Editorial

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. Sue has 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: The Illustrations of Danny Schwartz

Danny Schwartz is an editorial illustrator from Westfield, New Jersey, now living in Astoria, Queens. He has a BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University and currently teaches editorial illustration as an adjunct professor at his alma mater.

All it takes is a quick glance at his portfolio to realize that Danny has an unmistakably unique style. That distinctive look has earned him favor with publications across the country. The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Barron’s Weekly, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post are just a few of the editorial clients that he works with on a regular basis.

Below you can find a series of illustrations from Danny along with his own descriptions of each work.

To see more, check out Danny’s Directory of Illustration portfolio page or visit his website.

Sam Rael — a W&M alumni — was a budding film maker back in 1995 when he hired Gary Hilton as a story consultant for a horror movie he was shooting in Georgia. The film eventually finished shooting and the two went their separate ways — Rael continued making movies, and Hilton became something of a horror movie himself — he was arrested in 2008 for the murder of Meredith Emerson, as well as several others. (The College of William and Mary Alumni Magazine).

For the Los Angeles Times — the article was about a humorous alternative Golden Globes category for miscellaneous achievements in television, like how Psych had a pineapple in every single episode the whole series, or how Scandal hid Kerry Washington’s pregnancy for a whole season, or how intensely Veep lobbed insults at Jonah. There were many others. Great story.

FDU Alumni Magazine ran a feature about a student who studied in South America for a semester. She went on all kinds of wonderful adventures, and so we obviously wanted to showcase the spirit of adventure for the cover illustration.

Every year, Westfield, New Jersey holds a fall apple festival. I’ve painted an image for the poster each year since 2009. This year, I was told to keep a 1950s theme, and so I decided to showcase the diner theme the café was taking on. Something about a happy, comfortable looking date both accurately represents the gentle pleasure of the festival itself, and also my relationship with the client, which now goes back many years.

Created for Rutgers University’s anniversary issue’s cover story, reflecting the changing body of students that have passed through a great institution over it’s history. We thought a literal parade of changing faces would suit the concept nicely.

Every year, Westfield, New Jersey holds a fall apple festival. I’ve painted an image for the poster each year since 2009. This year, I went for a retro advertisement — like, really retro, because the client wanted an image that was inspired by the imagery of the 40s.

For The Atlantic — a look at the quintessential British-ness, along with the contradictions, of A. E. Housman.

A Collection of New York Times Illustrations

Directory of Illustration artists regularly lend their talent to some of the biggest newspapers and magazines in the business. Recently, three of our artists worked with the New York Times.

Lindgren & Smith artist Chris Lyons created a piece titled “Attack of the Rotten Tomatoes.” It accompanied a story “about the way that studios believe that movies are increasingly living and dying (mostly dying) based on Rotten Tomatoes scores.”

Attack of the Rotten Tomatoes

Another Lindgren & Smith artist, Cannaday Chapman, created an image for the New York Times “Skin Deep” section. You can read the full article here and you can see Chapman’s image below.

Cannaday Chapman

Earlier this year, artist Mary Ann Smith created a four-panel piece for a Times article on the different types of art shows in New York.

“I was asked to illustrate the different characteristics of the multiple art shows being held in New York City each spring. I decided to solve it by imagining a guest at each of the shows near art that reflects their style.”

Art Fair Season in NYC

You can see even more images like these in the ‘Jobs Showcase’ section of the Directory of Illustration website.

Rapp Artists Spotlight

Gerald & Cullen Rapp is one of world’s top illustration agencies. They’re home to some of the most recognizable artists and art work in the industry. The artists of Rapp have had their work grace nearly every major publication in circulation today. From National Geographic to Rolling Stone, you’ve probably seen the work of one of their artists without even realizing it.

Today we’re highlighting just a few of the most creative artists Rapp has to offer.

Raul Arias

Raul Arias

Raul Arias

Nigel Buchanan

Nigel Buchanan Nigel Buchanan

James O’Brien

James O'Brien

Traci Daberko

Traci Daberko Traci Daberko

Dan Page

Dan Page Dan Page

You can see portfolios from all the Rapp Artists on the Directory of Illustration website here.

Campaign Spotlight: Sergio Ingravalle For ESPN The Magazine

Illustrator Sergio Ingravalle created this intricate series of illustrations for ESPN The Magazine. Ingravalle used pencil, watercolor and ink to bring these two-dimensional NFL players to life and then applied a dose of digital editing to really drive home the effects.

Football is gritty, intense and brutal sport. Emotions run high every time the players take the field. With careful splashes of color and plenty of sharp lines, these illustrations manage to capture the intensity of the athletes in a unique and enchanting way.

According to Ingravalle, whose work shows a strong focus on dynamic sport illustrations, the goal of this series was “to lend movement to the static images and underline the energy of the sport.”

To see more of Ingravalle’s work, check out his Directory of Illustration portfolio.

Gronk Football

World Illustration Awards 2017 Exhibition

The World Illustration Awards 2017 Exhibition is now open to the public!

This week the WIA returns to London’s Somerset House for a sixth year. The exhibition will display highlights from this year’s shortlist, comprised of both emerging and established talent. With over 2,300 entries from 64 countries and eight categories of competition, this year’s exhibition features one of the most diverse collections of arts the WIA has ever seen.

In addition to the award-winning art, the exhibition will also feature fun and free activities workshops for the whole family.

Don’t miss out on this year’s World Illustration Awards Exhibition. The event runs for one month only, from July 31 to August 28. For details about opening hours, please visit the Somerset House website.

The Directory of Illustration, in partnership with the Association of Illustrators, is once again honored to present the 2017 World Illustration Awards in partnership with the AOI. This year’s awards raise the creative bar for both newly-minted talent and seasoned professionals. We’re excited to provide this opportunity for such inspiring artists to promote their work to a global audience.

Artist Spotlight: Rui Ricardo

Rui Ricardo, a Folio artist, draws on manga influences to create his highly polished illustrations. He often combines cartoon-like exaggerations with magical realism, a technique that his given his artistry an international appeal.

He began honing his skills early on and was first published at the age of fifteen. Ricardo’s love for illustration and comics carried him to university in Porto, Portugal, where he now lives and works.

Ricardo’s illustrious resume includes animation and motion design work for several TV shows, music videos and commercials, as well as editorial work for FHM, Men’s Fitness, The Times, The Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, GQ, Popular Mechanics, The Guardian, Marketing Week, and many more.

You can see more of Rui Ricardo’s work on his Directory of Illustration portfolio or on his website.

To see more incredible Folio artists, visit their portfolio page on the Directory of Illustration website.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Bijou Karman for Annabelle

Bijou Karman was commissioned to illustrate a spread on the emotional topic of mother-daughter relationships in a special issue of the Swiss magazine, Annabelle.

The article deals with topics of identity, jealousy and in-law relations with Bijou’s perfectly accompanied illustrations that show the complex aspects of contemporary mother-daughter conflict.

Bijou is represented by Pocko. See more of her work through her Directory of Illustration portfolio and at pocko.com.

©Bijou Karman

©Bijou Karman

©Bijou Karman