Editorial Illustration: Learn what it takes in just 3 days. | Ed J Brown | Skillshare

Editorial Illustration: Learn what it takes in just 3 days.

Ed J Brown, Illustrator, Typographer

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10 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. Introductions

      2:30
    • 2. An Outline of the Days to Come.

      4:46
    • 3. Day One: A Director Calls: How to Get Work and Respond to Art Directors

      5:20
    • 4. I'm So White and Wordy: Analysing the Article

      9:17
    • 5. My Process and Why You Shouldn't Care About Style

      6:11
    • 6. Sketching Out Your First Draft

      4:08
    • 7. Don't Panic, Coping With Mental Blocks

      1:32
    • 8. Day Two: Submitting and Critiquing

      2:56
    • 9. Day Three: Finalising Your Illustration

      4:27
    • 10. Congratulations Beautiful People

      0:51

About This Class

For all you guys and girls out there who are new to illustration, or for artists who want to try your hand at an editorial brief, I am pouring all my knowledge and hard learned facts into this 42 minute class that will guide you through everything. From tips on how to get work, responding to editors, sketching methodologies, dealing with mental blocks, coming up with a unique style of your own and finalising a totally bad ass piece of editorial illustration.

There will be plenty of thrills, and thanks to my incessant tea drinking, spills!

My name is Ed J Brown, and I've been practising illustration for over 7 years now. I've had failures and I've had triumphs, take my hand and lets have a big old learn shall we?

Yours,

Ed

www.edjbrown.com
[email protected]

xxx

Transcripts

1. Introductions: My name is a. J. Brown. I'm an illustrator. Typographer designer. I'm coming to you from the roof of my figure here in Germany on this is the editorial illustration challenge I've been illustrating professionally for just over five years now on In that time, I think I've built a good reputation for editorial illustration. Among my plans. I've been lucky enough to work for the likes L Y C N Nestle Reader's Digest Lagaan magazine . I've had the pleasure of creating my own stationery and range of bullets. I sell in designing hand drawn funds. I've also exhibited numerous times around London, Norway, Tokyo and even painted huge murals for some of my favorite shots. But despite the fulfillment of completing these larger projects for me, nothing beats the sudden rush of adrenaline as quick turnaround off. Any tour administration have designed this class for people who are relatively new to illustrations, say students, hobbyists or artist who want to try their hand at a really editorial brief. To get you going, I will provide a selection of two or three articles, you deduce from. Of course, you're more than welcome to figure from that. I will guide you through everything from responding to and receiving that all important first in Ottoman art director to how to properly analyse the key points of text in the article and finally had to take these key points on translate them into a piece of visual communication in the most effective way possible. You will take the brief from beginning to end and get a good idea of what it takes to work under pressure with the time limit on. Of course, too great a successful BYU's off and it'll illustration. This is gonna be a lot of fun, But look, this is a really brief on the article goes to print in three days. 2. An Outline of the Days to Come.: huh? You hear? Welcome. I'm super happy to have you. I want to talk a little bit about what this program is going to entail. This is a three day challenge. On day one, we're going to be responding to the art director. We're going to be analyzing the text on We're going to be completing drafts. Dave, too. We're going to be submitting these drafts. So in the case of skills, they were going to be uploaded them to the community parcel. We're going to become art directors ourselves and helped review on critically analyze each other's work. And if this time you can stop work on your final administration, Day three is the deadline. So you've got that entire day to finalize illustration to upload it to skill share broke on to see. Also, you'll have the opportunity to in search of illustration into a newspaper space where the article is, and it will appear as riel. Israel conveyed. So although this class is not specifically geared towards how you get working the frustration field, I thought that it would be maybe useful or interesting for you to hear my thought on how to best go about that for me. I don't think the secret is that big. It's just all about perseverance. I think obviously having great work is gonna help you a lot. But that's the kind of thing that you could learn and develop on. Your work will improve more and more every time you practice. So, firstly, I would advise you to take this class and as many times as you like. Keep your visits and get on. A portfolio will grow and grow and grow. Take these images. Start a website. If you don't have one, get a blood going and keep that updated regularly. Andi, As soon as you've got a collection that you're happy with, just start emailing these to the director's off magazines and newspapers that you like. Andi writes them, and I think directors really like to hear that you're not just looking for a job. You're you're interested in working with them and you've seen the other kind of weather that commissioned. So talk to them about this and just very briefly say hi, I'm interested. Here's a few images. I hope you like it. And then, in a month or two, some of another little melon just say hi, it's me again. Here's what I've been up to lately here a few more images and keep this going. Make sure you don't pester anyone, but as long as you're polite, Andi, you're not put off, but will not. Replying to you work will eventually come on board. I think, Really, that's that's the only secret. So keep working hard and like everything else, you get better as it goes along. You will need a process of working firstly, so any medium is good paint, Justin. Pure digital art. Felt it. Pen wax crowns. It doesn't matter, but you need your own way of working problem like photo doubles. Help forgetting the sighting right in your image. On also have designed some templates within photo shop so that you can place your image directly onto the article. But most importantly, please just don't care. Don't give up caring. I don't care about style about your outcome, about affection illustration like everything it comes with practice. Andi, I think one of the first lessons that I learned is you just need to embrace your mistakes. You need to not throw something away because you're not immediately happy with it. so many times you draw something and I'm not immediately happier. But you keep working on it on and it grows into something really like Or at least there's something within their anything. Okay, this little thing I didn't think I liked it works very well on mistakes of super useful for creativity on or expanding the way that you work. Because if you spend too long making everything perfect everything one way, you're only gonna be able to work one way. I think so. It really helps with flexibility on, especially with a three day deadline. There's no time to labour an image. You just gotta go for it, be brave and run at it, so let's begin. 3. Day One: A Director Calls: How to Get Work and Respond to Art Directors: So it's Monday. You, the creative illustrator, sitting there minding your own business. And out of nowhere you receive an email, Dear illustrator, or I like your work. My name is Andy Director, and I work for The Eddington Times. Would you be interested in doing an editorial? Peaceful us So a director has sent you an email. Happy days. This is a particularly sparse email. Usually that will say something like this. They'll tell you how much the fee is, how much money that will give you. There were also touch on article, usually. So first, decide how much you'd like the company and then work out if the money seems correct. This is really a case of practice. Makes perfect, but you'll learn more about this each time you do it. Andi, The more experience you get, the quicker you'll be able to work out if this is the kind of job that you want to do for the amount of money that they're offering in brief, the average three for editorial is about 250 to $800 this depends upon the size of the illustration needed, whether it's Earth, front page or a small spot illustration or a full double page spread and also entirely depends upon the magazine or the periodical. Most of them, such as The New York Times and The Guardian, have very set fees that you can't argue with. In my opinion, I think you should avoid doing free work. You can't pay a plumber in exposure, and they shouldn't pay you that way, either. I occasionally do small jobs of free offer, cheap but really only for charities. Or, if I'm really into the project, so replied very politely to the director and say hello, Thank you very much. The fee itself sounds very good. If you're feeling cheeky, you can say, you know, how about putting another 50 to $100 on top of that? But otherwise, just accept the offer. Andi, make sure you get the following information. You need the deadline. When the illustration is due, you need the dimensions of the illustration on the standard. Here are millimeters in Europe or inches in the US on. Of course, the bleed Now, for those of the you don't know, the bleed is when your illustration is on a page to be printed and if it falls upon the edge of the page in the process off making the paper, there's a good chance that small parts of it a cut. So you need to allow a small amount of space around the edges of your illustration that if it is cut, its not a big deal. This is usually five millimeters program like Photoshopped is perfect for drawing a small boundary off how big five Millimeters is, and just make sure that nothing important falls in there, such as text or important parts of illustration. So ask for the three day challenge. If you take a look within the Skill share folder, you'll find three articles. Now feel free to choose your own article, but I would love for you to be strict, push yourself and to choose one of the three given to you by me. Now this is still three times the choice he would usually get from not director. So read through them and just pick one go for it. No hesitation. So if you check inside the school chef older, you will see that I've uploaded three articles for you. I've laid them out in a way that I think is realistic that you might see them in print. On you'll see an area in gray, which is there to highlight where your illustration will go now. Within that box, you've got the exact size it should be in millimeters for easier. Don't worry about bleed, Andi. Don't worry about black and white Full color. Just be as free as you like, as long as it fits within this size. So we've got flower power blooms in the lab. This one has a optional little section at the top. So if you would like you can choose to fill that area, or you can choose to keep it at 145 by 62 millimeters. There is no the trip to finding turkey won't make you sleepy. This is 60 by 90 millimeters. There is US economic growth, revised up to 2.1% in the third quarter. Now this is a particularly different article to the other two. It's it's very dry, and I think it's important that you have. This is an option, and I think you should definitely aim to tackle something like this. At a certain point in the process of putting your portfolio together because these are exactly the kind of articles that people want illustrations for because, frankly, they're boring on. Do you know people haven't interested them, but they need something to grab your attention on. That's why they come to illustrate is to try and interpret this very dry material. I'll go through this in the next section, but this is not to me. You need to be afraid off just because something has a lot of numbers, a lot of percentages of technical language. A lot of interesting language doesn't mean that you're liberty to drawing something very boring. You can actually have a lot of fun with these articles and they expect you to on. As for the illustration itself in this one, the title US economic growth revised. That section goes ever so slightly over the illustration. All we have to be aware off is that this area black text should be visible. Shouldn't be anything busy behind there. So what you should do is plan a light section of color to just go over that section there. So have a little read through all of these pick which everyone sings to you the most. Andi, don't look back. Just be brave and stick with it. 4. I'm So White and Wordy: Analysing the Article: So the editor was written to you. You've accepted the proposal. Andi. It's time to start analyzing this hot school. Where do we begin? Like I said, don't be put off by dry, complicated or boring material. Analyzing the text isn't. It's hard because you may think it is so long as you follow these simple steps. So I want to make sure that you go through these articles on. Do you learn to analyze them, pick out the important parts yourself, but to help you along the way, I'm going to go through each one on Just highlight a few little things that I think are important. You can take these and you can ignore these. It's completely up to you, but hopefully you'll get an idea of how would like to look through things. So for me, it's a three part process. Analyzing any article first in as neutral andan impartial way as possible. Just take a little read food. Your article. Take your time, read for it. Don't do anything and make sure you have a good idea of what it is but to I want you to go through your article again and highlight and note down just the key points. What are the main messages of this? So you feel free to highlight more than I do here. But for me, flower power blooms in the lab, so we're thinking visually, remember, So lab is one visual cue bedside lights powered by the house plants sitting next to it. It may be possible houseplant sitting next to it. A visual cue bedside light with a house plant sitting next to it. Electronic circuits into living plants. It's a fantastic visual cue. Go through these. Try to highlight just the important parts here for the trip to find in the turkey that this article is about. How trip to fan. If you'd like to work with text, that could be a good word for you to use. Makes you sleepy. But guess what? It's not true. What we need to work with here is the juxtaposition between the idea. Something makes someone sleepy, but the fact that it is not true and just like in the next logical you'll see there's a lot of words here that for being confused by not in a way that you don't understand, but in a way that it might complicate your efforts to turn this into a piece of illustration. I mean trip to find is an amino acid. There's a precursor of the brain chemical serotonin, which is associated with healthy sleep. I mean, that centers there is a mouthful on. If I was to continue going through this entire article, I might find myself thinking, Oh my God, what the hell do I draw to do with any of this? But you don't need to represent so atoning. You don't need to represent those amino acid. If you can do that in a clever way, that's great. But in its most simple form, all this article is is saying There's a myth here. Eating turkey makes you sleepy and it's not true. And that's really what you need to focus on any other bits you can pick out here. I just extra added little bonuses, and if you can find some visual cue here, that helps you show that that's fantastic. But this is the main point, and that's all you need to focus on. This one, I think, is arguably the most complicated one. It's definitely one that it's likely for you to get, and as I keep saying like, these are the articles that need illustration. They want illustration to help, sort of bring this to life. So if we go through this, it's super dry. But it doesn't mean that it can't be interesting. And just like in the last one, there's a lot of stuff here, you know? Do I want to represent 2.1%? 1.5% Any of thes percentages, Theo Upward revision by the Commerce Department puts the U. S economy on the course to grow at least 2% in the second half. It comes in the wake of strong job growth in October. There's a hell of a lot of information here for such a short article, and what we need to do is boil this down to its simplest form. So guess what? US economic growth up, that's it. What you need to focus on is an article that shows how U. S economic growth he's up. Anything else in here that you can find that helps you show that is a bonus. And obviously you know, when illustrating this, it helps to put it into context. So why is US economic growth up it comes in the wake, have a strong jobs growth. Trump's growth businesses had to restock their inventories at a faster pace. An estimated The third part is to go through these. Andi, I'll leave this to you, but it's to look at the main points and to see what else within the text. It might help you show this point visually. To express this point, go through it and see what, if any, symbolism, metaphors, ideas or thoughts already exist within this text that you like and you can work with. And this is what you look for, things that appeal to you in your process. Remember, you've been commissioned not just to communicate the article, but also because the abductors presumably senior work. Andi, they're interested on your take on it. And you, you know, you obviously need to represent what the article is saying, but they are interested to see how you do it in your way. To give you a brief example. This article is a very easy one for that one and the same fantastic symbolism here. Technology may help to regulate plant physiology, maybe controlling the time that flowers bloom based on the weather or availability of water , and it may be possible to harvest energy from plants and trees enough to power small gadgets. So, thirdly, go through your article again, just put down the most important parts for this one. We've got once trees, gadgets, and this is the message. It is imagery. If you're being literal, you can think about picturing a bedside light next to plants. You can include gadgets that's help regulate when a plant will bloom on. Of course, a little bit of the end that I like the idea of top out some energy very nice. And this is what you need And after done with this when you should get rid of your original article, because there's lots of stuff within here that you can find yourself making you second guess to overcomplicate it and you got everything you need right here. You understand these notes, and you made these notes, and this tells you exactly what you need to represent, and it's not simple 5. My Process and Why You Shouldn't Care About Style: I'm excited to talk to you a little bit about my style. I don't with skill share class to be too much about myself in my work. I wanted to be about me giving across my ideas of editor administration and how I think you should or could adapt my methodology to the way that you work. So my favorite tool is this. It's made by Pento. It is designed to be a water brush, so it's meant to be filled with water. Did you take paints a little bit like this? And maybe you do painting to such, However, given the Right Inc. It also makes very fine kingpin. And this is something that you can take with you. You don't need a little bottle of ink. Rarely do you get spillages, and it comes with all the wonderful things you'd expect from a brush. If you look carefully and how specials, you can spread these for a little bit of texture. Andi. No, it's very good for getting thin lines, thicker lines as well as fantastic brushstrokes. So if you're interested, I'd really recommend picking one of these up. You can usually find them in art shops or There's always eBay. Andi. I think it's super point to sketch everywhere you go on, you know, that's what I do. I have one of these little sketchbooks in England. You confine these environments that pretty cheap, good little band papers, nice and thick. Um, I think it's quite nice to compartmentalize the page and pick out little scenes from around the room. This is from a church nearby from a museum. Andi, I think by taking sketches you can create for yourself a reference point for which can inspire and help guide not just person ministrations but commercial illustrations. And I constantly refer back to sketches that I've made a sketchbook talking approach it around USA and their friend to some fantastic visuals that if I didn't get them down, I'd be so upset that I would have missed out on him and, you know, even, uh, even quotes. I mean for me sketching, anything goes, you cross those mountains, man, everything's completely different. I tell you what. And if you ever stuck, these are things that you can go back to take a look at what the things that you drew, and you'd be surprised what you can get away with using what I do because I take my sketches, I scan them into a computer. Andi, I change the colors digitally. So the way I work now has emerged over approximately seven years of studying a failure of successes off being introduced to new mediums such as the Bush plan I showed you here, such as screen printing such as Lie No cuts. Andi. I think that this is a fantastic way for you to expand your portfolio and to develop style . And I know that style is something that a lot of people worry about, especially when they start off. And if this is something that you are worried about, it's very simple. Don't and I understand the difficulty off worrying too much about whether you have a unique voice, visually or, uh, whether you're our access, um, ing new and distinctive. And I think while you're starting out, you need to ignore that because you cannot force a style. It's it's simply not possible, and styles only emerge organically. You have to allow them to emerge, and you have to practice with lots of different mediums like really, really recommend analog mediums. So try screen printing. Try potato printing. Try water color crayon. It's okay, Andi. Eventually, you'll work through these, and from every single process you try. You'll take something that you like. So, for me personally, I really enjoy it being limited by the use of color in screen printing you. You know you can use as many colors you want, but it's very, very difficult. So you really are limited to 2345 colors. And I found that really inspirational. That's something that I like to use in my work now, as well as the fact that you know these breast is lies showing you they make mistakes. Andi, I learned to embrace these mistakes, and I think this is This is really what all comes together on, and however you end up working in the end, if it's through mixed media or just purely digital, you'll be informed by all of these little things that you do. And that's what will make a unique and that's what we want. You special. So if you go to style fantastic and if you don't don't worry, just work on D when we come to you and it's OK 6. Sketching Out Your First Draft: So you've analyzed your article, you've got a selection of great notes and you're ready to start sketching now. Myself included on for artists illustrates worldwide that can sometimes be nothing worse than a blank compass. But so long as you followed my guidelines and you've made notes as instructed, this can be is easy as pie. So let's see what we come up with. Okay, so the reason you're using just your notes is to ensure that you stay on track on only the most important points. Do not get overwhelmed by the article as a whole. Now again, just like when I was going through the articles, I don't want to do too much because I don't want to sway your opinion one way or the other . But I could give you a little idea now trying to go here. Just begin by trying to get down anything, get everything you can it. It's not important if it's obvious or it's clever because cleverness will come. The more you work on it, you just want to sort of visually vomit, anything and everything that you've got right now I have an idea of the size you got here we know we've got this little optional area here. Just begin by drawing out little areas. And I think this is a great spot to put some kind of plant. Some kind of buying up here way must have pieces just getting ideas down. Andi, perhaps, you know, this is a scientific article. So maybe you want one of these magnifying things on electronic groupings of symbols. Maybe you want the tree to be attached to gadgets. Maybe the trees attached to one gadget. Maybe you think to yourself that this is too busy. Keep it super simple. So as I said, I quite like the idea off energy being gently tapped out. Instead, you could have show much, resigns little battery there and you know, it doesn't matter. He's not perfect. Keep working on the Texas very literal on in some illustrations. It's perfectly okay to be literal. And you don't have to be clever to make it more about the visuals. Little embellishments, concomitant er but you wanted basically get may not like. So while you're sketching just trying, keep in mind what ideas and imagery are easily understood in this topic. Trying best to steer clear of cliches on and don't get bogged down with detail. You just want to get down rough ideas. You just keep working through these, and eventually you want to narrow it down to 3 to 5 choices. And this is what you will be emailing back to the director or in terms of our class. You'll be asking a friend to actors a director. Or hopefully you'll be able to use the skill share for Andi. You can be our directors to each other more. Cover them in the next episode. 7. Don't Panic, Coping With Mental Blocks: so I wanted to give you just a short video on what I think you should do if you have a mental book and this happens investments. And if you're struggling for inspiration, I do have some tips that I think helped me and I think will help you one. Just leave it alone. Three days isn't a long amount of time, I know. But its long enough that you could still get some ideas down. Go away for a Nower and try and sort of get on with another task. Maybe do some of the drawings, clear your mind and then go back to it. And you might find that I made a difference to have a walk exercising. Go walking around, riding your bike. It's proven that increasing the heart rate Andi in the blood pumping does seem to increase creativity on number three. Keep a collection of images that you like a mood board. I like to keep your Pinterest. I put the works of other illustrators of things that I see that I like of photographs of, of colors, of pallets, of items, of objects and these are things that you could just breeze through is a reference Andi, see which of those inspire you might get fired up, and it's a great way to do that. And if you do one of these three things, all of these things, I think you'll soon find yourself looking pretty again. 8. Day Two: Submitting and Critiquing: so welcome today to I got my tea from yesterday. Onda My sketches from yesterday to summarize what we've done so far have been given the wonderful opportunity illustrating some editorial articles by an art director. And we responded to them. Were said a guy. Thanks a lot. We've gone through the article, Andi, we've highlighted the most pointing parts of it and we know exactly boiling it down to its simplest part, what it is that we need to convey. We've taken these notes. We've made ourselves some sketches. People just get use in many, many different ways. Some people do sketches even more loose than this. And some people sketches literally old final images in their own right. So you put in as much as little effort as you feel comfortable with. But what I want you to do is not labour. Keep it free. Keep it loose. Give me quick. So we're going to go through all of our sketches on We're going to pick out three, 25 that we like the best. And this is personal choice on bond. You want to make sure that you know you yourself actually like a lot of them because it is such lord that the director will say, I picked number three, and that's the one that you put in just a bump of the numbers. So don't do that. Make sure you like all of them. Number them. 12341 to 5. Andi, send the outdoor June email and you say, Hey, this is what I come up with. Which one do you like in terms of you guys? What that means is a little experiment. You will now become our choices for a short time. Hopefully, I want you to be able to team up with other skill share students aunt critique each other's work. If that's not possible, ask a friend, ask a family member or try and be very, very critical yourself. So I want you to be brave and submit your jobs to the project. Gallery detail is not important, and it's all about composition and ideas. Notes. For art directors, you may be critical, but only if necessary. Don't do it for the sake of it. Be helpful. Choose one of the illustrators images that you like best. You may suggest things that change add, subtract to improve, but be brief. Remember, you're very busy out. Director. Make sure you get feedback from someone by the end of the day. Let's keep the pace of this going on. Keep this turnaround to the three days. If you do manage to get you back in time, use the rest of the day just to mull over the ideas in your head. Just think about how you can improve it. What you might like to do what you might like to expand upon. And if you like, you can start jotting down some notes and some ideas. People this in mind and sleep on it. We've got a big day tomorrow. 9. Day Three: Finalising Your Illustration: so, up until now you have responding to your tractor. You've analyzed the text. You picked out the key points you made your sketches. You've submitted them to skill share or to a friend. You've received your feedback and you have a chosen sketch which to expand upon to finalize . You've only got one day to do this. So let's get cracking. Let's assume that the artery to has replied. And here she has chosen this one. We're gonna take this idea and see how far we can run with sketching. But I'm gonna make it a little bit bigger. I'm gonna get a pencil collecting raise. More importantly, I want to see where I can insert. So I got myself here. I love stars. I love nice guy and I love stargazing. Change this light to be a little bit more directional. It was nice old retro desk lamps, I'm gonna note, but I want everywhere else inside the room to be a little bit Doctor. Hey, we're gonna have someone reading. Hello there, Armchair. What if we decide on where's the why going, of course, is going to a tree. So maybe this guy has a lot of plants and a lot of plants keeping this this like going little sketches here to give you an idea how you could try and think about expanding a simple initial idea ad, a little bit of yourself, your interests, whether they're relevant or not, and how to reinforce the idea. The Oscar. So let's just make sure I just looked in. I'm going to finish this digitally, and I'm gonna upload it to skill. Share your travel. Look at it's a Remember this is going to be printed in a magazine. So don't be afraid of color, of using black and white or being bold. Stand out. Make sure the image is the right size. Probably Photoshopped helps a lot with this. There's still room to have fun and a little touches to administration, so long as it's not a complete surprise your doctor at a touch of yourself in your interests and show some flair if I can. I like to draw constellations like to draw fire related or rockets. I'd like to draw shooting stars, electoral planets, and if I can include these, I will, and it doesn't really matter about three, and this is this is part of why maybe the other, which is just to work with you because you add in these little quirks that make you special to make you stand out. It was long Gers. It's not completely irrelevant. Have a little bit of, if you have access to the show have included Photoshopped files for each of Gaskell's. Now, with this, you can scan in your analog illustration or perhaps is there already digitally, and you could incite it directly into the space necessary. Once you finished, Please, please, please submit to your work to skill share gallery. I absolutely love to see even up to I'll be commenting on. I'll be here to provide feedback. Be sure to comment on each other's. Tell them how cool you think it is on if you like. Share these on Twitter on your block. Any website because self emotion is a big part of illustrating showing that you're involved in the Ministry of Community. It is a very powerful asset 10. Congratulations Beautiful People: Blimey! Three days of whizzed by and you've done it. I can't wait to see we've got with Andi. I'm really happy that I have got to share this with you and to expressed some of my thoughts. I really, really have been useful for you. You've taken the heat and you came out blazing. And three days is a good amount of time to give you an idea of what it's like to work in editorial illustration. You've worked under pressure and you kept your cool. And if you keep working to these deadlines, you'll be that much more ready to handle anything to Director. Confer your way. Your portfolio will grow your blawg on the people visiting your sites will grow. And before long, if we doing your first base of really editor administration yourself, I've been a J. Brown and thank you so much