We received 5,496 entries to this year’s Illustration Annual, a slight drop from the previous year. We also added animation as a new category and four projects were selected for inclusion.
“My overall impression of the entries was very positive, they reminded me of how a good illustration can be boundless, the only limit is the imagination of the illustrator,” said juror Hollis A. King.
“The editorial section had the most interesting pieces, but it could just be that’s the world I live in,” said juror Joe Kimberling. “Sadly, we’re seeing less and less illustration being used in editorial.”
When asked what they saw, juror Judi Oyama replied, “Back to its roots, hands-on drawing and painting with pencil, pen and a paint brush. Slower, more personal interpretations of imagery.”
“More and more illustrators are merging hand and computer skills,” King said. “In the successful amalgamations, you do not think about the tools. In the unsuccessful ones, all you think about is the computer.”
Many jurors expressed disappointment that some of their favorite illustrators did not enter. “I hope it was because they were either too busy or just forgot and not that they think the Annual is irrelevant,” said juror Mike Benny. “It is important to enter because the Annual is a calling card to the illustration buyers and it demonstrates the type of quality work that can be done if commissioned.”
“Don’t try to do art just to please some art director. I think you might be surprised at what we like.” —Judi Oyama
What other profit centers could illustrators explore besides commissioned work? “Illustrators should look into creating and pitching their own ideas to companies, like photographers are doing now,” King said. “Make limited-edition, quality prints and sell them at an attractive price point. Create illustrated movies on the computer using motion graphics. The future is wide open. It’s exciting.”
This year’s jurying began on Sunday morning, April 2nd. We worked in two large conference halls, each equipped with projectors for slide and digital entries and six rows of tables for tear sheets and proofs.
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 carousel of slides or 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. Slides and digital files were screened by checking the “in” or “out” column on prepared scoring sheets.
“It is important to enter because the Annual is a calling card to the illustration buyers and it demonstrates the type of quality work that can be done if commissioned.” —Mike Benny
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 on slides or 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. 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 47th Annual Exhibition. —Patrick Coyne ca
Mike Benny is an illustrator working in Austin, Texas. A graduate of Chico State University with a Graphic Design degree, he worked for three years as a designer before moving to illustrating full-time. His work has appeared in Playboy, Time, Sports Illustrated, GQ, New Yorker and Texas Monthly magazines. Among his clients are: Arena Stage, Major League Baseball and the NFL. He has received two Gold and two Silver medals from the Society of Illustrators and his work has also been in American Illustration and Society of Publication design Annuals. Focusing more on children’s books, Benny has just completed his second book, Oh Brother, written by Nikki Grimes for Greenwillow Books. Benny is also working on a long-term project of illustrating Hall of Fame Ballplayers from the first half of the 1900s with plans to turn it into a book.
Irene Gallo graduated from The Cooper Union in 1992. In 1994 she became the art director at Tor/Forge/Starscape Books. Gallo is an advocate of original illustration. She serves on the executive board of directors at the Society of Illustrators and the advisory board of Spectrum: The Best in Fantastic Art. Gallo was instrumental in putting together the Spectrum Exhibition at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in 2004. Tor book covers have won medals from Spectrum, the Society of Illustrators in New York, the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles, the Association of Fantasy and Science Fiction Artists, and have been shown in Communication Arts and Graphis. Gallo is a four-time recipient of the Chesley Award for best art director.
Hollis A. King
vice president and creative director
Verve Music Group
Hollis A. King is vice president and creative director at the Verve Music Group, the largest jazz record label in the world. He is responsible for art direction of all CD packaging, logos, advertising, point-of-purchase and signage. King moved from his native Trinidad and Tobago to New York where he studied advertising and design at New York City Community College. He later transferred to the School of Visual Arts where he studied with Milton Glaser, his greatest influence and inspiration. King worked at several design studios before entering the music industry in 1994 as a graphic designer at GRP records, becoming creative director in 1997. Two years later, he joined the Verve Music Group in the position he holds now. King has received numerous achievement awards and citations from Communication Arts, How, Print, AIGA and the Society of Illustrators, as well as Grammy nominations in 1995, 1999, 2000 and 2005.
Los Angeles magazine
Joe Kimberling is currently the art director at Los Angeles magazine. Prior to that, he worked as an editorial design consultant at Roger Black, Inc. He was also the managing art director of Entertainment Weekly, where he worked from 1991 to 2000. Joe received his master’s degree in marketing communications from Northwestern University in 1990 and received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas in 1998. He has received numerous design awards from the Society of Publication Designers (SPD), the Type Director’s Club, Print and the City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA), who named him “Designer of the Year” in 2003 and 2004. Kimberling grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and he’s the proud parent of a four-year-old pointer named Boo.
Judi Oyama has been the art director at Giro for the past six years, working on all bike and snow printed materials which include catalogs, packaging, point-of-purchase and tradeshow graphics. Oyama loves working on all the Lance Armstrong Lone Star Series projects and continues to work on his LiveStrong/Giro collaborations. Oyama graduated from San Jose State University with a BS in Graphic Design, with an Illustration concentration. She founded her small design company Maximum Impact Design in 1987, a unique action-sports graphics powerhouse that has designed graphics for surf, snow and skateboard brands world-wide for over twenty years and still works on select projects depending upon fun factor and time frame. She is a professional slalom skateboard racer, has been skateboarding for over 33 years and is currently ranked fourth in the world.