Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Artist Braldt Bralds Needs Our Help

I’m not sure about you but as an artist and designer I’ve always been the most worried about losing my eyesight. And today, unfortunately it’s happening to artist/illustrator Braldt Bralds; if that wasn’t tragic enough he’s also in the process of losing his home. We’re helping spread the word and illustrator Anita Kunz has started a GoFundMe campaign for Braldt and I encourage you to join me in supporting this effort. Please give whatever you can, even if it's a small amount.

Braldt Bralds was born in the Netherlands and like many artists was always drawing; at age twelve he attended the Grafische School in Rotterdam studying the graphic arts. Other than that training, he is self-taught. Braldt became a successful illustrator in Holland and soon in America. His work has appeared on the covers of Time, Newsweek, Der Spiegel, Omni Magazine, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly and in Esquire, Playboy, Penthouse, and National Geographic. He’s illustrated book covers, illustrated advertising campaigns and designed stamps for both the United Nations Postal Service and the United States Postal Service.

He’s a recipient of the Society’s Hamilton King Award and was inducted into the Dutch Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame. While in New York he taught at the School of Visual Arts including the Masters Program and has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the US, Korea and Japan. Moving away from illustration to focus on his paintings he has received wide acclaim for his work.

Please make your contribution today. And you can support Braldt in other ways as well, there are a wonderful collection of giclee prints for sale.

Charles Hively
Founder, 3x3

Illustration by Braldt Bralds for the St Louis Zoo

Friday, March 23, 2018

Meet Our Judges: 3x3 Student Show

We always like to have an art director on our jury for the 3x3 Student Show. We’ve already introduced art director Francesco Izzo, now let’s introduce the rest of our panel.

Jill Calder has always loved drawing but was unsure what to pursue in art school. Having had a good foundation course in her hometown of Dundee, Scotland moving to England to do a general art course in Cumbria then was accepted into Edinburgh College of Art for a honors degree in design where she specialized in illustration and animation followed by a post graduate degree in illustration from the Glasgow School of Art. After frequent trips to London to meet face-to-face with art directors and designers she began her twenty-five year career as an illustrator and calligrapher.

Asked about something she loves she replies, “New sheets of Fabriano hot pressed paper and playing around with some inks with both favorite brushes and some handmade tools too. I love seeing what happens.” Walking into her studio you’ll notice her two dogs and lots of Seawhite of Brighton softcover sketchbooks—she buys twenty at a time.

Her two agents keep her busy with clients that have included Visa, The New Yorker, Bloomsbury, Walker Books, Radio Flyer, The British Museum, Allstate, Mass Mutual, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, Siemens, The Scottish Government, National Museum of Scotland, the World Health Organisation and ELLE Netherlands. Her

Her second non-fiction picture book for children, The Picture Atlas–An Incredible Journey, written by Simon Holland for Bloomsbury UK was published in September 2017 and has been shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Children’s Travel Book of the Year 2018. Alongside developing her own picture books as author/illustrator, she’s currently working on my third children’s book due out in 2019.

A frequent speaker she’s sharing her work and ideas at ICON9 Illustration Conference, The Edinburgh International Book Festival, Apple Store London, The Macworld Conference, Conde Nast NYC, D&AD Newblood and at a number of other educational establishments. She now runs her own illustration and drawing workshops for adults on the island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland and was artist-in-residence for English Schools Foundation in Hong Kong where she works with 14-18 year old students.

Looking for inspiration she often travels up into the more remote parts of Scotland and out to the islands where the scenery is so beautiful,  “I read books about this part of the world and together, over time, that all combines to inspire me.”

What Jill will be looking for: “I’m on the look out for strong drawing, exceptional ideas and beautiful execution - the best images should jump out at me and leave me drop-jawed with wonder and delight!”

Marion Arbona loves to draw ugly characters. When she was a child, her dream was to make Plasticine figures for a living, but she gradually turned toward drawing. After obtaining an animation film diploma from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Marion settled in Montreal, Canada and after ten years has returned to Paris.

“I studied animation at the Arts Décoratifs and for my graduation film, I made the most trashy film. When my friends at the time learned that I was becoming a children’s book illustrator, they were amazed!”

Some thirty picture books later she prefers to draw fanciful, multi-faceted creatures, “I love drawing ugly characters. I never look for the cute or pretty look that is always found in children’s books. I particularly like to represent children aged 6-7 when they are toothless.” She finds the temperament among publishers in Europe more accepting of her approach than she found in North America. She”s been a finalist in a number of book awards including finalist in the Governors Literary Awards of Canada, Élizabeth-Mrazik Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award and Youth Prize for Quebec Booksellers in 2016. Her work has received a number of medals and distinguished merit awards from 3x3 and awards from the Society of Illustrators.

When she is not drawing, she is particularly interested in deep sea fishes, cats (even though she is allergic) and weird plants.

What Marion will be looking for: “When I look an illustration I like to be carry away from the reality, so I will be very attentive to the originality and I love to be stunned by strong ideas that I would love to have!”

Keith Negley loves happy accidents. “I try not to limit myself to working one certain way. Experimentation is a big part of my process. I crave spontaneity but I’m also a control freak so those two mindsets are always battling it out. I try to leave room for happy accidents.” Originally from a tiny farm town in Door County Wisconsin he’s spent time in Seattle, Brooklyn and now calls home in an idyllic community of houses built into the mountains just outside of Bellingham, Washington called Sudden Valley.

A man who never looks his age, he finds himself more comfortable in his skin doing the type of work he’s known for now. After a BFA in illustration at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design he worked in a design studio before starting his very successful freelance illustration career in Seattle. But he was never happy with the work he was doing. That’s when he pulled up stakes and moved him, his wife and young son to Brooklyn to attend the School of Visual Arts MFA program in Manhattan.

Today his illustration style is a delightfully graphic mix of old school materials—pencil, charcoal, paint, cut paper—mashed up and colored in Photoshop and Illustrator. He says if he knows exactly how a piece is going to turn out from beginning to end it’s not very fun to work on and the results are rarely good. “I usually tinker with it until something happens I wasn’t expecting. I’m having a blast experimenting and just trying to make interesting mistakes. It’s incredibly liberating.”

He’s not afraid to tackle sensitive material and much of his work revolves around themes of loss, depression and suffering nailing the subject matter with a personal graphic quality. He has an interest in stories of horrible things happening to good people that could’ve been avoided which inspire him to pick up a pencil. And also music. He uses music like a light house. He’s played in a band since he was sixteen and music is part of his life, in fact he can relate much of the work from 2012-2014 to a M83 song that he had on continuous loop while he worked. “My idea of fun is starting out with nothing and after a few hours having a finished illustration or piece of music. The act of making something that didn’t exist a few hours prior is one of the most rewarding experiences for me.”

His work has appeared on book covers, t-shirts, album covers for Sub Pop Records, posters, skateboard decks and watches, not to mention his editorial clients including the New York Times, The New Yorker, TIME,  Nautilus, Real Simple, Oprah, Nobrow, The Baffler, Variety, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, to mention a few. And if he hadn't become a parent he wouldn't have started making children's books. His young son is a huge inspiration for the two books, My Dad Used to Be So Cool and Tough Guys Have Feelings Too with more to come.

As he’ll admit, “My process evolves and morphs daily, sometimes hourly. It’s whatever I feel like doing at that very moment and nothing limits me but my own imagination.”

What Keith will be looking for: “As a judge I consider it my responsibility to celebrate work that takes risks and pushes the envelope of the medium beyond the commercial application. Work that not only solves the problem in a refreshing way but can also stand on it’s own outside the context it was originally intended for.’

3x3 International Illustration Annual Show No.15

The 3x3 International Illustration Awards Show is open to all illustrators in all countries. There is a separate jury for each of our three shows: Professional, Student and Picture Book. For full details download our Call for Entries pdf, to enter go to our homepage.

Deadline: March 23, 2018

Clockwise from top left: Marion Arbona, Jill Calder, Keith Negley and Francesco Izzo.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Meet Our Judges: 3x3 Picture Book Show

Joining Creative Director Sheila Smallwood and Art Director Fernando Ambrosi we have the distinguished illustrators Israeli Rutu Modan and Rafael Lopez from Mexico.

Rutu Modan was named our 2017 3x3 Educator of the Year and is perhaps familiar to many as a comics wunderkind, one of the few established comics artists in the world. She moves easily between comics, editorial illustration and children’s books.

She is the co-founder of the Israeli Actus Comics Group (1995-2010). Together with fellow artist Yirmi Pinkus the Actus Group won worldwide recognition and was crowned by ID Magazine as one of the most influential design groups.

She has received multiple awards for her children’s books from the Israel Museum, along with the Eisner award for best children’s book and a recent one for her graphic novel The Property. The Property won the Special Jury Prize in the International Comics Festival in Angouleme, France and the first prize for best book of the year in Lucca Comics & Games Festival, Italy. Modan’s comic and children’s books have been translated into 15 languages.

In addition to her illustration work she is an associate professor at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Together with Yirmi she established the Noah Library, an independent publishing house specializing in comics for young children.

What Rutu will be looking for: “I consider illustration an art form more (anyway, not less) than a commercial art. As one, I believe it should contain some aspect of surprise. This x factor, is sometime hard to identify, but you feel it immediately when you see it.”

Rafael López is an internationally recognized illustrator and artist. In 2017 he was awarded the Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators Original Art show for his work on Bravo! Poems about Amazing Hispanics. A children’s book illustrator, he won the 2016 Pura Belpré medal from the American Library Association for his illustrations for Drum Dream Girl and the 2010 Pura Belpré medal for Book Fiesta. In 2012, he was selected by the Library of Congress to create the National Book Festival poster. The illustrations created by López bring diverse characters to children’s books and he is driven to produce and promote books that reflect and honor the lives of all young people. He is the recipient of the 2017 Tomás Rivera Children’s Book Award, three Pura Belpré honors and two Américas Book Awards.

He is a founder of the Urban Art Trail movement in San Diego’s East Village creating a series of large-scale murals that brought the community together. His murals can be found in urban areas, at children’s hospitals, public schools, under freeways and at farmer’s markets around the country. López’s community work with murals is the subject of the children’s book Maybe Something Beautiful, How Art Transformed a Neighborhood.

López was commissioned to create seven United States Postal Stamps including the Latin Music Legend Series. His stamps have been featured on the cover of the commemorative stamp yearbook and exhibited at the Smithsonian. In 2008 and 2012 he was asked to create official posters for the Obama/Biden campaign to win the pivotal Latino vote.

What Rafael will be looking for: “When judging work I look for freshness, an emotional twist, a strong unique voice, vision or viewpoint. I’m drawn to conceptual solutions not literal representations and ideas that make you think. I connect to the touch of the hand and images born in the mind’s eye and heart. I want to be engaged by something fearless and uninhibited that furthers the craft of illustration.”

3x3 International Illustration Annual Show No.15

The 3x3 International Illustration Awards Show is open to all illustrators in all countries. There is a separate jury for each of our three shows: Professional, Student and Picture Book. For full details download our Call for Entries pdf, to enter go to our homepage.

Deadline: March 23, 2018
Clockwise from top left: Sheila Smallwood, Fernando Ambrosi, Aljoscha Blau, Rutu Modan and Rafael López

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Meet Our Judges: 3x3 ProShow

We've already introduced you to Senior Art Director Martin Gee, art director Cristiano Guerri and Creative Director Erin Mayes, here are the two incomparable illustrators who are a part of our jury.

Javier Jaén is a designer who illustrates and an illustrator who designs. Jaén left his hometown to study fine arts at the University of Barcelona (with sidelines in cake baking, journalism and radio). Further study at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary, and the Cooper Union in New York City, reinforced his dedication to a career in design. If you ask him he’ll tell you he wanted to be a journalist and in a way, he is, using pictures instead of words.

His prolific output of photo illustrations includes editorial illustration, book covers and cultural communication. His bold  graphic imagery gracefully expresses both the narrative and reflections on a subject matter that has led him to work with clients including the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Time, Harvard University, National Geographic, Greenpeace, Penguin Random House, Vueling Airlines and UNESCO, to name a few. In fact, 95% of his work is done for clients in the States. 

Ideas are what mostly drive his work. On first glance, his work looks very simple and direct, but the longer you look at it, the more you realize how difficult it must have been to pull off. That attention to detail and follow-through makes his work memorable. He is a champion of double meanings, multilayered metaphors and upended clichés. He says, “I am interested in making something that tickles people. It can be in their head, in their eyes,or stomach. But I understand that is a lot to ask of an image. We are surrounded by noise. My role is often similar to a tailor. I have to make specific kind of clothes for every project. Different sizes, fabrics, colors…”

His work transcends language. His illustrations and editorial graphics are as clear and clever to those around his studio in Barcelona as it is to those everywhere. “I have always felt very close to the word, and I’m interested in language and identity as cultural and communicative phenomena,” he says.

What Javier will be looking for: “Im looking for visually and conceptually stimulating projects.”

Victo Ngai was born in the Guangdong Province in China, before moving to Hong Kong with her parents as a child. She grew up as an only child with busy parents and no babysitter; Victo (short for Victoria) spent spent afternoons at the newspaper company where her mom worked, drawing with the paper and pens she found lying around. “I’ve always loved stories, my mom used to read me bedtime stories so I started retelling them to myself with images, creating imaginary friends and adventures on paper.” For awhile she thought drawing was just a hobby since in Hong Kong the arts are not something that’s considered a normal career path to pursue. And without adequate art schools in Hong Kong (that has since changed) she started looking for one in America. The only school she applied to was the Rhode Island School of Design.

Without any formal training she’ll tell you the first few years were pretty overwhelming. Her early work had definite Asian influences but as she became exposed to different artists, as she says “Every piece records a certain point of my life/creative career but my works grow with me as a continuous, ever-changing stream of consciousness. I have no idea where it's heading or what it will end up to be.” In her junior year at RISD she got her first assignment, and the work hasn’t stopped since then.

First to New York and now in Los Angeles, Victo provides illustrations for newspaper and magazines such as the New York Times and The New Yorker; creates storyboards and art for animations with studios like NBC and Dreamworks ; develops books for publishers Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Folio Society and Macmillan; and works on packaging and advertisement campaigns for Apple, Johnnie Walker, Metropolitan Transit Authority, American Express, Lufthansa Airline and General Electric. Not to mention a recently published children’s book, Dazzle Ship. No stranger to awards, she was named one of Forbes 30under30, has received two gold medals from the Society of Illustrator, one from 3x3 while at RISD and best professional artist from the Hugo awards.

What Victo will be looking for: “I will be looking for the concept or story behind the illustration and try to determine whether the illustration is successful in conveying the concept or telling the story in an interesting way.”

3x3 International Illustration Annual Show No.15

The 3x3 International Illustration Awards Show is open to all illustrators in all countries. There is a separate jury for each of our three shows: Professional, Student and Picture Book. For full details download our Call for Entries pdf, to enter go to our homepage.

Deadline: March 23, 2018

Clockwise from top left: Javier Jaén, Martin Gee, Cristano Guerri, Victo Ngai and Erin Mayes 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Meet Our Judges: Fernando Ambrosi, Art Director

When you Google Fernando Ambrosi you see his name popping up all over the place With innumerable books, associated with numerous illustrators and being recognized by peers and the public.

Born in Valpelicella, Italy he serves as art director for the highly respected Children’s Book Division at Gruppo Mondadori outside Milan.

In 2014, Gruppo Mondadori  announced that it would be unifying its children’s imprints, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore and Piemme, including the Battello a Vapore and Geronimo Stilton imprints to form a new children’s publishing division. Fernando has added the Edizioni Piemme imprint as well.

His love of illustration is evident in the selection of the illustrators and the resulting images on the page.

What Fernando will be looking for: “I’m looking for new talents able to amaze me with so much creativity.”

3x3 International Illustration Annual Show No.15

The 3x3 International Illustration Awards Show is open to all illustrators in all countries. There is a separate jury for each of our three shows: Professional, Student and Picture Book. For full details download our Call for Entries pdf, to enter go to our homepage.

Deadline: March 23, 2018

Meet Our Judges: Martin Gee, Senior Art Director

We’re pleased to add Martin Gee, Senior Art Director at Time magazine to our 3x3 ProShow jury.

Not only is Martin an art director, he’s a freelance illustrator with clients including Wired, NPR, AARP, Variety, The Washington Post and others. Look at his curriculum vitae and you’ll see his twenty-two years of experience runs the gamut from Xerox to the House of Blues Entertainment where he created motion graphics for HOB-TV. To a number of newspaper jobs in his native San Jose, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Portland, landing in New York to work at the Huffington Post’s weekly iPad magazine. And finally to Time.

Ask him how he likes his current job and he’ll tell you it’s pretty much a dream job with the exception of not being able to use more illustration. As with most illustrators, Martin has been drawing since he was a child gaining his inspiration and rudimentary talent from comic books and cartoon shows. And it’s nice that in his job he can even assign himself a spot or two in a pinch. Asked which he prefers, illustrator or art director, his answer is art director, but just by a hair. He tries to be an illustrator-friendly art director and an art director-friendly illustrator.

He caught the design bug early working on his college newspaper and magazine at San Jose State University as well as the role as publication director for the college radio station. Today outside of work he enjoys everything Star Wars, building Lego robots, doing improv and listening to the Tron Legacy soundtrack daily.

No stranger to awards, he’s had his share from the Society of Publication Designers, the Society of Illustrators—where he’s also judged the student show, the Zankel Scholarship award and been an instructor at their summer illustration art academy. He was featured in the Washington Post’s 50 Great Illustrations from 2016 and won an Emmy for Peguin Love. Not to mention his first award, a 2nd place for Presentation Karaoke where we walked away with a fondue set.

What Martin will be looking for: 
“First and foremost, I look for drawing skills. After that, I want concepts, narratives, sensibilities towards the topic, style, humor, emotion… Well, essentially everything! I want to be moved and wow’d!”

3x3 International Illustration Annual Show No.15

The 3x3 International Illustration Awards Show is open to all illustrators in all countries. There is a separate jury for each of our three shows: Professional, Student and Picture Book. For full details download our Call for Entries pdf, to enter go to our homepage.

Deadline: March 23, 2018

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Meet Our Judges:
Sheila Smallwood, Creative Director

We’re pleased to have Sheila Smallwood join our jury panel for our Picture Book Show.

Sheila has spent the last twenty-four years in children’s and young adult publishing. Graduating with a degree in illustration and graphic design from Carnegie Mellon University she started work as an art assistant at Little, Brown and Company before rising to Creative Director. A hands-on art director she was responsible for all creative aspects of publishing. In 2003 she was recruited by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to work on their Books for Young Readers titles rising to Vice President in 2014.

She oversaw the design, art direction and management of all company young reader titles supervising teams in both Boston and New York. She was responsible for nearly 300 titles each year including teen fiction, non-fiction and media tie-ins.

Over her career she has collaborated with authors and illustrators including Toni Morrison, Chris Van Allsburg, Pamela Zagarenski, Beth Krommes and Melissa Sweet on award-winning and notable picture books. Her designs have won numerous awards in The Society of Illustrators Show in New York and The New York Book Show. She’s won the prestigious Caldecott Honor Award twice for her picture book designs for Red Sings from Treetops and Sleep Like A Tiger. She is currently pursuing her own creative projects in Boston.

What Sheila will be looking for: “I would be looking at the quality of the execution: how powerful or dynamic the expression comes across in the execution of the art—in color and content—and how well it is conveyed to the reader; and then the carry through consistency of the characters from page to page and how well the art enhances the text/story.”

3x3 International Illustration Annual Show No.15

The 3x3 International Illustration Awards Show is open to all illustrators in all countries. There is a separate jury for each of our three shows: Professional, Student and Picture Book. For full details download our Call for Entries pdf, to enter go to our homepage.

Deadline: March 23, 2018

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Meet Our Judges: Erin Mayes, Design Director

We’re pleased to have Erin Mayes join our ProShow jury. Erin comes with a wealth of knowledge as an art director and designer of publications including a stint at Men’s Journal as deputy art director followed by being on staff art director at Roger Black and then senior designer at Pentagram before establishing her own design firm, EmDash.

Erin received a Bachelor of Science in photojournalism from the University of Texas and has worked as an editorial art director and designer for over twenty-five years. Her editorial design background has covered subject matter from celebrity profiles, to investigative journalism, to diary cow maintenance.

Her clients have included National Geographic Society, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Society of Illustrators, University of Florida, Purdue University, William & Mary University, The University of Texas, UT Press, Texas Monthly Custom Publishing and The Texas Observer.

EmDash’s current clients include wonderfully illustrated alumni publications for Harvard Business School, Denison University, Caltech Alumni Association, Kappa Kappa Gamma, University of Texas—Texas-Exes and University of Nebraska. As well as cookbooks, books, posters and album covers and entertainment branding.

Her work has received awards from AIGA, American Illustration, American Photography, Society of Publication Designers, Print, Communication Arts, CASE, Society of Illustrators and was nominated in 2013 for a Grammy award.

Erin taught editorial design at both the School of Visual Arts in New York and at the University of Texas in Austin.

What Erin will be looking for: “I’m excited to see the new work this year, and will be looking for well-crafted illustrations that have a unique idea and clear voice. But mostly I’m looking forward to being surprised.”

3x3 International Illustration Annual Show No.15

The 3x3 International Illustration Awards Show is open to all illustrators in all countries. There is a separate jury for each of our three shows: Professional, Student and Picture Book. For full details download our Call for Entries pdf, to enter go to our homepage.

Deadline: March 23, 2018