Jago. (in his own words). Personal. Jago Silver (my work is just published under my first name, Jago ) Age; 31 Children are Lily Peach (5) and Rudy (1) I don't have much time for hobbies to be honest, I'm a bit of a Mac geek and like to spend time at the beach, and I read, a lot.
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(in his own words)
Jago Silver (my work is just published under my first name, Jago)
Children are Lily Peach (5) and Rudy (1)
I don't have much time for hobbies to be honest, I'm a bit of a Mac geek and like to spend time at the beach, and I read, a lot.
I've always liked drawing and after a brief time thinking I wanted to be an archaeologist (whilst doing my A Levels) I stayed on at college to do an Art & Design GNVQ (now a National Diploma)
Graduated from Falmouth Art College with a 1st Class Degree in Illustration. I was approached at my degree show by someone from Oxford University Press and signed a two book deal with them.
A year or so later my agent (Ronnie Herman, Herman Agency, New York) approached me and since then most of my work has come via her.
I'm a sucker for the illustrations and I would definitely buy a book based on the cover and/or interior illustrations. I would also definitely not buy a book if I didn't like the illustrations.
Illustrations are extremely important in children’s books; they can alter the whole feel of the story
I'm often asked how did I come up with the vision for the illustrations. The answer is very simple, but often surprising to some people: the text. This is where the inspiration always comes from first, I simply read the page and see what pops in to my head. Then I draw it and see if what I've drawn would look better viewed from further away or closer up, or from above, or from down low. That's it in a nutshell, the really tricky bit is getting the pictures on the paper (or screen) to look like the pictures in my head!
I'm not sure how to describe my style to be honest. I guess I always want my illustrations to not be obviously digital, and for the people and animals not to be too cartoony or too realistic either.
I produce rough drawings for each illustration before moving on to the final coloured artwork. I work digitally so each of the drawings was drawn initially in pencil, then again in ink and then scanned in to my Mac. I then created the colours and textures in Photoshop
I work almost entirely digitally, using a mixture of scanned, painted, drawn and photographed sources to build up my illustrations. I always try to produce images that are not obviously digital and I am convinced of the need for images to be based on good drawing, but whether it is digital or pen and paper doesn’t make much difference to me.
Colour schemes are good for setting the mood/emotion/atmosphere of an illustration so they're very important.
I enjoy working on children's books and am drawn to stories with a hint of eccentricity.
I see someone else’s work that I really love, and try to figure out what it is I like about it. Then I try to incorporate that into my own work, but because of my own particular strengths and weaknesses it never comes out like the other persons… and so it goes on. So I guess you could say that every now and then I consciously try to adapt my style (or technique) but in the end it’s probably a natural process.
Get a sketchbook that fits in your pocket (so there’s never any excuse for not having it with you), and draw as much and as often as possible. I still feel that my drawing skills are the weakest bit of my technique and really wish I’d spent more time in college just drawing.
27" 2.93Ghz Quad Core i7 iMac with 16Gb RAM and 2TB Hard Drive - the main workhorse
24" 3.06Ghz Core 2 Duo iMac with 4Gb RAM and 2TB Hard Drive - backup system and media server
32Gb iPad 2 3G - for sketches and everything outside the house
A bunch of external hard drives for archiving, Time Machine and mirroring (about 6Tb in total)
Doxie - for scanning paperwork straight into Evernote
Canon LiDE flatbed scanner - for the rare occaisons I need to scan something that won't fit through Doxie
Adobe Photoshop CS 5.5 - I love what I can do with this software but I really wish Adobe had some more competition - if there was a competitor with a better UI/performance, I'd switch
Evernote - to keep everything and anything and have some hope of finding it later
Dropbox - I have the 100Gb option and store all my work on it, it also keeps the two Mac's in perfect sync and adds a file system to the iPad
ArtRage - I use this on iPad
Gather or create a collection of hand drawn sketches, textured papers and/or paintings
Working with these resources, scan and experiment with texture and color. Try to blur the line between traditional and digital illustration until it is indistinguishable.
Choose a sketch from your sketchbook you would like to develop further.
Using digital or traditional media, experiment using different color families from the color wheel:
Roughly create at least 3 color possibilities and be prepared to discuss which color combination you prefer for your illustration and why
Recall a favorite children’s story
Think about an interesting scene or moment that occurs in the story
Create at least 6 thumbnail sketches showing how the same scene can be rendered in various ways depending on who is observing the scene
Try to keep the composition simple and be sparing with the number of elements in the scene for your own sanity!