Stories: A Love Letter

greg ruth

Greg Ruth, A Pirate’s Guide To Recess

Is there any aspiration more human, and more powerful, than the art of storytelling? As illustrators, we are admittedly very biased! After all, what is illustration if not the art of visual storytelling?

Some people are naturally adept at storytelling. They will captivate a room and have their audience hanging on every word. They know just the right moments to pause, to hush their voice, to yell, to inject tension or humor. But another person can tell the exact-same story and clear the room out!

Visual storytelling is no different. A thousand illustrators can approach the same work, each with their own unique storytelling voice (again the idea of personal vision), and each one will come out with a different interpretation, a different read on the story. Some of these reads will invariably be more successful than others. The ideas we will be approaching in this module will help us to be sure our interpretations work. We examine the intimate relationship between story and visual art, and look at how our all our artistic decisions affect our ability to tell a great story in our own unique voice.

You’ve heard the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words?” In great narrative illustration it’s absolutely true!

––Illustrator Greg Ruth, from Stories: A Love Letter

source: Muddy Colors

field trip assignment

Some girls are born to lead by Leuyen Pham represents a period as to when a girl is in a genre or career dominated by men can also have the ability to match them in skill in said subject,if not surpassed them. in this photo it even seems she does it in style also. seeing that the girl in front is the only one in bright color, while all the other men are in achromatic color. The sight of this gives me a great feeling of progression in society today, i also find it quite humorous.


This short excerpt from Yuko Shimizu’s blog post considers the importance of developing a unique visual vocabulary. After reading this article, consider how you can use your sketchbook as a tool to developing your own visual vocabulary. What kind of things are you interested in drawing? What visuals might become important visual signatures for you?  Write a few sentences considering these things.

Post your thoughts on this along with your Sketchbook Pages.


“ I believe many of you who are reading my blog are aspiring illustrators. If you are, here is something you may want to remember, or to work on, if your art school instructors haven’t taught you already: we have to be remembered by something we are good at, so when a prospective client sees a topic that needs to be illustrated, they know who to call.


The most obvious themes prospective clients think of in connection with my work are Japanese or Chinese themes. I am Japanese, but I had also studied Cantonese for three years, and I have strong interest in Chinese culture. And people somehow see that in my work. There are other themes, like sexy girls, action and sports, comic-book look, snow, and water and underwater themes.”

Welcome to Illustration1!


Welcome to Illustration 1!  Our goal in this course will be to give you the professional tools used by illustrators working in the field today.  As well as to cultivate your personal vision s an illustrator.

On this site you will have access to materials presented in class, your weekly assignment pages, and additional helpful resources.  Here you will also post your assignment images to share with your classmates.  Carefully read the directions below on how to post to this site and to your ePortfolio.


Uploading Instructions

Upload scans of your assignments from this semester in the Projects Category on this site and also in your ePortfolio.  Be sure to give your project a clear title.  On our class site, write a brief description of the project, and be sure to reference the title.  Also be sure to include in your post the Process Work.  A complete project must include all Process Work as well as the finalized art.  Your descriptions should include what your goal was for the project as well as, what you learned from making it, and what was challenging to do.  Of course you may write other comments as well. For instance, you may ask questions for other students to answers.

How to Post to our class: On this class site, go to Post located on the left > Give your artwork a title in the subject line > Write a brief description of the artwork in the Comments space > Just above your title click on the Add Media icon (it looks like a camera on top of a music note) and browse for your file > Click Insert > Click Drawings in the list of Categories on the right > Click Publish at the top right.

Your desicription should include what you feel the aim of the drawing was, what you learned from making it, and what was challenging to do.  Of course you may include other thoughts as well.

How to Post to your ePortfolio:  Go to Dashboard > New Page > Pages > Add New > Locate “Parent” in the Page Attributes > choose “Academics” from the pull-down menu. In the Title area of your ePorfolio, be sure to write the name of our class (Foundation Drawing) or our course code (ADV1103).  Also be sure to Publish, and invite me to join your ePortfolio.  In settings, be sure to state either “Public” or “Private>visible to City Tech members.”  Otherwise no one will be able to see what you’ve posted.

To take the photo, find a spot with even light so that you will have no shadows or strange light gradations across the drawing.  Frame the drawing so there is a small even frame on all sides.  Optimize the file, or reduce it to 72 dpi, with a file size no more than 1MB (about 8-9 inches on one side). Rotate it if necessary to it uploads right-side-up. If you have access to any photo-correcting program, see if you can increase the contrast so that delicate drawing lines are visible.