Commissions

The Illustrations of Scott Gillis

Scott Gillis is a born and raised New Yorker. Growing up near Buffalo, Gillis soon found himself at Syracuse University, where he would later graduate from with an art degree. After that, it was off to New York City and all the big names that come with the Big Apple.

Over the years, Gillis has worked as an illustrator for Esquire, The NY Times, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, Raw Magazine, The Village Voice, The New Yorker and many more. He’s created comics for Dark Horse Comics, did a graphic novel for Neon Lit and even art directed a rap video for MTV staring Miss Melody.

Among his latest projects is a series of charcoal and pastel illustrations that were used for a French magazine called The Networker.

Gillis’ unique look sometimes comes from his use of China ink on British scraper board. His distinct style has garnered him worldwide attention and has landed his paintings and drawings in exhibits from Japan to Amsterdam and Australia to France.

You can see more of Scott Gillis’ work on hit Directory of Illustration portfolio or on his website.

An Interview With Linocut Artist Sue Todd

Sue Todd is a brilliant illustrator based out of Toronto and living in two worlds, the analog and the digital. She’s literally carved out a niche with her linocut technique, which she then colors digitally, thus enjoying a variety of activities to fire her passion for problem solving with imagery. Her client list includes Barnes and Noble, Crown Publishing, Pearson Education, Klutz Press, Andrews McMeel Accord, The Wall Street Journal, the American Bar Association, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Walmart Canada and more.

We recently had the opportunity to have a chat with Sue about her art, her inspirations and her obsession with Marie Antoinette.

Tell us a little about what your process is like. 

Everything begins in my sketchbook where I scribble ideas and develop characters. Once I have established a particular look, I create a small dummy, about half size, to keep a consistency and flow throughout the story. After approval of rough sketches, I begin my final art process.

My technique is linocut, which is a form of relief printmaking similar to woodcut. The medium is linoleum, just like the flooring material but without the finish. With relief printing you carve away the bits you don’t want and whatever is left will be the image that is rolled with ink and printed on paper. I have a table-top press for smaller images and use an old fashioned burnisher and lots of muscle for larger pieces. The black and white print is then scanned and colored in Photoshop.

How is Linocut Art Used Commercially?

Linocut art can be used in pretty much all the same ways as more traditional illustration methods. My work has been applied to all kinds of commercial products ranging from something as small as a flash drive to the children’s health-mobile that was wrapped in my art and driven all around Phoenix. I’ve had work in a TV commercial, on t-shirts, posters, signage, coffee mugs, shopping bags, pens, books, magazines and greeting cards.

 How did you come to start working in linocut?

I had another career before illustration, as a layout artist in retail advertising. This was the pre-digital era when dinosaurs roamed the earth. We designed and drew by hand every catalog, flyer and newspaper ad to create a guide or map for photographers, typographers and assembly artists. As digital technology took over, all of these positions eventually became amalgamated into one: the designer. While this change was occurring in the industry, I felt the need for a personal change and began looking around for a creative outlet. My husband introduced me to linocut and I fell in love with printmaking, a love affair that continues to this day. A friend saw my work and suggested I turn it into an illustration style. I took her advice and never looked back.

 What are the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of what you do?

Undoubtedly the most challenging part of any assignment is the conceptual stage before the rough sketches have gelled. I sometimes call it the ‘drowsy rough stage’ because I feel an overwhelming desire to take a nap. Even after all these years there is still the nagging fear that the muses will abandon me in my hour of need.

But the whole process is incredibly rewarding and I love the variety that comes with this technique. I am working in an ancient analog medium one minute and modern digital the next. Carving is a bit like knitting and allows me to catch up on the news, listen to podcasts or think about the next assignment while working. My favorite task is adding color in Photoshop. It’s a thrill to watch what’s been a black and white process transform into full color!

What do you enjoy most about your career?

Art has been a lifelong passion of mine and now I get to do what I love and make my own hours doing it. I’m making a living doing what I did in kindergarten, you can’t ask for much more than that.

Do you have any new projects coming up? Anything exciting you’re working on?

Now more than ever, I’m inspired by strong women in history, ordinary women who have led extraordinary lives. I am working on a graphic novel series on this theme and enjoy re-telling stories in a way that is relatable to a younger audience. I’ve also fallen into an obsession with the period of the French Revolution and I can’t stop making images of Marie Antoinette.

I have a couple of big projects going on right now that are still mostly under wraps, but you might be able to catch a sneak peek at them if you check out my social media.

You can see more from Sue on Directory of Illustration portfolio page or on her website.

 

Illustrating the Holidays: Halloween Showcase

Happy Halloween!

With every holiday comes another round of incredible themed illustrations from our distinguished collection of artists. From illustrations for candy and other Halloween-themed products to a poster for the premier of Stranger Things 2, the Directory of Illustration artists were hard at work these last few months preparing for the holiday.

To see more fantastic Halloween Illustrations, visit the Directory of Illustration website.

Myles Talbot

Myles Talbot

Kasia Serafin

Joseph Wraith

Jim Atherton

Chris Scalf

Claire Lordon

Colette Alexandratos

Michael Mills-Winkler

Marcus Marritt

Adam Graff

Marikworld

Artist Spotlight: Karen Hollowell’s Creations

Karen Hollowell is an award-winning illustrator, designer and art director.  She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University and continued her education with a year in London studying with the illustrious Edward Booth-Clibborn.

Over the years Karen has worked with several top-tier clients including Disney, The Smithsonian Institute and more. Her creations are full of emotion and nuance, traits that are often lost in the world of modern illustration.

You can find her work displayed across the country and around the world. From passionate portrayals of Jazz musicians to fun recipe posters, Karen’s signature style shines through in everything she creates.

To see more from Karen Hollowell visit her Directory of Illustration portfolio page or her website.

  

Crush for Comedy Central

Viacom enlisted the help of Crush to create Comedy Central’s summer idents.

Crush took the brief and put a furry spin on it by devising the ‘Animals on Holiday’ concept, an idea that involved satire-like high fashion photography involving 9 animals and recreating the Comedy Central logo with everything from laser etched sausages to sculpted rabbit poo.

The idents air in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East but you can take a look at them here.

Crush is represented by Agency Rush. See more of their work through their Directory of Illustration portfolio and at agencyrush.com.

©Crush

©Crush

©Crush

©Crush

©Crush

©Crush

©Crush

©Crush

©Crush

Artist Spotlight on Mercedes deBellard

As a freelance artist based in Spain, Mercedes deBellard lets her expressive work speak for itself.

With an ever-evolving style, Mercedes creates intricate and realistic artwork that showcases her attention to detail; which has led to her to work with brands such as Warner Bros, Random House, and The Telegraph.

Mercedes is represented by Folio Art. Delve into her Directory of Illustration portfolio and folioart.co.uk to find more of her engaging portraitures.

©Mercedes deBellard

©Mercedes deBellard

©Mercedes deBellard

©Mercedes deBellard

 

 

Andy Tuohy for A- Z Great Modern Writers

These eye-catching portraits by Andy Tuohy provide the ideal intro to the world’s A-Z Great Modern Writers. The book features portraits of 52 key modern writers each significant in their contribution to literature, with names like Franz Kafka, Jung Chang, Samuel Beckett and more.

See more work from Andy through his Directory of Illustration portfolio and at andytuohy.co.uk.

Hannah Davies for Conde Nast Traveller Magazine

This elaborate illustration piece by Hannah Davies was created for a story featured in the June/July issue of Conde Nast Traveller about sex and travel in Mumbai, India.

The artwork displays beautifully crafted lines, suggestive of architecture, mountains, the sun & the moon, and tactile pleasures.

Hannah is represented by Illustration (USA) Inc. See more of Hannah’s illustrations through her Directory of Illustration portfolio and at illustrationweb.us.

Yann Legendre for Star Wars 40th Anniversary

Lucasfilm commissioned Yann Legendre to illustrate 24 stickers in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Star Wars movie, A New Hope.

The stickers are available in the App Store for iMessage and come complete with all 24 illustrations featuring classic characters and lines from the film.

Yann is represented by Debut Art. See more of his through his Directory of Illustration portfolio and at debutart.com.

©Yann Legendre

©Yann Legendre