DAY 6 (PHOTOS HERE)
Last full day. Packed day.
We had three business lectures:
Shelly Bond from DC/Vertigo talked about working in comics, using James Jean and the Fables series as the example. She described what it's like to be a comic editor and talked about how an artist can market themselves to a comic company. The main lesson: drawing, drawing, drawing! My favorite line, "The important thing to know about black and white is, color wont save it."
David Saylor from Scholastic did a presentation on children's picture books, showing a number of examples -- the most exciting for me was a Jon J Muth Christmas book coming this fall. It's drop-dead gorgeous, but then isn't J always drop-dead gorgeous.
Both Shelly and David took time in the afternoon to walk around the studios, look at portfolios, and collect samples.
I gave my formal lecture of the week in the evening. I was, to tell the truth, very nervous about the whole thing (everyone's presentations were so good...a few were even tear-inducing) but I think I did alright. I spoke about my daily work concerns, how I find artists, what I look for in portfolios, my usual website rant, and ran through a project from thumbnail to book cover. The hour and a half flew by.
A quick dinner break. (Shout-out to Amherst's Fresh Side.) And then back to the studios. Back to painting. Back to critiquing. And even a bit of relaxing and talking and feeling sad that it would all be over tomorrow.
At 12;30 in the morning Charles Vess announced that he'd give his History of Fantasy Illustration 1850-2009 lecture. I think that epitomized everything I love about IMC. People were either shutting down, knowing the class was essentially over, or panicked to finish up as much as they could. Either way, everyone was tired. But given the opportunity to learn something new, we jumped at it and spent an hour in the middle of the night ooh-ing and ahh-ing over great and largely unfamiliar art.
I've seen Charles give this lecture before and each time it's been different -- which means I will have see it again at ComicCon this year.
Clean up. Closing remarks, with a few (and a few more) tears. And then we opened the studios as a gallery. A number of IMC alumni, other artists, and art directors drove in from surprisingly far away. Viewers were able to see the paintings created in class and flip through portfolios. Throughout the day everyone started signing each other's sketchbook...hours and hours of sketchbook signing. No one really wanted to leave.
IMC is the brain child of Rebecca Guay. If I sounded overly gushy all week it's because, through her remarkable and generous heart, Rebecca has created something truly special. I know all of the instructors came away supercharged and inspired. I feel confident that all of the students did as well. We are all indebted to her and her assistant, Sara. And being the greedy folk that we are, we're already excited about next year. IMC3, baby!