Jillian Tamaki

Tiny Quilt: Blue + Orange

Jun 28th, 2011

The Hairy Egg

Jun 25th, 2011

Appliqué and Embroidery.


Jun 23rd, 2011

Here’s an illustration on the topic of “merging” (well, the topic was something more complicated and financial, but let’s keep it simple) for Plansponsor Europe. Gosh, it’s hard to properly display these long + skinny illustrations. So much fun to do, so hard to blog.

AD SooJin Buzelli.

Contest Time

Jun 20th, 2011

The mailman has been a real peach lately. I have some stuff to give away!

3 prizes. 2 Irish Myths books and 1 Walrus “Summer Reading” Tote/Indoor Voice combo pack.

But c’mon, this stuff is GOOD. And, for the time being, the Irish Myths book is only available through Folio Society membership. So you’re going to have to do a little work.

Option 1: Make a picture on the theme of Summer Myth. Interpret as you wish. All of you students who complain about not being able to stay inspired over the summer… well, here you go. I will post the best entries on this blog when I announce the winner, with a link to your site. EDIT: There’ll be a pro winner and a non-pro winner. [Oh, and please don’t send me any already-existing artwork.]

Option 2: Make a donation to Unicef, minimum of $10. Email me proof of payment. Donating to charity is good anyway.

I will choose 2 of the best pictures and draw 1 winner from the people who donated to Unicef. I haven’t decided who’ll get what. I suppose it depends on quality of entries and donations. BONUS TIP: draw AND donate, to double your odds.

Email all stuff to jill (AT) jilliantamaki (DOT) com. Contest ends July 4. I’ll announce the winners on the 5th. Go!

Ergo: Quilt Type Experiment

Jun 18th, 2011

Ballroom Marfa Poster

Jun 16th, 2011

Don’t do collaborations very often, but they’re fun! Here’s a poster I made with Jon Han that will eventually be silkscreened at about 36″ tall. It’s for a music show at Ballroom Marfa, an arts/culture space in Marfa, TX.

Illustration in Practice

Jun 13th, 2011

Over on Twitter, @walrusmagazine asked readers to take photos of their new Summer Reading issue. Above, a few contributions (used with permission!).

One of the most thrilling things about the most recent TCAF was seeing the poster I designed tacked around Toronto, where for a few weeks it was part of peoples’ workplaces, commutes, and daily routines. While it’s always cool to see your work printed, it is even more exciting to see it in an even-larger context: the world!

When I teach, I’m often struck about how jaded students seem to be about Illustration, often by 3rd year. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism? A response to the classic “embittered illustration instructor” syndrome? Perhaps it’s a scapegoat: that if that student fails to find success as an illustrator, she “didn’t really want to be an illustrator anyway”. Perhaps it’s legitimate anxiety about the economic feasibility and the creative constraints of being a working, practicing illustrator. Whatever it is, the jadedness is very exasperating and strange to me. Lots of things that are worth doing require sacrifice, confidence, and a little healthy self-delusion. But to me, the payoff is so exciting: you’re not just a consumer of culture anymore, you’re a contributor. Illustration, at its best, injects a bit of beauty and insight into a visual landscape that is often so vapid, crass, and garish.

When I was living in Edmonton in 2004, I started seeing extremely lo-fi silkscreened band posters around town. I’d rip them down and hang them up in my apartment (now THAT is effective advertising!). The simple beauty and attention to detail was so sublime. It made life in the city a bit better every time I found a new poster quietly affixed to a telephone pole. It was a little thing, but life is kind of made up of a lot of little things, isn’t it? (I later found out they were made by Raymond Biesinger, who has since gone on to much illustration success himself.)

Illustration is powerful precisely because it is commercial. People interact with it in a way that is very distinct from other art forms and to me, that’s the upside, not the downside. Illustration is for the masses, but that doesn’t mean the masses deserve crap. Most people could probably describe to you their favourite comic or cartoon or album cover or picturebook from childhood, regardless of whether or not they are “creative”. The things people encounter in their daily lives are not inconsequential and they have an impact. Perhaps those jaded students can think back and remember the things that enticed them to pick up their paintbrushes and pencil-crayons in the first place.

Irish Myths and Legends: Folio Society

Jun 6th, 2011

Here are some images from a Folio Society collection of Irish Myths and Legends. I did these images about a year ago, and am just able to release them now. I actually haven’t seen the book yet, but the cover alone is blocked with gold ink and is bound in leather… lush!

Irish mythology is fascinating and very strange. From the FS site: Here is a world of fierce battles and hunts, high kings and druids, brave horses and famous hounds, told in language of great lyricism that retains all the richness and romance of the oral tradition. I tried to think beyond the typical sorts of imagery and “styling” we are used to associating with these sorts of stories… also, by a complete stroke of luck, Sam and I had visited Ireland just the year before, and I definitely drew upon that experience while creating these images.

Here’s further info on the book and how to join the Folio Society. [There are 13 interior images. Only a selection is presented here.]

The Walrus: The Print

Jun 1st, 2011

The Walrus Summer Reading cover is available for purchase!

I saw and signed these prints when I was in Toronto last month and I can personally attest to their quality. They are large and look just as good in person as they do on-screen. Toronto Image Works (Edward Burtynsky’s shop) printed them, so the quality is really above and beyond what I could produce myself. What I’m trying to say is that this is step up from your standard inkjet – and there’s only 24 of them.

FOR TODAY UNTIL JULY 1 ONLY, the print is 25% off, at $375 CDN. The regular price is $500 (unframed). All proceeds directly benefit The Walrus Foundation. And how about this: show me proof of purchase and I will send you a small, postcard-sized drawing + goodies, on the house.