“The caliber of entries, for the most part, did not disappoint,” said juror Loraine Joyner. “We saw competence and mastery of medium across the board, whether in painting, assemblages, collage, drawing or digital. And there was a whole lot of digital. It amazes me how much more precise, detailed and stunningly complex digital has become in the hands and imaginations of truly adept users.”
“It’s interesting to see how different illustrators interpreted current events,” said juror Brian Anstey. “From the war to the presidential race, there were many different points of view.”
However juror Liz Hale was dismayed that a great deal of work she’d seen during the past year was not submitted. “I’m saddened because, as both an art director and an illustrator, the annual is an intrinsic resource for commissioning work and for seeing the very best out there,” she said. A partial explanation was the destruction of Richard Solomon’s New York office, by a collapsing crane, which prevented him from entering any of his artists’ work.
Juror Dan Craig expressed concern that fundamental drawing skills are becoming less important to the artist and audience. “As both see more conceptualized and pared down images (as far as rendering goes), they see less of what’s technically well-executed,” he said. “I view an artist like Brad Holland as a masterful renderer—even though his work is quite painterly, and often conceptually abstract.”
When asked what was new, juror Kevin Brimmer commented on the maturing style of comic books. “Gone is the Lichtenstein treatment. In its place is an evolved, manga-influenced way of storytelling. It still retains unique camera angles and complex settings, but it’s now done with economical line work, drawing skill and lots of energy.”
“Illustration is a primal necessity to communicate— deeply, wisely and emotionally.” —Liz Hale
“Photo-illustration is particularly hot in editorial now,” Anstey said. “It’s often the perfect complement to a news story. There is a definite demand for illustrators who use that medium.”
In response to my query about additional markets, several jurors cited illustrators offering works for sale via their own Web sites. “Another way is online stock illustration entities or smaller groups of artists who establish Web sites that function as collectives or consortiums,” Joyner said. “And then there are always galleries, private collectors and corporate sales.”
What about the future? “Illustration will face tougher competition not just from photography, but from computer-animated and computer-modeling quarters,” Brimmer said. “Soon the software will rival cameras in their aptitude for subtlety. Turnaround times are already ludicrously short. I struggle to buy my illustrators the proper amount of time to truly explore solutions.”
“I am confident there will always be a place for talent to find a mode of expression and for artists to make a living at it,” Craig concluded.
This year’s jurying began on Sunday morning, March 30. We worked in two large conference halls, each equipped with projectors for digital entries and six rows of tables for tear sheets and proofs.
“I am confident there will always be a place for talent to find a mode of expression and for artists to make a living at it.” —Dan Craig
The jurors worked in two groups of three with Jean Coyne acting as the sixth judge during the screening. All categories had been divided so each team screened half of the entries submitted. The judges alternated between viewing a session of projected digital files and then a set-up of print entries. Any juror could place an illustration in the finals by handing a printed piece to a member of the CA crew. Digital files were screened by checking the “in” or “out” column on prepared scoring sheets.
The final voting took place on Monday with all five jurors working together. Print entries were again spread out on the tables. Two paper cups, one white for “in,” the other red for “out,” with slots cut in the bottom, were placed upside down to the right of the pieces. The jurors voted by putting a different colored tile into the bottom of the appropriate cup. The different colored tiles allowed us to make sure that every entry was voted on by every judge. Finalists submitted as digital files were again voted on by each juror checking “in” or “out” on scoring sheets. A simple majority was required for acceptance.
Judges were not permitted to vote on projects they were directly involved in creating. When a judge’s piece was in the finals, either Jean or I would cast the fifth vote.
I would like to thank each of the judges for their conscientious efforts in selecting our 49th Annual Exhibition. —Patrick Coyne ca
Brian Anstey is the design director of the New York-based magazine Entertainment Weekly. An Iowa native, Anstey graduated from the University of Iowa with a BFA in design and later moved to New York to began his career in editorial design at People magazine as associate art director. He joined Entertainment Weekly three years ago as an art director and in his time there has commissioned numerous award winning illustrations. Anstey’s work has been recognized both nationally and internationally by American Illustration, Communication Arts, D&AD, Print, the Society of Illustrators and the Society of Publication Designers.
designer and illustrator
Muller Bressler + Brown [formerly Muller + Company
Kevin Brimmer is a seventeen-year veteran of the commercial-art business as an illustrator, designer and art director. His illustrations have appeared in over 70 books and in a weekly sports column for the Kansas City Pitch newspaper. Currently, he is a designer and illustrator for Muller Bressler + Brown [formerly Muller + Company], a design shop and advertising agency in Kansas City, Missouri. His work was selected for five ADDY Awards for illustration this past award season and a collaborative project with Sterling Hundley was featured in last year’s Illustration Annual. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Tawnya, their dog and a whole mess of Koi.
Dan Craig is an illustrator living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His studio lies just across the river in Minneapolis adjacent to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where he received his art school education. His body of work includes magazine covers as well as numerous book jackets for major publishing houses. His advertising work includes projects for Toyota, Nike, Neiman Marcus, ESPN and HBO. The New York City Opera, J.P. Morgan and the New York Stock Exchange have also used his work. He has received two Clio awards, a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators and numerous CA awards of excellence.
With a BFA in painting from the University of New Mexico, Liz Hale was an exhibiting artist in Santa Fe and Albuquerque until moving to Los Angeles in 1985. Her first job was with the Woman’s Graphic Center. After working as the art director at Slash Records, a Warner Brothers Records subsidiary, she joined the staff at the Los Angeles Times in 1993. While working as the deputy art director at the Los Angeles Times Magazine and West Magazine, she art directed numerous award-winning illustrations. In April of 2008, she left the Times to pursue her ongoing passion: illustration and image-making.
Loraine Joyner is the art director at Peachtree Publishers in Atlanta and for the past fifteen years she has worked with both seasoned and neophyte illustrators in the book publishing business. Prior to joining Peachtree, Joyner lived and worked in Germany as a visual information specialist for the U.S. military’s European edition of the Stars and Stripes newspaper distributed to American forces throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. During her early years as a graduate of Georgia State College (now University) in Atlanta, Joyner worked as graphic designer, illustrator, stylist and, later, art director for a social stationery and school supplies manufacturer.