Saturday, February 14, 2009

What's going on out in Paul Zdepski's Studio?

paul zdepski's watercolor painting, flawed flotation

a whole bunch of watercolor...

I've been retooling my entire portfolio over the last 6 months. I'm trying to focus on the Children's market, breaking away from my usual editorial themes. As a life long oil painter, I had developed a solid style, color vocabulary and approach to creating a piece... practically second nature. That has all changed.

I entered a Master of Fine Arts in Illustration program this past summer at the University of Hartford. I had to begin thinking about a thesis, and what I could do to make this major outlay of precious cash work for me. The instructors are varied, but there are many award winning children's field folks; Dennis Nolan - Golden Kite winner, Betsy Lewin - Caldecot winner... Ted Lewin, Murray Tinkelman, Bunny Carter... the list is expanding to C.F. Payne and others.

These folks work in manners and fields totally foreign to my experience, and I figured I needed to take this opportunity to learn something entirely new. I've decided to tap into my humorous side, which has always been there, but has been interpreted as smarmy or preachy in my editorial work. I'm ditching all the oil and going for fluid media - ink and watercolor... very few second chances with these two.

My thesis is being built around some characters I had developed back in 2005, and this effort is pushing my entire Illustration portfolio and focus into a new direction, field, possibilities, and satisfaction.

I've never "re-tooled" like this, but have read about other illustrators that have done it a number of times. It's a lot of effort, but it's also like entering a laboratory and creating new life.

I post my progress on my blog, Zillustration Studio News and have much of my older work on my portfolio site,, HOWEVER... for my thesis, I've gone the extra mile and bought an entire domain name to handle the new work. It's a sandbox, work in progress, and is only a couple of images right now, but I will build it out over the next year to function as it's own portfolio and interactive FUNzone -

So, that's what's happening out in the hills of Virginia. If you want to contact me, please do, I love to talk about Illustration, painting and to creative folks.


  1. Long Live Dog Babies, Paul!

    I tell every kid I meet to go online and check them out right away!

    (of course, they go right over and tell their parents about the strange man they just met)

  2. Have a great time, Paul! I'm also an IC member and I graduated from Murray's program back in 1990 when he was still at Syracuse. It's a great source of inspiration and energy that'll keep you busy for many years to come. Say Hi to Murray for me when you see him next.
    Casey Shaw
    Creative Director