Arts Forum Speakers Announced!

Monday, September 22, 2008

We very pleased to announce that two of the finest illustrators in the world will be jetting into Hotlanta in February to bestow upon us their illustrative awesomeness:

©2008 Sam Weber

Sam Weber is a native of Alaska who grew up in Canada. Sam is white hot in the Illustration world, leaving his very edgy mark all over the place, including the cover of the CA Illustration Annual.
His work is very organic and visceral, loaded with texture and nuance, and always with a hint of danger.
Born in Alaska, Sam grew up in Deep River Ontario, Canada. After attending the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, he moved to New York to pursue illustration and attend graduate school at The School of Visual Arts. After graduating, Sam worked part time for two years as assistant art director of the OpEd page at the New York Times, with senior art director Brian Rea. His studio is in Brooklyn. Likes include Italian and Japanese comics, David Lynch movies, and hanging out with Jillian.
Here's a great article that appeared in Computer Arts Magazine in the U.K.

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©2008 Anita Kunz

Anita Kunz is also from north of the border, and has a client list that reads like an International Who's Who in publishing and business. Here's a snippit from her online bio:
Canadian by birth, Anita Kunz has lived in London, New York and Toronto, contributing to magazines and working for design firms, book publishers and advertising agencies in Germany, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Canada, South Africa, Holland, Portugal, France and England. Her clients include Time magazine, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ, The New York Times, Sony Music, Random House Publishing and many others.
She is one of the most respected illustrators in the world, and we are absolutely thrilled that she will be our guest this winter.

Last year's Comm Arts Forum was huge with two of the best illustrators in the biz here at the same time; Yuko Shimizu and James Jean. Soon after they left I started sweating bullets just thinking of how we could top them. And I soon decided that it's dumb to think that way. What we CAN do, I thought, is bring in folks who are also at the top of their game, but maybe in slightly different arenas. Illustration can be so many different things, it's better to explore all the nooks and crannies of the styles, markets and genres of illustration; there's so much going on with illustration today, so many avenues available. So, I asked for input from you guys and got some great suggestions. Thanks for the feedback, and I hope everyone is as stoked as I am about this year's guests.

I've been an admirer of Anita's wonderful editorial work and her often stinging portraits for years; she's been in so many Society of Illustrators annuals and CA Illustration annuals it's hard to keep track. I met her in NY a few years ago, and she's just as sweet as she is talented.

I was introduced to Sam Weber by some grad students a few years ago, and was in awe from the start. His work just draws you in with it's subtle, somber color palette and those incredible textures; I can's WAIT to see his workshop. The amazing thing is that it's almost all traditional media. Just wonderful.

So, as we get closer to the event this winter quarter, I'll be passing along more information. In the meantime, mark your calendars for February 19-22. It's going to be a terrific weekend!

Laura Coyle's CD Release Debut

Saturday, September 20, 2008

One of SCAD's good friends, Laura Coyle, is a world-class illustrator and surface designer. Some of you have visited her home studio on field trips with Rick's or Jay's classes. Her client list is awe inspiring, and her work is both very retro and very current... I'm in a weird time-warp just thinking about it. She has visited our classes to discuss her experiences with the SURTEX show in New York, and has spoken with exit-level classes about best practices regarding self-promotion and office management (she's so organized a CPA would have issues with self-doubt looking at her files).
But her talents go WAY beyond the domain of illustration. No, she has to go and make us all look like little one-dimensional mortals compared to her multi-dimensional, super-human wonderwoman self. Turns out that this chick can sing, and I mean SING!!!
She just released her first CD entitled "Laura Coyle" ( pretty tricky, I know).
After the SCAD@Large show last night, I swung by Churchill Grounds, a very cool little spot right next door to the Fox (above), to catch her CD Release party gig. I can't think of the last time I spent three more enjoyable hours. What a gift she gives. Even when she's just listening to her fabulous band, she's in heaven, beaming with joy and appreciation. You can see that music is in her soul, every bit as much as art is.
Her love for the Jazz classics is clear as crystal; Ella Fitzgerald and Wes Montgomery bubble to the top, and Miles, Coltraine and the rest are hangin' out in the wings, tapping their feet and nodding, knowingly. What a pleasure to hear her clear voice, in perfect pitch and in time with some tricky jazz beats that lost me a time or two, but Laura and her awesome band were always right on, always ready for the next nuance, the next improvised magic touch.
Some jazz newbies might not "get it" right away. That's ok. It takes time to dig this deep. It takes time to "dig it". Illustration. Art. Music. It's all the same. It all comes from the same place. It's what makes us whole. It's what makes us human.
Thanks, Laura. What a wonderful night.


Thirteen students from the Illustration, painting, photography and sculpture departments at SCAD are showing their work in "SCAD@Large," an exhibition featuring work too large to be exhibited on the SCAD-Atlanta campus. The exhibition will be on display Sept. 19 - Oct.5 at the Factory, a 6,000-square-foot space with 25-foot ceilings (300 MLK Dr. SE). Students and faculty have worked together to develop site-specific work for the space. Morgan Alexander, Yana Dimitrova, Harrison Fraley, Suzy Maier, Macy Moore, Charles Parham, Seana Reilly, Richard Robbins, Brandon Sadler, Whitney Stansell, Cynthia Taylor, Yukari Umekawa and Whitney Wood are participating in the show.
Suzy was showing her personal and very provocative short animated novel "The Sunlit Blanket". It will also be one of the five films screened at her show at Mason Murer which opens next week . Suzy will also be showing several of her drawings and paintings in the show. Let's all come out and support Suzy as she hits the Big Time in her debut at Mason Murer.

Chuck Parham showed his very large and very powerful painting on canvas. The theme is one of hope, and is a vibrant, textural exploration of color and rhythm that invites you to get up close and personal as it draws you in and fills you up.

Brandon Sadler brought the work that was originally exhibited at the Red Gallery in Savannah this Summer. It's an installation that depicts the life of the downtrodden, the everyday folks who survive in the third world spaces that exist in our first-world city. The paintings are on larger-than-life cutouts and are derived from sketches made during days and weeks riding the Marta trains and buses, tapping into the psyche of the people who are doing their best to get by.

It was a great night with a large and enthusiastic crowd on hand. If you're in the area, swing by and take a look. And if anyone ever says to you that illustrators aren't artists, just show them this. Case closed.

Advice from Dani Jones

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm always looking around the internet for advice from real illustrators. Here's a link to Dani Jones' (she's a children's book illustrator) blog where she gives some advice about today's market:

Welcome Mike Lowery!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

SCAD-Atlanta's Illustration Department is VERY proud to announce the addition of Mike Lowery to our faculty, making us even MORE amazing than we already were, wait... is that even possible?

Anyway, Mike comes to us from the Art Institute in D.C., and he adds a whole new vibe to the department... a wry sense of humor that bubbles up in his art and in his conversation. He, his wife and their 16 month old daughter have pitched their tent here in the ATL, and we're very excited to have them here.

Check out Mike's blog and his website. Yeah, it's very different from what we've been about before, and we think it's a breath of fresh air. So if you haven't met Mike yet, introduce yourself and let him know that, even though we were pretty darn good before, we're even awesomer now!
Welcome aboard, Mike!

Student Spotlight: Rod Ben

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rod Ben is in the Student Spotlight to kick off the Fall 2008 Quarter. Rod is a second-year MFA candidate who has been doing some wonderful work, and we're very proud to show it off.

Songs My Enemies Taught Me

1. So Rod, where are you from?
Fallschurch, Virginia, five minutes outside of DC.

2. Where have you been to school?
I studied at the Art Institute of Washington, DC, where I received my bachelors in Media Arts and Animation.

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Alice in Wonderland
3. What attracted you to Illustration?
Growing up in the DC area, I was surrounded by towering structures that looked like they were being eaten alive by art. Graffiti was the name of the game, and my first exposure to illustration. I’ve been addicted ever since.

Skate decks
4. Who are your biggest influences?
My biggest influences have to be my experiences. I’ve traveled to many places, met many different kinds of people, and experienced so many great things.
I would say my favorite kinds of experiences, and thus influences, are the times where I’ve sat down with a complete stranger and just listen to what he or she had to rant about. I often feel that when I create a piece of art, I’m creating it for those people.

I Heart Aspara
5. If you weren’t studying illustration at SCAD, what would you likely be doing?
Cooking. I really like to eat good food, and I like to cook good food, so I think I’d probably be a chef. No particular cuisine, just whatever makes you gain ten pounds and tastes good you know?

6. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to wander and choose random ‘spots’ to hit up with friends and family; cafes, bars, restaurants etc. I’ve always enjoyed the experience of going somewhere new. I’m a pretty simple guy, I just like being around friends and family, have a frosty beer, and have healthy conversation.

Samurai Kicks
7. What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I’m not so sure if there is anything people don’t know about me. I try to bring everything to the table as soon as I meet someone. You either like me or you don’t, but at least you know what you’re getting.

Uncle Sam
8. What would your dream job/client be and why?
I’m really into the urban apparel industry right now. I like designing t-shirts, skateboards, and I hope to break into the vinyl doll industry. Hey why not right? My dream job would be; me starting my own urban apparel and product line, hiring all of my friends, and then taking over the world, one industry at a time.
I’m all about working with my friends. I think the best way to run a company would be for everyone to get along and knowing each other well enough so that business runs smooth. So yeah, dream job? Definitely me and my friends working together.

9. What’s your typical process for creating your artwork?
I always begin with the sketch. More often than not, any finished piece I do comes from a random sketch or doodle. Not that I don’t come up with concepts intentionally. But I’m sure like most artists, the sketchbook is where you’ll find the most raw and passionate imagery.
So from the sketch I then usually scan it in for coloring digitally. I usually import my scans into Adobe Flash for coloring. I find that most artists think that it’s strange that I use Flash to illustrate, but I come from an animation background, so I’m used to both illustrating and animating entirely in Flash. I like working in Flash because I work more vector-based than pixel-based, and there are certain tricks I can pull off in Flash that I can’t in Illustrator.
So basically I use my original sketch, make a line drawing with the brush tool, color with the brush and paint bucket, and export an image; all in Flash.

Aerial Frog-Fight (acrylics on gessoed panel)

10. Sum up your personal philosophy in 25 words or less.
“I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us kid”.

Jay's Student work from Summer

Friday, September 12, 2008

Some really great work came out of the students that took Summer classes. Check out a flash gallery of my students work here.

One of the best and cheapest ways for an illustrator to promote themselves, as we all know, is there very own custom website built and maintained by the illustrator.

In my Self Promotion class Seniors did just that. Check them out and send them an email using their new domain name email from their contact page.

Krystel Sanchez -
Briana Westmoreland -
Jhon Restrepo -
Fiona Handschin -
Ryan Stover -

Also from
Professional Practices ILLU 774
MFA Grad - Goñi Montes -

Of course, a website does no good if no one knows about it. People often ask me how I get up so high in the search engines. There is no true formula, but one thing certainly helps. Having as many links as you can from other sites to your site. To get started, check out some links here where you can advertise or post a link and/or profile for free or very little money. I'm on all of these and more.

I have over 300 links here most of which are related to illustration in some way. I'm adding more all the time.

Happy surfing!

If you have any other directory or illustrator links and would like to share make a comment or post them here.