Graphic Artists Guild Webinar: Copyright & Comix

Posted on Jan 3, 2017
Copyright 2017 Graphic Artists Guild All Rights Reserved |

Graphic Artists Guild Webinar:
Copyrights & Comix
Presented by:
Mark Monlux (Award Winning Illustrator and Cartoonist)
Daniel Abraham (Attorney at Law & Former Professional Illustrator)

January 18, 2017 2 PM ET, 1 PM CT, 12 PM MT, 11 AM PT

This webinar will cover the basics of copyrights that cartoonists and graphic novelists need to know: copyright basics, where to register, why to register. Attendees will walk away with a basic understanding of: 1) Types of contracts and contract terms cartoonists will encounter (such as “work-for-hire”) 2) Copyright issues with collaborative work (who owns what) 3) And the basics of fair use and fan art.

Members join for free – as a benefit of membership.

Non-Members – Join the live webinar for $45 by following the “Buy Now” button.

See more at:

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Communication Arts Illustration Competition 2017

Posted on Jan 3, 2017
©2017 Coyne & Blanchard, Inc. All Rights Reserved |


Communication Arts 2017 Illustration Competition Deadline: January 06, 2017

Introduce your work to the world. Enter the most prestigious competition for creativity in illustration, the Communication Arts Illustration Competition. Any illustration first published or produced from January 2016 through January 2017 is eligible.

These categories are judged by the Illustration jury and will appear in the Illustration Annual: Advertising, Books, Editorial, For Sale, Institutional, Motion/Animation, Self-Promotion, Unpublished, Student Work

Details at

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Hello 2017! Awwww Yeahhh, 鸡!

Posted on Jan 1, 2017

Ready for Chinese New Year! 01.28.17

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2016 Postmortem

Posted on Dec 31, 2016

This post has additional information & links at the bottom (Article Also Posted Here

quietyell_scott-monaco_2016postmortemThis year has been a pretty big year for me. It actually started slightly before 2016.

In October 2015, I had come to the long-wrestled with conclusion that rather than all of the things I had been doing these many years, my heart was really for illustration and particularly children’s oriented illustration. Additionally, I had a deep-rooted desire to contribute to the minds, hearts, & wellbeing of children; thus, leading to the pursuit of children’s book development.

This meant I would need to be spending a lot of time trying to get back up to speed in illustration as well as children’s book development while simultaneously pushing away anything that didn’t fit into this focus.

So, when I got back from Taiwan (Oct 2015) I joined (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) and jumped right into creating and drinking from a waterfall of information & such.

My 2016 has been about redeveloping myself and building a foundation.

This included:


• Attending SCBWI chapter meet ups and educational webinars & conferences
• Reading art & publishing industry related books & variety of online articles
• Going through almost all of SVSLearn videos and some Schoolism videos
• Seeking advice & guidance from industry professionals
• Familiarizing myself with names of people, companies & resources, various terminologies, relevant business processes & technology, various techniques, etc.
• Research & consumption of many picture books, middle grade books, movies, etc.


• Getting back online into social media & connecting with industry people/organizations and populating with content (I had used social media a TON personally but then pulled all of my content & activity back in 2009)
• Actively engaging with others online (like in the SVS Forum, Facebook Groups, other social media)
• Meeting with other illustrators in person


• Created a variety of paintings & attempted new things with each (whether process, style, content, etc.)
• Sketched a lot, also attempting new things with each
• Moving from exclusively digital back into including traditional media

I suppose there are more points that could be added here, but even with the points listed it is quite a bit that has been done, yet, this hardly expresses just how many sub-points and specifics each entails, which is an enormous amount! Truly this past year has been drinking from a waterfall.

I think that I have successfully reoriented my focus; something I am quite excited about.

Because of that, I think that I have made substantial progress on redeveloping myself and giving myself a pretty good initial foundation.

From this, I see 2017 as being a continuation of the education, expansion, & exploration of 2016 but with heightened focus, benefiting from all of the work done already.

Now that I have something to show, I can begin “stepping-up my game” with the quality of my drawing, painting, concept & narrative, etc. of my work, including developing specific types of work absent from but necessary for my portfolio. (No pressure, right?)

I’m still looking for my “breakthrough” illustration(s), but given the growth from pre-2016 to 2016 and within 2016 itself, I think that I have a good chance of achieving that first, seemingly elusive, breakthrough piece soon.

While I will definitely pursue learning, networking, exploring, & creating, I would also certainly like to grow the business side this year.

I am quite appreciative for SCBWI, SVSLearn, and the various individuals & groups I’ve gotten the opportunity to grow from this past year.

In particular, I have gained a tremendous amount from Will Terry, Lee White & Jake Parker and those in the SVSLearn Forums for which I have the most sincere gratitude for.

As I had the opportunity to say to Will: “It is my hope that I can implement and excel from this guidance, and that I may make you, the SVSLearn team & members, and my wife, family & friends proud & encouraged by such growth.”

May it be so this 2017!

Below are some more specifics and links:

This list is IN NO WAY exhaustive by any means. There are so many other websites, people, organizations/companies, tools, books/articles, media, webinars & conferences, etc. that aren’t listed. I just wanted to capture some of my 2016 below:

Websites Important in my 2016:

While there are countless websites that I’ve visited (often too), these were some of the most important and frequently visited.
SCBWI North Texas Chapter

Inspirations in 2016:

In one way or another, these people educated & influenced me, giving me inspiration and aspiration by the great work they do (some preceding 2016 but remaining highly influential still and for quite some time to come I believe).

Will Terry
Lee White
Jake Parker
Andy Estra
Giuseppe Castellano
Denis Zilber
Sam Nielson
Dan Santat
Kevin Keele
Aaron Blaise

Special Thanks To:

Lauren Panepinto, Creative Director for Orbit Books and Yen Press and artist, Marc Scheff, both of for the insights they gave in a Schoolism Webinar on Monday 10am ET April 4, 2016, hosted by Bobby Chiu and Masae Seki. It is because of your words that I broke out of my impassioned resistance to getting back into on social media. I think that this will have been one of the most crucial aspects of my 2016 and future, for I have gotten to become aware of, meet & befriend, and learn & be inspired from so many people that I may not have known otherwise. Thank you!

New Friends:

There are so many new people added into my life this year; some I have engaged with and some I merely follow. I have gotten to have great conversations with, advice & instruction from, and be inspired by the following. There are others not mentioned—please don’t be offended. My hope is to create an extended list of the wonderful people brought into my life sometime with commentary and even articles dedicated to each. All of you are dearly appreciated!

Chris Schechner
Simona Ceccarelli
Rich Green
Christina Brown
Kristine Tague
Andy Jewett

A little more needs to be said on these two:

Kent Robbins
Kent is actually a long time friend, but now that he’s moved back to Dallas, I get to see him often!

Jeff Haynie
Jeff was actually my illustration mentor back in 1995-1997 before he took art director positions at Dreamworks Interactive, EA, Big Fish Games, etc. So glad to get new insights from him this year with my new journey!

New Tools Used & Other Great “Finds”:

Probably too many tools & other resources to count, but here are some that have been of nearly daily importance in my 2016.

Kyle’s Brushes
Airbrush Notebooks : “Premium Sketchbook”
Copic Multiliner SP: 0.1, 0.3, 0.5
Copic Sketch Markers – Sketching Gray Set

Some Books Read:

These are some industry related books I read (Including concept, presentation, writing/storytelling, art views, etc.) (Also, I did not include other types of books here nor any industry related articles). The first five are strictly secular books and the following are from a Christian worldview:

Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

The Exceptional Presenter: A Proven Formula to Open Up! And Own the Room, by Timothy J. Koegel

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King

Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, by Ed Catmull

Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative: Principles and Practices From the Legendary Cartoonist, by Will Eisner

Art and the Bible, by Francis A. Schaeffer

Art for God’s Sake: A Call to Recover the Arts, by Philip Graham Ryken

Modern Art and the Death of a Culture, by H.R. Rookmaaker

Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films With Wisdom & Discernment (Updated & Expanded, 2009), by Brian Godawa

Word Pictures: Knowing God Through Story & Imagination, by Brian Godawa

God Against the Gods: Storytelling, Imagination, and Apologetics in the Bible, by Brian Godawa

The Power of Words and the Wonder of God, by John Piper & Justin Taylor

The God Conversation: Using Stories and Illustrations to Explain Your Faith, by J.P. Moreland & Tim Muehlhoff

Again, while a long post, there was so much more in my 2016 both professionally and personally that simply cannot be captured. Many more people, events, organizations, tools, insights, struggles, successes, etc. It’s been a fun ride. Now on to 2017!

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Sketching on Toned Paper

Posted on Dec 28, 2016

For quite some time, I have admired the work of Kevin Keele, particularly his sketches, not just for their amazing quality but because he uses a toned paper to do them on. I recently saw Aaron Blaise post work he was doing on a gray toned surface on his Instagram. I couldn’t wait any longer! So, today I ordered a gray-toned sketchbook from Amazon: Strathmore STR-469-105 128 Sheet No 80 Toned Gray Art Journal, 5.5 by 8.5″ — I can’t wait to get started!

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SVSLearn & Team

Posted on Dec 28, 2016

svslearn_will-terry_jake-parker_lee-whiteI’ve greatly enjoyed and benefited from this past year. Will Terry, Jake Parker, and Lee White are all quite talented and quite generous in sharing what they’ve learned.  Beyond SVSLearn itself, each also has videos on their Youtube accounts that are quite valuable too, not to mention all of their other social media posts. Here are links to where they are at (I will probably write more about each in other posts):


Jake Parker :


EDIT 05/25/17: 

Want to know where to start and how to progress through all of the classes on SVSlearn? A course-path list by Jake Parker has been provided here:

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BrushBox Plugin to Organize Photoshop Tools/Brushes

Posted on Dec 28, 2016

Having purchased all of Kyle Webster’s brushes (technically they are “tools”) over time, there are so many tools/brushes that the list gets quite intimidating even after I renamed & organized for clarity.

So… I preordered BrushBox, a new bush & tool organizing plugin, a couple weeks ago and just finally got around to installing it. This looks to be quite promising for increasing workflow efficiency, so I thought I’d share in case others here are looking for something like this:
(Created By:

There are likely to be some improvements/updates to the plugin in the near future; though, it seems to already be an amazing help just as it is right now!

BTW, here are Kyle’s Brushes:
(Created By:

Here are screen grabs from my Photoshop:

01: Original Tool List (standard Photoshop tool listing with my renaming & organizing)


02: BrushBox Folder List


03: BrushBox Folder Expanded to Show Tool List-View


04: BrushBox Folder Expanded to Show Tool Icon-View


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What art supply would you give your 9 year old self?

Posted on Dec 23, 2016

Another artist posed the question:

What art supply would you give your 9 year old self?

Here’s my response:

stuartngbooksAt the moment, I am thinking about the “Art of [Some Favorite Animation/Film]” kinds of books (like “Art of Zootopia” or “Designing The Secret of Kells” or “Art of Spirited Away” or “The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens“, etc.). I didn’t have those back then, but I think that it would have been inspirational & aspirational for me [also showing me how these were created, which would have set me off on the right foot early on]. A place to start for perusing them (or buying) might be; though, you won’t likely be able to get an order by Christmas, unless you live or are traveling in/near Torrence, California!

prismacolorsAlso, a lot of my inspiration and initial development came from comic books & copying the art there…

As far as art supplies… I probably would have benefited from a Prismacolor set and decent paper. I think it would make a good compliment to the watercolors that Simona mentioned, allowing her to explore wet & dry media and consider mixed media.

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Printer Recommendations

Posted on Dec 14, 2016

On Jake Parker’s site at, he lists the Epson R2000 Printer which he says:

“This is the best printer ever. I use it for making fine art prints that I sell at conventions. The color is stellar. It’s a work horse too. Any normal printer problems I’ve had with it were easily dealt with. I think every serious artist needs one. It’s also great for printing on smooth bristol or cardstock. I do my pencils in Photoshop, print them out, then ink over it. Win!”

I think that these are newer versions of that printer:

Epson Stylus Photo R2880 Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer (C11CA16201)

Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Color Inkjet Printer (CA61201-VM)

Epson’s site shows a Stylus Pro 4900


Lee White says:

“I use the epson 4900 and it’s been amazing. It can print on board up to 1/4″ thick. It can print big and the color and resolution are amazing. Some people complain of print heads clogging up which is typically due to not using it enough. These printers need to run at least every other day, even if you just print something small to keep that from happening.”

Regarding paper for selling prints, Lee says:

“I use Epson bright white watercolor paper on roll for my prints that I sell. This is an amazing paper. Better than any other paper I have found.”

Of course, these printers aren’t exactly cheap… Also, they may be overkill if one only wants to print sketches onto watercolor paper and aren’t planning on using it for prints & such. I’m guessing that there are probably less expensive printers that will allow one to get started for something like that; though, 1/4″ thick… that’s nice!

I think there are a few things that one would need to look for in a printer for printing onto watercolor paper:

  1. Can it handle heavy paper? If it has a feeder, like the Epsons above, then it is likely to handle such.
  2. Can it handle the size of paper you are doing your watercolors at? If you just work at letter-size, then your options are wide, but if you work big, then you’ll have to go wide-format like the Epsons above; though, that only gets you up to maybe 13″ wide.
  3. Are the printed graphics water resistant? The Epson R2000 that Jake listed says that the inks are, I’m not sure about the other two, but I’m guessing they are too.

While I don’t have personal experience here since most all of my work has been digital for awhile, being able to print a light, refined sketch onto the paper being used would be so beneficial.

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Publisher’s Weekly 2016 Children’s Starred Review Annual

Posted on Dec 12, 2016

publishers-weekly_childrens-starred-reviews-2016If you haven’t seen this, it’s available online. You can download a pdf of it too (upper right link of the page):

“This year’s edition features 390 starred reviews of children’s and young adult books that published in 2016. Plus we talked to children’s book editors about what it was like to work with authors who were their childhood heroes.”

Also, here is the NYTimes “Notable Children’s Books of 2016”

my-name-is-james-madison_by_jonah-winter_and_terry-widenerAn illustrator here in Dallas that I know (Terry Widener) got listed too! He’s a great guy and we’re all so glad he got featured in this list! His book:

My Name is James Madison Hemings
By Jonah Winter. Illustrated by Terry Widener.
40 pp. Schwartz & Wade Books. $17.99. (Picture book; ages 5 to 9)

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