IMC – mostly just pictures

I’ve been wanting to process my trip to the IMC (Illustration Master Class) and then share some of my insight.

I’m not there and I’m not sure I am going to be. I had a general idea of what I was looking for before I went. While I didn’t get what I was after – I did get a whole different knowledge base that I think looking back on I will think of as career changing. But really, only time will tell. This could be another blip on the radar of “what can I get into now?”. So instead of trying to forecast the future. I will tell you a bit about the past.

To say I was nervous about attending IMC was an understatement. I have been thinking about it for several years and have mostly been put off by the idea of being around so many people and having to interact with them. “Dorm Rooms” made me think of co-habitating and I’m not a fan. Also I haven’t had a group critique since my year at Graphic Careers…. and those are not nice memories. Someone had jokingly said to me that every year at IMC there is someone who cries during the critique and then isn’t seen again after. I was terrified of being that person.

Before IMC they sent out homework assignments to have drawings ready for review at the start of classes.

I read through the assignments and honestly didn’t understand most of them. I started to feel overwhelmed and then re-read it and realized that there was one little line that said it was also fine to work on personal work. phew. That I can do. I have a list of paintings that I want to do for my show in November (November 1st at Whitman Works – save the date). So all I had to do was pick one of them to work on and make up some thumbnails. This is something that I normally do as prep for my paintings anyhow, so no pressure there.

This is what I came up with. (Trey, as always, is helping and encouraging.)


The folks from the IMC had asked that we make our thumbnails postcard size so they could better be seen for the reviews. There was also a video that we could watch on composition. So after messing around a little bit more, I settled on these.


After arriving at IMC we had a lecture which included information on making our work more dynamic. I got concerned that my thumbnails were too static so I went back to the room and drew these.


I was in the third (and final) session of critiques so I had some time to wander around in to some of the other rooms to eavesdrop on some of the other critiques. I’m not sure if this helped alleviate any of my anxiety – but ultimately it made me really grateful for the critique group that I was placed into. Many of the other groups were much bigger and many of the other instructors didn’t seem to be as helpful.

Critique came. I didn’t cry. I think all things considered it went fairly well.

Some criticisms came that I was (by far and large) aware of. Reinforced some things that I had thought about already since doing the drawings. Ultimately one was selected and some tweaks were recommended.

Here is the drawing again after some modifications. It was also suggested that I add wings on the baby, but I still wasn’t sold on that yet.


From there, there was not much direct guidance. I decided to make a color rough (which I don’t normally do). I took a photo with my phone, imported it into Procreate and laid color over it.


In procreate I could revisit the wings (on a different layer) and decided that they might work.

Nothing left to do but start painting. I had formatted my thumbnails a bunch of different proportions so I had a car full of various sized canvases depending on what I wound up with.


enough for one day….

progress the next day…


Instagram photo that a visitor took and posted of me working…

instagram martinbridgeart - martin bridge art

Next day, more painting (and classes/seminars)…

I am having uncomfortables about working on a painting so many days in a row. I am seeing things that I am overworking and things that I am not happy with. Normally when I am at this point I will set the piece aside and try to objectively judge it while I work on other things.

I work on the painting for a little while in the morning – then take a break and wander around the neat little gallery they have on campus.



I work on the painting a little bit more, but decide I am really going to need a second project.


I start sketching, but don’t see any instructors around/available while I am in this phase.

(This is how I normally make my thumbnails.)


I find an idea I would like to develop further.

new thumbs3


I feel comfortable that I have a second project in the works.


I head back to the room and work up a better drawing.


Then stay up until the wee hours watching a movie on my iPad and coloring the image in. Turns out you can do this neat little corner thing with movies so you can work and watch a movie. Might have been better for my productivity if I had not discovered this.


Next day – start new painting. (Thank goodness for that stash of canvases in my car).


At this point an instructor wanders through and asks me what I am up to.

I explain.

We discuss.

Changes are made – the biggest of which is the elimination of the treeline. Which was honestly a brilliant recommendation and something I totally had not seen the problem with. I am super grateful that he came by when he did.


and another day closes…. I am pretty shot – but all in all the week has gone well (especially considering I wound up in Urgent Care the first day – but that is a story for another time).

Last day – we have sometime for painting, but these is closing ceremony stuff and we need to be cleaned up for the “open house”. Also because I am leaving after I need to get cleared out of the dorm room. So not too much time to paint, but I make a bit more progress on both of them.


This is as far as they will make it while I am IMC.

I will update publicly when they are finished. But they will be the only paintings for my show that I will preview before the opening. I want the work to be new and seen for the first time for the people who come. Since these two are so close to finished, I will probably use them for the publicity stuff.




~ by justteejay on June 25, 2019.

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