Friday, December 21, 2018

3x3 Annual 16 Call for Entries is Open

We are pleased to have illustrator Melinda Beck as our Show Chair this year. She’s been busy lining up our judges and so far we have art directors Chad Beckerman, Len Small and Sheri Gee; Creative Director Alissa Levin and Graphic Designer/Illustrator Dave Plunkert. We still have one AD spot to fill. Our esteemed illustrators include Olimpia Zagnoli, Catarina Sobral, Lisk Feng and Aad Goudappel, with two more to be selected.

We are delighted to announce a special student award this year. All student winners are eligible. The Gary Powell Award will receive a one-year mentorship with four leading illustrators in the United Kingdom. Included are a total of four tutorials in-person or via Skype.

Gary Powell (1962-2017) was a leading illustrator and educator in the United Kingdom for over 25 years.

Thanks to Gizem Vural for the delightful image.

It’s never too early to think about the new year, and if you’re considering Uncle Sam and his taxes, entering shows is tax-deductible.

Our shows are open to all illustrators, art directors, editors, publishers in all countries.

3x3 International Illustration Annual No. 16
Deadline: March 22, 2019
Late Deadline: March 29, 2019


Thursday, December 20, 2018

3x3 Directory Cover Selection

We’re almost done with the 2019 edition of the 3x3 Directory. And we're pleased to announce the selection of an image by Jon Krause for the cover. The Directory will be shared with 6,000 art directors and art buyers in America, and selected art directors worldwide.

Cover art by Jon Krause

3x3 Annual 15 - Hot off the Press

We're pleased to announce that the 2018 3x3 International Illustration Annual has left the building. Our printer in Winnipeg has shipped the pre-orders and bulk shipped the Annual to our distributors. We are about three weeks late due to some issues we had reproducing the cover art, but after some help from our printer at The Prolific Group we think everyone will be pleased.

The Annual should make its appearance on newsstands and bookstore by the end of the month or at the very latest the first of January.

You may still order copies of the Annual, either our print or digital editions are available.

We'll have some announcements very soon on next year's show. Stay tuned.

Cover illustration by Brian Stauffer, back cover by Owen Davey

Friday, October 19, 2018

Happy Birthday Peter Max

For the past five decades, Max has been part of the fabric of American pop culture, spreading peace, love and his universally recognized art across generations, cultures and eras. His work was and is for all—a democratization of art—from museum walls and painted airplanes to album covers, clothing lines and postage stamp art. On October 19th, Max celebrates his 81st birthday.

Acclaimed for his bold, cosmic art from the '60s and '70s and for his colorful, expressionist paintings that he creates to this day, Max has been the official artist for six Grammy Awards, five Super Bowls, the NHL All-Star Game, the U.S. Winter Olympics, World Cup USA, the Indy 500, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and NBC’s The Voice, among many other notable events in sports, global initiatives and music.

His portraits have honored U.S. Presidents, foreign dignitaries, rock stars and jazz musicians, movie stars and sports icons. He is also acknowledged for his global charity work—being an active environmentalist and defender of animal and human rights, and for helping to bring yoga to the United States by co-founding the Integral Yoga Institute with Swami Satchidananda.

Peter Max captured the zeitgeist of the psychedelic '60s youth movement with his cosmic paintings, posters, serigraphs and popular licensed products. Over his decades long career, with gallery and museum shows around the world, Peter Max became is often called “America's Painter Laureate.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Viktor Koen Named Educator of the Year

Sit across from Viktor Koen at lunch and you’ll receive a whirlwind account of all the projects, assignments, classes he’s teaching, solo or group exhibits and TED talks he’s either done or is going to do. One might question when he has time to sleep. Is he a mixed-media artist, photographer or illustrator, educator, graphic designer or art director? The answer is all the above. Look on his site and you’ll see that he’s participated in well over 140 group exhibitions and more than 35 solo exhibits around the globe. Look at his client list and you’ll see a mix of editorial and book publishers that include Random House, Doubleday, Harper Collins, Rizzoli, Houghton Mifflin, Tor, Time, Newsweek, Esquire, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Wired, ESPN, Men’s Journal, Bloomberg, Fortune, Money, Forbes, Nation, BusinessWeek, to name a few.

Tackling complicated scientific or financial concepts are his forte. His ability of incorporate several messages within a concept makes him the darling of art directors. For an assignment for the New York Times he combined a series of layered vintage photos and shattered glass to illustrate the fragmentation of biographer Michael Holroyd’s own eccentric family in his book Basil Street Blues. There is a surrealist bent to the work along with odd juxtapositions that make Viktor’s work truly unique. No one has copied his way of working, his work remains timeless.

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, Viktor found he couldn’t get into an art school in Greece so he emigrated to Israel where he enrolled in the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem, received a bachelors of fine arts and then on to the School of Visual Arts in New York to receive a master of fine arts, graduating with honors. He’s now on the faculty teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels—at two art schools, and until recently a continuing education program, not to mention his leadership of the dual summer residency programs that attracts students from all over the world. Again, when does he sleep?

He’s noted as a mixed-media artist with an uncanny knack for blending the monstrous, playful and absurd, creating photorealistic composite illustrations of things that don’t exist. While his commercial assignments are toned-down a bit for a wider audience, he really lets loose with his personal projects.

Whether they end up as publications or gallery works he is never at a loss for new projects. He’ll tell you, “Ideas usually address a strong urge to produce images outside the commissioned project sphere. Longer, research-oriented bodies of work complete the need to externalize the ideas and visual obsessions of a workaholic personality. Coming up with ideas when living in an intense environment like New York City is not brain surgery. There is no lack of stimuli, high-brow, low-brow or uni-brow, bizarre or mind-numbingly common, museums or underground zines. Not to mention my brilliant students who never cease to surprise me with references to the obscure and magic.”

While the commercial assignments rely on computer manipulations, his personal work turns towards fine arts where an image may be etched on acetate and then colored with acrylics. “Whether it’s acrylic or the computer they are the tool, and the tool sometimes works with your hand in a way that your brain doesn’t know about until it's before your eyes,” he explains. “You then choose to keep [an element] or choose to discard it. I don’t believe the computer to be a cold, clinical tool, it’s whatever you make it to be.” Source material can range from visiting the halls of museums here and abroad with his trusty camera, or source material from the Library of Congress, to flea markets for copyright-free photos, images from old advertisements, to in rare cases, stock photography. Not to mention the chaos of his studio where his collections of toys, gas masks, antique weapons and tools that fill all four walls.

He is not a believer in inspiration, “Inspiration is for amateurs,” says Koen. “Professionals generate inspiration. You will never catch me sitting in front of a blank screen.” For every project always starts with research, which can lasts days or months. For his personal work, the next step is to decide on a title, then determines the number of drawings followed by pencil sketches, then he heads out to find the beginnings of his compositions. “Working with titles resolves that question of inspiration,” he says. “To me inspiration is something coming into your head and having to channel it out of your hands. I like being very methodical about my work, because I’m entering into it and allowing for these accidents to happen, for strange combinations. The only way I will to, to the machine is knowing what I’m going to do with it.”

Viewing the finished product you cannot see the massive amount of time and energy spent on their development. You can, however, observe the artist’s obsession with Greek mythology and vintage photographs and their juxtaposition. “The more serious an image is, the deeper the funny part is," says Koen. “Looking at a funny sketch is one thing, but making a serious joke has a certain beauty to it.”

Koen credits his graphic design education at the Bezalel Academy their three obligatory interdisciplinary art history classes per semester in their curriculum. “[It] allows for much subconscious art conditioning, building an aesthetic instinct and allows one occasionally showing off to their family on museum visits. Also develops a solid appreciation for older methods of photo reproduction and their timeless allure.” As painter Xenis Sachinis, his mentor and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Thessaloniki says, “Fifty years later, maybe less, Viktor Koen’s daring prophecies may be the proof of a predicted present; the chronicle of predicted disorder, disharmony or even an abuse by science and government.” He adds, “Those prophecies are manifested through images. While his technique matured through technology—with noticeably worthwhile results—it goes back to a previous type of narrative painting.”

We are pleased to add Viktor Koen as our 2018 Illustrator/Educator of the Year. You’ll be able to find out even more about Viktor in our upcoming Annual. Just one more thing Viktor can add to his to-do list.

Friday, July 27, 2018

3x3 Illustration Annual No. 15 - Pre-Order

We’re beginning the design process which always starts with the cover. This year we had quite a number of potential cover images which we narrowed down to a select few before selecting Brian Stauffer's winning image from our show. This is a bit of a departure for us as we always look at each new cover in context with previous years—this image doesn’t fit our mold which we’re rather excited about.

As our founder Charles Hively said, “I feel at 3x3 we always look for new trends in illustration, unfortunately the recession slowed down that progress. Art directors were avoiding taking chances so while the work was strong there wasn’t much movement toward new work. That’s changed over the past couple of years and we’re pleased to see a number of really wonderful examples in this year’s show that push illustration forward. Brian’s work exemplifies that direction.”

Our annual is slatted for delivery in early December but we’re taking orders now for both the printed Annual and the digital edition. Winners and art directors will receive a complimentary eBook of the Annual once it’s released. Winners receive a discount on the print edition, our Best of Show winners receive a free copy.

The 3x3 Illustration Annual No.15 will be available on select newsstands and bookstores worldwide. Order your copy today.

3x3 Illustration Annual No.15
ISBN: 978-1-946750-08-2
Published early-December
480+ pages

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Funny Ladies at The New Yorker - This Thursday

The Society of Illustrators is holding a panel discussion featuring your favorite funny ladies!

Hosted by Liza Donnelly the curator of Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Cartoonists Then and Now, and a cartoonist herself. She'll be joined by cartoonists Roz Chast, Liana Finck, Carolita Johnson and The New Yorker Cartoon Editor Emma Allen.

This event will be followed with a reception to celebrate the exhibit.

Open to the public. Free to attend. Cash bar.

Thursday, July 26
Begins at 6:30pm
Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators 
128 East 63rd Street
New York, New York