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Author, Illustrator, Creative Guy willstrong.art@gmail.com

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Submarine Tacos

Something I'm working on.  It might make more sense when I include the octopus in the submarine as the taco vendor.  It might also make less sense with an octopus included in the scene.

I can't wait to paint this one.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Will Strong Recommends UP

Unlike any other movie I've ever seen.  I almost never get to say that.

Pete Doctor has come a long way since he directed Monsters Inc. and the mix of comedy, action, drama, adventure and pathos in his new movie is amazing.

Just go see it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

100 Picture Challenge, Day 12: Insanity

It's everybody's favorite green-haired insane freak.  It's The Joker.

I know you might hate me for saying this but, though I thoroughly enjoyed Heath Ledger's performance in The Dark Knight, I have to say that my favorite Joker is still Mark Hamill.  Call me crazy but I think nostalgia plays a big part in that opinion.  

Thank you Bruce Timm.  You created my favorite iteration of the Batman.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Will Strong Recommends: A Talk With Hitchcock

This one is a bit different.  "A Talk with Hitchcock" is nothing more than both halves of a two-part interview with Alfred Hitchcock that was given in 1963 (as near as I can tell) for a Canadian television program called "Telescope."

The best part of the interview involves Hitch explaining his theory on film editing.  He thinks the word "cutting" is completely inappropriate.  Cutting implies separating and disjoining things.  He likes the term montage or assembly better as they imply construction.  He then takes scenes from his movies and explains exactly why he put them together this way.  Good stuff.  If you have any interest in Hitchcock or the mechanics of how film is put together then this is a must see.  

This DVD is not easy to find.  It's not even on IMDB which has just about everything else.  I found it on Netflix.  It's a good rental.  (The DVD was published in 1994 by Image Entertainment.)

Anybody interested in visual storytelling could benefit from this DVD.  Good luck finding it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vandalism is Where It's At

I have some friends who have been using found objects as sketchbooks.  They will use anything from religious tracts to old journals as a drawing surface.  I was at my local secondhand shop the other day and I thought I would give it a try.  I purchased a reprint of a classic children's picture book called "MITTENS."  I took it home and quickly proceeded to vandalize the front cover.  I cut out chunks of binder's board and ended up with this.

The inside cover and endpaper.

The whole thing is full of illustrations like this little beauty here.  I can't wait to scribble all over the inside of this thing.  I'll be sure to post the results in a few weeks.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hey, I Got the Job (see last post)

So that's pretty cool.  I think you will be seeing a lot of 1st-grade bilingual reader illustrations coming up here soon.  

In the mean time I did this.  It's a sketch of the two main characters for a picture book I'm working on.  For some reason the dinosaur is orange.  I think he needs to be orange.

I'm the Map, I'm the Map, I'm the Map, I'm the Map, I'm the Map, I'm the Map...

I'm trying to snag an illustration job right now at BYU. The job consists of illustrating early readers for first graders that will include text in both English and Chinese characters. The inclusion of English is good for me because my foreign language skills do not extend beyond Spanish, British and Canadian.

The desired style for the illos is simple, cute and easy to read. Think "Dora the Explorer" or "Ne Hao Kai Lan." I did a couple of quick examples of what I could do for them. Nothing fancy here. Just getting the job done.

The first image is gouache and the second is pastel over watercolor. I hope I get the job.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Recent Happenings

It's been a fun week. Last night Tiffany (my beautiful wife) and I attended the 6th-grade cotillon (dance.) It's a fun little formal get together for the kids and we went because Tiffany is one of the 6th-grade teachers. After the dance we went to Macaroni Grill which is always fun because they cover the tables with white paper. And then they give me crayons. What's a guy to do? This is what I did.

Yup, a slime monster fighting a rocket robot with sword hands. We left it at the restaurant for the bus boy to take home and put it on his wall.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

100 Picture Delay

We are only eleven days into the challenge and I've already hit a snag. I will be attending BYU's WIFYR conference in about a month and I am ill-prepared. I need to put a short halt on the 100 Picture Challenge to be able to work on other things that might secure my future employment in the field of children's literature.

I won't stop posting. The posts will just be things I'm working on to make my portfolio nice and beefy (or hearty like eggplant if you are a vegetabletarian.) I'm working on finally getting a picture book dummy together that is 3 years in the making. Wow.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

100 Picture Challenge, Day 11: Memory

There is nothing quite like a game of Memory (or Candyland or Hi Ho Cherrie Oh, etc.) with an opponent under the age of 7.  They will win 95% of the time.  I think there is a hidden clause in the rules somewhere that assures the happiness of small children.

100 Picture Challenge, Day 10: Breathe Again

A bit of comics on this one.  I love comics.  They are much, much work but the payoff is fantastic.  I couldn't have any more fun arting than when I draw comics.  Enjoy.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

100 Picture Challenge, Day 9: Drive

Yeah, I know.  Hackneyed.  I can't be original all the time.  

I learned from Bill Watterson that if you want a vehicle to look like it's moving you can't put it on the ground.

100 Picture Challenge, Day 8: Innocence

Kids these days.  They lose their innocence at such a young age.

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about Day 7:  Heaven.  I just liked the idea I started so much that I wanted to give it some extra love and care.  Look for heaven in the next few days.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Samurai Jack Skate Deck

Some know this about me and some don't: I love Samurai Jack.  If you don't know what Samurai Jack is then you might want to educate yourself.  It is the single most artful cartoon series to ever be shown on TV and the best action adventure cartoon in history.  (I take my cartoons very seriously.  I'm crazy like that.)

So a couple of years back I started long boarding around town to get outside more often.  The deck I bought is a Sector 9, very nice.  The only problem was the graphic on the underside of the deck, it was a surfer in a huge barrel.  I don't have anything against surfers I just need the things that I own to reflect my interests.  Interests: surfing no, Samurai Jack yes.

I sanded off the big wave and painted this on the bottom.