Friday, April 24, 2015

POST UPDATED 4/24 -- Claire Wendling highlights from Big Wow and Academy of Art University

This is a post in progress about Claire Wendling's  1st US convention appearance at recent Big Wow convention .. and also her lecture at Academy of Art University in SF. http://www.academyart.edu/
BLUE TEXT in the post is updated material.

Claire Wendling's table was adjacent to the Stuart Ng Books booth at Big Wow....
We were delighted to introduce Claire (seated below left) to another long-time SNB artist pal, accomplished animal artist and creature designer Terryl Whitlatch (r)
 Here's Terryl catching up with Stuart...
Fans and colleagues eagerly awaiting their moment to see Claire Wendling in person...
So many artists ... from students to peers in the film and animation industries .. kindly shared with Claire how her work has inspired them..

In addition to greeting attendees and colleagues, Claire signed copies of her books and did a limited amount of sketching...
Claire is always drawing .. and always learning ... she kindly allowed two different film crews to document her sketching .... (LINKS TO THESE VIDEOS WILL BE POSTED AS SOON AS THEY ARE AVAILABLE)
Following the convention, Claire was the guest of professor Chuck Pyle (Director of Academy of Art University's School of Illustration in San Francisco... and himself the recent recipient of the Society of Illustrators Distinguished Educator in the Arts Award). http://www.academyart.edu/content/aau/en/about-us/news-events/news/2015/april/society-of-illustrators-honors-chuck-pyle.html
This beloved instructor and highly regarding artist is also a long-time Wendling fan. He was delighted to welcome her as a guest speaker for a crowd of over 300 students and faculty...


 Hours before the lecture began.. the crowd of students began to fill the lobby...
By the time the doors opened, the lobby was packed...

Chuck Pyle introduced Wendling...


She entertained the audience, speaking confidently and directly from the heart, without notes, as she showed images of her art from the last several years to today. Her talk included some insights to her own sources of inspiration and her working process. Her delivery sparkled with her self-depreciating humor along with her passion for drawing and learning. During the Q and A, she encouraged young artists to enjoy the time they have to draw whatever they want .. and to be sure to learn the fundamentals of drawing, as a good background in these skills will help them later in their careers. She also shared how her own learning process continues to this day: she is still always observing anatomy, shapes and shadows, even during routine activities like watching TV or observing people in a cafe. The sketches in her sketchbooks are her doodles of "graphic notes" for reference for later works. Sometimes the sketch itself might inspire a drawing, but usually the sketches and doodles are exercises for her.. trying out different ways to render a gesture or  part of an animal or human figure. This way, if she has an assignment later to draw that same challenge, then she has the experience with drawing it before. She uses reference all the time, but she never draws directly from a photograph. Instead, she observes and absorbs the visual image... often collecting many of these sorts of image/memories for what she is seeking to draw. Then.. after time (sometimes hours, sometimes days or weeks) she can draw what she needs. In  a way, she sees it on the page as she is drawing it, but it is not a reproduction of a specific image, but a physical expression through the drawing of the shapes and gestures combined from her memory.
 The lecture was live-streamed for students who could not attend in person....
For nearly a decade, Chuck Pyle has tried to arrange this event for the school. He kindly credited Stuart Ng with helping facilitate this connection between the elusive Wendling and the community of peers, fans and faculty she attracted. The crowd inside the auditorium .. and the over 100 people who Wendling signed books for after the event... demonstrated the level of appreciation for this experience...

After such a warm reception at both Big Wow and the Academy of Art University ... as well as Wendling's recent appearance at the Schoolism event in Toronto ... perhaps we can all hope to see more Wendling personal appearances in the coming years.....

Monday, April 13, 2015

Claire Wendling at Big Wow convention, April 18 + 19 (post updated 4/14 with more links)

Claire Wending has a reputation --- gilded with mystery and legend. She has the aura of an enigma. She is the unstoppable  force ... the artist that leading artists in our niche of illustration, animation and comic art look to when they need inspiration... how can one artist be all these things? And also ... witty, and charming, and humbled by her level of influence... Pure magic, that's how...

Best of all... she is inspiring young artists who are in awe of her technique and eager to share her work with others. We see this all the time in the flurry of activity around the Claire Wendling books at our store and our booth at conventions. Patrons celebrate her skills .. and there's usually one or two who discover her work for the first time .. sometimes on their own, but often brought to Claire Wendling's books by eager friends and colleagues.

The Claire Wendling effect is charmingly demonstrated in this "Cool Art People -- Claire  Wendling" video by "Sketchywitch" on You Tube. The book featured in this video is the Wendling retrospective "Drawers 2.0". This highly-regarded book was a long-time best seller at SNB .. but sadly now out of print. Drawers 2.0 had two different covers, but the same content inside, with text in English and French in both versions. Drawers 1.0 had a black cat on the cover, and slightly less content than the 2.0 version.

Stuart and I were first introduced to Clarie's work via her sketchbook "Desk." This book launched our French adventure, when Stuart was compelled to travel to France for the first time in 2005 to see the retrospective on Claire's work at the Angouleme Festival. He's attended every year since... and each year, he has been privileged to visit with Claire and her husband. Over the years, Stuart Ng Books carried all the Claire Wendling books that were available .. here are just a few sample covers...



http://stuartngbooks.com/les-lumieres-de-lamalou-edition-integrale.html

The demand for more Claire Wendling led Stuart to publish the Stuart Ng Books imprints of Daisies and Desk.

 http://stuartngbooks.com/wendling-daisies.html
http://stuartngbooks.com/wendling-desk.html

Wendling cemented her US reputation with a year working in Los Angeles at the Warner Bros.feature animation studio in the 1990s. Her time here was brief, but the impact resonated. Stories about her became legends in the industry. After so many years in France... working away on her own projects .. Claire became more and more of a mystery. Her books and sketches dotted the inspiration boards of the finest artists and animation studios in the world ... but she didn't make appearances at festivals and conventions... and she didn't work on many US projects.

This year .. that changes!

Claire was a featured guest at the recent Schoolism event in Toronto Canada..
More on Schoolism here: http://www.schoolism.com/
And now.. she makes her triumphant return to the US, appearing both days at the Big Wow Comicfest in San Jose. http://www.bigwowcomicfest.com/guests/a-z/claire_wendling/

Many artists are looking forward to welcoming her and touring their studios with her.

Don't miss the chance to meet her yourself at Big Wow ... a fun, artist-focused convention! http://www.bigwowcomicfest.com/

Why a comics conventions??? Check out this Claire Wendling cover art for DC comics Catwoman...

UPDATE!!! Stuart Ng Books will be debuting re-print of classic Wendling hardcover character design sketchbook "Iguana Bay 2.0" at this convention. Pic below is preview of pages from the book...

Meanwhile, here's link for Claire Wendling items currently for sale on Stuart Ng Books website -- includes books, prints, a 12-postcard set of Chinese Zodiac Animals



View all items in stock via this link:
 http://stuartngbooks.com/?subcats=Y&status=A&pshort=Y&pfull=Y&pname=Y&pkeywords=Y&search_performed=Y&q=Claire%20Wendling&dispatch=products.search

See Claire art on her tumblr blog http://clairewendlingblog.tumblr.com/
Here are just a few sample...
Tumblr  Oct 2014


Tumblr Dec 2013..

Hear Claire in her own words in this Schoolism Vimeo interview ..appx 40 minutes .. with artist Bobby Chiu. 
http://www.schoolism.com/interview.php?id=115
Very inspiring to hear them both discussing the challenges of drawing! Yet another example of how the best artist have struggles... but they are also always drawing... learning ... growing. 'Better than the day before" as Claire says. Later in the interview, she discusses the impact of a time when she was not drawing so much, due to a crisis of pain and fear (and a health issue)... how she wanted to draw, but it was too difficult. When she had to stop drawing "it was like losing .. (a limb) .. when you can't draw its like something is missing.. like something is not beating inside you.." She also discusses how drawing every day was an important part of her recovery ... day after day, even if she felt bad, or the drawings were bad, she kept at it .. and started getting better, on all levels....
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Amy Commentary:
Art at the level of a Claire Wendling comes from talent.. but it's also the product of heart, and hope, and health...
Take care of yourselves ... Be well...This kindness to your needs will help you create from a place of strength and confidence.



Sunday, April 12, 2015

CTN Animation Road Trip 2015

Artists and artwork perfectly showcased at this weekend-long event "CTN Animation Road Trip" in Burbank.http://ctnroadtripburbank.com/



Only have a few pics for this post because my camera battery gave out... sigh..

Kudos to Tina Price and crew at Creative Talent Network for organizing this event to showcase local artists. The expanse of tents was a testimony to the amount of talent in So Cal ... and so wonderful to see them getting exposure to the general public in this festive atmosphere. Of course, Tina also arrange for picture-perfect "chamber of commerce" weather --- lovely spring temps (with a welcome slight breeze, that could get a bit mischievous with all the paper and artwork on display).

The event also including panels and programming ..
 as well as free artist-focused events like this live-model drawing workshop

The Stuart Ng Books booth was highlighted by original art by three members of our intrepid crew: Amber Harris, Jim Raya, and Mark Okui. Yes -- we not only sell art books, we employ artists with a slightly-related day job:)


Most of the booths at the road trip were for individual artists.. but there were also schools and associated trades on hand. Such a great opportunity to learn more about artists and nearby resources..https://eventregistration.ctnadmin.com/index.php

Some small original paintings on display and for sale at the booth for LAAFA (Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art). Here you can see Stuart discussing some of the images with LAAFA instructor, Animation Road Trip exhibitor and long-time SNB pal, artist Craig Elliott. http://www.craigelliottgallery.com/

These pieces were perfect examples of  suitable originals for this type venue --- easy-to-transport scale and very friendly price-points -- ideal for collectors just getting started with taking that leap from prints to originals.
The LAAFA table also had friendly folks to share the flyers and info about upcoming classes -- offered on-line and on campus in Lake Balboa. Check out more options here: http://laafa.org/

I enjoyed tagging along with Stuart while he visited some booths .. and also catching up with some of our artist pals, like John and Shelley Loter at Loter Inc. http://www.loter.com/
Here's a pic of their road trip booth (photo featured on their Facebook page)https://www.facebook.com/loterinc

And I enjoyed striking out on my own... looking around as always for that up and coming artist who catches my eye ...

This time, it was the work of Samantha C George.  http://www.samanthacgeorge.com/

Her sketches of girl-friendly subjects like horses, kittens, bunnies, puppies .. oh, and the dragons... worked their magic on me. Best of all.. she provides an outstanding example of making the most of her "smalls" .. those buttons and cards that are great to have for sale at events like this. Samantha does a gold-star job of getting those same small items to WORK FOR HER!!! Her buttons were giveaways with various designs available. Each one PROMINENTLY displays her contact info and website. Brilliant!!! Each of her cards also  contains a mini-business card with an additional image and all contact info.



BEST JOB EVER~!~~ She's set the example I'll be sharing with other artists in my travels. I buy lots of buttons and like to share them and give them away if folks respond to the image. I've started using a sharpie to write the artists name on the backs of the buttons. Help me help you get your name and art out there. Use your smalls to help make big dreams grow :) See more of Samantha's images on Instagram https://instagram.com/samanthacgeorge/

So inspiring to see all the artist-exhibitors at these types of smaller events -- showing the COURAGE to come out and display their art .. learning from the artists and opportunities around them....and getting experience on the sales and marketing side of their trade!!! Thanks again to CTN for providing this vital venue for artists in our local community. https://www.facebook.com/events/472800576119451/


Monday, April 6, 2015

WonderCon 2015 -- SNB booth

This is 1st of 3 posts on WonderCon 2015 at Anaheim convention center...
 One of the adjacent hotels...
On this Exhibit Hall floor... at the SNB booth

Several booths of make-up schools providing on-site demos...


Pre-opening and during show hours views of the SNB booth...



Clothing items for all sorts of fans ..
Not as many studio promos at this show .. but there was this 18-wheeler walk-through attraction for this summer film....
 Lots of autographed items at various vendors...

Set-up and tear-down views ...

A good con for any vendor is a stack of empty boxes at the end of the show .... I'm always happy for the items that find new homes (no fun for them or us when they just ride in the truck and come back again).