Category: News / Exhibitions
  1. 19

    Sep 2015

    28 Gumroad Creators You Really Should Know


    Since its launch in 2011 Gumroad has fast become the one of the most popular platforms for creatives to sell their digital content. However, Gumroad is purposely designed without a centralised area of search and discovery, instead the emphasis is on the creators to direct their audience. Which makes it impossible to just stumble on all that great content. You can find some good stuff in the Gumroad Collections section, but that really does not even scratch the surface of how many gems the site has.

    So I took it upon myself to put together a list of 28 Gumroad creators you really should know:

    Comics & Sketchbooks

    1. Carey Pietsch – Many of the Brooklyn-based illustrator’s acliamed comics, including her Keepsakes stories.

    2. Anna Cattish – The popular comic artist and character designer is currently selling a special digital edition of her Sketchbook 2014.

    3. Edward Ross – A small collection of comics from Edinburgh-based comic book artist, including Filmish: A Graphic Journey Through Film.

    4. Eric Grissom – A Couple of free comics from the writer and letterer of the comic series Deadhorse.

    5. Evan Dahm – Comics and sketchbooks from the creator and illustrator of the Rice Boy webcomic.

    6. Ian Andersen – A host of comics from the cartoonist behind the daily auto-bio journal comic, Citric Journal.

    7. Ian Lawrence – A collection of sketchbooks from the North Carolina illustrator and tattoo designer, Inkloose.

    8. Lucy Bellwood – Many nutical-themed comics from the ship-sailing cartoonist.

    9. Maré Odomo – Comics and drawings from the Seattle illustrator.

    10. Natalie Nourigat – Sketchbooks from the Eisner-nominated writer and cartoonist.

    11. Polly Guo – Both volumes of Houdini & Holmes, from the New York-base comic artist and animator.

    12. Rachel Kahn – Comics and drawings from the illustrator and concept artist.

    13. Retrofit Comics – A publishing house, founded by Box Brown, features an array of comic from various illustrators.

    14. Sam Bosma – Currently hosting his highly praised comic, The Hanging Tower.

    15. Sarah Horrocks – A small collection of comics from the writer and artist.

    16. Will Terrell – The sketchbooks of popular YouTube illustrator.

    17. Yale Stewart – More comics from the creator of webcomic JL8.

    Tools & Tutorials

    18. Adam Duff – Digital painting tutorials from the Canadian concept artist.

    19. Alexandre diboine – Character design video tutorial that includes the brushes used.

    20. Dave Rapoza – In-depth video tutorials from the phenomenal freelance illustrator and comic artist.

    21. Eytan Zana – Beautiful landscape video tutorials covering colour, light and composition.

    22. Kyle T Webster – The Photoshop brush king of Gumroad.

    23. Max Gon – Artist for Riot Games teaches you how to make pixelart.

    24. Rad Sechrist – The storyboard artist and character designer shares his knowlage of drawing the human head and figure.

    25. Shiyoon Kim – A beautiful Photoshop brush set from the Disney character designer.


    26. Jerzy Drozd – A mix bag of comics and tutorials from the cartoonist and teaching artist.

    27. Trent Kaniuga – Character and environment designer shares his comics, video tutorials and brush sets.

    28. Zac Gorman – Currently featuring the Magical Game Time Vol. 1 comic and a Manga Studio 5 brush set.

  2. 17

    Sep 2015

    Book Review ~ 21 Draw

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    Editors Note:

    We asked 200 artists one question.”If I was a magic genie, and could make a book that would solve all of your art problems, what would that book be?” We got many different answers, but after a while, we started to see similar patterns in their responses. Most common problems had to do with character design, movement, facial expressions & drawing hands. 21 Draw solves all of these problems.

    21 Draw is a book about character design, movement and expression drawn by over 100 amazing artists who have worked for Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, Rockstar Games, Marvel, D.C Comics, Capcom and other giants of the entertainment and gaming industry.

    The Book Review:

    21 Draw is the exact type of project that could only be conceived and delivered with today’s social media and crowd-funding backdrop. The Lounge was lucky enough to be contacted by Chris O’Hara about the project very early on. So, in May last year, once the project went live on Indiegogo we watched in anticipation how well it would be received. However, with the roster of phenomenal artist including Steve Rude, Ariel Olivetti, Kim Jung Gi, Artgerm, Loish, Phobes and many other industry giants attached to 21 Draw, we needn’t fret. In just one week the project raised $77,000. Over the course on May 2,337 backers raised $150,181, more than 3 times its original goal.

    The 21 Draw dream was to be both an artbook and a reference book. It focused on answering common artist problems. After surveying 200 artist, the recurring topics were a lack of good character references, action poses, drawing faces and (no surprise) drawing hands.

    Addressing this, the book is broken up by character type, for each character the artists produce two pages of headshots, turnarounds, action poses and hands. Included are common characters tropes such as adventurer, detective, hero, magician, pirate, princess and more, as well as quite a few not so common ones, like Kawai Tokyo girl. I enjoy this repetitive nature of the book, comparing how each illustrator manage the same brief. All artist, except Kim Jung Gi, whom the editor thought would be “cool” to give him a much looser brief, I think most of us would agree.

    As well as being categorised reference book, 21 Draw includes 13 tutorials, in which the artist explain their process from sketch to the final image. Including what medium and programmes they work in and a few neat tricks. I love going behind-the-curtain of such skilled illustrators. Out of all the tutorials, for me, the highlight was Steve Rude’s four pages. I would more than happily buy a full book of just those.

    Flicking through the book, just when you think you have had your fill of inspiration, it keeps going. Like a five-course-meal, with two deserts. 21 Draw is an achievement that not only collates an excellent array of talent, it is genuinely helpful. Even if it is just a springboard of inspiration, the quality and diversity of the illustrations; both in terms of style and subject, will undoubtedly earn 21 Draw a permanent space on your drawing desk.

    A follow-up book titled 21 Draw: Illustrators Guidebook is in the works which I am very excited to see what it has in store. You can find out more about that on their Facebook page.

    21 Draw
    Hardback or Paperback
    254 pages
    215 x 255mm
  3. 30

    Jul 2015

    Book Review ~ The One and Only Colouring Book series

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    In little over a year, adult colouring books have made a monumental impact across the publishing world. You need only to take a look at Amazon’s Best Sellers Book list to garner how popular they have become. Various titles are sprinkled all over the top 10 list and beyond. They have well past their craze phase and transitioned to a staple in everyday culture.

    However, colouring books for grown-ups is not a new concept. Ruth Heller, a children’s author and graphic artist produced many colouring books aimed at children and adults alike throughout the 1970s up until 2000. I also remember a rather tongue-and-cheek Gangsta Rap Coloring Book, which came out in 2004 to favourable reactions. So what has changed? Why is adult colouring books now a ‘thing’?

    Well, I had the opportunity to find out for myself. Phoenix Yard Books are publishers of The One and Only Colouring Book series. They currently have five books in the series and I sat down with two of them, The One and Only Mandala Colouring Book and The Second One and Only Colouring Book for Adults. Both books have inspiring full-colour glossy covers. The interior pages are thick lightly textured paper, around 200gsm. The images are not printed in solid black, rather they vary from mid to dark grey. I am not sure why this is, perhaps grey is more calming than black, however, it is something that stood out to me.

    The Mandala Colouring Book is, as you would expect, a collection circular Hinduism and Buddhism patterns. Many of the illustrations are very intricate with tiny details and appear to be drawn completely freehand. Colouring Book for Adults has a variety of subjects, mostly floral, but some abstract shapes and even a page of people, which appealed more to my representational sensibilities.

    Colouring in has never been my strongest suit, staying within the lines was off the table from the get-go, but none of which hindered my experience. once you get started, you can very easily lose yourself. On first glance many of the images are daunting, I found myself dotting around the book, only colouring in the sections of the illustrations, then moving on to another page. Which is completely fine, you can always come back to an image at a later date.

    I tested the books by using colour pencils, fibre tip pens and promarkers. Not being able to remember the last time I used colour pencils or felt tips I naturally felt more comfortable and grown-up using the promarkers. They glide across the page and left the most consistent solid colour behind. Their only downside is that the bleed, a lot. You pretty much kill the reverse of the page using them. Which may not be a sacrifice most people are willing to make.

    Spending about an hour of my day with these books, I can easily see their appeal. They do a great job of zoning you out and really punch that nostalgia button. Though I didn’t actually feel like a kid again, I’m pretty sure looking at my face would have said otherwise. I had to regularly bite my lip to stop my tongue from sticking out. I would highly recommend having a timer nearby as you can quickly become engrossed by the process and lose track of time.

    To address my opening question, why is adult colouring books now a ‘thing’? Some could argue, it’s their therapeutic qualities, helping you to switch off and de-stress in an evermore onerous world. But stress, like colouring books, have been commonplace in modern city life for over a century, so adult colouring books could have quite easily been just as popular in the 1980s, but yet they weren’t.

    I believe the answer is we are experiencing a second Arts and Crafts movement. Just as the first was a reaction to industrialisation, we are seeing a strong response to digitisation. Just as the first Arts and Crafts movement had strong floral motifs, it stands to reason that much of the imagery in these books are inspired by nature.

    Independent magazine publishing is proof of people’s reaction towards digitisation. Looking at its resurgence and growth in the last couple years emphasises the demand for a vessel of culture that is more tangible than the glowing screen of a tablet. For many years now there has also been numerous authors and practitioners, such as Matthew Crawford, Richard Sennet and Jonathan Openshaw, crying out about the virtues of craftmanship in the modern age. It would seem the populous are finally catching up.

    Our fingers are itching to do more than just tap. Colouring books are the open door for grown-ups to enter the world of craft without the hindrance of facing a blank page. Adult colouring books let our hands run free. They reinforce, one does not need to be a creative to be creative.

  4. 9

    Jul 2015

    Book Review ~ Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi

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    Editors Note:

    In Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi, 50 talented traditional and digital artists showcase their sketches, share their inspirations, and explain their approaches to drawing sci-fi art. From doodles of robots and aliens, to concept designs for spaceships and speculative life-forms, Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi is a visually stunning collection packed with useful tips and creative insights – an invaluable resource that will inspire artists of all abilities.

    The Book Review:

    Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi is the third installment from 3DTotal’s Sketching from the Imagination series. You can read our review of the previous edition, Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy. As with the previous editions, the format remains a chunky square paperback showcasing the work of 50 illustrators from around the world. The subject ranges from re-imagined worlds, landscapes, monsters, aliens, robots, and mechs. There is also a host of futuristic and otherworldly characters.

    All images are accompanied by words from the artist, giving you more insight into their thoughts and process. As well as all the tips, one thing that really stands out in this edition is the reoccurring words of encouragement, such as this gem,

    Do not feel guilty because you’ve taken a break (because you need it!) or because you’re slow. Nobody works at the same rhythm. When you feel bored about practicing, just look into new things or activities.

    Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi has a spectrum of styles and I’m sure each reader will have their own favourites. The illustrators that stood out to me were Jerel Dye, Josan Gonzalez, Anaïs Maamar, Veronique Meignaud, Jakub Rebelka, Nick Sumida, and Brad Wright. I could probably go on, but I’ll stop the list there. Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi is a great addition to the series that is sure to introduce you to many new illustrators.

    Currently 3DTotal is running a very fitting kickstarter campaign called, How to Keep a Sketch Journey. Which combines visual inspiration, tutorials and high-quality stationary to get amateurs and professionals alike sketching more. The Monsieur soft leather cover sketch journal is sure to make you the envy of all your sketching buddies. 

  5. 25

    Mar 2015

    15 Webcomics You Really Should Read


    There is no shortage of “must read webcomics” lists, both The Mary Sue and io9 have excellent lists. However, sometimes too much of a good thing is…actually a good thing!

    This list is based on webcomics that I have enjoyed or am currently enjoying. Undoubtedly there is always going to be some crossover with the many other lists out there, which is usually a good indication that you should read it already. With that said, I have also included some webcomics that don’t often make these types of lists. Seasoned Loungers may recognise quite a few of the names, as many illustrators on the list have been featured previously.

    In no particular order, here is the Illustrator’s Lounge’s list of 15 Webcomics You Really Should Read:

    1. His Face All Red
    Emily Carroll regularly puts out short webcomics, with her most recent being the creepy horror, All Along the Wall. One of my favourites, however, still has to be His Face All Red, which was released in 2010. Last year Emily Carroll published a collection of five of her most chilling tales in a the book, Through the Woods.

    2. Sarah and the Seed
    Ryan Andrews is another illustrator who has released multiple short webcomics. It is very hard to choose a favourite, I settled on Sarah and the Seed, but Our Bloodstained Roof is definitely a close second.

    3. Spera Comic
    The fantasy world of Spera, created and written by Josh Tierney invites artists from around the world to collaborate to each tell a small part of a greater story. The story so far has featured over 40 artist including Afu Chan and Timothy Weaver. The ongoing main Spera story has been collected into hardcover books, with three volumes currently released.

    4. Tiny Kitten Teeth
    The Tiny Kitten Teeth is a beautiful hand painted comic by Becky Dreistadt & Frank Gibson. It features a charismatic cat named Mewsli, which we follow in a world of vibrant and surreal adventures.

    5. Nimona
    Nimona is the fantastic medieval tale of the villainous Lord Ballister Blackheart and his spunky sidekick, Nimona. Created by Noelle Stevenson, who is currently writing for the Lumberjanes comic and Wander Over Yonder animation. You can read the first three chapters online, and read the story in its entirety in the HarperTeen collected verion.

    6. Delilah Dirk
    The stunning artwork of Tony Cliff really brings the characters of Delilah Dirk, and her sidekick Selim, to life as they travel around early 19th century Constantinople. You can read the first two volumes online now, which concludes in the First Second published book, Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant. Tony Cliff is currently working on the follow-up which is set to be an even bigger visual feast.

    7. Skull Chaser
    Jake Parker is no stranger to delightful children-friendly comics, as proven with his contributions to the Flight Anthologies and his character Missile Mouse. Skull Chaser marks Jake Parker’s first webcomic, and with issue one already under his belt, it is shaping up to be an action-packed sci-fi tale.

    8. As the Crow Flies
    As the Crow Flies is the touching tale by Melanie Gillman. Illustrated entirely with colour pencils, it began life in 2012 and is still ongoing, with updates usually falling on Mondays and Fridays.

    9. Sin Titulo
    Cameron Stewart is the current co-writer of Batgirl and artist of Fight Club 2 comics, but way back in 2007 he started a compelling mystery webcomic called Sin Titulo. It was completed in 2012, compiled into a book and published by Dark Horse in 2013.

    10. Battlepug
    Winner of the Eisner, Harvey and Shel Dorf Award for best webcomic, Battlepug is Mike Norton’s Conan-inspired oddball action-adventure. Originally created to back up the creation of Norton’s t-shirt design, the webcomic spawned a life of it’s own, and has recently concluded volume 4. Our hero, The Warrior, fueled by revenge rides around on a gigantic talking pug battling monsters and mages. Exactly, what’s not to love.

    11. Axe Cop
    I do believe that most people have heard of the incredibly popular Axe cop webcomic. Its success has birthed toys, t-shirts, card games and even a TV Show on Fox. Created and drawn by Ethan Nicolle, it is based on the musings of his 5-year-old brother, Malachai.

    12. Table Titans
    Updated every Thursdays, Kurtz started Table Titans in 2014 as a spinoff of PvP. The creative team consists of Scott Kurtz writing and illustrating, the incredible Steve Hamaker (of Bone fame) as colourist, and Brian Hurtt doing the breakdowns.

    13. The Abominable Charles Christopher
    Starting way back in 2007, The Abominable Charles Christopher is sensitively illustrated by Karl Kerschl. It follows our protagonist, a sasquatch called Charles Christopher, and the lives of his forest friends. The story so far has also been collected in two volume, both in soft cover and strokable faux suede hardcover, which you can find in Karl Kerschl’s store.

    14. Twilight Monk
    I have been a fan of Trent Kaniuga ever since his Creed days, so it is no surprise that I am loving his current series Twilight Monk. It started in 2010, with the intentions of being a video game, it has so far concluded two books. Kaniuga is constantly expanding the Twilight Monk universe and is now working on an illustrated novel called The Man and The Moonkin.

    15. Green Monk
    From one monk to another, Green Monk concludes our lists. Starting late last year, the bi-weekly webcomic follows the adventures of the lone monk Alexey armed with a magical grass-blade. It is the continuation of Brandon Dayton graphic novel, of the same name. The webcomic artwork and storytelling is a big step up from the original graphic novel, which makes for some stunning illustration.

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