Friday, December 23, 2016

WCPO Profile of C. F. Payne's Historic Home and Studio

Detail shot of illustrator C. F. Payne home studio. Photo by Joseph Fuqua II for WCPO
 We have not done a STUDIO SPACE profile on C. F. Payne yet but WCPO has done a very good one to fill the gap!

Not only is Chris an award winning editorial and children's book illustrator, he also recently became head of the Hartford Art School’s Low-Residency Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Illustration program.

Lots of wonderful photos go along with this great write up:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Robin Ewers Carnes Urban Sketching Workshop

Check out Robin Ewers Carnes workshop in January!

You know how it is... You go on vacation, and you think about all the opportunities you'll have to sketch some new scenery. But no one ever wants to wait around while you whip out your sketchbook and draw. So you take photos. Lots and lots of photos. Alas, the moment has passed and those photos stay tucked inside a folder on your phone or computer.

Well, not anymore! Join us as we explore the art of urban sketching, but from your photos.

In this workshop, we'll talk about:

- The art of urban sketching and what makes it different
- The process of building a sketch
- Different materials to use while on the go
- Which colors to choose for your palette
- How to take a photo so that you can properly draw from it later

Then we'll get to work on our urban sketching, so bring some photos that you've taken from your travels.

This 3 hour workshop is for the artist who is looking to expand on new techniques and learn a new way of sketching on the go. (If you're new to Urban Sketching, stay tuned for our Beginner's series.)

Each guest will receive the following supplies in their kit:
- A Stillman & Birn Mixed Media sketchbook
- A Sakura Koi Waterbrush
- An 01 Micron waterproof pen

Recommended materials to bring with you are:
- Any sketchbooks or materials you currently use including:
- A pencil
- Eraser
- Watercolors
- Brushes
- A few of your photos to sketch from

There will be 2 offerings of this workshop, please choose accordingly when checking out.
Friday, January 20th from 12-3pm.
Saturday, January 21st from 10am-1pm.

Light refreshments and snacks will be offered. Classes are limited to 6 people.

No refunds or exchanges.
In the event of inclement weather, rescheduling will be discussed.

This event will be help in the R.Ewers Designs Studio, located within Brazee Street Studios.
4426 Brazee Street, Unit 1O, Cincinnati, OH 45209. (First floor, main building.)
Please use the door under the steel staircase for the most convenient access to the studio. We are the first studio on the left once you enter the building.

To access the back parking lot:
Once on Brazee Street, continue straight past the main entrance and follow the residential road. You will dead end into train tracks, that street is Enyart St. Take a right and the parking lot entrance will be the first right after a bright blue house.

RSVP Here:

Christmas Party Mannequin Challenge

We had a great Christmas Party on Saturday the 10th! I will post photos soon but in the meantime, here is the Mannequin Challenge Mary Willenbrink orchestrated and David Hartz filmed.

Have a great Holiday!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Book Signings!

 Lots of book signings around in time for Christmas. I will add to the list as I get information.

Jeffrey Ebbeler, Vanessa Sorensen and Christina Wald will be signing books at Sharon Woods Friday December 9th at part of their Holiday in Lights event from 6 to 9 pm.

Details here:

Loren Long will be at at Blue Manatee Children's Book Store on Saturday, Dec. 10, beginning at 11:00! He will be sharing his new book, Otis and the Kittens.

Details here:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cincinnati Illustrators Christmas Party

Art by cartoonist Thomas Nast
Trying something new this year! The Christmas Party will be at Brew House on December 10th.

As usual, everyone will have separate checks(gratuity included) and we will have tables in the back room to display art we have worked on this year.

RSVP here!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

STUDIO SPACE: Robin Ewers Carnes

What can I say? I’m a local Cincinnati artist who loves my hometown, bourbon, hot dogs and cats. I graduated in 2005 with a degree in Graphic Design from Antonelli College and after 10 years of working in the field, it was time to take the next step. I now work as a full-time artist and freelancer and I’m also the Brand Ambassador for George Remus Bourbon Whiskey.

I work primarily in watercolors, oil, ink and graphite. I find inspiration just about anywhere, but mainly my city of Cincinnati is what I feed off of. I love creating greeting cards, portrait work, loose watercolors, modern calligraphy and quirky illustrations.

Fun Facts:
    • Teaching Artist on the Ezzard Charles mural located at Liberty & Republic Streets downtown
    • Top 25 Artist for 2014 Secret Artworks show
    • Named Cincinnati’s Best Local Artist of 2010 by CityBeat Magazine readers
    • Artist of the “Over-the-Swine” Pig statue for the Cincinnati Development Fund
    • Co-Artist of the Christian Moerlein Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Pig along with Randy Wilcox from Once Blind Studios

My art has been mentioned and promoted by Cincy Chic, A-Line Magazine, FOX 19 Morning Extra, Artworks Cincinnati, Springboard Cincinnati, Abservd Magazine, Soapbox Cincinnati, CityBeat Magazine, Cincy Magazine, RAW Artists, Metromix,, Wild Turkey Distillery, MadTree Brewing and Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
On the Drawing Table: Concepts for a 2017 cocktail calendar
Coming out soon: Hopefully lots of new things!

How did you get your start as a professional artist?
Well, as a fine artist, I think I got paid for a commission piece maybe around 2005 or so but I identify with becoming ‘professional’ in 2008 when I became an LLC. That’s when I really tried to find my style, and what I was most passionate about creating. But during that time, since 2005, I worked professionally as a corporate graphic designer and continued to do so until just last year, 2015. At which point, my current job had taken a turn down a road I wasn’t interested in and I decided change things up a bit.

Describe your work.
My work has evolved quite a bit from 2008. I used to focus on black and white oil paintings of lost celebrities (like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, etc). However, currently, I work primarily in watercolor and ink and focus on more illustrative work and local landscape-themed pieces.

Tell about your workspace.
I try to make my workspace a warm place. I do love natural light and plants. I have a jasmine plant that smells amazing when it blooms. I repainted my studio a nice spring green to lighten it up. I’ve got 2 desks, one for my computer work and one for drawing. I sell prints of my work and other paper goods on Etsy and through a few places in town so I have my materials set up in a way that matting prints, packaging my items and getting shipping labels ready flows easily.

What are your favorite materials digital and traditional?
 My favorite digital materials range from my Wacom tablet when working on the computer and right now I’m loving working on the Procreate app on the iPad.

My favorite traditional materials are just a trusty no. 2 pencil and a Moleskine sketchbook. I also have a watercolor Moleskine sketchbook that I carry around with a mini whiskey painters palette and aqua brush. It’s great for on-the-go.

What’s your typical workday/work session like?
My typical workday starts with coffee of course! I usually get up and work on a few art projects, either commission pieces or new things for the Etsy shop in the morning. But in the afternoons, I work as the Brand Ambassador for George Remus Bourbon Whiskey. Evenings are spent working on what I didn’t finish in the morning or just knocking out a few doodles.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated as you work?
I tend to be quite scatterbrained when I work and I’m definitely a procrastinator so with those stacked against me, I know myself well enough that when my brain starts to trail off, I either get up and knock something off my ‘to-do’ list at the house or do a quick little doodle to switch gears. I usually have a few projects going at one time so I have something to keep my brain occupied regardless!

What is your dream job?
That’s hard to say! I used to want to sit around and paint all day, but I recently got the opportunity to do that and it wasn’t for me. I need to be super busy and lots going on to get anything accomplished. But I will say, I would love to maybe someday own an old historic building and turn it into a working space for artists. Who knows though – I tend to change my mind a lot.

Do you keep a sketchbook? 
Yes! I actually have 4 smaller sketchbooks going right now. They each have their own purpose. And that doesn’t include the one I keep in my purse for emergency situations!


What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to Tool, or any Maynard James Keenan’s music. Sia and BeyoncĂ© are regulars on my list, and I enjoy listening to the Elizabethtown soundtracks for some calming music. I tend to sing when I work too, and that helps me get fully focused into my work. And to be completely honest, I love working in the peace and quiet. There’s so much noise around me sometimes, I really just like the silence.

Who are your artistic influences?
I’ve always been a fan of Van Gogh’s work, but more recently I’m influenced by Wolf Kahn. His use of color is inspiring. I also follow Keiko Tanabe and Grahame Booth for their watercolor work. It’s amazing to me.

What do you do that is not art related that inspires you?
Usually, I drink some bourbon! However, my husband and I are expecting our first child in March so that drinking bourbon had to take a backseat. However, I love to cook. Even if it’s nothing too fancy it just helps to do mindless things like chopping veggies and stirring something. I also love to take road trips, those don’t happen too often unfortunately, but just a drive out to the country works for me. 

What was the best advice you got in your career so far?
Whew, that’s a toughy. Honestly, I think for me, the best advice I ever received was when I was a senior in high school, and was told to go for a career in graphic design versus fine art. Back then, the fine arts weren’t appreciated as much as they are now and there weren’t as many job opportunities for fine artists. I’m super glad I went in that direction because I learned skills that are incredibly useful. Even though I identify as a fine artist and illustrator, my graphics skills helped me to design my own logo, branding and website assets and to know good, cohesive design. I think good design techniques carry over into fine art in many ways. Now, I’m able to dabble in both digital and traditional mediums easily and that works for someone like me – someone who tends to need constant change... haha!

What is your favorite color?
It tends to change, but for a while now it’s been coral and turquoise.

How can we get best follow your art online/on social media?
My website is, but you can find me on Instagram under ‘rewers’ and my Facebook page is under ‘r.ewers designs.’ 

Those link to my Twitter and Tumblr accounts too. 

Instagram is usually where things are posted first though, it’s my favorite social media platform.

Illustrator News: Melissa McClanahan

Melissa McClanahan has a one night solo mini-show this Sunday the 13th at ECOnsiously in Northside, from 8:15-9:30pm Artwork focusing on the feminine, moon and nature! She will have originals as well as prints and small works for sale.

Any proceeds from this show to be donated to Planned Parenthood

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Illustrator News: Jared Lee's New Book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey

This is Jared Lee's new book that just came out for Thanksgiving.  It's the book he worked on last fall/winter when he had a broken ankle so he dedicated it to the physical therapist who helped him walk on two legs again!
Check it out here and see a few spreads! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Animation Movie Night- Weds Nov 9 7pm

Cincinnati Animation Network's first monthly animation movie night in conjunction with the Cincinnati Film Society is coming up this Wednesday 11/9!  We will be screening The Stressful Adventures of Boxhead & Roundhead, a feature animated film made by Elliot Cowan, followed by a Q+A with the director.

The Mockbee
2260 Central Parkway
Cincinnati OH 45214
free admission

After their home is destroyed, Boxhead & Roundhead must head to the big city to battle red tape, rent, rats and the rat race to get it back. Art and industry, friendship and foul play are all in the mix in this, the first feature length Boxhead & Roundhead stressful adventure.

Elliot Cowan is an award winning animator, writer artist and educator.

He was born in Melbourne, Australia where he attended the Independent College of Art and Design and followed that up with a further post grad year at the Victorian College of the Arts.

He spent nearly 11 years in Tasmania writing, directing and editing low budget television commercials.

In 2006 he left for London where he worked for Uli Meyer Animation, working as a story artist and gag man on the feature film Monstermania!

He conceived the characters Boxhead and Roundhead who appeared in several award winning short films as well as an animated feature currently on the festival circuit.

His drawings and paintings have been displayed in Melbourne, Hobart, Launceston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

In 2007 he moved to New York where he paints and draws, makes sculptures of of foam core and teaches.

He has completed animation, storyboarding, writing and story consultation for Sesame Workshop, Elizabeth Arden, Nathan Love, PBS, Ace and Son Moving Picture Company, The Logo Network, Uli Meyer Animation and Oscar nominated Irish studio Cartoon Saloon among others.

He teaches animation and story classes at The Pratt Institute, University of the Arts, Queens College and Mercy College.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Best of Ottawa Animation Festival

The best of the famous Ottawa Animation Festival will be shown at the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm. It should be worth driving an hour and a half to see.
Below are some of the posters from previous Ottawa Animation Festivals.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

STUDIO SPACE: Matthew Scholle

Matthew Scholle is a mostly self-taught artist and author.  He primarily uses pen and ink or pencil as his medium, but occasionally he explores with charcoal, oil pastel, watercolor, or mixture of them all.  He also works in digital formats creating promotional art.

Most recently, Matthew has completed a children’s book that he wrote and illustrated.   The book, Story of a Robot Man, is being sold on and there is an opening reception with him at Gallery Veronique in The Shops at Harper’s Point on October 21st from 5-8:30pm and on the 22nd from noon to 4pm.

Location: Bright, Indiana
On the Drawing Table: Commission Piece (Pen and Ink Tree)
Last completed project: Story of a Robot Man (Link:
Coming out soon: Good Question….

How did you get your start as a professional artist?
Well, here is my story.  I used to draw all the time when I was young.  I would hang out with friends and we would draw comics or whatever.  But after I graduated and started working I rarely drew.  I may have drawn once or twice a year, maybe less, other than the occasional doodle at work or something.

Then, when my son was very little, he and I would draw at the kitchen table.  It wasn’t long until I remembered my drawing past time and I started to use it as a stress reliever.

In 2008 I met a local gallery owner and we became friends.   Then an Artist friend of mine was doing some really amazing work so I took some of his work into the gallery.  The owner liked his work, but for some reason the owner was more interested in my work.   One thing led to another and about a year later I found my drawings hanging on the walls of the gallery.   It literally changed my world, I couldn’t believe that I was in an art gallery, and when the art started selling I was really shocked.  

Describe your work.
I will tell you about what I want in my pieces.  My number one goal is to strike the feeling of nostalgia in you when you see it.  I don’t think I hit my goals very often, but that’s not really for me to judge.  I guess I think about the illustrations from the old classics (books), when you leaf through the pages and you see these etchings depicting the text.  I love looking at all the details and each stroke of ink, and that’s what I want others to do when they see my work.

But back to the question; I would describe my work as pen and ink drawings; mostly monochrome and focusing on the smallest details.

Tell about your workspace.
Like most things in life, my studio space is a work in progress.  I like creating art in an inspirational place, so I have designed it the best I can to do that. I am going for a “Sherlock Holmes” look.

A few things to note: 
My drafting table.   I have wanted one of these from the time I was like 10 or 11 years old. 
I had the top built from a local lumber yard, brought it home and finished it.  I designed the top with a series of rare-earth magnets, so I can hold down the papers with long steel bars.

 I used to use a kitchen table, but my back would start to hurt pretty quickly. Drawing sessions only lasted 30 minutes before I had to stop.  My new studio is much more comfortable.

It’s definitely my favorite part of the studio.

To the right is my supplies shelf, complete with some books, a vintage radio, and a chest full of art supplies.  I feel like a treasure chest, like this one, is a must; remember Dan Mihuta art chest show on PBS?

To the left is the long term storage cabinet.   I used to store larger pieces under the bed, but dust, and the possibility that it could get damaged, kept me up at night.  I really wanted a blue print cabinet (map cabinet) but they are so expensive and take up a good deal of room.  So I started designing my own solution just how I wanted it. I had a local craftsman build the cabinet and then I painted it and built the filing system inside.

Separate from the main space, is a very messy photo studio for dignifying my work. The soft boxes and such are completely homemade, as you can clearly see, but they work.

Photo Studio

What are your favorite materials digital and traditional?
My favorite materials are definitely paper, pen and ink.   Although I do like to play with digital art.
I end up doing a lot of digital these days….

What’s your typical workday/work session like?
I usually draw on weekends and occasionally on week nights if I have time.  Generally 1 hour sessions at a sitting on the weekends, and up to 3 of them.   I am pretty good at just sitting down and getting right back to where I left off, prepping my supplies and cleaning up.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated as you work?
Not really sure what drives me to keep doing this.  I like seeing the work afterwards I guess.  I think maybe what motives me is the love of doing it, and just getting my mind off other things.

What is your dream job?
I used to think there was a “Dream Job” out there, but I am not so sure these days.  Finding my “Dream Job” has been like a rollercoaster. “I’m all over the place” Every time I think I know what I want to be when I grow up, I change my mind.  I do like telling stories, so if I could make a living doing that, I would.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I do…   but I am not very consistent at keeping it up and I switch between books all the time, drawing in the one that I feel like playing in at the time.


What do you listen to while you work?
Mostly movie soundtracks and that feels like a nerdy answer. Usually I try to find some fitting music to the scene that I am working on.

My son is a pianist so he is my other form of listening pleasure.   His piano is in the studio space. You can’t go wrong with live music.
What are you reading/listening to on Audible?
Currently…   Nothing.

Who are your artistic influences?
Hmm…    Ok here is my list:

What do you do that is not art related that inspires you?
I am the father of a really, really great son. He is very much my inspiration. Also, I’m inspired by memories of my childhood, nature, and stories.

What was the best advice you got in your career so far?
In regards to art, someone once told me: “You are not everyone else; no one creates exactly like you. So stop comparing yourself to everyone else.” 

I think for a new artist, and artist’s trying to make a living at it, or just doing it for fun, could use this advice. It’s hard to not look around at everyone else’s work and think…. “I’m not good enough” or “Mine doesn’t look like that”   We all need to remember, you are not everyone else, and you have your own unique perspective to offer.   

What is your favorite color?

Olive Green

How can we best follow your art online/on social media?

Two Ways: