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 


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