Thursday, April 29, 2010

Illustration Annual

Communication Arts has just posted its 2010 Illustration Annual winners online!
Check out thumbnails of the whole slew of them here. Unfortunately, you have to have a subscription to view them larger.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

there is a light that never goes out

Frank Chimero's site is a beaut for understanding a creative process. Look at this little burst of inspiration (he gives links to the spurs). Browse the rest of his site for much more.

The Smiths song.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

editorially thinking...

Here... a handful of illustrators who do lovely, enduring work with editorial illustration:

Jillian Tamaki
(+ Tamaki's brainstorming session)
Sam Weber
Josh Cochran
Yuko Shimizu
Tim O'Brien
Marcos Chin (portrait of MJ above by Chin)

Monday, April 5, 2010

golden age

^(Walter Crane)^

To think a little bit about where we are in the history of visual culture, read this perspective from Susan E. Meyer, (via):

For nearly seven centuries all artists in the Western hemisphere were employed to display the wealth and power of their patrons. In the nineteenth century, however, a change occurred and the publishing industry – replacing all traditional patrons – emerged as the chief employer of artists. The publications succeeded both church and court as the great showcase for artists, and illustration, a creation of the Industrial Revolution, became the significant avenue for the artist.

At the end of the nineteenth century and during the early decades of the twentieth, books and periodicals provided the major source of public entertainment. Consequently, the contributors appearing in those pages — the writers and illustrators – assumed an importance of unprecedented proportions. Now that publishing has surrendered its exclusive power, overshadowed by the more pervasive presence of television and the Internet, it is not easy for the contemporary reader to imagine the extent of the artist's influence on the public mind. Illustrators had a crucial role in governing the cultural appetites of the day, and no American of that period could possibly remain unaffected by the millions of pictures circulated each week.

The years between 1865 and 1917 represent publishing's most exciting and dramatic time of expansion. This era, known as the Golden Age of Illustration, shaped the American character as we know it today and illustrators became inextricably linked to the development of an industry whose main purpose is to embrace the aspirations of an entire nation, to create the American Dream.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Advance notice: our class field trip.

into the third dimension

Amy Cutler has been an inspiration to me for the last few years as someone who allows narrative/illustrative elements prevail in her work without falling into what, for my purposes, are the pitfalls of the more traditional illustrative genres: cuteness without creepiness, creepiness without subtlety, technical subtlety without conceptual rigor. I just looked her up again and saw that she's been making sculpture. I like the risk, of course, because I love seeing people take risks (have you seen Inka Essenhigh's newer work?), but I'm not sold on Cutler's world in three dimensions yet. Perhaps it would be better to SEE it in three dimensions, but as of now, the work of Red Nose Studio is, even when it's located within a commercial sphere, more compelling to me.