Heads Above the Rest: Fausto Montanari, Balbusso Twins, Maya Shoemaker, Lisa Perrin, Barbara Kelley

Back in February, www.directoryofillustration.com artists were invited to send us their favorite silhouetted portraits for our annual ‘Heads Above the Rest’ campaign. We were truly impressed by the unique variety in submissions that followed – covering all stylistic mediums, ranging from realistic to abstract, and really demonstrating just how many different ways the same topic can be interpreted!

20 artists’ heads were selected to appear in our outreach campaign designed by Art Director at SPUR, Dave Plunkert – which was also featured in the May/June 2020 Communication Arts Illustration Annual.

This week we’re wrapping up our campaign with Fausto MontanariBalbusso TwinsMaya ShoemakerLisa Perrin, and Barbara Kelleywith highlights from their backgrounds in the industry.

Fausto Montanari

Fausto spends his time developing new ideas, creating conceptual illustrations & developing personal projects.

Selected Clients: Adweek, BETC, Boston Globe, Corriere della Sera, Credem, Elekta Kids, Flipboard, Google, Lidl, LoroPiana, McCann, Harpic, Havas worldwide, HornetInc, Hp, Poste Italiane, SergioTacchini, Swiss.com, Uber

View More: Portfolio // Website

Balbusso Twins — Represented by Shannon Associates

Anna + Elena Balbusso have illustrated over 40 books including the award-winning Folio Society edition of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Editorial clients include Reader’s Digest Magazine, The Economist, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The NYT Book Review and many other publications and media.

The twins’ work has been widely exhibited and they have been duly honored with more than 80 international awards. In 2015 they were included among the 100 greatest artists from around the world in Illusive Contemporary Illustration Part 4, published by Gestalten. Check out Steven Heller’s interview for The Atlantic entitled, “Two Twins, One Design Career” and look for their original work on the upcoming Directory of Illustration No. 37 cover (due to hit art directors’ desks in January 2021)!

View More: Portfolio // Website

Maya Shoemaker

Maya Shoemaker knew she loved both art and science from an early age. In high school, she spent several hours on the diagram for her fetal pic dissection report… and after some helpful comments from teachers and parents, realized she might be interested in medical illustration. She attended The University of Oklahoma to study Fine Art, took a detour to open an art supply store, and then enrolled in the Biomedical Communications program at UTSouthwestern in Dallas, TX.

Maya loves painting, drawing, and illustrating. She feels lucky to have amazing clients who are great to work with, and enjoys the interesting projects she gets. Maya also likes yoga, being with her family, the outdoors, and delicious food.

View More: Portfolio // Website

Lisa Perrin

Lisa Perrin is an award-winning illustrator, designer, collaborator, entrepreneur, educator, and general mover & shaker. Her work has been recognized by The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, 3X3 Magazine, and Print Magazine.

Her clients include: Macy’s, Anthropologie, Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Scholastic, The Saturday Evening Post, Buzzfeed.com, Nobrow, Scout Books, and Kripsy Kreme.

After earning her MFA in Illustration Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2013, Perrin moved to Cleveland, OH where she worked as an in-house Illustrator for American Greetings card company for 5 years. Now she is a full time professor in the Illustration department at MICA.

Perrin can often be found obsessively art making with her beloved rabbit companion, Blanche DuBun. At its heart her work explores the old world in a new way, combining humor with darkness, and beauty with strangeness.

View More: Portfolio // Website

Barbara Kelley

Barbara Kelley has more than 25 years of experience as a professional illustrator with a focus on topical editorial illustrations that showcase her skill with a pen and her high level of conceptual creativity. For each drawing, she presents sketches of two to five different ideas distilled from her insightful reading of the accompanying articles. Intellectually and creatively demanding, these assignments are often completed within hours of her receiving them. She works fast and smart, with no sacrifice to style. Barbara is a graduate of Pratt Institute.

Little Known facts about Barbara Kelley:

  • Can dot at 1800 dots and dashes per hour…
  • Is an unpaid spokesperson for the #2 pencil…
  • Has some portraits in the bowels of the Smithsonian…
  • Once drew Prime minister Nakasone for the Wall Street Journal while intoxicated…
  • Can do a three minute headstand… (on a good day)
  • Mixes an excellent cocktail, current fav a Manhattan

View More: Portfolio // Website