Monday, May 31, 2010
We just heard from the Tokyo Illustrators Society—a professional organization of 213 illustrators—that they've just launched a new site in both Japanese and English. The new site includes images from their archives and gives westerners a new look at Japanese illustration beyond the familiar manga, minimalism and traditionalism. There are also listings of upcoming exhibitions, competitions and publications. Check it out.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Edel Rodriguez was honored on Thursday evening at the AIGA Gallery in Manhattan as a part of their new Design Journeys promotion. As AIGA's editorial director Sue Apfelbaum told me, "The focus of Design Journeys is not on any specific design practice, but rather on the paths that designers from diverse backgrounds have taken in establishing their careers.The purpose is both to recognize what they've accomplished and to serve as inspiration." I was honored to have been invited by Sue to interview Edel, take a look at the full interview and the list of other notable honorees on the AIGA web site.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Learn what it’s like out in the real world from some of the world’s most respected illustrators. Join us in an intense two-day event that will explore the ins-and-outs of promotion, provide self-defense tips on how to protect your work, give you direction on building a stronger web presence and share with you the three things every successful illustrator knows as well as talking about the do’s and don’ts of being a young illustrator.
We’ll offer studio tours, a complimentary online portfolio review as well as a Premium Subscription to 3x3 Magazine that includes our illustration annual. You’ll also receive a free copy of A Blueprint for a Successful Illustration Career.
We’ll encourage you to interact with our speakers and ask questions before, during and after the conference. We’ll top the conference off with a cocktail reception with all our speakers on our final day.
Everyone starts where you are today but by attending this conference you’ll have a better understanding of what it takes to be successful. Register today
One of the reasons I want to do this conference is that I don’t believe young illustrators get off on the right foot. No school has time to adequately prepare a student illustrator—or designer or fine artist for that matter—for the real world and as a result the illustration industry remains static. Fees haven’t changed in forty years. Illustration has lost much of the respect it once had among art directors, editors and advertisers. But I feel that can change if we provide young illustrators with a better set of tools and that’s why this conference is so important.
What I’ve discovered is that successful illustrators are all very astute business people as well as being talented illustrators. At our conference you’ll benefit from their trial and errors to help you avoid some of the pitfalls of starting your career as an illustrator. That’s good for your career. And ultimately that’s good for the industry.
Illustration by Tibor Karpati
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Hirofumi Kamigaki and Daisuke Matsubara from IC4Design and designer Ryuji Mizuoka dropped by the studio on Friday along with their translator. They were all on their way to the opening of National Train Day in Washington D.C. IC4Design is an illustration design firm in Hiroshima and has done work in America for The New York Times Magazine and the recent poster for National Train Day as well as numerous other projects in Japan.
We had the pleasure of having Scott Bakal over to the studio for lunch this week. These lunches are a perfect way for us to get to know the illustration community one-on-one. Events are wonderful but it's difficult to really get to know someone in that venue.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I had always been a voracious reader; I'd leave the local public library with six books and think nothing of reading a four-inch thick novel whether it was U.S.A. by John Dos Passos or Joyce's Ullysses. And it was a trek to the local public library; I'd be carrying this stack on the bus.
I must put in a plug for U.S.A. the trilogy that covers the historical development of American society during the first three decades of the twentieth century. I probably picked it up since it contains short bios of public figures like Woodrow Wilson and Henry Ford—biographies were always among the six books checked out from the library. In addition to the bios the trilogy employs an experimental technique, incorporating four different narrative modes: fictional narratives telling the life stories of twelve fictional characters; collages of newspaper clippings and song lyrics labeled Newsreel; and fragments of autobiographical stream of consciousness writing labeled Camera Eye. It was a fascinating read and much like when I'm painting I was so absorbed in reading that time went by so quickly that suddenly I look up and it's 2a.m. Here's an excerpt from Camera Eye: when you walk along the street you have to step carefully always on the cobbles so as not to step on the bright anxious grassblades easier if you hold Mother's hand and hang on it that way you can kick up your toes but walking fast you have to tread on too many grassblades the poor hurt green tongues shrink under feet maybe thats why those people are so angry and follow us shaking their fists they're throwing stones growup people throwing stones—there are no commas, apostrophes, no periods.
As a youngster I would listen to the radio—music, dramas, the Saturday evening comedy shows. I miss radio, with television everything is right there in front of you—radio is different. Words without video helped me paint my own pictures in my mind. The closest I get these days to those days is listening to NPR in the morning or Prairie Home Companion on the weekend—it makes me wish for a radio revival. As a kid I would put on plays, playing all the characters—I was an only child. I would staple together picture books with made-up characters. I would cloud watch and day-dream.
Most of my time is spent putting out magazines and books which requires a variety of skills, writing being one of them. And I've worked hard at my writing and enjoyed some success in the 80s and 90s writing advertising copy so I may have become a bit too cocky, thinking my writing is brilliant. That all came to an end the other day. I was asked by Sue Apfelbaum at the AIGA to write an article about Edel Rodriguez for their new diversity campaign. I quickly pulled together all the material I could find about Edel, I arranged a face-to-face interview, I crafted my text, went through several drafts until I had it just perfect and sent it off to Sue. I was sure she would be thrilled by my careful selection of words and phrases, the storytelling, the unique diversity angle I'd incorporated where none of the others had done; I was sure it was a winner.
Then the text came back a day later filled with comments, suggested changes, additions and deletions—I was devastated which turned quickly into outrage: How dare she! But after venting I took another look; her changes made absolute sense. The additions she asked for made the article richer, the transitions she inserted helped smooth out the breaks in thoughts—she had made something I thought couldn't get any better, much better.
Of course I have always shown my work to others, most times they're close friends or associates where I might get a couple of suggestions for a comma here or a semi-colon there but for the most part the copy ends up as written. By having someone totally divorced from my everyday life look at my work and give their completely honest evaluation was an eye-opener—now I wish she would look at all my writing, including this piece. It might not make me brilliant but it would definitely make me look smarter.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Our latest issue is on the newsstand now!