Jillian Tamaki

Quentin Blake

Mar 8th, 2009

Quentin Blake is one of my favourite illustrators.

Quentin Blake does not need a website.

But Quentin Blake has a website.


Interviews, studio photos, process sketches, a shop, and this incredible video of Mr. Blake working.

A few things I thought were really interesting about the video:

1. While inking the final image on the light-table (with what looks like an upside down nib?), he is NOT tracing. He is redrawing using the underlying image as a rough guide. Nathan Fox spoke a bit about this when he visited my class a few weeks ago, as he inked over a very loose drawing. I think it’s really important you CONCENTRATE when you’re drawing and stay very cognizant about what you are doing. You should never be on “autopilot” when you are drawing.

2. Please observe that he will often do a piece several times. I do this too. If something isn’t working, sometimes the best thing to do is to throw it away and start over. This is particularly important if “freshness” and “simplicity” is a vital aspect of your work. In many ways, “simple” is the hardest thing to do because you have nowhere to hide.

3. I have noticed that many students do not like doing sketches. Quentin Blake’s work looks so free and loose, but please note the amount of planning and roughs behind his pictures. The fact is that illustrators are collaborators and sketches are the way we communicate with designers, art directors, editors, or whoever we’re working with. Part of your process development should be finding a way to fulfill this step while still keeping things interesting and fresh for the final stage.


Mar 8th, 2009


Mar 8th, 2009


Mar 7th, 2009


Mar 6th, 2009

Test your knowledge of zombie movies.

Monkeys Ideas

Mar 6th, 2009

Liking Stuff

Mar 5th, 2009

Yuko Shimizu (poster above) has a blog. Students should be interested in seeing Yuko’s process. She is a master of modern illustration.

Lynda Barry gave a great CBC interview (not sure the links will be always active? Can’t find the archive.) Also available via their podcast.

Could this be good?

The SPD panel was a success, I think! People still had questions after 2 hours, so I suppose that’s a good thing. Thanks to Mark Heflin for organizing!

Lastly, severe, scary, silhouettey fashion (Gareth Pugh):

Three Elephants

Mar 5th, 2009

This is Tomorrow

Mar 2nd, 2009

Under the Influence with Today’s Most Arresting Illustrators

Come and meet six of the brightest illustrators working today. Hear how they create the images that inform, seduce and enlighten us on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. From cover portraits of President Obama to adjusting to life in the suburbs to packaging for sexual lubricant creams (!) to the pitfalls of job-hunting–get an inside view on how these artists tackle a broad range of topics and their perspectives (illustratively speaking), on politics, work, life and love.

Mark Heflin, Director of American Illustration and American Photography will moderate the discussion and Q&A with illustrators: Peter Arkle, Juliette Borda, Christopher Silas Neal, Tim O’Brien, Katherine Streeter and Jillian Tamaki.

And don’t miss the pre-show screening of the American Illustration 25th Anniversary Timeline movie at 6:45PM where 25 illustrators were each asked to illustrate one year in AI’s 25 year publishing history. It’s a look back at events that shaped our lives and a quarter-century overview of illustration by 25 of the industry’s superstars.

DWI: Do It With Illustration
Under the Influence with Today’s Most Arresting Illustrators
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, F.I.T.
27th Street & Seventh Avenue, NYC

7:00 – 8:30 PM, doors open at 6:30

SPD Members, $10 in advance ($15 at the door, CASH ONLY)
Non-Members, $15 in advance ($20 at the door, CASH ONLY)
Students & faculty with valid ID: $5

All tickets, and seating, are first come, first served.


Mar 1st, 2009

‘Was going to paste Gold Cloak man on this, but it looked better without.