Tuesday, 14 September 2010

In Praise of the Art Director

We have finally completed the first regular episode of Illustration AMBUSH!**

On this inaugural episode we are discussing the job of the Art Director. What do they do, how do they do it, and what makes that job so vital and challenging? To help us delve into this subject we are proud to welcome Jon Schindehette, Kieran Yanner and Socar Myles as our guests.

We'd love to hear what you think about our new podcast in the comments below, and if you have a chance, please spread the word about Illustration AMBUSH to your friends and fellow artists!


**Well... by "regular" we mean "as often as we can get it out". We're hoping for every two weeks but don't hold us to this. Podcast Gold doesn't just fall off the trees. And if it did, we'd eventually get annoyed, always having to sweep it up and everything.


The awesome ART ORDER forums

"Art Direction Explained At Last"

Starkweather: Immortal, Patrick's graphic novel

Fantasy Art for Beginners, Jon's book thingie


  1. Congratulations on the first episode. Seems like a really good show with a lot of useful information. And its always nice to have more podcasts to listen to while drawing.
    Looking forward to the next one!

  2. We aren't all criminals! Us Aussies are flippin' awesome!

  3. Well done guys, that was a great episode, thank you :)

  4. Haha, first of all, I have to apologize to Patrick! We spoke briefly in the ArtOrder chat, and I was all, "Oh yeah, I've listened to episode 1! It was great!" When, in fact, I thought we were talking about episode 00. You can understand my confusion. ;)

    Anyway, now that I have properly listened to episode 1, I have to say that I enjoyed it a lot! You guys always have insightful things to say, but the tone of the show remains light-hearted; I find myself grinning and nodding my head in agreement. It was great to hear more about the biz from the perspective of art directors, especially since all of you have been on both sides of the fence.

    Here's a question you might address in the future if it strikes your fancy: Suppose you're working for someone, and they send you a number of reference images in a particular style. These images, however, are not a part of their style guide, but were created for an entirely different company/publication/game/etc. Obviously you want to adjust your own style to try and get close to the refs you've been given, but there is always that fine line between using something for inspiration and mimicking it. How might you guys approach a situation like that, especially if the AD seems really keen on getting you to produce something just like the refs?


  5. Another brilliant episode! Keep them coming! :)

  6. Thanks for the comments, all!

    Oh Belinda, I believe you, just don't take my wallet! (Ha! I kid. I love every one of you lawless miscreants.)

    Scott & Chris - always glad to hear from you guys! Keep spreading the word about IA!

    Chelsea, no apologies necessary. I know it was probably unbelievable that we'd actually put out another episode... Glad you you liked it!

    The question of mimicking a style is interesting. Some people would never do that, and some don't mind. I positively relish the chance to do something different than my own style now and then, as long as no one will be fooled into thinking I'm another artist.

    I know this lack of focus has probably hurt the McEvoy "brand" over the years, but I have to admit I'm a chameleon at heart. And it DOES tend to help keep the money coming in for a full-time illustrator such as myself. As long as I'm not copying someone else's designs, and just an overall style, I'm fine. Does that help at all?

    - Patrick

  7. I'm a little late but, yey Illustration Ambush! More please! :D

  8. glad you guys are back! awesome episode :D Maybe you should ask Socar for a story from her past instead of a rant, since judging from Ninja Mountain, that seems to also be one of her strong talking points. Like, what kind of run ins with the law has she had, or what kind of cultural adventures did she have in scandinavia (she was in scandinavia or something at one point wasn't she?)? (cuz lets face it, she'll wander off the art topic pretty immediately anyway ;)
    looking forwards to the next one

  9. Thanks Mike and Alonso (and everyone else really!) -- Jon and I are still hoping to do more but somehow, we're just really crazy busy again. Go figure!! But more Ambushes are on the way in the future, and we really do appreciate all the support.

    Alonso, I will try to steer Socar into more stories of her varied and sorted past whenever possible.


  10. Interesting show, guys. I'm looking forward to more. It sounds like you had a very fun time making the podcast :P I'll definitely check in later for next episode.