Was able to work with AD Len Small at Nautilus magazine again - this time for a cover, full page and spots for Issue 45: Power. The images are based on an article by Michael Lewis about examining bias in medicine and why doctors sometimes make bad calls. Always really fun to work with the art direction crew at that magazine and I love the variety of subject matter!
Julia Breckenreid is an award winning illustrator based in Toronto who also happens to love bike riding. She recently joined a project called Women Who Draw, a website featuring female artists. The sites goal is to make a directory for female illustrators in order for them to get more work since women have typically have lower representation in the industry.
Tell us about the importance of the Women Who Draw project.
I think it’s a great idea. At least three to four times a year I am asked directly or through social media if I know of any female illustrators that I could recommend. As to why this is necessary, I think I can only respond from personal experience, rather than make wide assumptions about why women’s work is not more in focus on magazine covers and other high profile jobs.
Here’s a small example. When presented with the opportunity, some of my male peers are able to speak about their work, their current jobs and recent awards loudly and often. It seems to come naturally. Raised to be “lady like” and polite, there is a part of me that worries about being seen as self-aggrandizing. To be a successful illustrator, you need to be able to promote fairly aggressively… Do you see my conundrum? I suspect other female illustrators may feel the same way - so an illustration site geared to help highlight female perspectives can only be good.
How did you become involved in the project? Were you asked or did you apply?
To be honest, I saw on Facebook that fellow illustrator Laurie Rosenwald had posted that she was now a part of the Women Who Draw site, so I followed the link to check it out!
How was it decided what works of yours would be included?
The requirements are only that you are a professional illustrator and a woman. Or someone who identifies as a woman. It’s an open directory.
What do biking and art have to do with each other?
Being outside, taking it all in - it’s so good for my head! As a bike rider you can’t be passive, and you can’t be passive as an artist either. Besides, it relaxes me, despite the cars that come too close.
How do woman and biking intersect?
Maybe it’s about having confidence, freedom.
More bike lanes makes everyone feel more safe.
Does Toronto do anything to support female artists? What can they do to improve?
I wish I knew! I am not aware of anything like this. I know of some great projects to help youth, but not specifically women.
Does biking ever inspire your art?
Yes, definitely. Seeing the city (and all the stories within) go about it’s day is something I take in with great interest from a bike or walking.
I've submitted an idea I had a while back to RESIST! Guest-edited by Françoise Mouly, art editor of The New Yorker, and writer Nadja Spiegelman, RESIST! will be published as a special issue of Gabe Fowler's tabloid newspaper, Smoke Signal.
30,000 copies will be distributed for free on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017, in Washington D.C. Further distribution will occur at the Women's March on January 21st and throughout the United States.
I drew this while thinking about how others feel it is their right to control women's bodies.
You can still submit, so check out the RESIST! site!
While I was in London I was able to see the "A New Childhood: Picture Books from Soviet Russia", at the House of Illustration.
What I didn't realize, until the catalogue showed up in the mail, was that the work I loved the most from the show was all done by illustrator Eduard Krimmer! Was really surprised by how modern the work was, the risk taking from a design point of view. These illustrations are from the 1920s. Limitations in the printing process, and a revolution in thought can create beautiful things.
(*I scanned a few of these out of the catalogue from the show at the House of Illustration.)
Below: Krimmer, Chukovsky, Marshak) Kipling, Rudyard OTKUDA U KITA TAKAYA GLOTKA ("How the Whale Got Its Gullet") Moscow-Leningrad: GIZ, 1926
Below: Eduard Krimmer - Illustration for PORT, by Semen Polotskii, 1926
I was just in London and already overwhelmed and inspired, when I came to the Globe Theatre one day and saw the beautiful billboard, posters, prints and other ephemera every way I looked. Really was so taken by the approach - the design and illustrations work so beautifully together. I can't seem to find who specifically designed it all, just that it was done by the in-house design team at the Globe. No prints were for sale on site (damn!), but you can buy them through illustrator Dan Hillier's site.
It makes me want to see more of this kind of collaboration... I'm looking at you, Toronto. Less white set photos of the actual actors, more conceptual thought please.
Anyhoo - Hillier's illustrations are beautiful digital collages... And I was struck by the concepts in two or three of them. Here's a crap photo I tried to take of one of the prints on the stairway:
A couple of shots of the exterior:
And some more images of print matter:
Wandering through books on my shelf, looking through a show catalogue of Silvio Pasotti's, I lingered on the top painting here, "Dietro il paravento" from 1971... Then a few minutes later, I looked at this painting by Christoph Ruckhäberle, "Arrangement"... aannnnd CLICK.