studio tour

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Illustration, Maine College of Art, travels | 1 comment

I’m always curious about illustrators’ studios. We work tucked away with our supplies, books, and collectibles, the sum of which never ceases to delight me. I brought my senior illustration students on a tour of local studios in Portland, Maine last week, beginning with Joe Rosshirt, who graduated from Maine College of Art in 2011 when my students were freshmen.

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He discussed how he got through the first months after graduation and his tips for hanging in there: always be working on your own thing. He brought out projects from senior year that informed his final portfolio.

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Joe advised the class to stay connected to MECA, to alums and faculty, and to show up at events with a smile and business cards. Thanks for sharing your cool studio and cheerful work ethic, Joe!

Next stop: my colleague Mary Anne Lloyd’s colorful home studio. Mary Anne is also faculty in the Illustration Department and knows these students well.

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She toured us through her living room full of art created by various family members, demonstrating that art’s in her blood. She enjoys having her studio upstairs, where one area is for making work, and another is for the computer, kept in an opposite corner to avoid distraction.

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I could find endless inspiration here. Her stash of objects and ephemera is like Busy Town come to life.

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She shared old sketchbooks that hatched her current style, as well as this recent one, in which her habitat became her subject for the Sketchbook Project.

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Thanks, Mary Anne, for filling us with color!

We next wound our way over to Blood & Whiskey Studio, a hidden silkscreen shop manned by veteran illustrator/designer Alfred Wood.

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He discussed his process and methods and demonstrated a few swift pulls of the squeegee.

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I brought a class to visit Alfred years ago when he worked as a staff illustrator at the Portland Press Herald. “The paycheck was nice,” he said, “but I don’t miss the cubicle.” Alfred’s designs blend his love of vintage type and ephemera with Maine themes.

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Thanks, Alfred, for sharing your good eye and labors of ink!

MECA students are on spring break this week, catching up on rest perhaps, or pushing forward with their thesis work. I’ll be revising sketches in my home/studio and plotting another trip to inspire my class.

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One Comment

  1. Loved seeing these spaces and hearing about the artists. Thanks for taking me along on the tour.

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