“Writing a book was the furthest thing from my mind,” Newhouse said. But a friend of hers, Karen Kappe, an artist-educator who owns Tragus, talked her into it.
“I chose Judy for the first Tragus Media book, quite honestly, because she never fails to produce a quality illustration, even when faced with less than ideal reference material,” Kappe said. “I wanted to share her successful methods with others in book form.” Tragus focuses on sharing information about art and design to help artists improve their craft.
The book covers the process of selling illustrations, methods of gathering reference material, using templates, and provides examples of real clinical illustration projects, and a section on how to create textures and patterns in realistic illustrations.
It also provides tidbits from Newhouse’s beginnings as an illustrator, giving a glimpse into the Mad Men days of advertising illustration (“A certain amount of client schmoozing was going on. Only the guys up front could indulge in three-martini lunches – the artists ‘in the back’ couldn’t afford the time!”), as well as how she handled the advent of the computer.
Newhouse says anyone who wants to be an illustrator or graphic designer can learn from her book, things like how to navigate relationships with clients, and how to be professional.
“Learning how to deal with clients was a biggie,” Newhouse aid. “That takes time and practice. Really, everything in the book comes from my own experiences.”
Newhouse, who lives in Chester Springs, Pa., currently does mostly medical illustration for the publisher Wolters Kluwer in Philadelphia, such as drawings that help keep nurses up to date on the latest techniques of patient care, or yoga positions. She also illustrates coloring books and instructional books, showing children how to blow complicated bubbles and how to look at the night sky.
She said she knew she was an artist from the time she was in third grade.
“I was drawing all the time, and my mother saw it and encouraged me by taking me for watercolor lessons,” Newhouse said. “I also made cards for my mom’s friends and sold them. Way back then I saw that this could actually work for me.”
Moore is a family affair – Newhouse’s aunt, Jean Eagle, graduated from Moore with a degree in textile design, and Eagle’s daughter (Newhouse’s cousin) Charlotte Mansur earned a Fine Arts degree.
“Moore’s co-op program was important to me, it offered the courses I was interested in, it was a beautiful facility in a great location, and I liked that it was all women,” said Newhouse, who commuted from Phoenixville back then.
“I’m kind of semi-retired at this point,” she said. “I’m really enjoying doing work for myself,” Including realistic charcoal drawings of objects in nature.