Friday, December 21, 2018

3x3 Annual 16 Call for Entries is Open

We are pleased to have illustrator Melinda Beck as our Show Chair this year. She’s been busy lining up our judges and so far we have art directors Chad Beckerman, Len Small and Sheri Gee; Creative Director Alissa Levin and Graphic Designer/Illustrator Dave Plunkert. We still have one AD spot to fill. Our esteemed illustrators include Olimpia Zagnoli, Catarina Sobral, Lisk Feng and Aad Goudappel, with two more to be selected.

We are delighted to announce a special student award this year. All student winners are eligible. The Gary Powell Award will receive a one-year mentorship with four leading illustrators in the United Kingdom. Included are a total of four tutorials in-person or via Skype.

Gary Powell (1962-2017) was a leading illustrator and educator in the United Kingdom for over 25 years.

Thanks to Gizem Vural for the delightful image.

It’s never too early to think about the new year, and if you’re considering Uncle Sam and his taxes, entering shows is tax-deductible.

Our shows are open to all illustrators, art directors, editors, publishers in all countries.

3x3 International Illustration Annual No. 16
Deadline: March 22, 2019
Late Deadline: March 29, 2019


Thursday, December 20, 2018

3x3 Directory Cover Selection

We’re almost done with the 2019 edition of the 3x3 Directory. And we're pleased to announce the selection of an image by Jon Krause for the cover. The Directory will be shared with 6,000 art directors and art buyers in America, and selected art directors worldwide.

Cover art by Jon Krause

3x3 Annual 15 - Hot off the Press

We're pleased to announce that the 2018 3x3 International Illustration Annual has left the building. Our printer in Winnipeg has shipped the pre-orders and bulk shipped the Annual to our distributors. We are about three weeks late due to some issues we had reproducing the cover art, but after some help from our printer at The Prolific Group we think everyone will be pleased.

The Annual should make its appearance on newsstands and bookstore by the end of the month or at the very latest the first of January.

You may still order copies of the Annual, either our print or digital editions are available.

We'll have some announcements very soon on next year's show. Stay tuned.

Cover illustration by Brian Stauffer, back cover by Owen Davey

Friday, October 19, 2018

Happy Birthday Peter Max

For the past five decades, Max has been part of the fabric of American pop culture, spreading peace, love and his universally recognized art across generations, cultures and eras. His work was and is for all—a democratization of art—from museum walls and painted airplanes to album covers, clothing lines and postage stamp art. On October 19th, Max celebrates his 81st birthday.

Acclaimed for his bold, cosmic art from the '60s and '70s and for his colorful, expressionist paintings that he creates to this day, Max has been the official artist for six Grammy Awards, five Super Bowls, the NHL All-Star Game, the U.S. Winter Olympics, World Cup USA, the Indy 500, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and NBC’s The Voice, among many other notable events in sports, global initiatives and music.

His portraits have honored U.S. Presidents, foreign dignitaries, rock stars and jazz musicians, movie stars and sports icons. He is also acknowledged for his global charity work—being an active environmentalist and defender of animal and human rights, and for helping to bring yoga to the United States by co-founding the Integral Yoga Institute with Swami Satchidananda.

Peter Max captured the zeitgeist of the psychedelic '60s youth movement with his cosmic paintings, posters, serigraphs and popular licensed products. Over his decades long career, with gallery and museum shows around the world, Peter Max became is often called “America's Painter Laureate.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Viktor Koen Named Educator of the Year

Sit across from Viktor Koen at lunch and you’ll receive a whirlwind account of all the projects, assignments, classes he’s teaching, solo or group exhibits and TED talks he’s either done or is going to do. One might question when he has time to sleep. Is he a mixed-media artist, photographer or illustrator, educator, graphic designer or art director? The answer is all the above. Look on his site and you’ll see that he’s participated in well over 140 group exhibitions and more than 35 solo exhibits around the globe. Look at his client list and you’ll see a mix of editorial and book publishers that include Random House, Doubleday, Harper Collins, Rizzoli, Houghton Mifflin, Tor, Time, Newsweek, Esquire, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Wired, ESPN, Men’s Journal, Bloomberg, Fortune, Money, Forbes, Nation, BusinessWeek, to name a few.

Tackling complicated scientific or financial concepts are his forte. His ability of incorporate several messages within a concept makes him the darling of art directors. For an assignment for the New York Times he combined a series of layered vintage photos and shattered glass to illustrate the fragmentation of biographer Michael Holroyd’s own eccentric family in his book Basil Street Blues. There is a surrealist bent to the work along with odd juxtapositions that make Viktor’s work truly unique. No one has copied his way of working, his work remains timeless.

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, Viktor found he couldn’t get into an art school in Greece so he emigrated to Israel where he enrolled in the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem, received a bachelors of fine arts and then on to the School of Visual Arts in New York to receive a master of fine arts, graduating with honors. He’s now on the faculty teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels—at two art schools, and until recently a continuing education program, not to mention his leadership of the dual summer residency programs that attracts students from all over the world. Again, when does he sleep?

He’s noted as a mixed-media artist with an uncanny knack for blending the monstrous, playful and absurd, creating photorealistic composite illustrations of things that don’t exist. While his commercial assignments are toned-down a bit for a wider audience, he really lets loose with his personal projects.

Whether they end up as publications or gallery works he is never at a loss for new projects. He’ll tell you, “Ideas usually address a strong urge to produce images outside the commissioned project sphere. Longer, research-oriented bodies of work complete the need to externalize the ideas and visual obsessions of a workaholic personality. Coming up with ideas when living in an intense environment like New York City is not brain surgery. There is no lack of stimuli, high-brow, low-brow or uni-brow, bizarre or mind-numbingly common, museums or underground zines. Not to mention my brilliant students who never cease to surprise me with references to the obscure and magic.”

While the commercial assignments rely on computer manipulations, his personal work turns towards fine arts where an image may be etched on acetate and then colored with acrylics. “Whether it’s acrylic or the computer they are the tool, and the tool sometimes works with your hand in a way that your brain doesn’t know about until it's before your eyes,” he explains. “You then choose to keep [an element] or choose to discard it. I don’t believe the computer to be a cold, clinical tool, it’s whatever you make it to be.” Source material can range from visiting the halls of museums here and abroad with his trusty camera, or source material from the Library of Congress, to flea markets for copyright-free photos, images from old advertisements, to in rare cases, stock photography. Not to mention the chaos of his studio where his collections of toys, gas masks, antique weapons and tools that fill all four walls.

He is not a believer in inspiration, “Inspiration is for amateurs,” says Koen. “Professionals generate inspiration. You will never catch me sitting in front of a blank screen.” For every project always starts with research, which can lasts days or months. For his personal work, the next step is to decide on a title, then determines the number of drawings followed by pencil sketches, then he heads out to find the beginnings of his compositions. “Working with titles resolves that question of inspiration,” he says. “To me inspiration is something coming into your head and having to channel it out of your hands. I like being very methodical about my work, because I’m entering into it and allowing for these accidents to happen, for strange combinations. The only way I will to, to the machine is knowing what I’m going to do with it.”

Viewing the finished product you cannot see the massive amount of time and energy spent on their development. You can, however, observe the artist’s obsession with Greek mythology and vintage photographs and their juxtaposition. “The more serious an image is, the deeper the funny part is," says Koen. “Looking at a funny sketch is one thing, but making a serious joke has a certain beauty to it.”

Koen credits his graphic design education at the Bezalel Academy their three obligatory interdisciplinary art history classes per semester in their curriculum. “[It] allows for much subconscious art conditioning, building an aesthetic instinct and allows one occasionally showing off to their family on museum visits. Also develops a solid appreciation for older methods of photo reproduction and their timeless allure.” As painter Xenis Sachinis, his mentor and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Thessaloniki says, “Fifty years later, maybe less, Viktor Koen’s daring prophecies may be the proof of a predicted present; the chronicle of predicted disorder, disharmony or even an abuse by science and government.” He adds, “Those prophecies are manifested through images. While his technique matured through technology—with noticeably worthwhile results—it goes back to a previous type of narrative painting.”

We are pleased to add Viktor Koen as our 2018 Illustrator/Educator of the Year. You’ll be able to find out even more about Viktor in our upcoming Annual. Just one more thing Viktor can add to his to-do list.

Friday, July 27, 2018

3x3 Illustration Annual No. 15 - Pre-Order

We’re beginning the design process which always starts with the cover. This year we had quite a number of potential cover images which we narrowed down to a select few before selecting Brian Stauffer's winning image from our show. This is a bit of a departure for us as we always look at each new cover in context with previous years—this image doesn’t fit our mold which we’re rather excited about.

As our founder Charles Hively said, “I feel at 3x3 we always look for new trends in illustration, unfortunately the recession slowed down that progress. Art directors were avoiding taking chances so while the work was strong there wasn’t much movement toward new work. That’s changed over the past couple of years and we’re pleased to see a number of really wonderful examples in this year’s show that push illustration forward. Brian’s work exemplifies that direction.”

Our annual is slatted for delivery in early December but we’re taking orders now for both the printed Annual and the digital edition. Winners and art directors will receive a complimentary eBook of the Annual once it’s released. Winners receive a discount on the print edition, our Best of Show winners receive a free copy.

The 3x3 Illustration Annual No.15 will be available on select newsstands and bookstores worldwide. Order your copy today.

3x3 Illustration Annual No.15
ISBN: 978-1-946750-08-2
Published early-December
480+ pages

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Funny Ladies at The New Yorker - This Thursday

The Society of Illustrators is holding a panel discussion featuring your favorite funny ladies!

Hosted by Liza Donnelly the curator of Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Cartoonists Then and Now, and a cartoonist herself. She'll be joined by cartoonists Roz Chast, Liana Finck, Carolita Johnson and The New Yorker Cartoon Editor Emma Allen.

This event will be followed with a reception to celebrate the exhibit.

Open to the public. Free to attend. Cash bar.

Thursday, July 26
Begins at 6:30pm
Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators 
128 East 63rd Street
New York, New York

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Rich Tu Talks Tomorrow

MFA Visual Narrative and SVA Library present a talk by MTV's Vice President of Design Rich Tu (MFA 2009 Illustration as Visual Essay), who will present his work, process and the story behind it all.

Storyteller's Series: Rich Tu
Wednesday, July 11
6:30 – 8:00pm
SVA Library West, 133/141 West 21st Street


Open to the Public

Rich Tu is currently a VP of Design at MTV. He is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts’ prestigious Illustration as Visual Essay program and received the “Young Guns” award from the Art Directors Club. He has exhibited at galleries and festivals in New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, as well as the SCOPE Miami festival, during Miami’s Art Basel week. Commercially, his clients include the New York Times, The New Yorker, Business Week, Alfa Romeo, Bombay Sapphire, G-Shock, Nike, Converse, American Express, NPR, NorthFace Purple Label, Coca-Cola, Verizon, Skype, Fuse TV and Hamilton The Musical, among others.

Chris Ware Featured on Art21

Happened to stumble onto a segment of Artists of the 21st Century, aka Art21, which is a wonderful series covering contemporary art. And surprise, surprise their Chicago segment featured comic artist and illustrator Chris Ware.

Take a look. And a interesting write-up. Also check out Nick Cave, also in the Chicago segment.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Pictoplasma Contest for Young Artists

Create the characters you wish were there!
Pictoplasma, the world’s leading festival of character design and art, has teamed up with Adobe Project 1324 to invite all global youth (ages 18—24) to augment the banality of everyday by giving a face to their imaginary friends and secret sidekicks! 

Starting with a regular photograph of a typical setting like a nearby grocery store, the office elevator, the school gates, or the front doorstep, entrants are invited to add a character (or characters) to the scene. Any medium or style can be used to alter the original photo—from drawing and collage to digital painting or vector illustration.

Five winners will be awarded with a fellowship, including travel costs and attendance at the 15th Pictoplasma Berlin Conference May 2019—and the opportunity to exhibit in an exclusive group show.

The Secret Sidekick Challenge deadline for submissions is June 25, 2018.

About Pictoplasma 
Each spring, Pictoplasma transforms Berlin into the international meeting point for a diverse scene of artists and creatives, trailblazing the face of tomorrow's visual culture. The annual festival showcases the latest character design trends in fine and urban arts, illustration, animation, and graphic design. 

Creators and producers meet for a fun-filled and offbeat conference, cutting-edge screenings bring the latest animation eye-candy to the big screen, and exhibitions invite the general public to experience original works and outstanding character craftsmanship. 

A second conference takes place later in the year in New York. As the educational counterpart, each fall the Pictoplasma Academy masterclass in Berlin invites a selected group of international graduate students and young professionals to kick-start their careers as character designers in close collaboration with high-profile artists, filmmakers, and producers. 

Lars Denicke and Peter Thaler
Plantagenstr. 31
13347 Berlin
Phone + 49 30 4611 2611

Art by Bakea

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Jonathan Levine Gallery is Looking
for a Few Good Artists

Jonathan LeVine Projects, led by the globally recognized gallerist Jonathan LeVine, is bringing the Delusional Art Competition back for a second year.

The competition gives artists from around the world a chance to gain exposure and recognition from one of the art market’s most high-profile galleries as well as from some of the industry’s most respected and recognized art professionals. 

Why submit? Delusional reinvents the juried show, breaking down barriers in the market to create opportunity and access for artists at varying stages of their careers. 

Submissions are open now through May 20, 2018.  Artists working in various backgrounds and styles are encouraged to submit in 2D and 3D mediums for a chance to win a solo exhibition and an online editorial feature in Juxtapoz.

Additional prizes include participation in a group exhibition, promotional opportunities, cash prizes and more.

The 2018 competition will be reviewed by the following high-profile arts professionals: Evan Pricco (Editor of Juxtapoz), Yasha Young (Director of Urban Nation Museum), Steven P. Harrington & Jaime Rojo (Brooklyn Street Art blog founders), Tara McPherson (Artist), Jeff Soto (Artist), and Jonathan LeVine (Gallerist).

“The Delusional exhibition is not just another juried show, it is the real thing and can be a important life-changing opportunity. These are rare events in today's art world,” Ronald Gonzalez, Third-Place Winner, 2017 Delusional Art Competition.

Now, are you delusional enough to submit? Follow @delusionalartcompetition on Instagram and Facebook for announcements and prize updates.

Deadline: May 20, 2018

Image by Alyssa B. DeVille, 2017 Finalist

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Meet Our Judges: Francesco Izzo, Art Director

Design is a broad category and it’s not more evident than here where we have Francesco Izzo, a graduate in industrial design moving gingerly—and successfully—into the role of art director at Nautilus magazine.

He earned his BFA in industrial design at La Sapienza in Rome, Italy and more recently a MFA in the Design as Entrepreneur program at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

It hasn't been too many years since he was at Nova Biomedical designing medical packaging, sales brochures, trade show materials and interface design solutions for touchscreen instruments. Today he combines his passion for design with illustration. And still has time to curate a show Una Storia Americana at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York which featured Emiliano Ponzi and Olimpia Zagnoli.

Francesco is passionate about human interactions, stories and personalities. He observes reality and depicts it applying his design language. Through pencil and paper he creates illustrations and typography and uses the computer to transform these stories into fun and engaging digital experiences. Francesco loves anything related to storytelling, branding and videography.

He has a deep love for illustration and employs that on a daily basis in his role as art director for both print and web at Nautilus.

What Francesco will be looking for: “I often tell myself there is no such thing as the perfect illustration. However I do believe in the subversive power of ideas, especially when they are filtered by the artist's unique personality and vision.”

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Meet Our Judges: Cristianno Guerri, Art Director

We are pleased to have the Italian art director, artist and photographer Cristiano Guerri join this year’s jury.

After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts, Carrara, he started work as graphic designer pursuing a special interest in the field of independent music labels.

He has served as senior graphic designer at Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, and from 2008 to present, he’s an art director at Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore in Milan.

His work has been published in various books and magazines including Gestalten Verlag, Abitare, La Stampa, Alias/Il Manifesto, Design is Kinky, Repubblica and Tracks – an overview of contemporary graphic design.

He received the Ciampi L'altrarte award together with the illustrator Gianni Pacinotti (Gipi) and numerous awards of excellence from Print European Design Annual and medals from the Society of Illustrators New York for the art direction of the Charles Bukowski's book series with illustrator Emiliano Ponzi and Gianluca Folì’s illustration for The Prodigious Life of Isidoro Sifflotin.

He’s also curator of 0_100 Editions, self-publishing project about contemporary photography. 0_100 Editions is an independent publishing project dedicated to producing strictly limited edition photographic books of wordless stories.

The entire 0_100 Editions collection has recently been acquired by the MoMA Library.

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, February 6, 2018

3x3 International Illustration Annual No. 15
Call for Entries Now Open

We’re pleased to welcome entries into our fifteenth annual international illustration awards show. As you may know our show is truly international with entries from all across the globe judged by leading art directors, designers and illustrators in the U.S. and abroad.

Last year’s winners represented forty countries and sixty-one art schools and universities worldwide. We have more categories than any other show which means your work is judged with related subject matter. We weight the jury towards art directors so you know your work measures up.

And we offer cash prizes to our Best of Show and cash-value prizes to our gold medalists—in total over $9,000 in prizes. We keep our entry fees and publication fees affordable and we promote our winners in social media, in print and direct to art directors who receive a digital edition of the annual free and a hefty discount for the print edition if they wish.

Three shows: Professional, Picture Book and Student.
Open to all illustrators in all countries.

Our show chair Bill Mayer has helped put together a jury that brings together the best of the best. Our 3x3 ProShow judges include Martin Gee, Senior Art Director, Time Magazine; Erin Mayes, Creative Director, EmDash; Cristano Guerri, Art Director, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore, Italy; Javier Jean, Illustrator, Spain and Victo Ngai, Illustrator. Our 3x3 Picture Book jury includes Sheila Smallwood, Creative Director, Houghton Mifflin, illustators Rafael Lopez, Mexico and Rutu Modan, Israel and Aljoscha Blau, Germany and one additional art director. Our 3x3 Student Show judges include Francesco Izzo, Art Director, Nautilus Magazine and illustrators Marion Arbona, France; Jill Calder, United Kingdom and Keith Negley.

For complete information about our show including categories and fees check out our Call for Entries.

Deadline: March 23, 2018
Late Deadline: March 30, 2018 (a $10 late fee is added to your entry fee)

illustration by Francesco Zorzi, Italy

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Bill Mayer Named Show Chair for Annual No. 15

We’re pleased to announce this year’s show chair is Bill Mayer. The ever-consummate illustrator, Bill will tell you, “I’ve always been attracted to that line between humor and horror from an early age.” The range of Bill’s work runs from editorial, character design, children’s books to posters, stamps and these tiny gouache paintings that have the look of times past. I’m personally amazed at the range you see coming from Bill. Perhaps, it’s because Bill will tell you he bores easily. In between those paying assignments he’s constantly experimenting with new subject matter, new media, new surfaces and new ideas.

A true son of the South, Bill was born in Birmingham, Alabama, moved to Memphis as a child (and then New York) before settling in Atlanta, attended Florida’s Ringling School of Art and now resides in Decatur, Georgia. But his work is anything but regional. Ringling gave him his really strong foundation in drawing and painting and the fact that their museum has one of the best collections of rococo and baroque art this side of Italy had its influence as well. But don’t call Bill a fine artist—he bristles at the suggestion—he’ll tell you that sounds a bit pretentious. The mastery he has with paint recalls an earlier time though with a modern slant; there’s a certain mystery and allure to the work where you want to spend time with the image. And you want to hang it on your wall. Bill says, “I am drawn to traditional paintings from the romantic period. Partially because I find it an interesting paradox between the humorous and sometimes creepy subject matter. Actually I don’t find them that creepy, but I have heard enough other people say it, so I have come to accept it.”

Visit his studio as 3x3 did in Issue No .21 and you’ll see an eclectic collection of dead things, a cow’s head on the wall with a varsity hat and a chain of oval carabineers around his neck like a gold chain, there’s a stuffed dog on the floor and the head of a seal next to it. He’ll tell you he and his wife Lee have always been drawn to carnival freak show atmosphere.

No stranger to recognition Bill has received multiple gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York, gold and bronze medals from SILA, a silver medal from 3x3, a gold medal from the National Addy awards, the Patrick Nagel Award for Excellence, the Joseph Morgan Henninger Best of Show award and the list could go on. His clients include Mattel, Hasbro, DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, Levi’s for Women, Jose Cuervo, Time Magazine, PlanSponsor, IBM, Delta Airlines to name a few.

Bill is rounding up a great selection of judges from around the globe and we’ll be introducing them shortly.

The show will officially open for your entries on January 29. This year’s deadline is March 23, late deadline is March 30. Enter our Professional, Picture Book and Student shows with multiple categories for published and unpublished work.

3x3 International Illustration Annual No. 15
Deadline: March 23, 2018
Open for entries: January 29, 2018