Marks And Splashes Guest Group Critique with Chris Schechner

Posted on May 23, 2017

My dear friend, Chris Schechner ( | Instagram @chrisschechner), will be the guest instructor in the upcoming live webinar for the Guest Group Critique of – YAY! Go sign up!


Being May, this may be the month for your online presence as a children’s book illustrator to blossom. In the next Guest Group Critique we’ll look again at your online portfolios, illustrators websites and blog sites.

Our guest instructor for this month’s interactive live session, graphic designer Chris Schechner plans to help us answers questions like, how does your garden – I mean illustrator’s website – grow? What should we plant there and/or mercilessly weed away to attract art directors, editors and agents, and other potential art clients. How can we as, illustrators and author-illustrators make every day we’re online feel like spring?

We’re set for 7 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) Wednesday, May 31.

Chris’s design firm Schechner and Associates has completed work for publishers, ad agencies, banks, law firms, a seminary, churches and groups (such as the North Texas Chapter of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.)

For 25 years he served as art director of Pockets, the widely circulated children’s devotional magazine published by the Upper Room. Chris has worked with and helped hundreds of children’s illustrators over his career.

He’s fun, wicked sharp and he’ll make you laugh. Also, he understands artists, being one, a talented cartoon illustrator, himself. (See pen and ink image, right.)

He’s set a deadline of Tuesday evening, May 30 to get your website or portfolio URL to the list. He’ll look at all of the submitted sites, but pick only ten to speak to in our live session when we look at how to keep our site fresh, appealing and competitive in the children’s publishing market.

You can opt for just this month’s single Group Critique session with Chris (replay included.) Or subscribe monthly for just $10 per month, which gets you access to everything going back two years, including last month’s group critique with agents Jill Corcoran and Jodell Sadler of Jill Corcoran Literary. (They also focused on online portfolios.)

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More Drawn & Drafted Live Podcasts

Posted on May 23, 2017

profile-4888 (Also has been having live podcasts that have been wonderful. The podcasts are held on D&D’s profile is where upcoming podcasts can be registered for and previous ones can be replayed. I also posted about the first four here is led by Lauren Panepinto (Creative Director of Orbit Books and Yen Press: Twitter | Instagram | Orbit Books Profile) and Marc Scheff (Artist/Art Director : TwitterInstagram |

Here are the next upcoming podcasts:

Tue, May 30, 2017 12:00 PM CST
ProjectCast with Stephanie Law (and her six figure Kickstarter strategy)


Mon, Jun 12, 2017 08:30 AM CST
ProjectCast with Darren Yeow (The Etchr Art Satchel)

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Flight School Studio Live Twitch with Jake Wyatt

Posted on May 5, 2017

tumblr_inline_opee44rCUZ1uhzw3i_500At Noon (CST) on Friday, 05/05/17, Creative Director at, Jake Wyatt is doing a live Twitch:

Join us this Friday, 5/5, on our Twitch channel for another livestream from the Flight School HQ.

This week, Creative Director @jakewyattriot will draw, talk about art, and answer your burning questions. If you’ve ever wanted to know Jake’s favorite snack or what kind of Photoshop brushes he uses: now’s your chance! Drop a question in the stream’s chat on Friday or reach out on Twitter to Jake or our official Flight School account.

More info at:

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Drawn & Drafted Live Podcasts

Posted on May 5, 2017

profile-4888 (Also has live podcasts lined up and they are sure to be great. The podcasts are held on D&D’s profile is

Their Podcast Vision:

We miss the days of live studio audiences, so we’re bringing it back.

While we’re talking you can be on a group chat, with a separate area to ask questions. Vote up your favorite questions and we’ll answer them. is led by Lauren Panepinto (Creative Director of Orbit Books and Yen Press: Twitter | Instagram | Orbit Books Profile) and Marc Scheff (Artist/Art Director : TwitterInstagram |

Here are the upcoming podcasts:

Fri, May 5, 2017 12:00 PM CST
ProjectCast with Thomas James (Escape from Illustration Island)



Mon, May 15, 2017 4:00 PM CST
ProjectCast with Kyle Webster (Kyle’s Brushes)



Fri, May 19, 2017 3:00 PM CST
Project Cast with Jon Schindehette (The Art Order)



Mon, May 22, 2017 12:00 PM CST
ProjectCast with Dan Dos Santos(Muddy Colors)


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CDQ Mag Issue 1 Contributors

Posted on May 5, 2017

Today’s project update of Character Design Quarterly by 3DTotal Publishing (3DTotal Kickstarter Profile) lists “the amazing artists and character designers involved” on the first issue with links to their sites & social profiles. Here they are:

Lois van Baarle | Website | Instagram | Facebook

Brett Bean | Website | Instagram | Facebook

Randy Bishop | Website | Instagram | Facebook

Blue Zoo Animation Studio | Website | Instagram | Facebook

Shaun Bryant | Website | Instagram | Facebook

James Castillo | Website | Instagram | Facebook

CreatureBox | Website | Instagram | Facebook

Avner Geller | Website | Instagram

Max Grecke | DeviantArt | Instagram

Simone Grünewald | Website | Instagram

Tyson Murphy | Website | Instagram

Tristan Poulain | Website | Instagram

Tim Probert | Website | Instagram

Jakub Rebelka | Website

James Woods | Website | Instagram

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The Crayola Experience is Coming to DFW!

Posted on May 2, 2017

A place I needed as a kid coming to DFW!

The Crayola Experience, a 60,000 square-foot attraction is slated to open at Spring 2018 at The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano. At Crayola Experience Plano guests will enjoy classic experiences such as naming and wrapping their own Crayola crayon (Wrap It Up!), starring in their own coloring page (Be a Star), using their touch to bring art to 4-D life (Color Magic), creating melted wax spin-art (Drip Art) and learning how crayons are made in a live Factory Show, as well as some new experiences that will debut in Texas…

Read more at:

The Florida location video on YouTube

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The Escape From Illustration Island podcast is back

Posted on Apr 25, 2017


The Escape From Illustration Island podcast is back after a 5 year break!

“Conversations with Illustrators, Art Directors, Art Reps, and other creative professionals about the Illustration industry and a lot more!”

Hosted by Thomas James, &, the first interview (Episode 83) is with Martin Gee,, Senior Art Director at TIME and freelance illustrator based in New York :

The first “real” episode of the newly returned Escape from Illustration Island Podcast features an in-depth conversation with Martin Gee, Illustrator and Senior Art Director of TIME Magazine! We talk about some pretty interesting stuff like growing up Star Wars, that time he accidentally won an emmy, and then that other time he gave his pet snake to his best friend, kind of.

Oh, and plenty of illustration talk, of course! Martin proved to be an amazingly open and generous guest, and this hour-long episode is packed with music, insight and fun!

Direct Link to Ep. 83

Pretty good one. Now I’m going back through and listening from the start.

Also, Thomas James was to be interviewed by Drawn & Drafted,, yesterday but due to technical issues, it will be rescheduled. Sign up for D&D’s enews to get an update of when this is rescheduled.

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Character Design Quarterly Magazine Kickstarter by 3DTotal

Posted on Apr 21, 2017

I found out about 3DTotal’s Kickstarter just a couple of hours before it ended (04/19/17). How could I have missed that?! Especially when it is for a new magazine, Character Design Quarterly: “A new magazine bringing expert insights and leading techniques to illustrators, artists and character enthusiasts worldwide”!

Character Design Quarterly (CDQ) is an exciting new print magazine for illustrators, artists, animators and character art enthusiasts. Releasing four times a year, the magazine will offer inspirational and educational articles, tutorials and interviews from top industry professionals specifically geared to helping artists hone their character design skills. This unique, engaging magazine will provide a regular stream of insider knowledge and illuminating advice from experienced professionals and freelancers to help artists of all skill levels improve their workflow and designs.

The first issue is already in production so we can proudly announce that it will feature instructive tutorials by Max Grecke, Shaun Bryant, Simone Grünewald, and Brett Bean. We also have interviews with the creative people behind the multi-award-winning animation studio Blue Zoo, and up-and-coming character designer Amanda Jolly who talks about her exciting career working for companies including Warner Animation Group and Disney TVA. Get top tips from the likes of Loish, Randy Bishop and many more besides, plus learn about the creation of the first issue’s amazing cover image by CreatureBox!


Here are the links:

Character Design Quarterly to feature:

Randy Bishop

Brett Bean

Loish (Lois Van Baarle)


Max Grecke

Shaun Bryant

Simone Grünewald

And more…

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Body Kun & Body Chan

Posted on Mar 25, 2017

Finally purchased & received a Body Kun & Body Chan! I’ve been wanting these for quite some time now!



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Bernie Wrightson

Posted on Mar 19, 2017

BernieWrightson_Frankenstein-CoverSad to learn of Bernie Wrightson’s passing today, March 19, 2017. I enjoyed and was inspired by his work. (Pictured is my copy of Wrightson’s book “Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein, Introduction by Stephen King“)

Per Wikipedia:

…an American artist, known for co-creating the creature Swamp Thing, his Frankenstein illustration work, and for his other horror comics and illustrations, which feature his trademark intricate pen and brush work.

Per Wrightson’s Site:

It is with great sorrow that I must announce the passing of my beloved husband, Bernie. We thank you for all the years of love and support. His obituary is below:

After a long battle with brain cancer, legendary artist Bernie Wrightson has passed away…

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