Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Here Come The Judges

We're continuing to put together our international panel of judges for our 2011 shows, check below for the names of our judges so far and deadlines. Call for Entries will start to be sent out in January.

Professional Show No. 8
To date we have Jason Treat, DD, The Atlantic; DJ Stout, Pentagram; Mark Reddy, AD, BBH, UK; Haika Hinze, AD, Die Zeit, Germany and illustrators Oliver Weiss, Germany; Emiliano Ponzi, Italy; Andrea Innocent, Australia and Andrew Bannecker, USA.

Deadline for the ProShow is March 4. Be sure to add your name to our list by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.

Student Show No. 8
To date we have Steven Guarnaccia (Parsons), Allan Drummond (SCAD), Andrew Foster (Central St. Martin's, UK), Frazer Hudson (Sheffield, UK), Chris Buzelli (USA) and Lars Henkel (Germany) illustrators.

Deadline for the Student Show is March 25. Call for Entries go out in January. Be sure to add your name to the list by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.

Children's Show No. 8
We're putting together our panel of judges for the 2011 Children's Show. Stay tuned for the Call for Entries announcement in January.

Deadline for entries is April 22. Call for Entries go out in February. Be sure to add your name to the list by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.

Sign-up for our Call for Entries
To be added to our Call for Entries mailing list please email us at with the subject line: Call for Entries. Please specify which call for entries you're interested in: Student, Professional or Children's—you may select more than one category.

Please include your full name, email address and mailing address so we may enter you into our database for our email blasts.

Important: Please add to your address book to ensure you receive our mailings.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Illustration Program Director Opening

The New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University is seeking an accomplished illustrator to join our new Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Illustration as Program Director and faculty member. Applicants will be evaluated comprehensively with consideration given to the totality of their professional and educational accomplishments.

The illustration curriculum emphasizes foundational drawing, painting and design skills, and the development of those skills in both traditional and digital media. Our mission is to equip our students with the means to pursue creative and meaningful careers as professional illustrators.

This full-time, tenure-track position, at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, will begin in the fall of 2011. In addition to teaching in and overseeing the BFA program in Illustration, the successful candidate will be expected to assist in marketing and publicizing the new major, spearhead continued curriculum development, take part in departmental and/or university committee work, advise major students, oversee independent study work with individual students, and participate in the recruitment of students as well as full-time and adjunct faculty.

Specific Skills
The successful candidate will hold a graduate degree, preferably an MFA, in illustration or a related discipline and will present significant evidence of professional work in the field of illustration. Three years of college-level teaching is required; administrative and curriculum development experience is highly desirable. Professional experience, involving the application of illustration skills to a variety of challenges and situations and involving current practices in digital as well as traditional media, is required. In addition to experience, candidates should have demonstrated achievement in the field, as evidenced by peer recognition, professional honors, prominence of clientele and contributions to the field.

How To Apply

Other Ways To Apply
Mail to:
William M. Davis, Chairman
New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University
75 Arlington Street
Boston, MA 02116

Submission Details
This position is subject to final budget approval.

The deadline for applications is January 28, 2011 and a final decision is expected by April 1, 2011. All application materials, including a cover letter, CV and electronic portfolio (a minimum of 20 examples of professional work and 20 examples of student work), should be emailed to: William M. Davis, Chairman, The New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University at

Monday, December 13, 2010

Illustrator Confidence Level is High for 2011

The results of our recent survey shows illustrators see a brighter future for 2011. Based on 469 respondents from the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia, 45% see themselves as better off financially in 2011, 24% will be about the same and only 7% say they will be worse off. This compares nicely to the AIGA Designers Confidence Index that had 42.7% of graphic designers saying it would be better off, 47% about the same and only 10.1% worse. A major difference was 24% of illustrators answered that they didn't know if they would be better off, worse off or the same.

Asked about fees, 10% responded that fees had gone up, 29% that fees had gone down and the majority, 46%, saying fees remained the same.

Asked about the number of projects, 32% saw an increase in the past twelve months, 31% saw the number drop off and 28% saw the number of assignments remain the same; 9% were unsure.

Participants included 53% from the US, 11% each from Canada and the UK, 18% from Europe and 7% from Asia. 53% were full-time illustrators, 34% were part-time. 52% had a bachelor's degree, 31% had a graduate degree; 58% were male, 42% female, 59% were between the ages of 25-44.

We will be able to break down the research in more specific areas of age, years in the industry and education in an upcoming announcement but for now we wanted to share these top-line results.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Public Speaking at Its Best

I just watched the new HBO Documentary Public Speaking, a film by Martin Scorsese about a New York institution. Here's what the New York Times had to say:

"To many Americans — millions, really — the name Fran Lebowitz doesn’t mean much. But in certain precincts, vital to the cultural functioning of both coasts, she is famously a friend, a crank, a climber, a cautionary tale, an iconoclast and a mouth. In “Public Speaking,” Martin Scorsese’s enormously enjoyable and perceptive documentary about her, Ms. Lebowitz’s endearing narcissism is a study in the notion that arrogance and insecurity are largely two sides of the same cocktail coaster."

After being expelled from high school and receiving a GED, Lebowitz worked many odd jobs before being hired by Andy Warhol as a columnist for Interview. This was followed by a stint at Mademoiselle. Her first book was a collection of essays titled Metropolitan Life, released in 1978, followed by Social Studies in 1981, both of which are collected (with a new introductory essay) in The Fran Lebowitz Reader.

For more than twenty years she has been famous in part for not writing Exterior Signs of Wealth, a long-overdue novel purportedly about rich people who want to be artists, and artists who want to be rich. She also made several appearances on Late Night With David Letterman during the early part of its run. Recently she has made recurring appearances as Judge Janice Goldberg on the television drama Law & Order.

As the Times says, "Nothing, Ms. Lebowitz says in the film, leaves her as fearful as writing. But the certainty with which she declaims (on gender, on connoisseurship, on Times Square and, all too reductively and even nonsensically, on race and politics) suggests that she isn’t afraid of writing because she worries she won’t be good enough. She is afraid of writing because she worries that she won’t be Alex de Tocqueville enough."

Substitute the word writing for the word illustrating and you come to realize how similar the art forms really are.

Shot in The Waverly Inn we're also treated to the wall murals of illustrator Ed Sorel, whom Fran gives a shout-out in the film.

If you're a New Yorker—you can only claim that if you've lived in the city over ten years—or just love this city, this is the film for you.

A poignant reminder about the AIDS epidemic is included here, as Fran points out not only did we lose some of our best artists, we lost the audience who loved and supported them. The revelation is clear: we're just not as cultivated as we once were. The film will have you thinking, laughing and commiserating all at the same time. Check it out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Give and Receive

Here's an idea, want to get more business as an illustrator? Promote illustration to art directors and don't do it for yourself, do it for the industry. Every art director knows when they're being sold something, so no matter how great your promotional mailing, it's coming across as selling. Try another tack.

Give a subscription to an art director whose given you an assignment, or send an annual as a gift. And it's not necessary to be in the magazine or annual though that doesn't hurt. What you're doing is promoting the work of illustrators and the industry as a whole. Sure it exposes them to other illustrators and that could mean more competition for you, but overall it'll be good for the industry. It will help art directors believe that illustration is vital. It's a soft-sell that can work.

Whether it's the Society's annual or ours, a subscription to Juxtapoz, Varoom or 3x3, making more art directors aware of how great illustration can be will mean more work for everyone.

For What It's Worth 25

In writing the blurb for the backcover of our new illustration annual I decided to focus on a problem we all face. Why not more illustration?

I’m often asked why art directors don’t use more illustration. And the truthful answer is that far too few know anything about illustration. 
They’ve never been taught about their choices. When I was coming up through the ranks I knew I had three tools in my toolbox: photography, typography and illustration. Today’s educators emphasize only two of these tools. So young art directors have no clue that illustration exists and even if they do they are fearful of finding and working with an artist.

What will the client say?

How do I know what I’m going to get?

What if I don’t like what I get?

Here's what I tell art directors:

Finding illustrators is easy, you’ll generally find them in the same locations as photographers: in annuals, juried shows, galleries and publications.

Hiring them is easy, too. It’s really no different than hiring a photographer with one exception: You can work with the illustrator to develop the visual. And many times a much better one than you can imagine yourself.

In my day I’d always show the client something in the layout but made it clear that I was asking for other ideas from the illustrator. And it always worked, good clients will respect a better idea.

I tell art directors working with illustrators is fun, asking for ideas from someone whose job is visual imagery means you have an extra pair of hands and brain on tap.

Naturally being a subjective world there will be times when no one agrees and at that point everyone is back to square one. But take heart, illustrators will work with you to make it right.

Showing a comp photo leaves little to the imagination, making the leap of faith with an illustrator can mean you’ll end up with an even better idea.

And finally I say: Working with an illustrator may be something new for you but isn’t that a gamble you’re willing to make?