December 22, 2010

Art Basel Miami: The Scene at the Fair

The first week in December brings a unique crowd to Miami.

Art folks from all over the world descend for a few days of schmoozing, pontificating, telling tall tales, telling tales out of school, and actually looking at and buying art. It is a one of a kind get together in the art world. One place at one time every year. And what better locale than the Art Deco capital of America, Miami Beach. The weather is grand, the people watching is to die for, and sometimes you run into some terrific talent. But you never know.

I want to share with you this first of several posts a scene-set of my week under the sun. I was going to call it “From the sublime to the ridiculous,” but I think I’ll save my take on the best and worst art for a later post. For now, I simply want to use my camera to talk for me about some of the interesting things that caught my eye.

Let’s begin.

The snail march

The Boss takes the pulse of PULSE.

Pulse Sillybandz

The Jackie Gleason Theater.

Palm trees on Collins Ave.

R&R outside of Design Miami.

Very cool!

Mural by our newest artists Raoul and Davide. The coolest dudes at the show.

Our artist Franky Cruz at work.

Sunset at a Primary Flight location.

The New Zealand crew makes magic.


Caught off guard.

Franky Cruz looks for inspiration.

Vintage fashion show at the Albion.

Miami Beach post modern.

Prototype of the new Audi at the Design Miami fair.

Is this art?

Is this art? II

Is this art? III

November 18, 2010

Art Party of the Year

On November 11th, the annual American Illustration Party took place at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on New York’s legendary Lower East Side. This is the one party related to our business that I look forward to the most. It takes place in what used to be an ornate, historic synagogue, but is no longer a place of worship. It definitely is the place to be. Why? Because there is good illustration and photography to look at and great people watching. The space fills up very quickly with a mix of artists, art directors, art lovers, and the usual New York hipster crowd. New friends are made, old friendships are renewed and, even a little business is taken care of. Of course, being at an art party means heavy drinking and lots of war stories, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Several of my artists attended, and my staff and my interns joined me for the evening. On a personal note, I met an old friend, Julie Lieberman, a professor of illustration at the Savannah College of Art. We had the time to catch up over a glass of wine, and she invited me to speak to the students, along with one of my artists, John Mattos. You never know what can happen when you are at the American Illustration Party. Who knows, maybe next year a trip to Paris!

Even though the place was super packed I did get a chance to take a quick walk through of the artwork on the walls. Several of our artists had pieces in the show and they included Tim Bower, Scott Brundage, Dongyun Lee and Jason Seiler (in order of appearance below.)

The AI Party celebrates the annual launch of the American Illustration book. Over the years, AI has been the go-to source for new and cutting edge illustration and photography. It is the place to be seen if you are breaking boundaries, and many of the featured artists and photographers have gone on to great careers in their fields.

My recommendation... enter next year.

November 5, 2010

How To Promote

This week, I had a group of grad students from Marywood Universities in my office. I had received a phone call weeks before from a long time friend, Lynne Foster, asking me if she could bring her class in for a visit. I was happy to accommodate her. My staff and I chatted with the students about the business of illustration. Of course they were interested in how my company works, how I get jobs for my illustrators, how I select artists and how artist submit their work to me, etc.

One of the most interesting questions was: how does an individual artist promote him or herself? I replied that one needs to be creative. Don’t be afraid to be different.

Buy a contact list that has been vetted of legitimate creatives in our business. You can send out emails periodically; a sequential series of pieces that show your problem solving abilities. From mailing to mailing, you shoul have a consistent “signature style” that shows the targeted art director that they can count on you for a specific "look.” When it comes to direct mail, of course one can start with the old reliable post card, but you may want to step it up and be inventive... the artwork should be memorable, but the packaging can do the same.

Be active in the online community. Sites like Behance, Twitter, Facebook, and Drawger give you a chance to showcase your most current work and discuss it with other creatives. Enter contests and juried shows, including the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, 3x3, Society of Publication Designers, and Spectrum.

When it comes to Illustration Directories, there are many, both online and off. These include Workbook, the Directory if Illustration, The Ispot, Illustration Mundo, Foundfolios, and many more. Some of these are costly, but some of them are free of charge.

Do your homework, do research, ask friends, ask art directors, if you know any, and working artists. Pick their brain as to what works for them and what doesn’t.

I realize that an illustrator working alone can’t and wont do all of these things, nor do you have to. Many successful illustrators pick one style of promotion that they feel suits them best. But you have to do something to make your presence known.

I hope that the hour that I spent with this group gave them food for thought and inspiration.

October 22, 2010

Mark English at Eleanor Ettinger Gallery

On the evening of October 14th, my staff and I attended the inaugural exhibition of the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery in their new home on West 57th Street NYC. Mark English (who I represent in Art On A Grand Scale) was the featured artist.

To say that Mark is great is an understatement. He is a recipient of the Hamilton King Award, which
is given to an "artist of the year," voted on by his peers, and was elected to the Illustrators Hall of Fame by the Society of Illustrators. Need I say that he has done illustrations for all major publications, and has had many
gallery shows? He is equally comfortable in the world of Fine Art and Illustration and is able to shift gears easily.

What is most appealing to me about Mark's work is his ethereal, ghostlike imagery that is buried deep inside the canvas. At times, figures and animals reveal themselves out of the beautiful color fields.

I had not seen Mark an year and half and as always he was gracious, charming and consummate gentleman. My artist Greg Manchess dropped by and we all had a wonderful evening talking and telling war stories.

October 11, 2010

40 years of Op-Ed illustration

Found this the other day. 40 years of Op-Ed illustration at the NY Times:

October 7, 2010

Academy of Art University at Fashion Week

Recently, my new intern, Akane Ogura and I were invited to attend the Academy of Art University Spring 2011 Collections at Fashion Week in NYC at Lincoln Center. Akane is a recent graduate of the Academy majoring in Illustration, but previously she had studied Fashion Design in Japan. She was the perfect partner for this event.

If you have never been to fashion week in NY or Paris, you cannot believe the hoopla and excitement that surrounds one of this event. Lights, camera, action, flash bulbs snapping and paparazzi moving in packs. And lets not forget "beautiful people" and the hangers on doing their show and tell. You can't help but be caught up in the action.

Every year, The Academy puts on a runway show in one of the tents combining the best student fashion of the year worn by professional models. It had all the glitz and glamour of a Karl Lagerfeld shows. I am including some pictures that we took from close to the catwalk.

September 17, 2010

Blow Up

On Friday September 10th, my staff and I attended the first show of the fall season at the SOI, entitled "Blow-Up.” It featured three illustrators who are at the forefront and cutting edge of new illustration. The three artists are Tomer Hanuka, Yuko Shimizu, and Sam Weber.

On the first floor there were large reprinted “blow ups” of their illustrations, and downstairs were more art works which included in many cases black and white sketches of the step by step development of various projects.

Sam and Yuko's Art work

The Work of Tomer Hanuka

From my personal point of view, I was delighted to see several works by Tomer Hanuka in collaboration with his brother Asaf. I had dinner with Tomer Hanuka several month ago, and at the time he told me the fascinating story of a child army in the jungles of Burma. The boy army was led by an inspirational and charismatic young leader. I was very interested at the time in seeing how Tomer Hanuka and his brother would visualize this story inspired by from real life events. I must go back again when it is quieter and study these pieces. I now feel more strongly than ever that this story will be great, and could make a terrific movie. In my opinion, a new "Lord of the Flies".

me and my assistant Meredith, and Marcus Chin, me, and my assistant Ana

Don't miss this show, which closes October 16th!

September 2, 2010

Niklas Asker Exhibition

Niklas Asker's fine art will be on display at the Carina Björck Gallery in Stockholm, from the 10th to the 23rd of September . Get a sneak peek at

Sterling Hundley Exhibition

Sterling Hundley's fine art work will be on display in "Crew," a solo show at Ghostprint Gallery in Richmond VA, September 3rd-25th.

August 26, 2010

US Open Merchandise

Back in December of 2009, I received a call to be one of the three artists to design the poster and logo graphics for the 2010 US Open Tennis Championships. I began with doing about 15 pencil sketches and then produced 15 color pieces. After the reviewing the art, the client narrowed it down to 8 pieces that they wanted to complete. I made changes and correction to those 8 and then the client said that they wouldn’t decide who would get the project until two weeks after the New Year.

Well, two weeks later I got the call from Richard Solomon that the committee had picked 2 of my pieces of artwork for the Poster and Merchandise for the event. It's very exciting to have done so much. The US Open Tennis Championships has the largest viewing audiences of all sporting events, including the World Series and the Superbowl. Take a look at what they came up with:

You can view all of the merchandise and purchase items at

-- Ted