Archive for the ‘IF news update’ Category

Weekly Topic :: “Future” and an Introduction to Thomas James

This week’s topic is:


Suggested by Steven Bremner

In honor of the future of Illustration Friday!


Introducing Thomas James

After 10 years, Penelope Dullaghan has handed the reigns of Illustration Friday over to Thomas James, illustrator and Creative Director of Illustration Age (that’s me).

After devoting last week to honoring everything that Penny has done for everyone who has ever participated at Illustration Friday, it’s time to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about the exciting future of the community.

Who the heck is Thomas James?


Good question.

I’m an illustrator who creates smart visual concepts for clients like WIRED Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and many others, some of which have been recognized by the Society of Illustrators and American Illustration.

I’m also the Editor/Creative Director of Illustration Age, a site devoted to keeping up with what’s happening in the illustration industry, and former Editor/Creative Director/Podcast host of Escape from Illustration Island, a now-defunct site devoted to resources and inspiration for freelance illustrators that has now been merged with IA.

I’ve also created several downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, and resources for illustrators such as theIllustrator’s Survival Kit15 Steps to Freelance IllustrationInside Illustration Competitions, and 5 Qualities of a Successful Illustrator, just to name a few.

What’s going to happen to Illustration Friday?


Even better question!

Rest assured that more will stay the same than will change with IF. The most important thing to me is keeping the same spirit of community, inspiration, and fun that Penny has nurtured for so many years. You’ll still have your weekly themes, inspiring blog posts, and inclusive community that you’ve always enjoyed.

Of course, I’ll naturally be bringing my own voice and approach to Illustration Friday, drawing from my past experiences as an advocate for illustrators everywhere, and finding some areas of collaboration between Illustration Friday and Illustration Age. You may have already noticed some minor design tweaks here and there as I clean things up a bit and try to make the site even easier to navigate and more of a useful resource for you.

Further additions will involve incorporating some of Illustration Age’s popular resources such as the Illustration Bookstore, as well as working with industry-related companies for some exciting contests and giveaways to spice things up!

Is there something you’d like to see on Illustration Friday? I’d love to hear your ideas, so don’t hesitate to let me know! I’m really grateful for Penelope’s trust in taking over what is both a personal project and a thriving community of artists, and I look forward to getting to know you all a little better and seeing all the great art that you create

Thomas James

Posted by Thomas James on 05/10/13 under IF news update,weekly topics

Weekly Topic :: “Tribute” in Honor of IF’s Founder, Penelope Dullaghan

This week’s topic is:


Suggested by Thomas James

In honor of Illustration Friday’s founder, Penelope Dullaghan


“It’s been my honor and such a pleasure to have brought IF to life and to watch it grow into what it is today. But most of all, I have been incredibly inspired by all of you, and all the artwork that you guys have contributed. You all are amazing. I wish you all so very well, and I hope that you continue to make beautiful art every week.”Penny

10 years ago, illustrator Penelope Dullaghan started a weekly personal experiment as a way to explore and play with images and concepts outside the confines of commissioned projects.

She quickly discovered that other fellow artists wanted to participate too, and so she created Illustration Friday.

Although it started small, with about 10 or 15 people taking part in the weekly challenge, Illustration Friday grew quickly and organically into the thriving illustration community that many of us know and love today. With the addition of blog posts, artist interviews and resources for artists, it became one of the most popular online destinations for amateurs and professionals alike.

After 10 years, Penelope realized that the time had come to focus on other things, and handed the reigns over to Thomas James, illustrator and Creative Director of Illustration Age (that’s me).

Illustration Friday is here to stay, and rest assured that much more will stay the same than will change. I’ll be talking more about minor improvements and additions in the weeks to come, but for now I felt compelled to take a pause to honor everything that Penelope has done for so many artists by nurturing a sense of community and participation here at Illustration Friday, and invite you to do the same.


What has Illustration Friday meant to you?


Please leave Penelope a message in the comments below to let her know about your experience with Illustration Friday, and what effect it has had on your art, and your life. Then, be sure to participate in this week’s topic, TRIBUTE, in honor of Penny.

Posted by Thomas James on 05/03/13 under celebrate,IF news update,illustrationfriday,news,weekly topics

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from Illustration Friday

Hello artists!

We are getting ready to wrap it up for the holidays and take a little break from this space. I hope that this blog has brought you much creative inspiration and good cheer this year. We’ll meet you back here in 2013 with more great art!

Be safe and well in your merriment.

Creatively yours,
penelope dullaghan and the IF Bloggers


Posted by penelope on 12/24/12 under IF news update
1 Comment

A Message from Illustration Friday:

(artwork by yours truly: IF creator Penelope Dullaghan)

Posted by penelope on 11/22/12 under IF news update
No Comments

Thoughts on the new site

Hi all,

Just a quick update now that the new site is launched, and people are getting a chance to use the new structure a bit more.

Overall, people are loving the way the new I-Fri works! I’ve gotten several emails praising the update and applauding how easy it is to browse and submit images. (Not submitting images from iPads, though. We’re looking to the iOS 6 update to make file uploads a reality.) Those “easy peasy” comments make sense–pretty much all the changes were made in hopes of making it simpler for visitors to look through all the fabulous illustrations. I have to admit that I myself can’t stop scrolling, admiring, scrolling, admiring, clicking, oohing and ahh-ing at what our artists are posting.

One unexpected downside of the new design is a direct result of that ease of use: Now that visitors can see all this art on the main Illustration Friday site, they might* be less likely to click through and visit the artist’s personal blog or portfolio site to see more.

*I say “might” because I think this raises an interesting dilemma. if you’re an artist who created a work, would you rather have people be forced to click in order to view it fully, or give them a peek and cross your fingers that they’ll decide to investigate further? I’m picturing a physical art gallery displaying *my* work, and trying to think how I’d answer if the curator gave me a choice between having a painting displayed in the front window or given its own room in the back of the gallery, which people would only see if they came inside… Hmm.

Not that it’s particularly tricky for people to take that next step… Of course they can still see a piece they love, clickety click and be whisked off to the artist’s site to comment, rave, “favorite” or do whatever it is we all do when we find something particularly inspiring.

My hope, I guess, is that more of us will do just that: If you instantaneously swoon over something, say so! One click on the image takes you right to the artist’s page, where you can browse though more of their work and comment to your heart’s content. I hate to imagine our artists losing out on valuable feedback or words of encouragement as a consequence of this new look.

In phase 2 of this update, I’d love to incorporate a way to make commenting even one step simpler and add a comments function right here on the site. Suffice it to say, that’s a pretty involved bit of programming, and beyond what I could pull off (or afford!) this time around. If you have thoughts or preferences about this idea, please feel free to let me know.

So, to wrap up, I thank everyone for their understanding about this change, and appreciate all the feedback on the new Illustration Friday. To my eyes, and echoing what I’ve heard in a lot of the emails I’m getting, it’s working beautifully toward the goal of being what I always envisioned it being: A “participatory art exhibit” where people from all over the world can come and see the great illustrations that our talented artists create. It’s so inspiring to see that happening every week.

*One more thing: If you’re finding yourself getting nostalgic for the old I-Fri, and in particular the thumbnail feature that teased viewers with just a small section of your work, rather than displaying the whole thing, fear not! There’s no rule saying you can’t post just a thumbnail in the gallery, and trust that intrigued viewers will click on through to your personal site to see the whole thing. It might make look a little less gallery-like, with tantalizing crops of paintings and drawings interspersed with the full compositions, but I think I’m okay with that. Especially if it makes the site more rewarding for our artists.

Thanks for reading, and

Happy creating,

Penelope Dullaghan

Posted by penelope on 07/04/12 under IF news update

New Topic

Hi all,

It looks like we’re still having some issues with our mailing list. Hopefully we’ll get it cleared up soon.

In any case, the new topic is “Forward” suggested by Becky Caldwell (

Happy drawing!


Posted by admin on 01/27/12 under IF news update
No Comments

Back and blue: IF Forum returns

We have no excuses for the extended outage. We do have an upgraded forum ready for your loquaciousness, and with all previous posts intact.

The forum is running a default bluish-kinda theme for a bit, while we construct a polished IFri look’n'feel for the new software version.

Your old username and password should work. Welcome back.


Posted by admin on 08/09/09 under IF news update
No Comments

Upgrades and inspiration

ifrifbappicon The week before little Veda was due to arrive, Penny and I were discussing the fun stuff we’d like to do on Illustration Friday, plus the necessary upgrades that have been in the works for some time. A few hours later, she gave me a sparkling set of Photoshop files containing a new layout for the site, with all the new features we’d just been chatting about in place and the colors just radiant.

She said “I’ve been able to see it in my head for awhile.”

I love bringing Penelope’s web visions to life!

So, the IF Forums are temporarily read-only while we move everything to the new software and get ready to unveil the new IF. You can definitely still post entries and suggest topics (this week’s topic is “Intricate“, which had only been suggested a few days ago – I got a thrill when I saw it in the list. This should be fun!) and the new site will have even better tools for showing your stuff.

Meanwhile, in daily acts of inspiration, this pic from Camilla Engman‘s Flickr has been up on my screen since it was posted. I want to reach through the monitor, beep their noses, and touch the shiniest button at the bottom:


Originally uploaded by Camilla Engman

Posted by admin on 03/06/09 under IF news update,illustrationfriday,news
No Comments

Veda is here!

Penelope’s baby has arrived, and her husband Colin introduces us to little Veda over at Penelope’s blog. Congratulations, Penelope and Colin!!

Posted by admin on 02/14/09 under artists,celebrate,IF news update,the art of living
No Comments

Late to the Dashboard Party


…but better than never.

If you’re using a Mac, you might like the quick and simple Illustration Friday Dashboard Widget the folks over at Labs whipped up as a bit of fun for IF’ers.

The Illustration Friday widget will keep you posted on each week’s exhibition, showing the 30 most recent entries hot off the IFri presses, with links to each author’s own post of their image, and of course ways to click on to the main IFri site.

You can grab the Mac-only widget right here. (We’ll do versions for iGoogle and possibly for Vista, should demand arise.)

To install the Illustration Friday Mac Dashboard Widget:

  1. Download the zipped widget file: (252KB)
  2. Double-click the file saved on your computer (if you’re using Safari, step #2 may be done for you automatically)
  3. Double-click the “Illustration Friday” dashboard widget icon that is expanded from the zip file to install it in your dashboard.

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Posted by admin on 02/04/09 under IF news update,illustrationfriday

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