I am an illustrator who grew up in Louisville, KY and currently resides in Chicago, IL. I love sci-fi/fantasy stories, pop culture, coffee, and dogs. If you have any inquiries, feel free to contact me!
Be prepared, this is a super long post! And this is a brief summary at that! It was such a busy few days!
Sorry it took me so long to write this blog post. Things got super busy right after ICON8 ended! Now that things have cooled down, I can write about it.
ICON this year was in Portland, OR, a place I have actually never been to until this year. The city was a lovely artsy town filled with craft beer and a coffee shop on every corner, aka my kind of place. Aside from ICON, I tried to explore the city a bit, but within the short time, I could only go to a few places. I went to Salt and Straw and got their ice cream flavors of olive oil and strawberry balsamic. I visited a few coffee shops and a few local restaurants.
I do have a funny story about Powell’s Books. On the first day, I came across Powell 2, which is filled with science and nature books. Baffled at their selection, I thought this was ALL of Powell. If you’ve ever been to Powell, you are probably laughing at this. Later on, a friend of mine mentioned she was going to Powell and I decided to tag along. When we arrived, I pointed and said, “it’s right over there.” She looked at me confused and asked, “wait, which one did you want to go to?” To which I responded, “What do you mean which one? There’s only one, right?” This was when I saw the sign on the gigantic 3 or 4 story building next to it. In big letters, it read “Powell’s Books” and immediately I couldn’t believe I missed it originally. I ended up getting lost in Powell’s Books for a few hours after that.
Now onto the actual conference! I met the loveliest people as well as reunited with old friends from my undergraduate at MICA. The theme was Work + Play and it talked about the mixture of the two as well as how often illustration work can be a combination of both.
Due to school and finals being around the time workshops were announced, all of the workshops I had wanted to attend filled up too quickly so I decided to go to the education talks, which were open to anyone. There were some amazing lovely speakers and though I am not planning on going into teaching, it gave me some ideas on experimental projects for myself. Whitney Sherman gave a lovely talk about a new Illustration textbook that is in development all about the history of illustration. I was always surprised there wasn’t one like this before and I am so glad they are doing this now!
We had so many amazing speakers! Lila Rogers, NOBROW, LAIKA, Clayton Brothers, Jan Pinkava, Jennifer Daniel, Alicia Desantis, Linda Joy Kattwinkel, David Tillinghast, Ann Field, Carson Ellis, 8 by 8, Calef Brown, Georganne Deen, Craig Bartlett, Chronicle Books, Victo Ngai, Leo Espinosa, Aaron Smith, Owen Smith, Victor Juhasz, Janet Hamlin, Brian McMullen, Justin Hall, Modern Dog, Jon Klassen, Mac Barnett, Damien Kulash, and many MANY others.
One big thing many people talked about was keeping a daily visual journal to make sure something was drawn and documented each day. As you can see from my earlier posts, I decided to start one myself!
GIF Animation for website versions of illustrations seemed to be popular and another thing I would have to look into more. I’ve seen other fellow illustrators work with it and I’ve experimented a bit with it, but not enough for portfolio worthy pieces yet. That may be my next adventure.
After going to the Roadshow, I realize I want to create more zines and smaller self published comics. Out of everything, my eyes kept gravitating towards that at the booths.
If you have a Google phone or know of someone who does, you have to check out Google Spotlight Stories! I believe the one they have out now is Windy Day. We were able to see a preview of the next one, though I don’t know if it’s out yet. Those things are AMAZING. This talk was presented by Jan Pinkava of Pixar.
Despite my graduate program, I took SO many notes during the legal talks we had at ICON8. You can never be too prepared. Also her talks were more focused on subjects illustrators needed rather than intellectual property protection in general.
Growing up watching Hey Arnold as a kid only made having Craig Bartlett a speaker even more exciting! He talked about the development of the character and how Arnold used to be claymation. There were also comics before there was a television show. I tried to stay cool, but the inner child in me was freaking out. I loved that show so much!
I ended up picking up Art Inc. by Lisa Congdon, which comes out in the Fall. ICON8 had a few copies sold exclusively at the conference and I was one of the few lucky ones to pick it up! I highly recommend it for any artist within the illustration field! It’s super informative.
Our ending keynote speaker was Damian Kulash, the lead singer of OK GO. He talked about the origins of the band and how it became as he called it “the dance band.” All of their music videos incorporate work and play very easily. I always loved their music and listening to him speak brought me back to highschool where a friend of mine and I would play them on repeat.
At the very end of the conference, I ended up being quite surprised at my dinner guest before the dance! Turns out through mutual connections ofone of the illustrators I was eating with, a few illustrators and I were able to have dinner with Damian Kulash. I figured he was used to people asking tons of music questions so I tried to ask him more about traveling. He had some pretty cool stories!
I danced the whole rest of the night with all of the amazing people I met and reunited with at ICON8! We had Portugal.The Man as the band and everyone had a blast.
I loved everything about ICON8 and would attend again! I can’t wait for the next one!
I had to complete a self portrait and a border for certain slides in my final thesis presentation. Well, I didn’t have to, but I just really wanted to make my slide show look pretty! Since I’m doing the presentation on my work, it only further shows what I can do.
If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably know that I spent the last week in Portland, OR for ICON8 (longer post soon to come about my wonderful experience there). A common topic I found was the push for daily journals and sketchbook entries to further improve one’s style as well as experiment with new mediums.
Drawing each day is important and I decided to begin my own daily sketchbook-journal where I draw a small drawing a day, just to keep me on my toes and document the creative process. I will probably post these when I fill up a page, which will probably be around once a week.
The other day, I added a new piece to my online shop. I just wanted to remind people if there is any piece you were hoping to purchase a print of, but don’t see it, just let me know and I can add it to the shop!
An illustration I created for Her Mind Magazine’s June/July 2014 issue revolving around the need to sleep in order to stay healthy, especially within early development for children and teens. It also talks about how the natural times for people to fall asleep changes depending on their age. To read the article, check it out here: Her Mind Magazine June/July 2014
Recently I’ve been getting back into watercolors and doing a few small pieces to experiment with different ways to work. I forgot how much I loved working in it for more than just sketchbook coloring, which was what I’ve been using it for mostly in the past. Since I’ve been enjoying it so much, there will probably be more to come.