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.
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
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!”
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!”
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
, Real Simple
, Nobrow, The Baffler
, 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.