Fun Editorial Illustrations by Dom McKenzie

Dom-McKenzie-INYT-Inequality-final-colour-for-web_550 Dom-McKenzie-Globe-and-Mail-Michael-Colgrass-final-for-web_670 Dom-McKenzie-Big-Issue-BR-Wake-Up-Sir-final-for-web_562 Dom-McKenzie-Big-Issue-Book-Review-Civil-War-final-for-web_670

Dom McKenzie Website >>

Posted by Thomas James on 08/18/15 under artists
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HEART by Vicky Alvarez


Submitted by Vicky Alvarez for the Illustration Friday topic HEART.

Vicky Alvarez Website >>

Vicky Alvarez Etsy >>

Posted by Thomas James on 08/17/15 under artists,weekly topics
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Illustrator Submission :: Ohn Mar Win

Post by Chloe

















Firstly, I advice you not to look at Ohn Mar Win’s work if you are feeling slightly peckish! Her work is so packed full of delicous looking treats, it will leave you reaching out for a sneaky snack.

Ohn Mar Win is originally from Burma and now lives in the UK and it was this journey that led Ohn Mar Win to drawing as a method of expressing herself, after all, art is a universal language. She is inspired by food and all things retro and vintage. The textural, handmade quality to her work really brings it to life.

If you would like to view more of Ohn Mar Win’s work, please visit her portfolio.

Posted by Chloe Baldwin on 08/17/15 under artists,editorial submissions,illustration
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How Illustration Competitions are Judged


[Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from our ebook Inside Illustration Competitions, which is available for FREE here.]

The outcome of an Illustration competition is largely dependent on the judges who view the work and decide which artists deserve to be recognized. Ever wonder how this jury is chosen and how they make these tough decisions?

Since so much depends on the subjective personal tastes of an Illustration competition jury, it’s important to pay attention to the list of jurors any time you’re considering submitting your work, and familiarizing yourself with who’s involved.

With the help of many organizers and judges of all the major Illustration competitions, I was able to get an inside look at what drives the method of assembling the jury.

Jury Selection

It is in the best interest of all parties involved to have a professional, experienced, and esteemed panel of judges to view the artwork and select the best of the best to be featured in the organization’s annuals, shows, and online galleries. In this way, the various competitions maintain their relevance in the industry, encourage a comprehensive collection of high-quality Illustration, and offer Illustrators the opportunity to have their work viewed by the top tier of their target audience.

In most instances, the jury is comprised of some combination of Illustrators, Graphic Designers, Art Directors, Artist Representatives, Educators, and other creative professionals who have made an impact on the Illustration industry. Potential jury candidates are often recommended by Illustrators or past Chairs based on quality of work, talent, years of experience, and standing in the field. In addition, judges are often assigned to vote in categories that are a good match for their particular area of expertise, whether it be publishing, editorial, advertising, children’s books, etc.

One interesting variation on this theme is the competitions run by American Illustration, which limits the selection to only Art Directors and others who are able to actually hire Illustrators.

Another alternative is practiced by 3×3. Because of it’s uniquely international focus, 3×3 makes sure that all judges represent different countries and tries to have one or more Art Directors and Illustrators from each of the primary illustration markets around the world.

Judging Criteria

One of the most intriguing aspects of the judging process is the criterion by which jurors are instructed to select work, or rather, the lack thereof.

Sometimes, the organization running the competition has an introductory meeting to outline the overall purpose and criteria of the selection. However, rather than instruct the jury with specific guidelines, most competitions rely on the experience and aesthetic sensibilities of the jurors involved.

Therefore, each judge votes along the lines of their individual tastes, with a focus on the effectiveness of the image, its ability to solve a visual problem or communicate an idea, its professional execution, and any other strengths they typically look for in a successful Illustration. Jurors are encouraged to take their time and go with their instincts while seeking out Illustration that reaches a higher level of excellence.

“We do not believe in quotas, we ask judges to select the very best pieces in each category.”

– Charles Hively, 3×3

“Jurors are encouraged to make brave choices and [select] images that represent the finest work from the year. Our goal is to recognize work not typically honored by other organizations and publications.”

Mark Heflin, American Illustration

Judges are asked to use their own judgment as to what constitutes creative excellence.”

– Patrick Coyne, Communication Arts

As stated above, due to this personal approach it can be very beneficial for an artist to familiarize themselves with the list of jurors involved, because it can potentially offer some level of insight when choosing which of their pieces to submit.

Voting Method

As expected, the actual steps involved in the scoring process is another area in which each competition is different. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of saying whether each Illustration should be “in” or “out”. Other times the judges are asked to rank each image on a scale of one to ten or some variation thereof.

Here are a few examples of the various voting methods employed:

“Jurors meet as a group and view all images. They first nominate images they like. From there, the nominated images are viewed and voted on individually by secret vote. It only takes one juror to nominate an image in the first round. It takes a majority or better in the second round to get into the book (usually 4-7 votes). All images that were nominated and then received at least 2 votes are presented on the website only.”

– Mark Heflin, American Illustration

“The first round, each Judge adds a dot to the entry. Second round, the judge’s team up to view entries that received the highest votes. Finally, the judges come together as a total group to discuss the final selection.”

– Scott Hull, Artist Representative & Juror

“The Art Directors Club does 3 rounds of judging. Each round is assigned through a point value system with the last round being a medal round.”

– Luke Stoffel, Art Directors Club

“In the professional and children’s show, each judge votes each entry in or out. In the student show, each entry is given a grade 0-4, 4 being the top grade. It takes a majority of votes by the judges to have a piece accepted into the show.

– Charles Hively, 3×3

Get your FREE copy of Inside Illustration Competitions here >>

Posted by Thomas James on 08/17/15 under business,call for entries
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VIDEO: My Process for Generating Ideas



Illustration Friday Editor and Creative Director Thomas James shares his process for generating ideas for illustration projects. Send us your own process here.

Posted by Thomas James on 08/14/15 under business,community,freelance,idea generation,IF community,IF news update,illustration,resources,technique,tutorial / how-to
1 Comment

Why drawing is a lot like gardening

Amy Ng blogs at Pikaland, a popular stop for illustration lovers, students and artists who are looking for answers on how to find a balance between art, creativity and commerce.


I started growing my own herb garden last year. 

They’re potted mostly, but that’s because with two jack russell terriers tearing away in my garden they wouldn’t survive on the ground for long. I was inspired by Jamie Oliver picking his selection of herbs straight out a pot when I re-watched past episodes of 30-Minute Meals – and I asked myself why can’t I do that? Supermarkets around me aren’t always stocked with herbs. Well the fancy ones do have them, but they’re far away and I really didn’t want to drive 30 to 40 minutes to a mall just to pick up a few sprigs of rosemary!

So I started my gardening journey by buying packs of compost and potting soil (because using the rather unfriendly looking reddish-clay earth we had in the backyard yielded poor results too many times to be a coincidence), and had plastic cups all ready to go for germinating. I bought seeds of herbs that I liked – and as with anything I start, I did it with gusto.

After I sprinkled over my seeds of sweet marjoram, dill, rosemary and sage – all in individual pots – and stuck ice-cream sticks with the plant’s name on a washi-tape (because markers on wood looks icky when it gets hit by water). I gave myself a pat on the back and stood back to marvel at my handiwork. Hurrah! Then the waiting began. I watered them everyday, and looked at them in the morning, and once again in the evening. Nothing. All that stared back at me was black soil. I had hoped for a glimmer of green to peek through. Nada.

I waited and lowered my expectations. I peeked in nonchalantly (and yet hopeful) for a week before I spotted something popping out from the fresh ground. YAY! A quick glance over my other 3 pots of herbs however, signaled a nay. Maybe they weren’t  ready to come out just yet? Maybe I got some bad seeds? Maybe the ants got to them in the middle of the night. Or slugs munched on them maybe? I don’t know. All I know was that my web browser history is ridden with gardening vocabulary, of the amateur sort, trying to figure out what went wrong.

Which got me to thinking. Creating anything – work, art, writing, etc – is almost like growing your own little garden. The same goes for businesses too.

You can sprinkle your seeds of imagination and ideas and be careful about them – judiciously watering them, feeding them, talking to them – but sometimes they don’t turn out the way you want them to. Which is why you spread them all around, in different pots, in different forms: through seeds, new cuttings, or the bulb of an old sprout. Some may take root and grow upwards, strong and tall. Others don’t take, and end before they can even begin. Some grow new shoots, only to be eaten by a passer-by snail; leaving only the barest of signs of being grisly eradicated before it could fully form.

And once you get these seeds on the ground, all you can do is wait. And water them. And wait again. And this process repeats itself as it grows; needing a complex combination of efforts to not only keep it stable, but to allow it to thrive and bear fruit.

It’s a nod to the universe in so many parallel ways – your labor of love is as complex, and yet while you can control a big portion of it, the rest is up to fate. One hopes for the best, and yet prepares for the worst. It’s a little dance in which you won’t know how it all will turn out; but one thing’s for sure: if you keep those seeds hidden, locking them away from soil and sunshine – you’ll never know how it all turns out.

So toss your seeds – your ideas, imagination and creativity – into the ground. Let them take hold and burst through the ground fresh and alive with hope. And what if it doesn’t turn out? Well, then it’s time to plant new ones.

Just remember to add water and love. And watch out for those sneaky slugs.

[Illustration: Lieke van der Vorst]

Posted by Amy Ng on 08/14/15 under artists,business,idea generation

Pick of the Week for POINTY and This Week’s Topic


Happy Illustration Friday, fellow artists!

We’re ready to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by Studio Lolo, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of POINTY. Thanks to everyone who participated with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and more. We love seeing it all!

You can see a gallery of ALL the entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:


Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the public Gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!


Posted by Thomas James on 08/14/15 under artists,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Marguerite Sauvage























French born illustrator Marguerite Sauvage has been invading the comics world of late and she is wowing fans this week with her stunning interior art for the all-new DC Comics Bombshells series! Sauvage is a self-taught artist who actually decided to pursue a career in illustration after earning her degree in Law and Communication. Just some of her clients include such big names as Elle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Louis Vuitton, L’Oréal, PlayStation, and Apple!

In addition to the interior art on Bombshells and Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #3, Sauvage has been very busy as a comic book cover specialist for such titles as Hinterkind, Wolf Moon, Secret Wars, Howard the Duck, Jem and the Holograms, Thor, and Wayward.

With so much great comics work completed in such a small amount of time(1-2 years..?), I’m excited to see what Marguerite Sauvage has in store for us the next couple of years!

If you’d like to see more of Sauvage’s work and get the latest updates, you can follow her on twitter here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website – Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 08/13/15 under artists,black and white,comic,illustration,Interviews,weekly topics
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Alice and Martin Provensen

3993113813_fb0e426955 87d0d31d994a3070797d4fd6dd2bd768 8e90d4eaef7a8883675d1c051f9745a5  ed15f6a5bc815aeea4ac668e8b5df21cebf7562e300e6695190ec385826be12c 63ab4ce0d69fc073bbe94286a6a7ee3e 8bd13334598809b64ca4effa90122ab2 

Alice and Martin Provensen illustrated more than 40 children’s books together starting from the mid 1940s. They have been listed on the New York Times Best illustrated books of the year nine times. Some of these books include; A visit to William Blake’s Inn by Nancy Willard, The Year at Maple Hill Farm which they also wrote and The Glorious Flight. Martin unfortunately died of a heart attack in 1987 but Alice went on to write and illustrate other books for example The Master Swordsman & The Magic Doorway. Their style of illustration is so whimsical and fun! They are such an enjoyment to look at for both adults and children.

Posted by Jessica Holden on 08/13/15 under artists
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Call for Submissions: Illustrate a Wall Clock


Hello fellow artists!

We know you love a good art challenge.

The folks at Doodlers Anonymous have teamed up with Blik to present this unique opportunity to artists. The challenge is to doodle, draw, or illustrate the backdrop of a wall clock!

Six winning submissions will have their art transformed into 10” wall clocks to be sold through Blik and Doodlers Anonymous. Plus, a portion of the royalties will go to the lucky artists!

Find out more about this fun challenge and how to enter here >>

Posted by Thomas James on 08/13/15 under artists,call for entries,Events,illustration,news,Stuff
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