workrooms. Many are already at a professional level, but some are just beginning, and the atmosphere is extremely supportive and welcoming.

The group faculty offers one-on-one guidance to the students at each stage of the process. The week is punctuated by lectures, one-on-one critiques, and demos. Above are watercolor sketches I did of Dan Dos Santos and Greg Manchess. The core faculty brings their own portable studios and they each work on their own pictures right next to the students. The teachers are all really approachable people, and any of them will answer any question you throw at them.

The 2012 faculty includes the core faculty of Greg Manchess, Dan Dos Santos, Donato Giancola, Scott Fischer, Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Irene Gallo, and organizer Rebecca Guay. This year, Iain McCaig will be there for the week, and Adam Rex, Brom, and I are privileged to participate as visiting lecturers.
At about $2,000, the price is a little expensive, but not bad when you consider that it includes room and board, and when you realize how much you can get out of it. If you can afford it, it’s the best week you’ll spend building toward your goal.
They’re offering early bird enrollment until the end of the month, after which the price will go up. Sign ups are already coming in fast, and the spaces will probably fill up by the end of the year.

Illustration Master Class
Examples of student work
IMC 2010 Day 1
IMC Day 2 and 3
IMC Demos
IMC 2011


SVSART said...

Why in my opinion the $2000 for IMC seems really reasonable....The Math behind it... 9 days there, 8 nights board/room(at say $100 per night = $800) 3 good meals a day (at $10 per = $220.00) which means actual instruction/ lectures/ one on one assistance = $980 for 7 days = $140.00 per day divided by some 12 hours approximate time most instructions are accessible to you for(some are there less or more)= $11.67 per hour...Divided by some 12 amazing instructors/industry professionals and guests = $1.00 per person per hour........If you ask me that's pretty cheap for such amazing talent(and what they share with you in experience, method and assistance) and I am not even calculating into that the other amazing people (student artists) there or the overall atmosphere (which I can't assign a price for as that part is truly PRICELESS) IMC is one of a kind and worth every penny for anyone who is either already in the field and needs a push to a higher level, someone who has always wondered about these artists methods, or someone in love with the art and needs a push in the right direction in their own work. No matter from what point you come to IMC at, you do not leave as the same person you once were. Life Changing is a description I assigned to the experience and I heard many there say the same.

Cetriya said...

the price is very reasonable, I won't argue that.

was planning to go next summer but registration opened up too early for me to make it in with out all the spots being filled. especially with Brom on the list. I wish this opened up more in feb. I would have money from seasonal work.

robertsloan2art said...

That would absolutely rock. I'm not at an economic level where I can afford it, but I see this in many workshops for fine art too.

The best classes seem to be the ones that combine working professionals with raw beginners and everyone in between. Everybody grows faster. Beginners leapfrog and the experienced gain quantum leaps in their own understanding, learning at the ferocious pace of the beginners.

I've always wanted to attend a Clarion workshop for my writing too, the only thing is, I'd have to sell a book to afford one. So that's always been a conundrum. I'm glad the art world doesn't work that way and limit attendance to those who haven't started their careers.

Maybe the writing world would benefit from a conference held on that basis, where established professionals, new pros and unpublished writers all worked that intensively with a faculty who are probably learning as much as the students from the process of articulating what they do.