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Blog » Illustration

Visual Artists, Protect Your Copyright!

Posted by Workbook on 07/02/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineIllustrationMarketing IntelligencePhotography

Illustration Partnership of America logo.jpg

The Illustrator's Partnership has been monitoring the Congressional hearings on the United States Copyright Office's attempt to re-write the U.S. Copyright Act. For visual artists, one of the most important aspects of the debate is the issue of Orphan Works.  In a recent notice, The Library of Congress, U.S. Copyright Office is seeking commentary on "how certain visual works, particularly photographs, graphic artworks, and illustrations, are monetized, enforced, and registered under the Copyright Act."

The Illustrator's Partnership has been an active force in protecting artists rights and states the following facts on their website:

-The "Next Great Copyright Act" would replace all existing copyright law.

-It would void our Constitutional right to the exclusive control of our work.

-It would "privilege" the public's right to use our work.

-It would "pressure" you to register your work with commercial registries.

-It would "orphan" unregistered work.

-It would make orphaned work available for commercial infringement by "good faith" infringers.

-It would allow others to alter your work and copyright these 'derivative works" in their own names.

-It would affect all visual art: drawings, paintings, sketches, photos, etc; past, present and future; published and unpublished; domestic and foreign.

Illustrator's Partnership also offers  a complete overview of this important issue , how to write effective commentary,  and provides access to the organization's previous filings. Make your voice heard by sending your digital comments (only) to by no later than July,23 2015

Hello Summer! It's hot in Hell's Kitchen!

Posted by Workbook on 07/02/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineIllustration
By Jeanine Henderson

I’ve been a resident of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood in NYC for the last 3 years, and absolutely love it—such a vibrant neighborhood and great community! So I was thrilled when w42st Magazine, a free publication & online resource featuring all the fantastic things there are to see, do & eat in Hell’s Kitchen, asked me to create the cover for their “Summer Fun” issue. They gave me tons of creative freedom with this, and I loved illustrating something I have such a personal connection to. The issue is out now! The online edition can be seen here, and printed copies are free in coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and other small local businesses & residential buildings throughout the Hell Kitchen area.

Yann Legendre for the Village Voice

Posted by Workbook on 06/30/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineIllustration
Yann Legendre illustrated this cover for last week's edition of the Village Voice magazine and it's headlining story, "Looking for Leatherman."

The Q & A with Tom Cocotos

Posted by Workbook on 06/25/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineIllustrationInterviews

Collage artist Tom Cocotos recently got together with Peggy Roalf of Design Arts Daily to discuss his life in New York, unique style, impressive studio, and much more. Check out their interview and some examples of Tom's work.

Q: As you are originally from Leonia, New Jersey what are some of your favorite things about living and working in New York City?
A: The great city’s sensory overload is always exciting and energizing—it commands one to work hard. But the underrated or less-trademarked treasures with their quality unsurpassed are what sing our town: Dave’s Brisket House in Bed-Stuy, the New York Public Library’s picture collection, Pizza Supreme across from Penn Station, and the Writer’s Foundry MFA program at St. Joseph’s College. New York also houses an eclectic and frequently eccentric combination of humanity; I recently played a pickup volleyball game alongside a bird paleontologist, a musical director of the symphony, and a taxi driver—imagine those perspectives and teamwork all on a single court! Some of the things I still miss: the restaurant Florent, the unadorned, dilapidated, derelict High Line, Julian’s billiards on fourteenth, the St. Mark’s Cinema, and the Empire Roller Skating Center in Crown Heights.

Q: Do you keep a sketchbook? What is the balance between the art you create on paper versus on the computer?
A: I find a sketchbook is essential to keep the gears oiled. A pocket sketchbook makes it possible to vary scale, going from 4 x 6 inches, often drawn on the street or in transit and then translating that to ever larger scales, with some works in the studio reaching 12 x 8 feet. To work while traveling about in our mass transit is one of New York’s great luxuries; our amazing subway is among the best transit studios on earth. The system persuades an artist to always keep paper, pencil, glue stick, and magazine at the ready.
I keep many small sketchbooks, each devoted to a very specific subject: there are bee sketchbooks, books of portraits—for a while I was doing hundreds of studies of the wonderful NYC poet Marie Ponsot and Warhol Superstar Ultra Violet— and then a book full of machines focusing mainly on backhoes. Like many artists I’m probably obsessive, but steady practice requires some kind of excess. There are also larger books that house drawings, ideas, poems, and technical information about materials. My work nowadays involves many mediums, but somehow I can’t shake my affinity for the tactile quality of paper—its tear, scrape, and gouge.

Q: What do you like best about your workspace?
A: A set of moveable walls and of course, music—the great stimulator! In my workspace a pair of salvaged stereo speakers from a boombox hang and would be at the top of any workspace list. I bought the parts years ago for my first studio on West 12th Street, and their sound has followed me through to about twenty different locations. The system is combined with a tuner and woofer speaker, both found in the trash. It sounds great and will hook up to most any electronic device with a headphone jack.

Q: Do you think it needs improvement? If so, what would you change?
A: Many artists I have spoken to say their studios can use improvement, so that makes me think it is a perpetual quest and that the perfect workspace may be a fantasy. It seems to me that it’s important to try and get comfortable working wherever you are. But if pressed, because of the music, I’d opt for really good soundproofing!

Q: How do you organize an assignment before you start drawing? Do you make lists and thumbnails?
A: Different people classify fine art in different ways but for my practice the fine art develops its own rhythm and complexion over time and through repetition as a series. And while commissioned or illustrative work often depends on a series as well, it is essential for me to read over the material many times or study the ideas of others as soon as I get an assignment, so I have as much time as possible for that information to percolate in my head. Eventually when the time feels right I’ll start brainstorming through sketches.

Q: How do you know when the art is finished?
A: Whenever that which is now being added or changed begins to make the piece worse.

To read the rest of Peggy's interview with Tom Cocotos click HERE

“Spring Swing,” center and right:  “Dinosaur Gas” and “Salted Birds” both for National Geographic Children’s Books, art direction by Kathryn Robbins

(Read more)

Chris Whetzel: Is Your Data Private?

Posted by Workbook on 06/25/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesGalleriesHeadlineIllustration

Here is an illo for a recent commentary dealing with concerns over protecting children’s and student’s personal data from companies that sell such information in bulk. This was a fun one; I was particularly happy with the AD choosing the sketch that really has nothing to do with “education” subject matter. I can only draw so many schoolbooks and chalkboards :)


Illustrating the problem: Advertising (selling) personal data

Illustrating a solution: Pixellating photo in yearbook (granting privacy)

Illustrating the human element: Admin “shush-ing” teacher in front of screen (cursor as hand)

There was another submitted sketch, but I like the concept and will not be sharing as I may use it on a future personal piece or assignment :)

Detail: “De plane, de plane!” (will the kids get that reference?)

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy the Day,

See more from Chris Whetzel at his Workbook Portfolio, Tumblr page and Website

Vigg for John Hopkins University and New Jersey Monthly Magazine

Posted by Workbook on 06/24/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineIllustration
Illustrator Vigg recently produced two new illustrations for Johns Hopkins University and New Jersey Monthly magazine. Both images showcase his signature conceptual style of simple, colorful, and having just the right amount of humor. Take a look at both images below.

Johns Hopkins (below). Background info: This illustration is about The Maryland Advanced Research Computing Center (MARCC), which gives researchers the computing muscle they need for enormous projects like analyzing the human heart.

New Jersey Monthly, Background: This image is about The U.S. Caregiver Act now providing a helping hand to caregivers helping loved ones at home.

Tony De Luz: Scenic Weil Farm

Posted by Workbook on 06/19/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesIllustration
This lush farm scene image was created digitally by Tony De Luz for James Rollins Design, New York and for client Weil Family Farm, who produces organically-raised Galloway cattle. For wide usage including packaging.

Tony is represented by Hedge Graphics

Workbook Artists Help Brands Engage

Posted by Workbook on 06/17/2015 — Filed under:  Advertising CampaignsFeaturesHeadlineIllustrationMarketing Intelligencebehind the scenes
Hawk Krall customized Chuck Taylor

Workbook artists have recently played a unique role in helping brands connect with consumers.  Companies as diverse as Citibank, Friskies Cat Food, and Nike-owned Converse utilized the unique talents of artists and illustrators Hawk Krall, Tom Cocotos, and Jason Mecier to promote interaction with their products and services by offering  experiences that directly engage consumers. And in each case, the artist was allowed to do what he does best: be creative.

Hawk Krall was one of four artists contacted through his agent, John Brewster, by Jess Oldham, Director, Creative Services Brand Design for Converse.  They set up a temporary studio in a Philadelphia shop called UBIQ.  Customers were encouraged to work with Hawk and the other artists to customize a new pair of Chuck Taylor shoes. Events like this were part of an international, integrated campaign that focused on consumers and celebrities who have made their individual marks on their own Chuck Taylors. Instagram #madebyyou has been a key platform for sharing all forms of individual sneaker portraits as more pop-up events like this began to happen worldwide.

Hawk Krall customizes a pair of Chuck Taylors

Customized Chuck Taylors

Tom Cocotos was contacted by Mike Stine, Project Manager at Havas Impact, just outside Atlanta, which handles agency operations and logistics. Agency client Citibank expressed the desire to create an experiential campaign to share on social media channels to promote its work with Network For Teaching Entrepeneur-ship, or NFTE.  Participants in three major cities: New York, Los Angeles, and Miami were encouraged to share their dreams and goals by writing them on PostIt notes, which Tom then used to create three different collages. Each PostIt note represented a $10.00 donation to NFTE.  This integrated campaign also included a short film produced by PotsNPans, which can be viewed on the Citibank Facebook page and a yet-to-be-held charity auction of the artwork.

Tom Cocotos at work

Tom Cocotos works on Citibank project

The whimsical work of Jason Mecier's is a perfect fit for clients who want to give consumers an experience.  Jason can create artwork out of trash, candy, or Friskies Cat Food bits. Jason was contacted through his rep Steve Munro by the marketing team from Nestle/Purina that handles Friskies Cat Food. Their Haus of Bacon pop-up gallery at this year's SxSW featured Jason working on his bacon and cat food portraits of celebrity cats and gave attendees the opportunity to meet the biggest feline celebrities in the world.

GrumpyCat bacon portrait

Cat portrait made from Friskies Cat Food

Goni Montes: Drake, The New Yorker

Posted by Workbook on 06/11/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineIllustration
By Richard Solomon Artists Representative

Goni Montes illustrated this portrait of Drake for the New Yorker's music Summer Preview. The article highlights the who, what, when, and where of every can't-miss performance coming to NYC this summer! Check it out here!

Mark T Smith - Pain Control, Military Officers of America Magazine

Posted by Workbook on 06/11/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesIllustration
By Richard Solomon Artists Representative

Mark T Smith illustrated this piece for an article titled "Pain Control" for Military Officer of America magazine. Read the entire article here! Check out more from Mark at his Workbook Portfolio.