Monday, December 22, 2014

Year in Review

I would like to thank all the people who have supported our efforts this year. Our eleventh year was quite eventful including our first trip overseas in five years. We felt the love from those who invited us to speak at universities in the United Kingdom; we have now spoken to eight universities there and with each visit we continue to be amazed by the students, educators and curriculum.

Special thanks goes to Andrew Foster at Cambridge for making all the arrangements to speak with his class, a wonderful day spent critiquing a class project in Cambridge, the solutions were well thought out and presented with one in particular that was very touching. And thanks to Paul Burgess at Brighton for letting us speak to a hall filled with both illustrators and designers followed by a wonderful lunch with Gary Powell and walk along the historic boardwalk which was like a cross between Coney Island and the Jersey Shore and then there was our trip to Manchester, a two-hour train ride from London to visit Ian Whadcock's class and speak to another hall full of students. Lovely new building for artists and designers. This was all preceded by our talk at the Joseph Binder Symposium in Vienna. Thank you to all those who helped make it happen including Franziska Walther who broached the idea to me and DesignAustria. We were made to feel like rock stars at the event and were afforded a few days to take in the sites of the lovely city as well. Many thanks to the organization’s generosity.

We moved forward with our plans for 2015 and the introduction of a new set of products, more on that after the first of the year. And we continued our efforts to promote illustration with our three shows and directory as well as our monthly portfolio reviews and workshops. This year we conducted our first online self-promotion workshop and our first in-person international one in London with illustrators coming from Germany, Sweden and Belgium as well as the UK. We also started doing Skype portfolio reviews this year allowing those not close to New York to have their work reviewed. I personally enjoy seeing the work and speaking directly with illustrators and found little difference between in-person and online conversations. We look forward to continuing our efforts to help illustrators improve their promotion skills and helping them see themselves from an art director's point of view.

Our juried international annual brought many new faces this year along with the many who continue to support the annual year after year. Followed by those who take advantage of our low-cost curated promotional vehicle, the directory. And while our trip abroad delayed production of the annual and directory both are in the final stages of completion.

Our sister publication, Creative Quarterly, held its first 100 Best Show with a resulting annual. We continue to receive accolades for our efforts here and our approach to design publications.

In addition we launched another project, which was a direct result of our talk in Vienna. We created a new web site and graphics within two weeks of our return, many thanks to my partner Sarah Munt for making that happen. And thanks to the over twenty-five illustrators who have submitted so far in our low-key roll out; we’ll be pushing this project more in the new year.

And finally thanks to all who have written to us either by email, Twitter or postcards, your encouraging words are much appreciated. Peace be with you All.


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