About: A professional graphic designer who is also illustrating a children’s book, "Wally & Koala".
When Todd’s friends need a Sharpie®, they don’t bother asking him if he has one. He’s learned his lesson about always having one in his pocket.
"I’ve ruined many loads of laundry in exchange for a constant volume of work. In other words, I’ve been painting and drawing my whole life."
Todd’s involvement in the professional world of illustration has only been since 2003. He attended art school for just a year at PNCA, but finally graduated with a BS in Graphic Design, which is what he does professionally.
"Which is great because it allows my work as a freelance illustrator to stay untainted by clients (most of the time)."
Todd claims that his biggest accomplishment thus far was when he recognized and defined his personal style. When he was younger, he always thought artistic worth was based on the ability to do photo-realistic rendering. Obviously, this isn’t the case.
"When I figured this out, my abilities and interest in my work took off."
Todd is in the process of illustrating a children’s book (Wally & Koala), an experience that has been really fun and rewarding for him.
"I like to jump around in the story and work out the scenes I really like, then go back and fill in the holes. This was a new challenge for me, as "cute" and "child appropriate" drawings are not my usual repertoire. What no blood spray?"
His experience with a WACOM tablet started in 2003. However, it wasn’t until about a month ago that he fully came to appreciate the Power of the Pens.
The saying," April showers bring May flowers" is one that fits most of the country’s seasonal patterns, but here in Oregon we like to linger and hold onto the dark rainy season for as long as possible. So I decided to do a piece that had a splashy/rainy theme instead of flowers for our month of May. Also I had done a series of drawings which featured an old sea captain who had on these great boots that I wanted to do a detail of.
Previously I had mentioned that my most significant accomplishment as an illustrator was identifying my personal style, which is a loose quick set of curves and arches that loop back on themselves. This curving form only comes out when I sketch on paper, so that’s where I start. Far away from the computer. Whew. I like to have my sketchbook with me and pull it out immediately when I feel some inspiration. So with a rough outline of the concept and it’s forms, I go back into the sketch and add clean heavier lines where I felt like they need to be, but making sure to leave and emphasize the construction lines of the underlaying sketch. Once I feel like the drawing has enough line work done, I will scan the drawing and open it in Illustrator (I place it as the top layer and set the blending mode to Multiply). Next I would normally choose a color palette, but since this was a continuation from another series, I already set one up. Here’s where the Wacom pen comes in! Using the line work of the sketch as guides, I use the pen tool to draw "fills" adding color and depth under the outlines of the sketch. Throughout the rendering process I like to see if the colored fills are making sense visually, so I will continually hide and reveal the top layer sketch. Once the fills are done I am left with a evenly colored piece that was obviously done on screen. BUT! The original hand done line qualities of the sketch are preserved and built off of.