Monday, May 31, 2010

Tokyo Illustrators Society New Website

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

3x3 ProShow Winners Announced

As promised we're pleased to announce the winners of this year's ProShow. It's our largest show ever. Not only were there more entries, there were more winners and more medalists.
You'll notice some very familiar names among our winners but also quite a few new faces made this year's cut. And I have to say in looking over the show there were very few weak pieces among the non-winners—the work was at it's highest level ever.
Getting a medal in our show is never easy but the quality of this year's entries resulted in far more winners being selected by our judges. Just to get in the show you must receive a majority of votes from our nine judges. To receive a medal you must receive at least eight judge's votes and to receive the top awards you must receive all nine judge's votes.
And even with the bad news in publishing we had the highest number of entries and winners in the editorial category. I had expected to see unpublished category outnumber editorial and was disappointed that we didn't see more self-promotion—this is the time to be promoting illustration. Our animation category netted the top winner in this year's show which was a first and our advertising, book and sequential categories all had top winners. And only half the winners were from the US making 3x3 a truly international show.
James Yang will receive our $1,500 cash prize as our Best of Show winner. $750 cash-value prizes will go to Gold Medal winners João Fazenda, Alessandro Gottardo, John Hendrix, Hiromichi Ito, Don Kilpatrick III, Andres Vera Martinez, John Solimine, Katja Spitzer, Jacob Thomas, Mark Todd and Stephanie Wunderlich.
Winners will be contacted this week requesting credits for their winning entries.
Congratulations to all.

Best of Show
James Yang, Animation

Alessandro Gottardo, Advertising
Don Kilpatrick III, Advertising
John Solimine, Advertising
Katja Spitzer, Books
Stephanie Wunderlich, Books
John Hendrix, Sequential
João Fazenda, Editorial
Hiromichi Ito, Editorial
Jacob Thomas, Editorial
Mark Todd, Editorial
Andres Vera Martinez, Sequential

A. Richard Allen, Books
Alessandro Gottardo, Books
Yuko Shimizu, Books
Marc Burckhardt, Editorial
Otto Steininger, Editorial
Till Hafenbrak, Self-Promotion
Bill Mayer, Sequential

Shaw Nielsen, Advertising
John Hendrix, Books
André da Loba, Books
Emiliano Ponzi, Editorial
Mathieu Lavoie, Gallery
Lars Henkel, Institutional
Jody Hewgill, Institutional
Penelope Dullagan, Institutional

Distinguished Merit
John Parra, Advertising
David Braddock, Advertising
Paul Blow, Advertising
David Humphries, Advertising
Joe Ciardiello, Editorial
Martin Haake, Editorial
Guy Billout, Editorial
Nate Williams, Institutional
Tracy Sabin, Self-Promotion
Greg Clarke, Self-Promotion
Max Estes, Sequential
Andrew Bannecker, Unpublished


A. Richard Allen
Christiane Beauregard
Orit Bergman
Paul Blow
Wayne Brezinka
Steve Brodner
Chris Buzelli
Marcos Chin*
Timothy Cook*
Cristiana Couceiro
Hugh D’Andrade
Gilbert Ford
David Fullarton
Michael Glenwood
Rachel Harris
Jody Hewgill
Frazer Hudson
Hiromichi Ito
Blair Kelly
Karen Klassen*
Mathieu Lavoie
Laura Levine
Bruno Mallart
Robert Meganck
Hsinping Pan
Evan Polenghi
Edel Rodriguez
Guido Scarabottolo
Andrew Selby
Steve Simpson
John Solimine
Amanda Upton
Andrew R. Wright

Thornberg & Forester
Mark Lomond
Kotryna Zukauskaite

Monika Aichele
Anna & Elena Balbusso
Carin Berger
Daniel Bueno
Robert Carter
Gérard DuBois
Christoph Feist
Jeffrey Fisher
David Fullarton
Dean H. Gorissen
Olaf Hajek
Daniel Haskett
John Hendrix
Lars Henkel
Hiromichi Ito
Jorge Martin
Bill Mayer
Aaron Meshon
Ken Orvidas
Lauren Panepinto
Melanie Marder Parks
Edel Rodriguez*
Guido Scarabottolo*
Yuko Shimizu
Lena Sjöberg
Alenka Sottler
Steven Tabbutt
Mark Ulriksen
Marco Ventura
James Yang

Steve Adams
Monika Aichele
Leeay Rie Aikawa
A. Richard Allen*
Sergio Aquindo
Peter Arkle
Guy Billout*
Chi Birmingham
Paul Blow
Jens Bonnke*
Juliette Borda
Steve Brodner*
Barry Bruner
Nigel Buchanan
Chris Buzelli*
Marcos Chin*
Lynn Connelly
Gemma Correll
Gérard DuBois*
Penelope Dullaghan
Jean-Manuel Duvivier
Kelly Dyson
Alexandra Falagara
João Fazenda*
Anthony Freda
Shraz Fuman
Justin Gabbard*
David Gothard*
Aad Goudappel*
Eddie Guy*
Martin Haake*
Asaf Hanuka
Ryan Haywood
Daniel Hertzberg
Jody Hewgill
Jakob Hinrichs*
Brad Holland*
Robert Hunter*
Joon Mo Kang
Roman Klonek
Jon Krause
Gracia Lam*
Jesse Lefkowitz
Frank Lin
Jorge Mascarenhas
Bill Mayer
Josh McKible
Robert Meganck
James O’Brien
Tim O’Brien
Yuta Onoda
Ken Orvidas*
Gianpaolo Pagni
Hsinping Pan
Emiliano Ponzi*
Daniel Pudles
Lizzie Roberts
Edel Rodriguez*
Jason Seiler
Yuko Shimizu
Lasse Skarbovik*
Brian Stauffer*
Otto Steininger *
Daniel Stolle
Mario Sughi
Mark Taplin
Gary Taxali
Jacob Thomas*
Michelle Thompson
Mark Todd*
Tim Tomkinson
Yury Ustsinau
Riccardo Vecchio
Alexei Vella
Marco Ventura
Steve Wacksman
Henning Wagenbreth
Marco Wagner
Carl Wiens*
Mick Wiggins
Andrew R. Wright
James Yang*
Brad Yeo

Editorial Spots
Cristiana Couceiro
André da Loba
Beppe Giacobbe*
Dean H. Gorissen
Joon Mo Kang
Dongyun Lee
Alex Nabaum
Peter Ryan

Noumeda Carbone
Ayalah Hutchins
Kagan McLeod

Monika Aichele
Scott Bakal*
Sophie Blackall
Marc Burckhardt
Marianne Chevalier
Owen Davey
Adam S. Doyle
Barry Fitzgerald
Douglas Fraser
Sarajo Frieden*
Victor Gadino
Tom Garrett
Michael Glenwood
William Grigsby
Olaf Hajek*
Peter Hamlin
Andrea Innocent
Aya Kakeda
Roman Klonek*
Anita Kunz
David Labrozzi
Christopher Nielsen*
Tim O’Brien
Ian Phillips
Edel Rodriguez
Tanja Szekessy*
Steven Tabbutt
Mark Todd
Steve Wacksman
Marco Wagner
Carl Wiens
Jaime Zollars

Studio Tipi
Monika Aichele*
Guy Billout
Chris Buzelli
Elizabeth Cassetti
Joe Ciardiello
João Fazenda
Craig Frazier
John Hendrix
Michael Klein
Takashi Koshii
Anita Kunz
André Letria
Bill Mayer
Melissa McGill
Luc Melanson
Edel Rodriguez
Michael Schwab
Chris Sickels
Tim Tomkinson
Nate Williams

Erin Daniel MD*
Audra Geras
Carl Pelletier
Mary Kate P Wright

Ana Albero
Davor Bakara
Guy Billout
Richard Borge
David Brinley
Pascal Campion
Noumeda Carbone
Sophie Casson
Greg Clarke
Cristiana Couceiro
Amy DeVoogd
Harry Diaz
Ivonne Dippmann
John S Dykes
Max Estes
Susan Farrington
Michael Glenwood
Paul Hoppe
Hideki Kessoku
Pat Kinsella
Thomas Kuhlenbeck
Mathieu Lavoie
Cecilia Levy
Mike Lowery
Chris Lyons*
Tyson Mangelsdorf
Jonathan McHugh
Mari Mitsumi
Michael Mullan
Kate Nielsen
Ken Orvidas
Ian Phillips*
Zara Picken
Jon Reinfurt
Kim Rosen
Peter Ryan
Morgan Schweitzer
Jason Seiler
Chris Sickels*
Lasse Skarbovik
Steven Streisguth
Keren Taggar
Ai Tatebayashi
Paul Thurlby
Alice Wellinger
Mick Wiggins
Stephanie Wunderlich
Yuji Yamada
Heidi Younger

André da Loba
Gwenaelle Gobe
Paul Hoppe*
Erik T Johnson
Brendan Leach
Laurie J Proud*
Caroline Thomson

Ryan Friant*
Sophie Catherine Naylor
Ann Smith
Joel Zuercher

Eleftheria Alexandri
Wesley Allsbrook
Bjoern Arthurs
Andrew Bannecker
Karen Barbour*
Freddy Boo
Steven Carroll
Elizabeth Cassetti
Joe Ciardiello
Lyman Dally
Owen Davey
Stefan Defago
Peter Diamond
John S Dykes
Beppe Giacobbe
Hiromichi Ito*
Hirofumi Kamigaki
Michael Klein
Vitali Konstantinov
André Letria
Frank Lin*
Cat MacInnes
Monika Maniecki*
Jorge Mascarenhas*
Bill Mayer
Luc Melanson*
Aaron Meshon
Shawn Murenbeeld*
James O’Brien*
Adam Osgood
Valeria Petrone*
Zara Picken
Guido Pigni
Laurie J Proud
Jared Purrington
Hannah Radenkova
Justin (Tigre Medina) Renteria
Takayuki Ryujin
Chris Sickels
Lasse Skarbovik
Michael Sloan
Michelle Thompson
Steve Wacksman
Kaeleen Wescoat-O’Neill
Daniel Zitka

*multiple entries

Friday, May 21, 2010

Edel Rodriguez Honored by AIGA

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.

I've always been curious why illustration and design are not more diverse—the number of Hispanic and African American illustrators is a mere handful. My hope is that Edel's article will be proof-positive that you can overcome any obstacle to make it if you have the desire and talent.

Monday, May 17, 2010

First Annual Nuts & Bolts Conference July 9-10

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

IC4Design Visits 3x3

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.
Their work is highly complex renderings of people and buildings and very unlike what we commonly think of as Japanese illustration—it has a very universal look. Their renderings always include bits of humor with the additions of superheroes or monsters walking along the street or hidden in an alley.
This was their first trip to the city and were interested in learning more about American illustrators and working in the US as well as soaking up our urban landscape. Unfortunately they were only here for a couple of days so instead of full-blown sketches they are relying on their camera to capture the sites and scenes of New York City.
Left to right: Ryuji Mizuoka, Daisuke Matsubara, Hirofumi Kamigaki

Lunch with Scott Bakal

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.
And it's interesting to get the backstory on a successful illustrator's career. Scott grew up in Connecticut and Long Island and recently moved to the Greater Boston area to take a tenure-track teaching position at MassArt. Scott has taught illustration for a number of years including a stint at FIT and has been active in the Society of Illustrator's student programs, he is also currently on the Society's Board of Directors.
His parents—his father was a intrastate bus driver and his mother worked in data processing—were not overjoyed by Scott's choices to be an illustrator but they didn't offer any obstacles either. Even with all of Scott's successes his mother hasn't really thought he had a real job until Scott's current teaching gig. He now has health insurance so now he has a real job.
Scott always drew and it came easy to him. Assembling a portfolio he went on his first college review at the University of Hartford, seated in the lobby he witnessed the first prospective student leaving the interview in tears after just ten minutes—Scott didn't know what to expect. His interview lasted almost two hours. And while he was accepted at U of H he set his sights on the School of Visual Arts.
They were tough years at SVA, he had to work an outside job to make ends meet especially after his mother moved back to Connecticut he was on his own. Fortunately he'd always had a part time job starting with working in the produce section at a local supermarket at age 16, which not only provided cash but also a ready food supply as well. There weren't too many other SVA students enjoying steak dinners. And with tenure he was making a pretty good salary with benefits—a job he kept until the illustration work started pouring in.
You get a sense that Scott has pretty well thought out the rest of his life. He has a plan while others of us just live day to day. You can hear the passion in his voice about illustration and especially about the next generation of illustrators. You almost sense his involvement with these young kids is a replacement for the classmates he didn't have time to enjoy in his college experience.
I first started noticing Scott's work in around 2007 and since then he's exploded, I see him everywhere, in every show and at every event. He's hot right now and has more work than he can handle. Between the Society, teaching and assignments he's having to weigh how to balance it all and ultimately what he has to give up to stay sane. One things for sure, Scott will always land on his feet no matter what.
Asked about his summer plans, maybe ICON6 but for sure a road trip from Washington DC up to Toronto, two places he's never been before and along the way he'll stop in and see a few of his artist friends. We're happy he could drop by for lunch.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

For What It's Worth No. 18

I used to be brilliant—I think mononucleosis during my junior year at college changed that. It was probably the fact that I was rushed to the student health center with a temp of 106-degrees that melted too many brain cells. For years before that fateful night I was brilliant in my own world.
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.
In high school I thought nothing of joining the Latin club or trying out for the debate team, I was brilliantly funny, a well-respected leader of men (boys), an expert sharp shooter and making A's and B's in everything but math—a straight C student. Probably the lackluster dating in high school and my early college years contributed to my bookishness but I thoroughly enjoyed where I was and what I was doing. If I wasn't brilliant I acted brilliant, that is until the kissing disease hit. When I finally came around after being packed in ice overnight everything had changed. I couldn't remember people's names, dates or much else before that night. It took weeks to recover.
And it's been a struggle ever since. I read less, though I have to say after moving to New York in '99 I do read more, but a four-inch thick, 1,300 page novel is not on my reading list, short articles in The New Yorker or Times are. I watch way too much television and get very little out of it.
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

Issue 14

Our latest issue is on the newsstand now!
The issue features Lasse Skarbövik from Sweden, German artist Lars Henkel and Los Angeles wunderkind Justin Wood.
Our icon is legendary cartoonist Elwood H. Smith; we profile art director Stephanie Glaros of Utne Reader and take a look at an ad campaign Josh Cochran did for Dubai's Metro.
In our showcase section we feature the works of Serge Seidlitz, Marcela Restrepo, Aad Goudappel and Justin Gabbard. And the gallery has some of the latest work by Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon, Bryan Leister, Brian Stauffer, Felix Stumpf, John Jay, Christopher Nielsen, Victor Juhasz, Aaron Meshon, Thomas Kuhlenbeck and Jacob Thomas.
Want to know our artist's favorite vacation spots, check out our Twenty Questions.
3x3 is available at leading newsstands and bookstores in the US, Canada, the UK and parts of Europe and Asia. Single copies are available online as are subscriptions.

Cover illustration by Lasse Skarbövik.