Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Advice from Greg Pizzoli

"Make a ton of work. 
If you keep making stuff, and don’t obsess over failures, 
you’ll end up getting better. 
It’s inevitable if you make enough."

Greg Pizzoli's first picture book
The Watermelon Seed
Illustrator Greg Pizzoli's book, The Watermelon Seed, is set for a May 2013 release. I wasn't familiar with his work before, but Greg's graphic style appeals to my love of printmaking. I clipped this bit of advice from Juana Martinez-Neal's November interview.

Make stuff.  It sounds obvious, but is invaluable to those of us who become paralyzed by our inner critic.  Make stuff.  Terrible stuff.  It's okay.  In fact, it's often necessary.
An illustrator friend swears by her practice of drawing on cheap printer paper because it has a low-pressure, disposable vibe.  The same goes for painting.  Many artists feel a sense of freedom from painting on a printout of their original sketches, knowing they can print it again if the watercolor goes awry.  I suppose many digital artists must feel that way too.
This Green Dragon print
has an Ed Emberley quality
in the best sense.
"Don't obsess over failures."  Easy to say, but it is often a fight for me to move forward.  It comes down to a definition of failure, doesn't it?  I never think my children's projects are failures.  So why do I judge my own work that way?

What tricks do you use to keep moving, to conquer fear, to discipline your artistic life?

Nice Cream print,
available on Etsy

Thank-yous to Juana Martinez-Neal whose work I love, love, LOVE.


  1. LOVE this post and advise. I just replied to your comment about how I've begun the practice of sketching and coloring with crayons and markers just to quiet that inner critic. I learn something new every time I sit down and play, and fail.

    1. oooops...make that 'advice'....zeesh, I must slow down the brain from time to time.

    2. All your work is paying off. The new directions your illustration is taking are so exciting. You're an inspiration.


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