Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Work and Play and Play at Work

A few months ago I got to hear three talented and inspiring artists speak at the Society of Illustrators, the incredibles Jillian Tamaki, Lisa Hanawalt, and Eleanor Davis.

You'll know all of them by their exceptional work. Jillian's luminous and fluid illustrations all over the place, her comics, her unbelievable embroidery covers for Penguin.
One of Jillian's Penguin Threads covers

Lisa's flipping hilarious work for her own comics, NYT, Hairpin, and now Lucky Peach.
Lisa's ode to The Bachelor

Eleanor's pitch perfect pieces ranging from the TOTALLY AWESOME Secret Science Alliance and Stinky to NYT illustrations, and now a cookbook.
Eleanor's super comic!

Eleanor in NYT!

It was worth the trip to New York to see these three ladies kicking ass and taking names in the field of illustration. They're so very good at their jobs and unique in their perspectives. The main takeaway from the talk (other than you must have been either obsessed with horses or manga as a child to secure success as an illustrator) was that most of the new, big work they end up getting hired for comes out of work they'd done for personal art projects.

One thing Eleanor said during the talk that I loved, her line about drawing boobs —  If you want to draw boobs, draw boobs! It should be a plaque in every school's art room (and bathroom).

Jillian also made cookies. I am sad I cannot kidnap her and bring her to Seattle.

Another incredible lady I got to see recently that I would totally Three Robbers, too, is Melissa Sweet.

She's pretty darn amazing, I am so happy Western Washington got to hear her speak at our conference, and I'm thrilled she'll be in LA at the SCBWI International Summer Conference. I could listen to her talk about art and writing all day, every day. Melissa is always trying new things, taking classes, getting excited about art, diving into subjects and characters that interest her like Mr. Sarg. Check out this lovely interview Lee Wind did with Melissa in honor of her winning this year's Golden Kite Award for illustration.

Golden Kite Award Winner 2012!

These ladies are inspiring my summer work, thanks to all of them for being so generous with their talent, time and thoughts at these different events.


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