Jillian Tamaki

This One Summer original art

Jul 7th, 2014

I had to take some photos of some This One Summer original pages so I thought I’d share them here.

A little status update on the book: the book is available in French, Italian, and, soon, Spanish! And you can read the New York Times review here.

Thanks again so much to everyone who has come out to our events, including the recent signing in LA. It means a lot. <3 (You can click on the images for a slightly enlarged view)






From the Annals of Rejected Sketches

Dec 5th, 2013

But you have to admit making a book is a lot like giving birth…


Life Cycles

Nov 15th, 2013

Got the color proofs in for THIS ONE SUMMER today… in glorious PANTONE! So luxurious.

I finished the art in July and the book is coming out in May. But things are busy again as production wraps up and the promo begins. Things that have been going on, starting with the glamorous:

-picking paper stock and pantone colour

-finishing up the back, spine, flap designs. I have been a pain-in-the-butt about these elements because I’m such a control freak (sorry, dear publisher!)

-planning our launch events at TCAF 2014

Now, the unglamorous:

-the necessary-evil of blurb-gathering, bio-writing (various versions, long and short), synopsis-generating (again, long-and-short versions)

-assembling a list of people who need to get review copies

-figuring out how many events we can cram into next year, ie. as many as possible, but not so many that we will actually physically perish

-a litany of other promotional strategies that is being handled by more capable people than myself

What I’m saying is that at some point a book ceases being one thing and becomes something else. First the book is a bundle of story, characters, themes that you massage for a few years. Then it kind of shifts and becomes a physical object, which needs a cover and paper and glue to hold it together. Then it transitions again to being a product. Products need marketing and promotion. All these various “life cycles” require a lot of care and attention to detail and I think shortchanging any individual stage (creation, production, marketing) can really fail the book as a whole. Fingers crossed!

House of Anansi sketches

Oct 8th, 2013

Here are some sketches for the House of Anansi A-List covers. They did a little interview with me here.










Unused Sketch

Jul 29th, 2013



Jan 23rd, 2013

What you see above is exactly half of the finished art for Awago Beach Babies, the graphic novel I am working on with my cousin Mariko. The book is about summertime, vacation, swimming, biking, futzing around in the woods. Just by coincidence, I started the final art on June 21, the Summer Solstice. Well, the summer is long gone and I’m still drawing kids splashing in the lake and townie teens riding BMX bikes. They say today is one of the coldest days of the winter so far.

In other news, Print Magazine has just published an “oral history” of the Pencil Factory, my spiritual studio. I participated in the “discussion”, which you can read here.

I also participated in a real, live discussion with cartoonists Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing on Sam Weber’s podcast, Your Dreams My Nightmares. If you haven’t checked out Sam’s podcast, please do. If you’re an illustrator, designer, or cartoonist, there’s probably someone of interest to you that’s recorded an interview.

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.

preliminary sketches for quilt embroidery

Sep 21st, 2011

The Astral: NY Times Book Review

Jul 31st, 2011

Here’s an illustration to accompany a book review of “The Astral” by Kate Christensen. It was a fun job to do because the book is set in my own neighbourhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The Astral is an apartment building by my husband’s studio by the waterfront. In fact, I have friends that have lived in The Astral.

Below, an alternate version.