December 28, 2011

Illustrating for New York Times - Maria Corte Maidagan

One of the newest additions to the group, Maria Corte Maidagan, was recently commissioned by New York Times art director, Fred Norgaard to create an illustration for their Dining & Wine section. The result was a blend of geometry, strong concepts, and great execution. 

You can read the full article here, or pick up the latest copy of The New York Times at newsstands today. 

December 23, 2011

Spotlight on Santa - A Merry Christmas to All

Christmas Eve is tomorrow night and what better way to celebrate this holiday than with great illustration? Can you think of a better way? We certainly can't. 

Please enjoy this small compilation of all the Santas our illustrators have done over the years and may this jolly, round man put some nice things under your trees. 

C.F Payne

Michal Dziekan

C.F Payne

Bill Sanderson

C.F Payne

Gregory Manchess

C.F Payne

Rudy Gutierrez

Gregory Manchess

Scott Brundage

Mark Summers

Tyler Jacobson
Ok, so this IS NOT Santa, but maybe it's Mrs. Claus?

"The Waking Prince" with Top Secret Reference Shots Revealed- Scott Brundage

For the past 6 months or so, Scott Brundage has been working on the illustrated book "The Waking Prince" (available on itunes), a story about a prince whose kiss did NOT awake a sleeping princess. 

Along with the illustrations from the book, Scott reveals the top secret reference photos of him making silly faces to give his characters just the right expressions. 

Filling Daddy's shoes - Kim Jong Un by Dongyun Lee

With the death of Kim Jong Il, his son Kim Jong Un will be filling in as the new overlord of North Korea. Who is he? What will he be like? Will he be the same cruel despot his father was? The world will have to wait to find out. 

Here is an illustration by Dongyun Lee, who is South Korean, created especially for this moment in history. 

December 22, 2011

"Industrial Elfolution" from Michal Dziekan

Just in time for Christmas, Michal Dziekan illustrated this humorous and somewhat bleak take on Santa Claus. Social commentary? or just a fun illustration? You decide.

December 21, 2011

"Crouching Tiger" by Yan Nascimbene receives rave reviews!

Talented childrens book illustrator, Yan Nascimbene, released a new book recently with author Ying Chang Compestine. "Crouching Tiger" is receiving rave reviews from various critics.

You can pick up a copy at most bookstores or order online from B&N. It would make a great gift for the holidays!

New York Times:
Crouching Tiger
By Ying Chang Compestine.Illustrated by Yan Nascimbene.
38 pp. Candlewick Press. $16.99.(Picture book; ages 6 to 10)

Poignant but not treacly, “Crouching Tiger” deals with an immigrant child’s conflicting emotions toward a grandparent from the old country. Vinson — Ming Da to his grandfather — wants to learn kung fu, but his grandfather insists on teaching him the tamer and seemingly far less cool art of tai chi. Eventually, he learns to appreciate his Chinese heritage in a convincing, unsentimental way, and to value the wisdom of his forebears. Nascimbene’s delicate ink and watercolor illustrations are exquisite.

Chicago Tribune:
By Mary Harris Russell
Special to Tribune Newspapers

Vinson thinks his grandpa's visit from China will be great but is less sure when grandpa insists on calling him "Ming Dao" and the kind of martial art grandpa wants to teach him is tai chi. (When grandpa finally lets Vinson train with a long bamboo pole, the boy thinks, "I kept hoping Grandpa would teach me to whack things with the pole.") The New Year's celebrations show Vinson (and readers) more about inner discipline and grandpa's tiger heart. The illustrations are calmly brilliant, whether of gardens and interiors or of streets filled with Lion Dancers.

Publisher's Weekly (starred review):
Editorial Review - Publishers Weekly vol. 258 iss. 44 p (c) 10/31/2011

Nascimbene’s (First Grade Jitters) delicately drafted ink-and-watercolor artwork distinguishes this child-of-immigrants tale about Ming Da, who scorns his Chinese grandfather until Grandpa’s perfectly timed martial arts kick saves a stranger from injury. That gets Ming Da’s attention; he agrees to let Grandpa teach him tai chi, and when the New Year comes, the lion dance parade offers him a chance to show off his hard work to all of Chinatown. Compestine (The Runaway Wok) excels at portraying Ming Da’s embarrassment (“I jammed my headphones into my ears to avoid talking to Grandpa”), though more sentimental moments may put off jaded older readers (“ ‘Could you teach me, please?’ I asked in a low voice”). The beauty Nascimbene discovers in Ming Da’s suburban world—the leaves that fall around Ming Da as he practices, parade-goers scattered like confetti, the stars that accompany Ming Da and Grandpa on the way home—echoes the beauty Ming Da eventually finds in Grandpa’s tai chi poses. Readers will warm to the duo’s growing friendship and the gifts that come as Ming Da allows himself to enter Grandpa’s world. Ages 6–10. (Dec.)

December 20, 2011

End of an Era - Jason Seiler's caricature of Kim Jong Il

With the recent news of Kim Jong Il's death, dictator and despot of North Korea, it is hard to avoid seeing his iconic appearance in photos and videos on the news. His appearance made him seem like a caricature already so this is why Jason Seiler took it one step further and created this hilarious portrait: 

December 19, 2011

Myths, Fairytales, and Fables: Where Imagination Thrives

This weeks collection from the illustrators turned out epic indeed. What better way to end the New Year than with celebrating the power of the imagination and the timeless art of story telling. Perhaps these illustrations can serve as a reminder that at some point in our lives, we all believed in magic. 

Happy Holidays everyone!

Niklas Asker
"Every time a child says I don't believe in fairies there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead."
- J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Ted Wright
"And when I was fifteen years old,
Then was I crowned king:
 All Brittaine, that was at an uproar,
 I did to quiet bring."
 - Thomas Percy, King Arthur
Michal Dziekan
"She will come for me in the summer
In how many years, I don't know
Will come, stop by the house
Will tell - it's time for you "
 - Krzysztof Grzeskowiak, Poludnica, song about a Polish Fairy Tale
Douglas Smith
"In the Dark Ages, Magic was a weapon. Love was a mystery. Adventure was everywhere... And Dragons were real."
- Dragonslayer [1981]
Kinuko Y. Craft
"Her godmother simply touched her with her wand, and, at the same moment, her clothes were turned into cloth of gold and silver, all decked with jewels."
- Charles Perrault, Cinderalla
Edward Kinsella III
"Becoming a real boy was just the beginning…"
- Scott William Carter, Wooden Bones
Jon Foster
"If you see the magic in a fairy tale, you can face the future."
- Danielle Steel, Author
Mark T. Smith
"His skin more hard than brass was found,
That sword nor spear could pierce nor wound."
 - St. George and the Dragon, Olde English Poem
Mark Summers
Aladdin: Who are you? 
Genie of the Lamp: Who am I? Who am I? I am the Lamp Genie... THE Lamp Genie. Wishes, dreams, power, premature and violent death... ohhh, scratch the last one.
 - Arabian Nights [2000]
Gregory Manchess
"Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale of all."
- Hans Christian Andersen
Maria Corte Maidagan
"The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. 'Off with his head!' she said, without even looking round."
- Lewis Carol, Alice in Wonderland
Chris Gall
"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."
- Albert Einstein
Tran Nguyen
"Oh, grandmother, what big ears you have!"
"The better to hear you with"
 "Oh, grandmother, what big eyes you have!"
 "The better to see you with"
 "Oh, grandmother, what big hands you have!"
 "The better to grab you with"
 "But, grandmother, what a dreadful big mouth you have!"
 "The better to eat you with"
 - The Brothers Grimm, Little Red Riding Hood
Kent Barton
"Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it."
- Alexandre Dumas, Author
Gary Kelley
"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again."
- C.S. Lewis, Author
Guy Stauber
“Zeus himself commanded that glorious Hermes should be lord over all birds of prey and grim-eyed lions, and boars with gleaming tusks, and over dogs and all the herds and flocks that the wide earth nourishes, and over all sheep.”
- Homeric Hymn 4 to Hermes
Bill Sanderson
“Make the fire
Fix the breakfast
Wash the dishes
Do the mopping
And the sweeping and the dusting
They always keep her hopping.”
- Cinderella (1950), Disney
Octavia Monaco
“In Homer's Odyssey, Penelope is the faithful wife of Odysseus, who keeps her suitors at bay in his long absence and is eventually reunited with him.”
- Wikipedia
Tyler Jacobson
“Forward Grendel came,
stepping nearer. Then
 he reached for Beowulf.”
 - Beowulf
Scott Brundage
“There she lay, looking so beautiful that he could not take his eyes off her.  He bent down and gave her a kiss.  As he touched her, Sleeping Beauty opened her eyes and smiled up at him.”
- Brothers Grimm, Sleeping Beauty
Chase Stone
"Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."
- G.K. Chesterton, Author
Eric Drooker
"Never regret thy fall, 
O Icarus of the fearless flight
For the greatest tragedy of them all
Is never to feel the burning light."
 - Oscar Wilde, Poet
James Bennett
"Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps."
- William Shakespeare
Tim Bower
"The pied piper slowly made his way through the houses and behind him flocked the rats. Out they scampered from doors, windows and gutters, rats of every size, all after the piper. And as he played, the stranger marched down to the river and straight into the water, up to his middle. Behind him swarmed the rats and every one was drowned and swept away by the current."
- Brothers Grimm, Pied Piper
Murray Kimber
“If I’m honest I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all.”
- Audrey Hepburn, Actress
Yan Nascimbene
“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”
- Author Unknown
C.F. Payne
“Today I'll bake, tomorrow I'll brew,
The next I'll fetch the queen's new child;
Still no one knows it just the same,
That Rumpelstiltskin is my name.”
- Brothers Grimm, Rumpelstiltskin
(Illustration is of Regis Philbin)