John Clapp
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What do you charge?

How do I know you can handle this kind of assignment?


What medium are you working in?

What the heck is that icon about?

Do you use gouache at all?

Who were your biggest influences?

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Will you consider illustrating the children's book I've written?

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NOTE:  For a questions related to Children's Books, click here.

What do you charge?
It varies considerably depending on the usage of the piece and the reproduction rights purchased. (Example: Small spot in small magazine, one use = cheap. Large, complex painting designed for many uses, all rights for ten years = more expensive. If you call me, or email me and describe your project, I will get back to you with a quote. Please include a telephone number, and a good time to call.

How do I know you can handle this kind of assignment?
Hiring an illustrator is similar to casting an actor for a part in a movie. If you need a Mafia Godfather, you will probably be okay casting Brando or Al Pacino. In that case look for similar examples in my portfolio or ask if I have something like "x" to show you.
However, a skilled artist can play many parts. Who would've imagined the Tom Hanks of "Bosom Buddies" playing "Forrest Gump" so brilliantly, or in "Philadelphia"? Artists and actors thrive on such creative challenges and often produce their finest work in the process. I love getting assignments that are new problems for me, and I would be the first to tell a client if I thought I wasn't right for the job. If this does occur, I can often recommend someone more suitable. The one thing I cannot afford is a disappointed client. It is in my best interest that a client love what they end up with, even if I'm not the one who does it for them.

What medium are you working in?
Watercolor on paper. (with very few exceptions.)

What the heck is that icon about?
The icon in the upper left, and on the opening page is a thumbnail sketch I did for a portrait I was thinking of doing. When I was designing all my identity materials, a thumbnail seemed like a logical thing to use. I wanted people to see how loosely I work.
One misconception people often have about my work is that is very tight. It isn't. It looks tight because there might be 15-20 layers of LOOSE paint. If you do that enough the paintings begin to look tightly rendered. To see how loose the paint goes on, look in the light areas of a painting where there is very little paint,...you can see the ragged edges of the washes.

To see a good example of this go to the Spine piece and look at the vertebra in the lower left.

Do you use gouache at all?
Not usually. Occasionally it will come in handy. For instance: painting the stars into a dark sky. If a painting requires MAJOR corrections, I may be forced to; but usually there are other methods of fixing it.

Who were your biggest influences?
It's hard to say, inspiration might be a better term. The biggest influence wasn't an artist, it was all the books on drawing, painting, and perspective, that I discovered while trying to learn to draw comics in high school. (See Bookstore) When I finally went to Art Center, all that information began to jell. Many of my instructors at Art Center were extraordinary teachers and I owe them a huge debt.

People whose lives and activities continue to inspire me include: Richard Feynman ( the physicist ), Daniel Boorstin ( the historian ), Thomas Jefferson ( the President ), Peter Gabriel, Lyle Lovett, and the Beatles ( the musicians, not the insects ), Rodin, Giacometti, Michelangelo, Lucien Freud, Odd Nerdrum, Alphonse Mucha, Helen Levitt, and Joel Peter Witkin.

There are many other "notable mentions" but the above are some of my main inspirations.

Who are some of your favorite artists?
Go to my Favorite Artists page.

Will you consider illustrating the children's book I've written?
No. 
I don't say this out of mean-ness.  The reason is that this is probably the most common question asked of children's book illustrators.  There are several reasons why they all say no.  First, editors don't want to be approached with collaborative submissions for the most part.  Unless all the work is done by one person, they want to be approached by each person separately, so they want to see your writing stand on it's own anyway.  Second, most illustrators are working with several books under contract, or otherwise in progress at any given time.  As I write this ( 11/98 ) I figure I'm commited to projects that will keep me busy at LEAST until Fall of 2000. So I don't have time to illustrate another one.  On top of all this, I want to write my own books from now on with just a few careful exceptions--the exceptions being when I see fantastic stories from fantastic authors already established in the field.  Sorry! If you are seriously interested about pursuing a career in the field, I would suggest contacting two groups to get more information on professional submissions guidelines,etc.  The CBC (Children's Book Council) in New York and the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) in Vanover Hills in Southern California.

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