Thursday, September 2, 2010

Interview with Jacktoon

I put out a call for illustrators to help us bring Krumbs, Pet-Detective to life and Jack answered.  He's a wonderful, generous man, not to mention soooo talented - Krumbs now has 5 Feline-Fact-Thieves to bring to justice.

Check out my interview with the totally-talented "Jacktoon."
~ ~ ~
Tell us a bit about yourself;
 I have five wonderful children and six terrific grandkids.  I live in Illinois with my beautiful wife Aleithia.

We have a fifteen year-old pomeranian named Tucker. I spent several years as a political cartoonist.

I also spent twentyfive years trying to get my very own Sunday comic strip. I have file cabinets full of
rejection letters. Sometimes the letters would be hand-written with comments about my work. "Your
style is too cute." was one of the most common. I tried to change my style to be more "ugly" but it
wasn't me.Where does my "cute" style fit in? Finally it hit me - Children's books!

In 2007 I started researching and honing my skills. In spring of 2009 I got my first contract with Guardian Angel
Publishing! My fist book was published in December of that year.
The name of the book is Poodle and Doodle. Since then illustrated seven other books and am presently working on number nine.

Have you always been an artist? When did you first know art was your thing?
When I was six years old, I would spend hours tracing the Sunday comics at the kithcen table while
the rest of the family would be in the living roon watching TV. I would watch the Disney classics like
Snow White and Dumbo. I was so mesmerized by the artwork that I wouldn't even follow the plot.

Tell us about the process you go through before you start a project.
After I get the manuscript for a book. I try to visualize the main character(s) as I read the whole story.
Then I sketch out about five or six different possibilities. I put them on the side for a couple of days,
then I go back and look at them with fresh eyes and tweak the "best" one. Then I sketch out a story
board which looks like a giant comic strip of all the action and poses.I reread the story to make sure
the story board follows the story. Then I'm ready to begin illustrating.

What type of media do you use in your pictures?
I sketch everything in pencil on sketch pads, copy paper or napkins. Once I scan the images into my
computer, the rest is all digital. I was always a colored pencil and acrylic paint kinda guy, so it was a
little scary for me to take some computer art classes when I was 46 years old. I still like the hands on
art, but for publishing, I'm lovin the versatility and quality that I can get digitally. Clean-up is a lot easier too.

Your work is so good, have you been able to make a living with it?
Actually, my full time job is a mailman. I have a lot of fun drawing pictures for people on my route. I tell everyone that I am a mailman to put food on the table, and an illustrator to put desert on the table.

If folks are looking for an artist where can they go to view your work?
My first 4 books have been published by Guardian Angel Publishing at http://guardianangelpublishing.com/ or Amazon.com.

One of the best things that I've done was start a blog. I love to get comments from people and I try to do at least one new illustration a week. My blog is: http://jacktoon.blogspot.com/.
My website is: http://web.me.com/jacktoon

Any advice for people wanting to get into the art business?
Don't take rejection personal. Your style may not be "right" right now. Remember, every rejection letter is one closer to an acceptance letter. Always have something in the mail or submitted electronically. That way you always have a hope. And draw, draw, draw! Your style is like a muscle, it keeps getting stronger.

Anything else you'd like to add?
I am a Christian artist and I believe that our talents are a gift. That God gives everyone a special gift, and that gift should be used to serve and glorify Him. That is why all my artwork is Rated "G" (for God)

Thanks Jack - we're so happy we found you =)

Be sure to check out all Jack's wonderful illustrations and leave him a comment on his cool blog!


5 comments:

Donna J. Shepherd said...

I'm so blessed to have had Jack illustrate Poodle and Doodle and honored that mine was his first children's book - and sure that it is just the first of many, many more books that will delight children (and adults, too!). I smile every time I look at Jack's work. Thanks for the interview.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Jack is a wonderful artist and I'm thrilled that he's working on illustrating one of my books.

Connie Arnold said...

Thanks for sharing the great interview! I agree with Jack that our talents were give by God and should be used to glorify him. I love the "G" rating for God!

Margot Finke said...

Jack, you are an interesting fellow, mate. Loved the cool bat illo.

Great interview.

Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques
http://www.margotfinke.com

Jack Foster said...

Thanks Donna and Janet. Love working with you. Thanks so much Connie and Margot for the kind words. God bless

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