Monday, March 31, 2014

Hardcover Annual No. 10 Arrives

Our first samples of the 3x3 International Illustration Annual No. 10 arrived this morning and they are, if we may be so modest, absolutely gorgeous.

As many of you know this is our first hardcover annual—another thing that has been ten years in the making— and we only ordered enough to fulfill our original orders. As you can imagine a hardcover costs more than a soft-cover but if there’s any way possible this year we’d like them all to be hardcovers. But since the newsstand sales outlets ask for softcover editions we have to split an order between hardcover and softcover editions which makes each a bit more expensive. So we’ll see. We’ve learned a great deal about the production of hardcovers with No. 10 and will apply that going forward.

Special thanks to Prolific Printers in Winnipeg for an outstanding job!

If you’ve ordered a hardcover annual they will be going in the mail late this week or early next week. Allow seven to ten working days for delivery domestically and two weeks for international deliveries.

And let us hear your feedback. And check out the other item that’s taken us ten years to develop: our medal.

Of course, the softcover edition is ready to mail, same great content!

Cover illustration by René Milot, Canada

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ten Years in the Making:
Introducing the 3x3 Medal

Ta-da! We are introducing our medal design, a first for 3x3. The 3×3×3-inch cube is designed using five faces of the cube each with a single symbol.

The first side has our logo

The second side has a leaf, symbolizing the continuing growth of illustration

The third side has a palette, representing the blurring of lines between fine art and illustration

The fourth side has the infinity sign demonstrating the long-lasting impact of illustration

The fifth side has the globe indicating the global influences on today’s illustration

We have yet to decide on the color or colors, that’s the next step. But we did want to share this final design with you. Ready for 2014 winners.

Check out our website for an animated look at our new medal. Once it loads you can slow down the animation using your cursor to see each individual side.

Design by Charles Hively + Sarah Munt, HivelyDesigns
3-D Model development: Dot San, UK

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Importance of Shows: Mayer,Viana, Melanson

We’ve asked several illustrators to comment on why they enter shows and in particular why they enter our 3x3 Shows. We’ll be sharing their comments over the next several weeks as we lead up to our show deadline. Here are a couple of short and sweet responses.

“For me, entering shows is a great way to add prestige to your work. It’s an inexpensive way to get your work in front of top art directors and designers. It’s also a great pleasure to write an art director you’ve worked with and tell them, ‘Hey SooJin, That piece we did together won a gold medal!’ Now how great is that?”

“In today’s digital age, characterized by its immense overflow of content, it has become increasingly difficult to draw attention to your work, good as it may be, while it swirls in a flurry of ever growing distractions. Curation has become key and illustration shows remain some of the top curators in this field. They lift your work up from the stream and display it amongst of some of the best illustrators around.”

“The annuals have always been an important part of my promotional efforts. For me it’s just another good way of getting my work out there and it’s a pretty inexpensive one too. I must say I still love books and I really enjoy looking at great art in print. It’s very inspiring and stimulating. 3x3 is certainly one of the best shows to see what is happening in the illustration world right now.”

The 3x3 International Illustration Annual No 11 deadline is fast approaching, all entries must be uploaded or postmarked no later than Monday, March 31.

Meet the Judges: Jamie Trendall

Jamie Trendall is a magazine art director based in London. He has over 15 years experience working for companies such as the BBC, the Times Newspaper, Haymarket publishing, as well as smaller design studios. Commissioning illustrators has played a key of part in his work and he has been privileged enough to have been a judge for the Association of Illustrators and Transport for London’s Art on the Underground. Jamie has the distinction of being our first art director to judge the 3x3 Student Show.

What Jamie will be looking for:

I love it when an illustrator surprises me, so I’m hoping to be both excited and surprised by some wonderful ideas, as well as fantastic execution. For me the winning artwork will need to not only instantly engage me, but also make me want to come back for more.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Importance of Shows: Omer Hoffmann

We’ve asked several illustrators to comment on why they enter shows and in particular why they enter our 3x3 Shows. We’ll be sharing their comments over the next several weeks as we lead up to our show deadline.

“It seems that when it comes to exposure, and the world beyond the studio, the digital age has changed a lot of things for illustrators. As if on a daily basis my Facebook feed is being bombarded by artistic imagery and it’s impossible to stop the flood without un-friending some people. Sometimes it can give me a headache—not unlike eating too much in a short time.”

“I always wish that Facebook or Twitter employed some sort of an filter or editor who would watch my feeds—a professional that would do a decent editing job and make some sense out of this flood of imagery coming at me and my overflowed creative mind. This is one of the reasons I like shows. They have a curator; they have an agenda; they have a title that I can relate to and I think other people can make sense of it as well. Digital consumption of images is a great thing, it gives me ideas, it just doesn’t come at the expense of annuals, shows and such that have a story behind them.”

“As an artist, I love being recognized, ‘likes’ or ‘favorites’ still make my day—the immediacy of it all. Usually it tells me that people like me, though that’s not much of a professional input. Shows are very good at doing a much more precise job, targeting audiences that consist of people within the industry. Even better, judges that make up panels get to see my work. These individuals are usually potential high-profile clients and this is a great opportunity for me to show them my art. I might not get immediate feedback, but I can be assured that people that really mean business are reviewing my art and that’s a huge plus.”

“Shows are a fundamental part of my vocation as an illustrator. In the digital age, their role is more refined—it is a milestone that goes beyond everyday work. I have to look at my work—how do I want to summarize myself and my art best. It’s also what makes them one the few professional practices aside from actual work. It is a platform that gets lots of professional artists under one roof as they meet other, equally professional clients.”

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Importance of Shows: Gracia Lam

We’ve asked several illustrators to comment on why they enter shows and in particular why they enter our 3x3 Shows. We’ll be sharing their comments over the next several weeks as we lead up to our show deadline.

“Shows, along with its printed annuals and curated exhibitions have always been vital to my continued progress as an illustrator. In fact, it led to the beginning of my career when a few pieces of my student work were selected into notable Illustration shows.”

“I think it is important to recognize the significance of these shows and why they are influential for any practitioner as they were for me. For one, the panel of judges are always some of the year’s most recognized and relevant professionals in the industry. From renowned illustrators and designers, to art directors in the editorial field, book publishing houses and advertising agencies. The list is boundless. The stage is filled with distinguished individuals that formulate high levels of aesthetics that are broadcasted into our world.”

“I am endlessly excited knowing that inevitably, they will assess my work and either cheer or sneer at it. I am never discouraged even when my work doesn’t win, because each year, I am greatful be able to work with many past and current judges on new projects, sometimes only because they recall my illustrations through the assessment processes.”

“Undoubtedly, and especially for students and young illustrators, this is one of the best ways to have an equal chance to showcase your work in front of trained experts whom are also potential or future clients.”

Monday, March 24, 2014

Meet the Judges: Élisabeth Cohat

After studying graphic design and semiology at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, Elisabeth began her career in the childrens' division at Editions Gallimard - the same year the Folio Junior and “Voiles” departments were created.

She was in charge of developing numerous collections such as Mes premieres Decouvertes (My First Discoveries) and Decouverte Gallimard (Discovery Gallimard), and took part in the creation of innovative concepts across several departments.

Élisabeth was promoted to graphic designer of Guides Gallimard upon its creation in 1990, and assumed her current title of art director for Gallimard Jeunesse in 1999.

What Élisabeth will be looking for:

Does the artwork answer the objective?
Is it understandable without any text?
How well is the originality expressed?
Is the point of view of the subject matter suitable?
Is the technical approach fitting?
Does it touch me?
These are the questions that I'll ask myself for a winning entry.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Meet the Judges: Sylvie Frank

Sylvie Frank is an associate editor at Paula Wiseman Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. She edits picture books, middle-grade and YA fiction and occasionally nonfiction.

Recent books she has edited include Storm by Donna Jo Napoli, Breathe by Scott Magoon, and Whistle in the Dark by Susan Hill Long. One of her favorite pastimes is browsing agents’ and illustrators’ websites for new talent.

Statement about what Sylvie will be looking for:

The winner of the picture book category will demonstrate masterful technique; depiction of character, including expression and action; composition; and use of color and space. The work will demonstrate a keen understanding of storytelling through illustration and the relationship between the reader and the illustration.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Importance of Shows: Ella Cohen

We’ve asked several illustrators to comment on why they enter shows and in particular why they enter our 3x3 Shows. We’ll be sharing their comments over the next several weeks as we lead up to our show deadline.

“Discovering 3x3 was a huge thing for me. As a young illustrator who just finished art school I was constantly seeking both inspiration and new ways to challenge myself. I knew that the only way to get better at what I do (and to make a living out of it) was to aim as high as possible.”

“Knowing that  3x3 exists really encouraged me to work harder. When I started getting my first commissions I was extremely motivated to make the most out of every assignment I got. I still am. However, today—almost 4 years later—I understand that meeting the clients needs doesn’t always lead to the results I was hoping for. Whether it’s a tight deadline or artistic disagreements, working as an illustrator means that sometimes things won’t go the way you planned. My way of dealing with those situations was to take the knowledge that I gained from my commercial work and to implement it in my own self initiated projects. Knowing that a platform such as 3x3 exists kept me motivated to complete those projects with the freedom to explore my style and subjects of interest without a commercial brief.”

“I discovered that entering my work to different competitions is also a great way to promote myself. Since I don’t do a lot of self promotion during the rest of the year I find this a really effective way to gain more recognition. Today, less than 4 years after I finished my studies in Israel, I feel very privileged to have many international clients.”

“In my opinion 3x3 is an incredibly significant platform that celebrates the best of illustration from all over the world, and gives illustrators the chance to challenge themselves in many ways. Over the years it introduced me to fantastic, smart, and funny art works that helped me develop my own style and visual concepts, and I’m very thankful for that.”

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Importance of Shows: Emiliano Ponzi

We’ve asked several illustrators to comment on why they enter shows and in particular why they enter our 3x3 Shows. We’ll be sharing their comments over the next several weeks as we lead up to our show deadline.

“In the last few years there has been a massive presence of illustrations on the web, social networks, blogs and so on. Exposure over new media is great because it is a form of democracy—it is like being in the Ancient Greek Polis—where all citizens have an active role in the political/cultural life of the city. Everyone can express his own opinion on many different subjects.”

“We think 234 ‘likes’ under an illustration on Facebook! Wow, this must mean it’s badass! Not necessarily true. Or at least it shouldn’t be automatic to come up with that conclusion. As the button says ‘I like’ it, this personal opinion is affected by many factors: if I know the person in reality, if the style is trendy or not, how the person sells his image on the web, how much time the person invests over the web and mostly what people know about illustration or any other subject before giving any appreciation. This may be taken for granted but it isn’t at all.”

“Coming to the profession world it’s important to move from ‘I like it/ I don’t like it’ to ‘It works/It doesn’t work’. And this is possible if we just keep in mind the difference between being appreciated and judged by peers or people with deep knowledge in the specific field. In this sense illustration shows and annuals are crucial because we can better understand how and why our work has a meaning and a value in the commercial marketplace.”

“I started sending images to 3x3 shows about ten years ago and I’ve seen merit and medals arriving since then. I believe that submitting work to annuals is an act of courage especially after achieving awards (because you know that most probably it will not happen the next year) but it is fundamental to keep growing as pros and being part of a larger community.”

“This is how it works. Don’t get me wrong, having followers, ‘likes’, clicks, is amazing but it’s very important to know how different media works in order to use both to the best of their potential. They need to be integrated to build an effective professional image. Social communication is horizontal—usually it doesn’t mark quality but raises popularity. Building your reputation is vertical and is achieved through shows, annuals and important jobs.”

“Two paths to enlarge our audience. It is important to share and make our images visible on one side of the square and on the other side make potential clients aware of what work we’ve done. The end result:  people that can give us a call tomorrow saying ‘Hi, how are you? I’d like to assign you an illustrated campaign for…’”

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Meet the Judges: Tim J Luddy

Tim J Luddy has worked as a designer, art director and creative director in New York and San Francisco, for publications including BusinessWeek, eCompany Now! (also known as Business 2.0) PC World and Mother Jones.

He recently left Mother Jones and now divides his time between being art director at Brink magazine and his yoga studio. Mother Jones received the National Magazine Award for General Excellence twice during his tenure there.

He has lectured on art direction and publication design at UC Berkeley, the California College of Art, San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco.

Work that he designed or commissioned has appeared in the Society of Publication Designers Annuals, American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, Print and Communication Arts. He also teaches yoga in San Francisco.

What Tim J Luddy will be looking for:

As an editorial art director, I’m interested in illustration that finds energetic combinations of form and content to communicate with power, precision, and wit.

Check out this link for a further insight to Tim's work with illustration.

Finally! 3x3 Illustration Annual No. 10
Hot off the press

We just got our first sample copies of Annual 10 from the printer and it looks great. The softcover is ready for shipment but the hardcover takes a bit more time to go through the bindery.

For those who ordered the softcover these will go out in the mail this week directly from the printer in Winnipeg. The hardcover editions will also ship from the printer once they are finished.

Thanks go to Laura Tolar and Sarah Munt for all their help in getting the Annual finished. And hats off to the printers at Prolific and especially our contacts Chris Young and Gosia Skarzynski for all their help in shepherding our job through the plant!

To order your copy click here. Available in print and digital editions.

Cover illustration by René Milot

Monday, March 10, 2014

Meet the Judges: Jim Hoover

Jim Hoover is an Associate Art Director at Viking Children’s Books in New York. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design in illustration, Jim has been in publishing now for over twelve years.

He has designed and art directed well over a hundred titles including John Lennon: All I Want Is The Truth, Stuck In The Middle, Mission Control: This Is Apollo, Marching For Freedom, Titanic Sinks!, and the children’s book adaptation of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

What Jim will be looking for:

“I find with picture books especially, there is just a mojo, a magic that you look for, and the more open you are, the more of a chance you'll find it.”

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Importance of Shows: André Carrilho

We’ve asked several illustrators to comment on why they enter shows and in particular why they enter our 3x3 Shows. We’ll be sharing their comments over the next several weeks as we lead up to our show deadline.

“There are only a couple of shows I like to participate every year. I’m a little weary of competitions, ever since I was part of the jury of some of them and realized that sometimes the works that wins are not the ones you like the most.”

“Now I like to say that winning an award or being selected is due to chance, with the intervention of human error. But there are advantages to participating in the few ones that I think are driven by a true love of the art form.” 

“First, because I get to see the work of so many other artists that would be difficult to find on my own.” 

“And second because it manages to keep you on your guard, making you reflect on what you do and how you are becoming too accustomed to a specific way of doing things, or makes you think of ways of evolving while still being yourself.” 

“It’s true that you can find other’s work online if you spend some time researching, but it’s good to have people that do some of the sifting, an editor’s job.” 

“Shows like the 3x3 Pro Show are for me an opportunity to question myself, look at what I do through others eyes, and probably be a little better.” 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Meet the Judges: Paul Gonzales

Paul Gonzales is a deputy design director for the features department at the Los Angeles Times. As such, he leads a team of designers in producing the newspaper¹s lively and creative Sunday Calendar, Arts & Books and Travel sections.

In his 20-plus-year career at the Times, he has won many awards for design, art direction and photo illustration from such prestigious organizations as Communication Arts, Print, The Society for News Design and Society of Publication Designers. His collaboration with illustrators has also resulted in a number of award-winning pieces.

What Paul will be looking for:

“Each illustration submission to a competition has been worked on with a great deal of artistry and pride otherwise it would not have been submitted.  Keeping this in mind, I try to give each and every entry the consideration it rightly deserves.”

“Three main criteria I look for when judging an illustration competition are concept, composition and execution.  Entries that stand out the most usually surprise me with a smart concept that communicates an idea in a fresh way.  If the composition enhances that concept, a simple line drawing or a beautifully realized full color oil painting can be equally impressive.”

“These three elements when brought together seamlessly will usually get my vote!”

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Importance of Shows: Andrea D’Aquino

We’ve asked several illustrators to comment on why they enter shows and in particular why they enter our 3x3 Shows. We’ll be sharing their comments over the next several weeks as we lead up to our show deadline.

“I’ve always been inspired by the very best award show annuals, ever since I was a student. They keep the bar of excellence high for all of us. Every piece in them may or may not be my own personal taste, but they also  serve the purpose of taking the pulse of the culture at any given year, very interestingly, if you look back at them.”

“That said, I do think there are too many award shows out there that are extraneous and have questionable motives. I happen to participate in 3x3 for a few years now, because I feel it's one of the top three shows that has that combination of integrity and tasty selections.”

“3x3 is also particularly open to international artists, which I find very fresh and modern.”

To see more of Andrea's work check out 3x3 Issue 21 in the Spotlight section.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Meet the Judges: Marieke Griffioen

Marieke Griffioen is design director at the Amsterdam office of Edenspiekermann, a design agency with offices also in Berlin and San Francisco.

She engages illustrators for corporate identities, campaigns, annual reports, brochures and magazines. Some of her clients are the Utrecht City Theater, MN (pension management), Eindhoven Technical University, Robeco Sam (sustainable asset management) and Twijnstra Gudde (consultants).

What Marieke will be looking for:

“I’ll be looking for a smart concept that delivers more than just a reflection of the text, and it will do this concisely, and with clarity and punch. And of course it will have to be rendered immaculately to stand out from what is sure to be extremely stiff competition.”