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Stephen Silver Finds Kickstarter Success for New Book

Design Studio Press’ ‘The Silver Way: Techniques, Tips, and Tutorials for Effective Character Design’ is a comprehensive book on character design, contains a foreword by ‘Penny Arcade’ artist Mike Krahulik and raised $114,139 from 1,700 backers.

When accomplished artist and instructor Stephen Silver launched his Kickstarter campaign last year to support the publication of his first comprehensive book on character design, The Silver Way: Techniques, Tips, and Tutorials for Effective Character Design, his goal was to raise $10,500. In mere months, his campaign raised 10 times that amount: an astonishing $114,139. Some 1,700 backers wanted a guide for established and aspiring designers alike to take their work to the next level.

Penny Arcade artist Mike Krahulik wrote the foreword for the new book, proclaiming: “Stephen’s work has always inspired me to be a better artist, but it was Stephen himself who inspired me to be a generous one.”

Silver’s how-to tome hits bookstores across the country this month. His invaluable instruction is informed by decades of experience as an artist on popular animated shows (Kim Possible, Danny Phantom) and as the owner of the Silver Drawing Academy, which has provided art classes and workshops to students in Southern California and beyond, helping launch successful careers.

Silver starts by having artists learn the ingredients that make or break design, including balance, construction, unity and proportion, and then asks them to better understand the character’s personality, occupation, habits, attitude and environment. He lays out his vision for successful design: “The Five Phases of the Silver Way” -- story, gesture, design, form and details, all accompanied by supporting exercises.

The Silver Way promises to help build confidence and strengthen artists’ character design work for any project, in any style. Full of fun drawing techniques and easy to-follow tutorials, The Silver Way is an educational art book to revisit again and again for guidance, encouragement, and inspiration. Here’s what you can find in The Silver Way:

  • How to break down a character
  • Everyday sketching techniques to improve your skills
  • Effective application of the Golden Ratio
  • Numerous design dos and don’ts: from avoiding the ladder to applying color
  • How to sharpen your observation skills
  • Easy tips for depicting gestures, maintaining volumes and creating harmonious design
  • How to design kids and animals
  • Perfecting such challenging areas as the head and face, hands and fingertips

Stephen Silver aspired to be a professional artist at an early age, and began his career drawing caricatures at Sea World in San Diego, California in 1992. Since then, he has designed characters for Disney Television Animation, Sony Feature Animation, Nickelodeon Animation, Cartoon Network and others. Silver continues to work as a freelance character designer in the entertainment industry and as an artist for MAD Magazine. He dedicates much of his time to educating others in the craft as a guest speaker at colleges and animation companies around the world, as an instructor for Schoolism and as the owner of Silver Drawing Academy, an art school located in Los Angeles.

Source: Design Studio Press

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