Victor Kennedy, Teaching Artist: Commercial and Fine Art

 PinwheelCreative Studios                                        ABOUT MY EDUCATION & WORK


https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vRvd8Z6GwMtXmh7zDF8dvsReqIml-2u_9j_f4QFWx2ZxYjJEfnagaGIOovZx9OPEtW0OZLtpOS118Sx/pub 


Illustrator & Designer 
at Pinwheel Creative Studios  

Teaching
at Pinwheel Art School

illustration 

& design 

Here is a portion of the visual work I have been proud to create in the past 25 years or so working for publishers, design firms, advertising agencies, and commercial and private clients. Through these years, I’ve tried to put into my work something of color, a bit of humor or a spark of whimsy. I like the challenge of portraying these qualities in even the simplest, lowest-paying jobs. As a commercial artist, through which I have offered my services in design and illustration, versatility in technique and style has always been important to me. I appreciate the fact that I get to work with some of the most creative people out there: I am just thankful to be drawing and painting for a living. Besides the enjoyment of learning from those I aspire to, there’s nothing as rewarding as the difficult job of teaching.  If you are browsing my little portfolio here, thanks. I sure hope at the least, something I have created brings you a smile or summons a muse of inspiration.  If you need original art or looking for art instruction,  just ask.  404-918-9198.   pinwheelcreativestudios@protonmail.com 

Victor Kennedy, Teaching Artist / www.pinwheelartschool.com / all art copyrighted by Victor Kennedy 2020.                             page 1 of  20

Humor

Some of the most rewarding as well as challenging work I have done has been for Hallmark Cards for their Shoebox division. I’ve been hired to do a lot of spec work for new idea pitches. In a position like this, an artist is hired and asked to copy the style of a high profile artist’s style. By doing this, they save a lot of money. Sometimes, we commercial artists frown upon copying someone else's style but that is a big part of the industry. When a high-profile illustrator (the celebrity illustrator) can’t be hired, the art director might seek out an available artist whose style looks similar and hire that artist to mimic their style. A lot of the work I have done for Shoebox might not have ever made it to the store shelves. One thing that did get into stores was a puzzle of elves at a winter wonderland theme park. That was fun because I was given free range to draw it in my style. I illustrated it in my standard dip pen style: one of my traditional art processes: pen and ink (dip pen) and watercolor. Similar

to my Guitarman.

Before I started teaching regularly, I found an artist’s rep by the name of Wilkinson Studios, Inc. in Elgin, Illinois. Nice people!  I have illustrated a lot of fun, colorful and rewarding work for their clients through the years. You can go to their website and see examples of some of the work I have done for Scott Foresman and other publishers. It was the work I've done through Wilkinson that really helped me refine my skills as a children's book illustrator and opened up publishing to me.

           

Victor Kennedy, Teaching Artist / www.pinwheelartschool.com / all art copyrighted by Victor Kennedy 2020                  page 2 of  20

Visual Storytelling

My strong belief that everyone has a story is what led me to start teaching classes like Sequential Art. There’s something very special about writing and if you’re an artist you still need to write often. Learning about new words is a great adventure that pays off richly when you are describing anything. I was not a good student once I entered middle school and I suffered in my high school studies. Reading was not a skill of mine. I had a lot of trouble concentrating on my reading and retaining and it made me very insecure. This was in the 70’s before everybody’s idiosyncrasies were so analyzed and categorized in areas of dysfunctions. I began to love learning when I was about 28 or so. I found myself reading a lot. Soul-searching led an interest and then a passion for the Bible literature. I found reason to read through my own interests and got better at reading and writing. I mention this because I have found, as a teacher, that many art students seem to have some insecurity with reading or speaking or writing. I want to encourage those by saying in due time your interests will see you through. And, by far, you are not alone. Everyone has their own challenges- whether they are good at hiding it or not. Lighten up and make misspellings away. Let spell-check or a friend help point out corrections. Draw aliens all you want to but be free to be human by being brave enough to ask for help.  If others seem to be exccelling around you while

you’re not, try re-focusing on your own life’s rhythm and

know that God made you unique and He will never compare you with others. He wants to remind you that you are so special to Him that He has a plan for you and your life.

A lot of my illustration work has been for other people’s stories: helping them capture what they have in mind to represent their story. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it’s difficult. One great piece of advice I learned from a fellow illustrator was to commit yourself to the project no matter the parameters. The job might be a big one with a challenging art director who’s just plain

obstinate or not good at communicating, or a small job that pays little and goes on forever. Or, no matter the circumstances, the job might be very profitable and rewarding. It shouldn’t matter because what you should do is your best in all situations. Sure, there will be certain instances where there’s little chance you can afford to go the extra mile, but those are rare unless you are in the wrong line of work. In the end, your portfolio will show (should show) your best work. When a client looks through it they won’t necessarily know how this illustration profited you or how that one made you lose money when it was accomplished. It will even out to a certain degree. You just need to keep your work principles in check and let the integrity in your work, small jobs and big jobs, shine through.

Victor Kennedy, Teaching Artist / www.pinwheelartschool.com / all art copyrighted by Victor Kennedy 2020               page 3 of 20

Working & Teaching

As An Illustrator
Once an illustrator, always an illustrator. Probably. We are always learning. The best years are to come. I truly believe that the only times in my life I have reason to regret are those I was not honest. Sometimes I acted like I knew what I was doing when instead I could have stepped back and said, “ I have no idea what I’m doing. Could you help me? I want to learn from you.”

It’s hard sometimes for creative people to ask for help or for answers or for honest mentorship critique from our teachers. In college I stuck out a little bit because I was skilled at drawing academically and painting in an abstract way. I soon became egotistical enough ( not in a mean way- I was a pretty nice guy) that I was trapped in this assumption that I had a touch of prodigy and I so my pride kept me from asking questions. “I should know this, right?” Wrong. We are always learning. We should teach more often, too. Be competitive in your field but don’t hoard what you know.

Victor Kennedy, Teaching Artist / www.pinwheelartschool.com / all art copyrighted by Victor Kennedy 2020.                  page 4 of  20

Designing As An Illustrator
Some illustrators just illustrate. Some are designers who like to illustrate. I am an illustrator who thinks as a designer: considering composition as well as all the art & design principles and elements inside those principles. Even a cartoonist

can have or not have a good sense of design. Designers don’t need to be able to illustrate but it is good for illustrators to

be trained in graphic design so when they work, a respect for design principles elevate their art to stand on its own.

   

  

Victor Kennedy, Teaching Artist / www.pinwheelartschool.com / all art copyrighted by Victor Kennedy 2020              page 5 of  20

Illustrating Is

A Serious Business
I am thankful for humor and any opportunity to work on illustrating jobs that have to do with comedy but being funny or giving something a whimsical flair takes some serious thought and even scruples at times. Sometimes in illustrating a serious issue can be effectively delivered through a false first impression of humor.  In this day and age, I think in using an impression or mask of humor, whimsy or an outright harmless comical visual portrayal, can be the best way in delivering ideas about and awareness of some heavy issue. After all, we artists have been doing it for centuries.

SERIOUS ISSUE #308-21G: Someone is more
than willing for the job (like Susan who volunteers to create signage for the

community) but just not able. Awkward!

“Ahem! Susan, I said to paint a sign that

reads ‘BUS STOP’ not bug stop and ‘Keep

OFF the Grass’, not ‘...ON the Grass.’

SERIOUS ISSUE #4A: World-wide 

persecution of Christians.

    Some things are definitely more serious than others.

 

Victor Kennedy, Teaching Artist / www.pinwheelartschool.com / all art copyrighted by Victor Kennedy 2020                   page 6 of  20                                         

    Fine Art

Education Encourages Versatility  

I have also enjoyed working for people illustrating their home (graphite below) or painting commissioned oil pastels (fox above). A college major in art can be beneficial in many ways: studying architecture and perspective, landscapes and color theory and atmospheric properties, an assortment of art media and the techniques that go with them that accomplish certain effects. Also, any good school will give you a good foundation in drawing geometric and biomorphic objects.  With the knowledge I gained in college at Auburn University majoring in Graphic Design with a compatible study in illustration, I have been able to further venture

into many genres and media. With that said, now you can achieve tremendous leverage in your training and studies in art via the internet. YouTube and special online classes and certain education offered by artists are giving students an affordable alternative to the rising expenses of college. Colleges, like the news media, have become corrupted by politics and social agendas. Social Media, until it crashes from bias control, is our great hope in education and networking. And in our work and studies, the internet provides an infinity of reference material to help us draw things correctly.  

    Victor Kennedy, Teaching Artist / www.pinwheelartschool.com / all art copyrighted by Victor Kennedy 2020                 page 7 of  20

 

Pinwheel Creative Studios

Scratchboard

  

Pen & Ink with Watercolor

Transparent Watercolor

Black PrismacolorPencil/Digital Color

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Pinwheel Creative Studios

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Pinwheel Creative Studios

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Pinwheel Creative Studios

  

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