Search Blog


The Workbook Blog is a destination for creative professionals and their agents to share ideas, insights and news. Click here to learn more about Workbook and our services.

Blog » Musing On

Summer at Richard Solomon's

Posted by Workbook on 07/13/2016 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineIllustrationMarketing IntelligenceMusing OnPersonal Work
Summer in New York

In honor of summer, the crew at Richard Solomon has created a newsletter full of beautiful imagery that evokes everything we love about the season: the sense of freedom, the light, the colors green and blue and, just relaxing on a lazy summer afternoon. Some images were pulled from the archives and some were created especially for the post. Kay Hsia and the rest of the staff found the perfect words  to match the imagery. If you would like to receive monthly newsletters regularly, email

child in swing on tree

Relaxing in flight

Summertime the song

Summer cycling

Curated Gallery by Wall Street Journal Art Director David Bamundo

Posted by Workbook on 10/21/2015 — Filed under:  Art Director's ChoiceEditorial IllustrationFeaturesGalleriesHeadlineIllustrationMusing On
Workbook Cover Fall 2015

Periodically we ask art directors to give us their insight into how they work. In this case, Wall Street Journal Art Director David Bamundo graciously agreed to  sit down with the most recent issue of Workbook and share his thoughts on the value of printed promotion and his varied appreciation and admiration for all kinds of illustration. He reinforced that Workbook remains an "ever-useful tool" in his creative kit.

"After twenty or so years in the business as both an illustrator and art director, the mystery of self-promotion in many ways remains just that. I've often thought that had I come into the business in the internet age, it would be cake to promote (and for free!) on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. and on and on. But then again, if EVERYBODY is doing it, isn't it just so much noise? Well, we ain’t getting any younger, and we seem to still be years away from the portable time machine; so it is what it is.

"I'm impressed by Workbook. I'm impressed by any business that makes their bones with printed matter. To me, and apparently many others, print does STILL matter. The act of thumbing through a fresh Workbook (after smelling the ink and paper) is as much a sense-memory for me as it is a business tool. In my job as one of the army of art directors at the Wall Street Journal, I appreciate any way an artist gets their work in front of my eyes. I think the days of creative professionals being off-put by emailed promotions are over (provided they are well done, not TOO frequent from the same person, and don’t include multi-megabyte attachments). I still like personal visits from illustrators, printed mailers, and of course, The Workbook.

"With all the promotional tools mentioned above, only a small percentage of what I see will be relevant to my work and a smaller percentage of that subset will result in my flagging them for remembering and then giving them an assignment. But that's perfectly OK! The creative pursuit is not a one-size-fits-all concern and thank goodness for that! So what if I'll never call that killer Photoshop artist whose specialty is sweaty beverage cans. Someone needs her or him, and I hope they get tons of money for their efforts! I'm happy to find a handful of new talent, which will give me that weird combination of awe and jealousy (we should have a word for that) and to see the latest work of the pros I know personally or professionally for all these many years.

Workbook is an old friend and an ever-useful tool in my creative kit."

To see more of David's picks in a variety of styles go to the Tumblr Gallery Part One and Tumblr Gallery Part Two

Workbook Fall 2015 Ad

Sean McCabe

Nigel Buchanan Workbook 2015 Fall Workbook Ad

Nigel Buchanan

Rebeca Gibbon Fall 2015 Workbook ad

Rebecca Gibbon

Justine Beckett Fall 2015 Workbook Ad

Justine Beckett

Vigg  Three in a Box Fall 2015 Workbook Ad


What it Really Means to be a CEO

Posted by Workbook on 06/23/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineMarketing IntelligenceMusing OnPhotography

We recently saw this post by Mark Winer, the CEO of The Gren Group, in which the "O" in CEO stands for "optimist."  Folks at the Gren Group have learned over the years that a healthy dose of optimism and a "we'll get it next time" attitude is essential to making it in this tough competitive business. Mark shares his thought on how and why he continues to be the positive and optimistic CEO he clearly is. If you find you've lost a job for the fifth or sixth time in a row or if you just need some encouragement and positive reinforcement, this post is definitely worth your time.


Workbook's Creative Carnival 2014: A Creative Success!

Posted by Workbook on 11/19/2014 — Filed under:  Creative CarnivalEventsFeaturesHeadlineIllustrationMusing OnPhotography

October 2014 wrapped with the event of the year, and it wasn't Halloween. Creatives and artists alike flocked to Jack Studios in New York City for Workbook's Creative Carnival, an evening of food, fun, drinks, and art. With each year's event growing in popularity and excitement, we knew this year's Carnival would be the best yet. We were gratified by a great turnout, but more importantly, a great sense of collaboration. If you missed the event, don't just take our word for it. Check out what some of the industry's finest had to say about Workbook's Creative Carnival 2014.

"This was my first Workbook Creative Carnival and it definitely won't be my last…so much fun hanging out with new acquaintances and old friends. A great event for relieving all those daily stresses and totally worth the hangover."

-Mark Winer, The Gren Group

"Possibly the best figure drawing session I've ever been to: sword swallowers, fire breathers, contortionists, freaks, and booze."

-Daniel Hertzberg

"Workbook's Creative Carnival was crazy! Fantastic party and one that I will remember for a long time. Well done."

-Eli Meir Kaplan, Photographer

"Thank you for giving me the opportunity and encouraging me to draw and sketch at this year's Creative Carnival. Although initially I was not looking forward to it, it was great and fun.
Seeing the other illustrators and their approaches to drawing was very inspiring. I think the creatives were inspired too."

-Mary Lynn Blasutta

"…one of the best professional networking events I have been to this year. The size and the quality of the guest list made for a good time, catching up with people I knew and meeting new people who could become clients. It’s fun to network among peers but more important to network within your clients' industry. This event had both in one fun evening."

-Jan Klier, Photographer

"Workbook's Creative Carnival never disappoints. The jaw-dropping performances set to an amazing mix of music, coupled with the live illustrations from the artists created an eclectic and euphoric atmosphere that fully immersed attendees in an evening of art, camaraderie, and friendship. Simply put, Workbook brings people together, and it's very evident at their events. Whether they were conversing on the floor or crammed in the photo booth making funny faces, you could see that people were truly enjoying each other's company. Lori and the Workbook team organized a fantastic and memorable evening. Looking forward to the next one!"

-Melissa Hennessy, The Gren Group

Rebecca Handler for Der Schnappschuss Magazine

Posted by Workbook on 11/18/2014 — Filed under:  Musing OnPhotography
Rebecca Handler recently did a shoot and interview for German Magazine Der Schnappschuss.

Here is an translated excerpt:

“I was hired by HTC to demo to the press a new underwater camera that hasn’t been released to the public yet. It was a great experience; they hired me as an underwater expert to present the camera and hooked me up with a room and a pool on Central Park West. For the entire day I demoed the camera in one-hour interactive increments to the press representatives, and I was able to take images using their cameras so they would have something for their pieces.”

You can read the full article on the magazine website here.  Congrats, Rebecca!

tail designer: the mertailor

style: styled by phil

hair: travis speck

makeup: ewa perry

Heather Elder Represents and Brite Productions Wrap Up Another Community Table

Posted by Workbook on 04/02/2014 — Filed under:  Community TableEventsFeaturesHeadlineInterviewsMusing Onbehind the scenes
Yesterday marked the end of the latest post from another insightful and inspirational Community Table blog series

Over the course of a meal, Heather Elder and Lauranne Lospalluto of Heather Elder Represents, along with Kate Chase and Matt Nycz of Brite Productions, discussed top-of-mind industry issues with eight Chicago Art Producers.

We got to chat with Heather and Kate about the Community Table and this table's topic:

“The Art Producer, Past, Present, and Future.”

1.  How did the idea for Community Table originate?

The Community Table started when Kate Chase and Matt Nycz of Brite Productions and Lauranne Lospalluto and I wanted to host an event at the first Le Book Los Angeles. They saw the excitement building around the event and thought it would be nice to draft off that and find a reason to get the community together. The more we talked, the less they wanted it to be another cocktail party or purely social event. They settled on a lunch to which they would invite industry leaders as part of a conversation about the industry with the intent of sharing the information with the community.

2.  It seems the meal setting is not only complementary to how you’ve broken up your blog, but is also conducive to all guests answering much more freely. Was talking over a meal planned from the beginning?

Yes, it was integral to the event. The idea of sitting around a table with friends, enjoying a meal and some friendship, was key to making the event a success. It adds to the community spirit of the event. And, a nice meal in a special place is a great way to say thank you for their time and enthusiasm.

3.  What is something you hope readers will glean from these conversation blog posts?

One of the most important things about the blog posts is fostering a sense of community and providing a place to share ideas, start conversations, and educate our colleagues. People gravitate to the blog to not only gain a little more insight, but to confirm things they already know. Sometimes in our industry, we do not all have someone to whom we can ask a question, and if the blog can help answer some of those questions, or even start new conversations, then it is a success.

4. What’s different this year from last year's posts?

Over the years, we evolved the topics to match the conversations that were happening in the industry already. Our first posts focused on broader ideas in marketing and then we evolved into the finer aspects of estimating. Our latest from Chicago touched on how the art buyer role came about and how it is evolving. Our next post will be with a group of agents who gathered before the Le Book in San Francisco.

5.  It seems you can’t walk away from a meal with a group of people such as this and not feel you learned something. What is one thing you took away from this year's dinner that sticks out in your mind?

Something we were experiencing before the event was the growing involvement of the account representative in the estimating process. The round table provided an opportunity to explore that conversation. The group had a sense of relief that they were not alone in what they were experiencing, and they were grateful to have the opportunity to learn new tools and ideas on how to best connect with their teams.

To read the entire series on Heather Elder's blog, please click here.

To read the series on the Brite Productions blog, please click here.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Chris Sembrot

Posted by Workbook on 03/28/2014 — Filed under:  5 Things You Didn't Know...FeaturesHeadlineMusing OnPersonal WorkPhotography
For this installment of “5 Things…” we caught up with Philly photographer Chris Sembrot.

Chris started his career on the other side of the table, working as an art buyer for five years before making the switch to full-time photography. Since then he’s traveled the country, making trips for the sole purpose of face-to-face meetings with prospective clients. The outdoors inspires Chris, and he has traveled the country shooting for clients such as ESPN and Red Bull, picking up a few awards along the way. But that’s all old news. Here are five things you didn’t know about Chris:

iPhone Once A Day: an Interview with Paul Elledge

Posted by Workbook on 12/02/2013 — Filed under:  Editor's PicksFeaturesHeadlineInterviewsMarketing IntelligenceMusing OnSuccess Stories

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat…the list seems never-ending as the demand and creation of social media apps grows on what feels like a daily basis. Many perceive social media as more casual than professional.  The detriment to this way of thinking is not just the networking opportunities, but with the trend of advertising money toward social media, the future proves more costly for those who do not embrace it.

That’s where Paul Elledge comes in. A veteran photographer with over 20 years of experience, Paul has evolved from fledging Facebook user to Social Media Photo Guru. What started as a forced experiment by his agent has turned into a way of life, not only providing a creative outlet for Paul, but also new and exciting business opportunities, cultivating skills for projects to come. For Paul’s first foray into social media, he used Facebook to create “iPhone Once A Day,” now an online phenomenon, boasting its own website and Tumblr feed. We sat down with Paul to talk about his experience with social media, how to get in, and what do to once you’re in there. What we came away with was insight and an appreciation of an artist jumping headfirst into the unknown and reaping the spoils of success.

How did the “iPhone Once a Day” project come to you?

Several years ago my agent Candace Gelman requested I become active in social media (at that time mainly Facebook). I came up with an idea that would address my love of image making, Apple products, and something visual over verbal.

What’s the process like from shot to post for the “iPhone Once a Day” project?

I have some criteria I’ve developed for the project: the images all have to be vertical and black and white; they need to have a consistent use of processing (I use one called CameraBag1962), and they all have to be mobily uploaded. The images can’t come from anywhere but my phone.

I generally shoot pictures all day long, and then its usually after dinner that I edit and put up the photos at night (around 8:00-10:00 p.m.). Although late at night is not the best time to post, I have a lot of European followers, so they start viewing the posts and making comments. That way, by the time I wake up I already have strong traffic coming in from the previous day.

(Read more)

Workbook Interview: Carli Davidson

Posted by Claire Semnacher on 04/12/2013 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineInterviewsMusing OnPhotographybehind the scenes
By Claire Semnacher

WB: Have any life experiences shaped you into the photographer you are today? And more specifically, what made you want to focus on photographing animals?
I was born into a household full of animals, right next to a nature preserve. Before I was old enough to walk or talk I was learning my pets' body language. Our bulldog, Daisy, was just about at eye level with me then I suppose; perhaps I thought I was a bulldog and not a person at all! Regardless, I have always seen the animals around me as my peers or as something to wonder at.
I was also born into advertising. My father was an art director who worked on Madison Avenue, and I spent many days of my childhood on set. When the two worlds of animals and advertising came together for me, it felt very natural.

WB: Your series, “Shake” went viral last year and is going to be published into a book this summer. How exciting! Can you tell me how this opportunity came about?
Shake was something I never could have predicted. I entered the six shots I had taken so far of the very new series into PDN’s Faces competition, and it ended up as a finalist in the animal’s category. From there, little by little at first, it spread over small blogs and finally just exploded. I had millions of hits on my website and was suddenly getting portfolio spreads in magazines across the world. I got my book deal last May with HarperCollins and shot another 120 photos for my book [due] out in August of this year. I’m SO EXCITED about it; how cool, to have a book! I have a great agent and editor and a wonderful team over at HarperCollins that I get to work with to make the book happen, and it’s been a great learning experience.

WB: What has been your most rewarding experience working with animals?
Oh that is a really hard one, and it speaks more to my history in animal care than photography. I guess it’s always the stories of beating the odds, or overcoming adversity. Sometimes it’s as simple as a good day when an animal I’ve cared for, suffering from a chronic condition like renal failure, eats and drinks and wants to interact. Probably the most rewarding was when I got to foster a pit bull puppy that lost both his front legs due to severe abuse. I photographed his surgery for the court case my friend’s rescue was building against his previous owners. I was by his side almost every day during his recovery and rehab. I trained him in how to use a wheelchair; I got to watch him blossom from a reserved dog who had spent months in debilitating pain to a totally rambunctious, super-high-energy pit bull puppy, as he should have been the whole time.

WB: What’s your strategy for making the animals comfortable? Do you have to “get on their level,” in a sense?
I’m happiest when I’m 'on their level.’ I think that’s why I have such patience with them. I’m not a patient person by nature, but working with animals it seems totally natural to let them take the lead and slowly mold the behavior I’m looking for. I get on the ground with them, I play with them, I take the pressure off and do my best to make it fun for both of us. I’ve been working around animals as long as I can remember; I grew up seeing them as members of my family and playmates. I’ve worked around wild animals, abused animals, and animals that could kill me. You learn how to move around them, how to make them feel safe. I also read a lot of training and behavior books. As far as learning about animal behavior, I always tell people to volunteer at a shelter or read anything by Turid Rugaas or Jaak Pansksepp and anything pertaining to cognitive ethology.

WB: Animals can be unpredictable sometimes; have you had any scary experiences?
When I was 18 I was interning at a big cat rescue in Owasso, Michigan. A lioness grabbed my foot from between the bars and held it in her mouth, gently chewing on my boot and looking me in the eyes like a playful kitten. I froze knowing that kittens sure like to play with a moving object! A friend threw a hunk of meat next to her, and she promptly let go. I still have those boots with a tooth imprint from her, perhaps as a reminder that you always have to be aware of your safety first and foremost when working with wild animals. Aside from that, I have been bitten, scratched, knocked over, and had all manner of gross spewed at me; that’s just kind of life when you’re working around animals.

WB: I noticed that there are hardly any cats on your website, are you strictly a dog person?
There are cats on my main website; I am a cat lover too! I regularly photograph a fluffy-haired, one-eyed Persian that survived a viscous BB gun attack and a hairless sphinx that belong to my friend and has a comical amount of extra skin. They are kind of my cat muses, Regulator and Grandpaw.

WB: What is the most exotic/unique kind of animal you have photographed?
I photographed an Amur leopard being spayed. It was a powerful moment because the estimate is there are only ten of them left in the wild, and here I was witnessing one of the most endangered species in the world getting serialized. It was humbling. She had already been bred in captivity a few times, and they didn’t want to risk oversaturating the gene pool with her cubs for fear of inbreeding. There is actually a whole breeding program to keep track of how the gene pool is represented within zoological associations around the world. It is called the SSP or species survival program.

WB: There is a large section of your website dedicated to handicapped pets. Can you tell me a bit about the the little poodle, Ramen Noodle?
Ramen and I are kind of in love; his owner Jaime even says we have a bond! I think Ramen just makes people happy; he is such a good-natured dog, and people who see him are just overcome with wonder for this three-and-a-half pound poodle that walks around on his two hind legs like a tiny human. Ramen lost his legs in two separate accidents. After the first, one his owner signed his custody over to the animal hospital that performed the amputation. The second one was after Jaime, the vet tech during his first surgery, adopted him. He jumped off a chair and snapped the tiny bone in his second leg. Nothing could be done but a second amputation. Jaime was heartbroken, but just days later Ramen was already walking on his hind legs.

WB: I read in your bio that you worked as a zookeeper at the Oregon zoo. Tell me a bit about that. What kinds of animals did you work with?

So much of zoo work is manual labor: scrubbing, cleaning, building enrichment, and working on exhibits. I actually loved it. I loved watching the sunrise while scrubbing out the sea lion exhibit in waders and coveralls in the middle of the winter. I had a simple sense of pride about how much algae I could get off the underwater bridge or in how many of little seed packets wrapped in paper I could hide for the chimps. The fun part is training, that’s when you really get to interact with the animals, but it only takes up a small amount of the day. Keepers work really hard to make sure that we can give our captive animals the best life possible in captivity, even thought we know it doesn’t compare to actually living in the wild. We take pride in doing what we can to keep the animals in a good mental space.

I got to work with primates (chimps and orangutans, as well as some lesser apes and monkeys), big cats, marine life, including polar bears and huge stellar sea lions, and birds of prey. I actually worked the bird shows at the zoo, training the birds of prey and doing summer educational flight shows. It was really fun! I was also a photographer for the zoo, which allowed me amazing access.

WB: If you weren’t a photographer, what career would you have chosen?
A neurologist or a cognitive ethologist. I am totally fascinated by the brain’s emotional centers and how our emotions and behaviors are tied into our biological systems. Cognitive ethology is a relatively new study that explores the influence of conscious awareness and intention on the behavior of an animal. (read: NERD)

To visit Carli Davidson's website, click HERE.

Carli Davidson is represented by Janice Moses Represents.

Personal Work by Bill Cahill

Posted by Workbook on 04/11/2013 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineMusing OnPersonal WorkPhotography

By Suzanne Semnacher

Last year we posted an interview with Bill Cahill in which he discussed the importance of testing and creating new work.  His latest series, "Made in America," illustrates how a single image has the power to express so much to so many different people. These are icons that embody both sides of a hotly debated topic.

This approach is solid. Take a big topic and dive right in. Explore and see where it takes you, and in the process, convey a sense of commitment and enthusiasm for what you do. And in case you're still not convinced, read Heather Elder's blog post from earlier this year where she discusses the importance of testing and personal work.

To visit Bill Cahill's website, click HERE.

Bill Cahill is represented by DSReps.