Diana Ting Delosh is an illustrator, hand letterer and writer. She creates whimsical and elegant art, independently and by assignment. Diana contracted the art bug at the age of 2 when she consumed her first box of crayons. She has been doodling away ever since.
Here are some of her illustration clients: Pearson Educational Publishing, Farfaria, Dover Publications, Woo Agency, Harcourt Achieve, Inkwell, Scott Foresman, Modern Publishing, Ladybug Magazine.
Diana also has written for Highlights/High Five and Ladybug magazines.
Awards: Highlights High Five Pewter Plate for Puzzle Poem of the Year, Bubble Trouble, July 2008. SCBWI Magazine Merit Honor Award for Illustration 2002.
Here is Diana explaining her process:
Illustration Process for my NJ SCBWI Illustration intensive piece, Nicholas Dandelion Bunny. I thought this was a good piece to give a behind the scenes peak.
Step1: Doodles to get the feel for layout, character, postures, etc.
Step 2: Full size tight pencil sketch on tracing paper. I scan my final sketch and comp in the type in Photoshop to show the art director.
step 2A: After getting feedback, I make the requested sketch revisions. If this were a commissioned illo, I’d tighten up the sketch and Photoshop in the revised sections and resubmit for approval.
Step3: Next comes the inking. I decide where I want the thickest lines. Place my sketch on my lightbox. Place my Canson 120 lb watercolor paper on top of the sketch. Take a deep breath and begin inking. I know that I will be able to clean up some errors in Photoshop so I just keep inking. Fat lines in waterproof marker. Thinner lines with my Rapidiograph pens, number 3 all the way down to triple zero, filled with waterproof ink. Sometimes the pen strays or I’m not happy with it so I will re-ink elements. Sometimes it’s a fatal ink mistake and I have to start all over again. Scan all inks in case I need them.
Step 4: I use Higgins colored inks to paint over all the inks. They are transparent so my inking shows through and I like their richness. I have also painted in a blue sky on a separate piece of watercolor paper that I will pop in via Photoshop. Scan in all my watercolors and clean up/tweak in Photoshop.
Step 5: Now comes some Photoshop magic. The blue sky is layered underneath the bunny with the field of dandelions. The better painted bunny and dandelion puff is frankensteined in. White fluff is added with Photshop brushes on a layer between the sky and the inked floating puffs. Flatten layers and Voila the finished illo.
How long have you been illustrating?
I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon.
Where did you go to college?
I went to SUNY Farmingdale back when it was only a two year college and later took illustration classes at Parsons and School of Visual Arts.
Did you study Art? What kind of art and classes did you like the most?
I majored in Advertising Art & Design at Farmingdale. My favorite classes at Farmingdale were life drawing. Later, when I decided to study illustration I attended classes at Parsons and School of Visual Arts in NYC. I also studied with the illustrator/author Robert Quackenbush. I loved all my illustration classes, especially the picture book ones.
Do you feel College helped develop your style?
Yes and no. SUNY Farmingdale gave me a good design and typography background, which informs my illustration aesthetics. The illustration classes I took, introduced me to new concepts, approaches and possibilities. I think only years of doing leads to a style.
Did the college you attended help you get work?
Farmingdale gave out a listing for graphic artist jobs. One of my illustrator instructors was an art director at Food & Wine magazine and hired me to do a spot illustration.
What type of work did you do after you got out of school?
A lot of art production jobs, paste-ups. Which I didn’t enjoy and made me realize what I loved was drawing, hence my decision to study illustration. I also did any freelance illustration job that came my way.
When did you start doing greeting cards?
One of the illustration classes I took at Parsons was a Greeting card design class. After taking that class I sent out sample card designs to a slew of greeting card companies. One of the companies was Recycled Paper Products, which I freelanced for a few years.
What type of jobs did you get in the beginning and did they change over time?
When I first started on my illustration path, I wasn’t very fussy. I took on anything remotely illustration related, such as a freelance gig, illustrating doorbells and chimes. I’m much more selective nowadays.
When did you decide you wanted to illustrate children’s picture books?
I always loved picture books. It never occurred to me to pursue this as a career until I took a few illustration classes.
What was the name of the first picture book that you published? How did you get that contract?
My first book, actually an e-book, is AN ARMFUL OF ACORNS, published by Farfaria. They found me through my website. http://dianadelosh.com
How many picture books have you done?
Thirteen Counting e-books.
Have you ever worked with an educational publisher?
I’ve worked with a few: Harcourt Achieve, Scott Foresman and Pearson. I illustrated the picture book, PACKY & FRIP, A COUNTRY MOUSE AND CITY MOUSE published by Pearson Digital as an e-book.
Have you done any illustrations for a children’s magazine?
I’ve illustrated for Ladybug magazine. My illustration for Ladybug, IN THE GARDEN, which won an SCBWI Magazine Merit Honor award in 2002.
Do you think you will ever write and illustrate your own book?
Hope so. I’m working on a few picture book dummies.
Do you do a lot of hand lettering work?
I am doing more of it lately, as it’s generating a lot of positive interest.
Do you have an artist rep to represent you? If not, would you like to find an artist rep.?
No, I currently don’t have an artist rep. I would love to have a literary rep or an artist rep that handles illustrator/authors.
Do you ever exhibit your work?
Awhile back, I had a solo exhibit at my local library. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work. Every now and then, I participate in group shows. My Thumbelina illustration is currently showing in the Fairy Tale Illustration Exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library. http://www.bklynlibrary.org/events/exhibitions/fairy-tales-curated-donna
What type of things do you do to promote yourself and get your work seen?
I do 2 or 3 postcard mailings a year. E-mail my web-portfolio URL to companies. Do in person portfolio reviews whenever possible. Participate in illustrator challenges. Twitter. Attend SCBWI conferences and workshops when possible. Network with local illustrators and writers.
Would you be open to working with a self published author and illustrate their book now?
Sure, if we could come to terms and I felt I was the right illustrator for their story.
Do you do any other type of illustration other than for children books?
I design greeting cards, wall art and other nifty things for my Print-On-Demand stores. It’s fun to explore different markets for your illustration. It keeps you learning new things. I would love to get more involved with art licensing and all the other art markets out there.
Do you have a favorite medium you use?
Rapidiograph pens for fine lines filled with Waterproof ink for film & paper. Waterproof markers for fat lines. Colored inks, preferably waterproof for cool transparency effects. Photoshop.
Do you take research pictures before you start a project?
Rarely. Google does such a fine job with helping me research.
Do you use Photoshop with any of your work?
Yes, with all my work. It is part of my process.
Do you have a studio in your house?
I use a spare bedroom as my studio lair.
Do you follow any type of routine to attain your career goals?
Create. Submit/Promote. I try to do this on a regular basis.
Any exciting projects on the horizon?
Nothing concrete but I have my fingers crossed for a few projects.
What do you consider to be your biggest success?
Not sure what I consider my biggest success as I always feel that there’s more to come. Not that I’m not grateful or happy when I get a creative commission or that I’m not happy/proud of the finished illustration projects. I suppose I could say the illo/project I just finished. But I already know it will be rapidly replaced by the next one.
What are your career goals?
To keep creating and evolving as an illustrator/writer. Getting nice trade picture book contract as an illustrator and or author/illustrator would be wonderful. Getting an agent. The dream is to get fun, creative commissions, be paid very well and be given the time needed to do them justice and of course not to have to hunt for them. But that’s just a dream.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently revising a picture book manuscript and revamping another picture book dummy that’s almost ready to submit.
Are there any painting tips (materials, paper, etc.) you can share that work well for you? Technique tips?
I do a lot of doodling before I begin. Helps to warm me up and get me into a project. I keep a notebook/sketchbook with me at all times for ideas and doodling.
Any words of wisdom you can share with the illustrators who are trying to develop their career?
Have a website. Create. Promote. Repeat, again and again. Be aware of what is happening in your field and connect with other illustrators. Have an alternative income source.
Thank you Diana for sharing your talent, process, journey, and expertise with us. Please make sure you keep in touch and share your future successes with us.
To see more of Diana’s work, visit her Web site, http://dianadelosh.com/
If you have a minute, please leave a comment for Diana. I am sure she’d love it and I enjoy reading them, too. Thanks!