September 27, 2011

September 26, 2011

Breakthrough Spotlight: Staff Picks

Now that the Breakthrough Contest is over, we, the staff over at the Richard Solomon's office, got a chance to sit down and look over all of the submissions from this year's contest. We picked out those people that in our opinion also deserved a little spotlight even though they didn't win. These artists are also among the highest scoring of the competition. They were chosen by Ana Gomez (graphic designer), Kofong Hsia (assistant), and Anastasiya Tarasenko (assistant) collectively. 

Matthew Buck is a freelance illustrator based in New York. His style ranges from photo-realism to graphic. He illustrated Jay-Z's memoir "Decoded" and has had work exhibited at Tata Gala. We all agreed his awesome rendering skills were worth noting.
We enjoyed Brazilian illustrator Daniel Bueno's unique geometric style.
""I try to escape the obvious solutions and one of the ways to do this is to deform a figure initially redundant. The use of graphics as entities that can have other meanings also takes part in this process." -DB
Jonathan is a graphic designer, illustrator, and typographer living in Italy. He uses clean lines and simple shapes to show his concepts. His work especially appealed to our graphic designer Ana Gomez. 
Hannah is a graduate of Brigham Young University. She stood out to us right away for her ability to tell a story with one image. 
Spanish artist Maria really appealed to everyone here for her great sense of shape and concept. She has created numerous book covers, posters, and animations and is working on a series of illustrations for cocktail recipes. 

Felix Girard

Quebec native Felix Girard comes from a family of painters. He works as a freelancer for various clients and has had multiple exhibitions in Canada and Europe.
It was hard to laugh at the humorous illustration of Tiago, a Brazilian native. He combines caricature, character design, and a whole lot of storytelling in his portfolio. 

We had a lot of caricaturists submit to the contest but Rob's work was one of, if not the best. He lives in Ohio where he works as a freelance illustrator and an event caricaturist. 

Denny is a student at Art Center College of Design in California. Denny's work reminded us of animation as it almost moved with the combination of lines and shapes. 

Abigail graduated Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010 and has work published in Spectrum 18, Ink Magazine, etc. Her linework, macabre style, and storytelling ability gives her an edge in the illustration world. 

Boston Madsen

Boston is a freelance illustrator and a student at Brigham Young University. Her illustrations skillfully executed and showcase her vibrant imagination. 
Utah based illustrator David is both a freelance illustrator and caricaturist and a fine artist. He works in both traditional and digital media to execute his figurative artwork. 
Alexis Marcou graduated from Plymouth University and since then has been doing freelance work for a wide range of clients such as cisco and nike. We loved the level of skill with graphite. 
Born in Mongolia, Monkooroi pursued her MFA in illustration from Savannah College of Art. Her work is a combination of traditional Mongolian and Tibetan style with modern western popular culture. 

Tran graduated from Savannah College of Art in 2009 and now lives and works in Georgia. Her artwork is the modern equivalent of the Art Nouveau and pre-Raphaelite movements. The romantic and therapeutic qualities of her artwork appealed to us greatly. 
Corinne received her BFA in 2011 and since her work has been featured in Spectrum and Society of Illustrators among others. We thought her work was well designed and combined line and form very well. 

New York native Danny is a freelance illustrator with a unique style and conceptual approach. His work has been featured in numerous publications. 

Erika studied illustration at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio and at the Illustration Academy in Sarasota. She now lives in Seattle where she works as a freelance illustrator. 

Though a graphic designer by training, Benoit is now working as a freelancee illustrator. He has illustrator multiple book covers, editorials, and theater posters. We just really enjoyed his fun style.

Denis is a very talented humorist, character designer, animator, and illustrator from Israel. Each one of his works is filled with life and story. We had a blast looking through his portfolio. 

September 23, 2011

Our Artists Going Green!

Douglas Smith
"Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them."
-Bill Vaughn, columnist and author
David Johnson
“The green revolution has an entirely different meaning to most people in the affluent nations of the privileged world than to those in the developing nations of the forgotten world.”
-Norman Borlaug, agronomist, humanitarian, Nobel laureate, and "Father of the Green Revolution."
Guy Stauber
"The Endangered Species Act is the strongest and most effective tool we have to repair the environmental harm that is causing a species to decline."
-Norm Dicks, U.S. Representative
Yan Nascimbene
"There's so much pollution in the air now that if it weren't for our lungs there'd be no place to put it all."
-Robert Orben, writer
Gary Kelley
"With all things and all beings we shall be as relatives."
-Black Elk, Oglala Sioux
Doug Cowan
"The Dodo never had a chance. He seems to have been invented for the sole purpose of becoming extinct and that was all he was good for."
-Will Cuppy, writer
Murray Kimber
"The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty.  The activist is the man who cleans up the river."
-Ross Perot, businessman and former presidential candidate
John Hersey
"Every day is Earth Day."
-Author Unknown
Rudy Gutierrez
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."
-Native American Proverb
Eric Drooker
"The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun."
-Ralph Nader, Progressive political activist
Tim Bower
"Modern technology
Owes ecology
An apology."
-Alan M. Eddison, Director of Green Earth Affairs headquarters in Zimbabwe
Dongyun Lee
"When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves."
-David Orr,Professor of Environmental at Oberlin College

September 21, 2011

Breakthrough Contest Spotlight: The Runners-Up

Last week we announced the winner of the Breakthrough Contest as Michal Dziekan. Once again, we congratulate him and look forward to meeting him in October. We would also like to acknowledge the 4 runners-up of the competition; their great portfolios got them very close to the top spot! 

Second Place: Rudy Jan Faber
Rudy is a self taught illustrator based in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.  

"I love illustrating pin-ups. Sometimes I choose bright and colorful themes with some urban, pop-art, lowbrow influences. Other times I enjoy painting dark, eerie and macabre themed illustrations. My main focus in my work is giving my characters lots of personality."

Third Place: Gabriella Barouch
Gabriella is an illustrator currently living in Paris, France. After getting her degree from Bezalel Academy of Art in Israel, she features her work in 3x3, Juxtapoz, CMYK, and other various publications and galleries. 

Fourth Place: Fredrik Rättzén
Fredrik is an illustrator and artist located in Kristianstad, Sweden. He finished Berghs School of Communication for Illustration in 2009. He now works as a freelancer and continues to develop his cool conceptual illustration style. 

Fifth Place: Daphne Christoforou
Daphne is a freelance illustrator living in Brighton, UK. 

"I particularly enjoy combining elements from Hindu imagery, Spirituality, Alchemy and Greek mythology with humour. Most of my illustrations are digital collages which I print on nice, expensive paper."

September 20, 2011

C.F. Payne - Did Our Founding Fathers Screw Up?

C.F. Payne was commissioned by The American Prospect last month to create this illustration for their special issue "Did Our Founding Fathers Screw Up?". This issue, which debates whether presidential democracy is still relevant, is now out on stands. 

September 16, 2011

Kent Barton's Los Angeles Times September 11th Cover

For their special 10th anniversary of September 11th edition, The Los Angeles Times commissioned Kent Barton to illustrate this cover in commemoration of the tragic events. 

Gary Kelley paints "The Dude" Lebowski

Gary Kelley painted the cultural icon"The Dude" from the movie "Big Lebowski" for a Lebowski themed art show in the Finder's Creepers gallery in Des Moines, IA. Don't miss opening night tonight! 

September 15, 2011


After months of deliberation, we can finally announce the winner of the Breakthrough Contest. Below is the press release we just sent out today. Congratulations Michal!

The Breakthrough Contest Has Broken Cover!
The Breakthrough Contest is the first illustration competition to be launched by an artist's representative. With the help of 20 Judges, all working industry pros, we selected a winner from 400+ entries from 15+ countries with only a few points separating the top 5.
AND THE WINNER IS... Michal Dziekan, a 26 year old illustrator from Warsaw, Poland; a true diamond in the rough. Since 2009 Michal has been working as a freelance illustrator on book covers, editorial/advertising illustration, t-shirt/character designs, and animation. You can see more of his work on his website We look forward to bringing Michal to NYC in late October, award him his prize, and introduce him to many art/design directors .