Jillian Tamaki


Feb 17th, 2012

RIP, Neil Hope. Ah, what to say besides… sad. Life imitating Art.

Degrassi is straight-up 90s Canadian kid canon. That show is just emblazoned on my brain and is definitely an influence on both my graphic novel SKIM and my webcomic.

NYT Sunday Review Cover

Jan 29th, 2012

I’m in a weird spot right now: one big project is with someone else to be edited, another big project is going to start up at any moment. I haven’t been taking too many editorial jobs these days, and I miss the quick turnarounds and (relatively) instant gratification. So when the NYT called for this piece on political sex scandals and I could actually slot it in, I was pretty thrilled. Plus, it’s for a piece by Gail Collins, one of my fave columnists.

Below are the sketches for this piece. I was pretty chuffed with the bondage mask one, but they didn’t go for it. Can’t imagine why?

Thanks to AD Aviva Michaelov.

Confessions of a Mask

Jan 19th, 2012

Sonoko, from Confessions of a Mask. I didn’t really “enjoy” this book (“joyless” is probably the best adjective to use), but it was interesting enough and filled with very lovely imagery and hence I would like someone to pay me to make some illustrations of it, please.

Was messing around with drawing on the Cintiq today because I’m thinking of doing a short comic digitally. Got sidetracked and made this Sonoko drawing. This was done completely digitally, which is not my normal Modus operandi, but enjoyable. For those of you who were asking on twitter: yes, this was done in Photoshop, on the big-sized Cintiq.

Most Awesome

Jan 10th, 2012

A couple of days ago I got an email from a librarian in New Jersey named Julie. Julie had some good news! The library’s Teen Gay Straight Book Club (Ocean County Library, Toms River Branch, by the way) had voted SKIM as “Most Awesome Book” in a recent awards ceremony and could she send me and Mariko certificates?

Um. YES!!

I received the lovely package yesterday. I don’t think anything else this week will top it. Thanks Ocean County library! Thank-you, book club teens! And thank-you Julie and all the librarians. Yours is important work and we authors love you.


Jan 1st, 2012

Trying to make my studio a more amiable place to work in prep for a very crazy new year. Getting distracted by the stuff I’m supposed to be throwing away. Made this collage.

Sometimes I wish I was a collage artist. It’s so immediate and direct. I was very into this sort of thing when I was a high-school student, when I discovered the Dadaists and this book of Surrealist games.

Your Dreams My Nightmares Podcast

Dec 15th, 2011

Yesterday I was on my husband Sam’s radio show, Your Dreams My Nightmares. We spoke about confidence, lesbians, and our future baby (amongst other things). Here’s the podcast:

Your Dreams My Nightmares – Jillian Tamaki by Your Dreams My Nightmares

Afterwards, Sam bemoaned asking so much about Art School in the interview. So, if you never want to hear about Art School again, I’m sorry. If you’re a current student, you’re welcome.

Here’s the show’s webpage, in case you’d like to link/reblog/retumbl/rewhatever.

What’s Going On

Dec 13th, 2011

Hey guys, a few things I wanted to mention.

1. A Student FAQ! I made one. It’s here.

2. Tomorrow (Dec 14) I will be on my husband’s radio show, Your Dreams My Nightmares. You can ask a question via call-in, email, facebook, or twitter. All the info for that is in this post (I keep on telling him to GET RID OF THE RED, but I’m sorry. My powers only extend so far.) Your question has a much likelier chance of being answered if it doesn’t involve asking what kind of brushes I use. The interview will be archived and I’ll post the link here when it is.

3. Happy Holidays!

(The picture above is from a few months ago. It was originally commissioned by Toronto Life Magazine.)

The Suggested Substitution

Nov 18th, 2011

I think most working illustrators will find the finessed language in this letter, from Nelson A. Rockefeller to Diego Rivera, very familiar.

Dear Mr. Rivera:

When I was in the No. 1 building at Rockefeller Center yesterday viewing the progress of your thrilling mural I noticed that in the most recent portion of the painting you included a portrait of Lenin. The piece is beautifully painted but it seems to me that his portrait appearing in this public mural might very easily seriously offend a great many people. If it were in a private house it would be one thing, but this mural is in a public building and the situation is therefore quite different. As must as I dislike to do so, I am afraid I must ask you to substitute the face of some unknown man where Lenin’s face now appears.

You know how enthusiastic I am about the work which you have been doing and that to date we have in no way restricted you in either subject or treatment. I am sure you will understand our feeling in this situation and we will greatly appreciate your making the suggested substitution.

Nelson A. Rockefeller

Chills! Oh well, what do you expect, I suppose. The mural was destroyed (the painting above is a recreation at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City). You can read more about that particular dispute here. You can view the actual letter, which I transcribed, at the Diego Rivera exhibit now on view at the MoMA.


Nov 1st, 2011

This is an illustration from a few months ago that I forgot to post. It was for a short fiction piece in LA Magazine. If I recall the story was about taking the Metrolink train with a babysitter and passing all the rough parts of Los Angeles.

I volunteer weekly at a place and there were always two very cute little boys running around causing havoc. A strange bit of life imitating art: during the week I was working on this illustration the kids were abruptly uprooted by their mom who moved the family to Los Angeles– by train.

AD Byron Regej.


Oct 31st, 2011

UM. Someone made the Sexy Hungry-Man Dinner from the Sexy Halloween comic! Kate Thornbery, I SALUTE YOU!

To be honest, I kind of had gotten a little sick of that comic. All that linking, reblogging, reposting, tumbling, commentary, re-appropriating (and flat out rip-offs)… it’s cool how something can be disseminated so far and wide so quickly, but it can leave you feeling a little “consumed”. It’s nice to see stuff resonate with someone beyond the 2 milliseconds it takes to push the “like” button, you know?

Kate, email me and I’ll send you a print!

Oh! And Happy Halloween.