Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MagCloud Book

All seniors will be participating in creating a MagCloud book of their work. Each student will have a double page spread. Marty Blake will lay out the book using a template, a formatted but flexible design that seeks to best showcase each illustrator's work. Our model for design is the SVA book that we saw at MoCCA; James and Marty each have a copy if anyone wants to see it. The artists can have anywhere from 1 to 4 pieces of art on their spreads, although most will have two, one on each page.

Please prepare your artwork according to the following spec.s:

TheMagCloud artwork needs to be submitted as an RGB file. So you do not have to do the CMYK conversions. Do send them to me by either of the paths described earlier (Dropbox or Hightail) by the end of Friday, April 18, if possible. I'll start laying out the pages this weekend. 

Submit art:

300 ppi, RGB, flattened tif file format

Your digital art must be 8.75" maximum width OR 11.25" maximum height

Choose the longest dimension, for example a vertical piece would be 11.25" tall, a horizontal piece 8.75" wide.

Send the art to Marty by one of the following processes:
To send large files via email, use (or a comparable program that can send large files)

Do NOT use your regular email program.

Share the files with me using

Friday, January 24, 2014


Advanced Illustration
ILL 462.1

Instructor contact information and office hours:
John Thompson
109 Euclid Terrace
Syracuse, NY 13210
Office Phone: (315) 443-1293 or 4613 (Sandra Puro)
Home Phone: (315) 256-8201 cell
Office Hours: Wednesday 2:00-5:00PM
Room 349 Shaffer

Basic course information:
Credits: 3
Room/Bldg: 307 Shaffer
Day/Time: Wednesday 8:00 AM-12: 30 PM
Dates: 01/15/14 – 04/ 23/14 

ILL 461

Course description:
The primary emphases of this course will be to continue the creation a body of work that we will refer to as The Portfolio. Each student will set his or her own objective for the course. Your body of work should reflect the artistic direction and stylistic approach you intend to pursue in your illustration career. I would expect that you should be able to complete 5-8 pieces, depending on size and complexity. These final pieces should serve to complete your final Syracuse University portfolio that will be used for the Lubin House Presentation at the end of the semester.

You will also need to create a website and a 4”x 6” postcard with your contact information that will direct people to your website, or act as reminder of your work after a contact with a prospective client.

The class will meet each week on Wednesday mornings in 307 Shaffer at 8:30 AM. The format of the class will take the form of a group critique, with each student giving a presentation of their progress to date. The class will be expected to participate in the critique of their classmates work. Be prepared to work in class after the critiques. Occasionally we will have a model.

Each student will also meet with the instructor one other time during the week in their studio (or an alternate site to be determined) for individual critiques. The Illustrators Symposium follows the Wednesday morning class at 12:45. Although this class is not required for most of you, I recommend that you attend.

Learning outcomes:
  • To search for a personal artistic identity in problem solving
  • To develop a specific career goal
  • To create a body of work that would be goal specific
  • To continue to grow as an artist
  • To maintain a strong work ethic

Academic Integrity Statement:
The Syracuse University Academic Integrity Policy holds students accountable for the integrity of the work they submit. Students should be familiar with the Policy and know that it is their responsibility to learn about instructor and general academic expectations with regard to proper citation of sources in written work. The policy also governs the integrity of the work submitted in exams and assignments as well as the veracity of signatures on attendance sheets and other verifications of participation in class activities. Serious sanctions can result from academic dishonesty of any sort.                                                                                             
For more information and the complete policy, see

Disability-Related Accommodations:
Students who are in need of disability-related academic accommodations must register with the Office of Disabilities Services (ODS), 804 University Avenue, Room 309, 315-443-4498. Students with authorized disability-related accommodations should provide a current Accommodation Authorization Letter from ODS to the instructor and review those accommodations with the instructor. Accommodations, such as exam administration, are not provided retroactively; therefore, planning for accommodations as early as possible is necessary. For further information, see the ODS website, Office of Disability Services 

Texts, Readings, Research, Supplies:

Suggested readings:
Revealing Illustration, by James McMullan; The Red Rose Girls, by Alice Carter;
Art is Work, by Milton Glaser, Richard Schmid Paints the Figure, by Richard Schmid
American Realists: Homer to Hopper, by Mahonri Sharp Young, Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud; Imaginative Realism, by James Gurney; The Illustrator Annuals published by The Society of Illustrators; American Illustration; Communication Arts magazine; The New Yorker magazine; The New York Times; UTNE Reader; Mother Jones

The bulk of your grade will be based on the completion of the goal you set at the beginning of the semester. I will also take into account your participation in the group critiques.
Body of Work   85%
Attendance, attitude, effort  15%

Creative process:
Each of your self-generated assignments should involve a step-by-step creative approach. While these steps may vary from one project to another, they will usually be: Concept, rough Sketches, Research, Reference, More Drawings, Final Drawing, Finished Painting, and Revisions. You may come up with a more personal approach to the creative process.
Just keep it in mind.

Each class will begin with critiques of ongoing projects. It is important that you come prepared to share your progress. It is also important that you are present to participate in your classmates’ critiques. You are being prepared for a career that involves communication with co-workers as well as art directors and/or editors etc. It is very important that you come to this class on time.

This class will meet 14 times this semester plus the Senior Survey. I will give you one excused absence. The second absence will lower your grade one letter grade. The third may result in failure.

Senior level students will show work from all Illustration classes as well work produced in Studio Arts classes on December 9.  Survey is mandatory for all Illustration majors.

Important dates to remember:

January 15 Present your proposal for the direction your body of work

January 22 Group Crit
Bring work over to Photo and Imaging in the Women’s Building to be photographed for the Society of Illustrators Student exhibition.

January 29 Group Crit
All money for student show entries due

February 12 Begin work on your post card
Select the piece that best represents the direction of your portfolio.
Begin type design

February 19 Group Crit
Refine post card design

February 26 Group Crit
Final mechanical for Post card design due

March 5 Digital files of post card due – (cards will be ordered over Spring Break)

March 26 Trip to The Art Store to look at options for portfolio cases

April 4-5 MoCCA in NYC (for those who are going)

April 9  Begin making digital prints of your best work to put in your portfolio case
  Silk screens, wood cuts, intaglio and lino prints are OK

April 16 Prints of all of your work due
We will examine the best sequence for your portfolio

April 23    Final Crit (Dry run for Portfolio review)

April 30 Senior Open House and Portfolio Review

?  Portfolios due for trip to Lubin House

?  Pick up portfolios

?  Graduation