Illustration

Disgraced

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Illustration, Portland Stage Company | 2 comments

When I read the script last year for Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, it leapt off the page. This play is his first, and he’s the first Muslim playwright to win a Pulitzer. The story begins in Amir and Emily’s posh apartment on the Upper West Side in NYC, where issues of identity, race, religion, and culture clash in unforgettable drama. The play begins with Emily sketching Amir, inspired by Velazquez’s Portrait of Juan de Peraja. It played into my first sketch for the poster. Amir has renounced the religion of his birth, Islam, and diligently climbed the ladder at a law...

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MECA Fashion 2017

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in drawing, fashion illustration, Illustration, Maine College of Art | 2 comments

May has been a complete mash-up of amazing events. I’m behind in all my documentation, but eager to share the wonders of Maine College of Art’s 5th Annual Fashion Show on May 4. Illustration Department Chair Mary Anne Lloyd was my date, and we enjoyed chatting with Textile and Fashion Design Adjunct Professor Jill McGowen before the show. The event took place in the ICA Gallery where Director of Exhibitions and Special Projects Erin Hutton rounded up the best crew with her signature magic. Program Coordinator for Continuing Studies Louise Tuski was the MC for the first fashion...

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Tillie Time

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration | 0 comments

I recently illustrated the cover of Mary Atkinson’s second middle grade novel, Tillie Heart and Soul, that just earned a starred review from Kirkus! As soon as I heard that Tillie was a roller skater, I was into it. After reading the manuscript, I began a little page of doodles. Then I began doing my homework for visual research on skater culture. And did more sketches. Tillie is a fifth grade girl living with her Uncle Fred. She’s an awkward but tough kid, and gets her share of scrapes. I wanted to show energy here, with hair and limbs flying out of the image frame. A new girl...

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String Around My Finger

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Illustration, pastels, Portland Stage Company | 4 comments

Over a year ago, I read the script for Brenda Wither’s play, String Around My Finger, now in it’s final run at Portland Stage Company. As someone who has suffered infant loss, the comedic tone seemed too light then. The aftermath of such an event is devastating, confusing, and heavy. In the play, Emma’s had a miscarriage, and everyone else is ignoring her trauma, trying to keep up good cheer while navigating realities. To tackle illustrating this, my initial ideas played with the literal visual of a string around a finger. The first was a baby hand that looms over small...

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What’s Up in IL 2?

Posted by on Apr 17, 2017 in Art Classes, drawing, Illustration, Maine College of Art, pastels, Peaks Island | 7 comments

Between illustration deadlines , I’ve been teaching Illustration 2 at Maine College of Art. This sophomore level elective is open to any student, and usually includes those interested in majoring in Illustration or Digital Media. There are two sections, and mine has 10 amazing people! While Illustration 1 involves an emphasis on black and white media, IL 206 focuses on color, concept development, and putting images into context, with a design layout provided. The first day of class students were presented with pastel pencils, colored paper and sand paper, and a grab bag of toy animals....

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Prickly Picture Book Program on Peaks

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in A Porcupine's Promenade, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration, Island Birthday, Peaks Island, Portland Public Library, Tilbury House | 2 comments

Many thanks to the Peaks Island Branch Library for hosting our Prickly Picture Book Program on Saturday morning. I couldn’t resist making something sweet and prickly, too. (Do try this at home, a pile of warm brownies pierced with toothpicks is a very fun sculpture to make and then eat!) It was a pleasure to have Lyn Smith, the author of A Porcupine’s Promenade visit Peaks Island. As a reading specialist, Lyn enjoys reading aloud.  She makes these porcupine noises that I just cannot fathom how. I talked a bit before making a visual presentation, about how I came to illustrate...

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