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Wilkinson Studios, Inc. is an international agency representing artists from around the world. We specialize in illustration for Publishing, Advertising, Editorial, and Corporate industries, creating artwork for Children’s and Adult Trade Books, Mass Market and Board Books, Graphic Novels, Educational Programs, Magazines, Print Ads, Packaging, Websites, and Apps. We also do Games, Puzzles, Toys, and Character Development, and have hundreds of images available for Licensing. Wilkinson Studios also represents their illustrator’s own authored works to the Publishing industry, and will be launching Wilkinson Studios Press through Ingram, a POD publishing venue designed to market and distribute their illustrator’s books both nationally and internationally.
Christine Wilkinson has been representing artists since 1985, and founded Wilkinson Studios, Inc. in 1998. Her business partner, Lisa O’Hara, has been with the company since the beginning, and is an integral part of their success. Both Chris and Lisa have graphic design and illustration backgrounds, bringing a broad understanding of the needs specific to publishers, editors, design, and art professionals. Wilkinson Studios also provides art management services, with a skilled staff of project management specialists involved in the important details of procurement, creation, quality control, and delivery of art for clients in almost every country.
Here is Chris:
TAKE A LOOK SUNDAY – REVIEW: Bakthi Ross – “Miss Quilty”
It is with some difficulty that I approach this review of these two story images for “Miss Quilty” by Bakthi Ross. As an agent for illustrators, we don’t often represent artists who have ‘naïve’ art styles, as that genre is more often in the fine art world rather than in commercial art. Our artists do a lot of “kid art” for educational publishing, but that is different altogether, as it is meant to reflect children’s abilities at different developmental ages and levels. Naïve art is an area unto it’s own, with rules set aside – perspective, proportion, and anatomy may or may not apply, let alone chiaroscuro or three-dimensional rendering. Wikipedia’s definition is relatively good, though other art sites are more emotionally definitive (links at the end of this review).
This being said, I am not an expert or in any way an authority on what characteristics of an artist’s work defines them to be in this genre. I can only say that Bakthi’s work, judging by these two examples, struck me as “naïve art” when I first viewed it. And, again not being an expert, I cannot review her work from this standpoint – I can only tell you what, in my opinion, works effectively as art to tell a visual story.
Bakthi’s first image – a backyard scene of items strewn about, plants, a little snail, and a doll or person draped over the fence – sets this story up in an interesting way. The illustration has lines along the edges of everything, and “patches” on things that would not normally have patches, such as a pumpkin. The title “Miss Quilty” makes us wonder if the main character created all of these things. Are we looking at an actual backyard scene, or are all of these things ones that Miss Quilty created? Because of the lack of shading, it’s difficult to tell if the person or doll on the right is hanging on the fence, or bending over to reach it’s shoe (if that is a shoe). The line technique makes the wooden boards look like rulers – it might be better for Bakthi to think of another way to show the ‘quilting’ idea for the boards, in order to avoid this confusion.
The art style itself is very simplistic. I long for there to be more to this scene, to give me something more to look at. Bakthi – can you enrich the colors? Make the grass really green, and the pumpkin really orange, the wood different shades of rich browns, and the quilting on the doll jump out from the fabric that it’s on. Everything in this image is very monotone, very dulled down. Give it some life – even if you keep the black outlines and the flat dimensionality – make this image be one that the viewer wants to go deeper into, with color and added details. There is so much more that you can show in a simple backyard scene.
The second image is rather confusing – what is going on here, and how does it relate to the first image? If these two images are in sequence, then the text will need to explain what has happened in between. The only elements of continuity are the fence and the boards, though those are now stacked up along the fence. What is the creature on the left, and why is a lizard (I think it’s a lizard) creeping over the fence?
Even allowing for the individualism of naïve art, the face on the woman is like an after-thought – there’s nothing there. Dots for the eyes and nose, and a line for the mouth doesn’t give any emotion and cannot reflect any personality. We have no way of knowing who Miss Quilty is – she’s really not there, her face has been replaced by the spare lines of a “smiley face”. Give us a bit more, Bakthi – show us who this person is, the one who lives in this quilted world.
With more time and effort, “Miss Quilty” could be a unique and imaginative story, handled in an intriguing art style. Go back into these images, rework them and refine them. Study what makes naïve art so striking. Your work is different, and your story voice is distinctive – push yourself further to make both stand out.
PS: There are mixed-media artists who combine real-life elements and/or found objects as a part of their art. If Bakthi is actually a quilter herself, perhaps she can integrate some actual quilt fabrics as a part of the artwork.
LINKS FOR NAÏVE ART DEFINITIONS:
Thank you Chris for taking the time to share your expertise with us. It helps so many illustrators and is very much appreciated. Here is the Wilkinson Studios website link: http://www.wilkinsonstudios.com/
Here is a little bit about Rosemarie:
ROSEMARIE GILLEN is an professional children’s book illustrator who lives outside of Washington, D.C. with her family and her collie, Riley. As a child she loved to draw and paint. Her love of Art Museums lead her to painting reproductions of Great Masters. The walls of her house are filled with her reproductions. She has produced a total of 50 children’s books. She was an Art Director at Stories for Children Magazine.
HERE IS HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
If you do not have an agent and would like to be featured and hear what is working or how it could be tweaked to help you sell your work, then please send Two or Three SEQUENTIAL illustrations (Two/three with the SAME “story/characters”) to:
Kathy.temean (at) gmail.com. Illustrations should be at least 500 pixels wide. Please put ILLUSTRATOR PORTFOLIO in the subject area and include a blurb about yourself that I can use to introduce you to everyone.
Each Sunday one illustrator will be chosen.
CALL FOR ILLUSTRATORS: Remember I’m always looking for illustrations I can use with articles I post. Send to: Kathy.temean (at) gmail.com. Put ILLUSTRATION FOR BLOG in the subject area. Remember all illustration need to be 500 pixels wide. Include a blurb about yourself, too.