Jillian Tamaki

Jungle Garfield

Jul 9th, 2010


Jul 2nd, 2010

Playing around in preparation for a final illustration.


May 24th, 2010


May 23rd, 2010

I wasn’t planning on sketchbooking today, but Photoshop will NOT STOP CRASHING, so here we are.

Acrylic Frog

Apr 8th, 2010

Sly Guy

Mar 19th, 2010


Mar 15th, 2010

(Click to Enlarge.)

A common foible of learning to work in ink is accepting the fact that ink is not pencil. Most of us learn how to draw (“properly”) with pencils, so it’s the implement that we are most comfortable. Ink is obviously much less forgiving.

I held individual meetings with my 2nd year Cartooning students today and recommended to all of them to keep an Ink Only sketchbook over the summer. No pencil or preparatory drawings allowed. Experimenting with the media in a very pure form will help you learn what is and what is not possible. It’s a matter of adaptation and working with the media’s strengths. Very zen.

(I actually stole this idea from Sam, who kept an Ink Only sketchbook in the summer between 3rd and 4th year. He improved dramatically. )

This drawing is from a similar sketchbook I’m keeping now, experimenting with washes and painting.

Mountain Woman

Feb 10th, 2010

Witchy Woman

Feb 7th, 2010

This lady is loosely based on an Icelandic saga we learned about in a very terrifying wax museum in Reykjavik.

Is there anything more intoxicating than the concept of a witch? (FYI: in the original saga, I believe the woman, Freydís Eiríksdóttir, was NOT a witch.) In retrospect, people who were deemed witches were probably just women who were a bit eccentric or had no interest in living with men and their rules. Which to many men, even today, is very irritating indeed.

National Geographic Animals

Dec 18th, 2009

This project was definitely one of my highlights of the year. It was completed back in September, but the issue is just out now (Jan2010).

The series was about Asian Wildlife trafficking. You can read the article (and view some very disturbing photographs) here.

Animals, along with Dance, are probably my favourite things to draw. I was very excited when the AD, David Whitmore, suggested a simpler, painterly approach similar to the guy in this post. Thanks, Blog!

This wash technique is a very different one from my typical method… more of a one-shot deal with very minimal digital manipulation. (I still sent pencil sketches, albeit very rough ones.) Some of animals were done a dozen times before I got a few that worked. I would send the AD several final versions to choose from. Here is a picture of (mostly) discards.

It was an exercise in a new way of thinking and a good lesson for me as I try to streamline my illustration work. I have discovered through teaching that the most important thing you develop in school is not technique but PROCESS: a way of working that allows you to operate within the confines of Art Direction but still leaves you psychologically free to create work that is fresh and stimulating.