Illustration News

Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by Laura Braun

For the aspiring artist with a high tolerance for student debt, there’s nowhere quite like San Francisco. We’re home to a holy trinity of art schools in the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, and Academy of Art University, which every year collectively release more than 3,000 students into the art-world wilds. 

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Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016 by Jeremy Joan Hewes

Michael Wertz (left) and Thomas Wojak

The Illustrated Poster is part of a number of interdisciplinary courses at CCA. Taught jointly by Printmaking chair Thomas Wojak and Illustration faculty member Michael Wertz, this studio combines an exploration of the screen printing process with the use of images, type, and color to convey ideas in poster form.

Wertz recalls that he originated the course in 2013 “because I love screen printing and believe that it has great potential for both illustrators and printmakers, and I wanted to create an illustration course based on this highly versatile printmaking method.”

Wertz discussed the idea with Alexis Mahrus, then interim chair of Illustration, and Nance O'Banion, his former teacher and then-chair of Printmaking, and O’Banion introduced Wertz to Wojak.

Master printer Wojak readily agreed to collaborate in teaching the class; as he recalls, “I thought it was an exciting idea as well as a chance to expose more San Francisco campus students to our print program in Oakland.”

Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 by Laura Braun

Many of those details were sought out by Jay Ward, the Cars Legacy Guardian. Jay hired into Pixar in an entry-level position but was called onto the production of Cars due to his being the biggest car-guy on staff! From there, his hot rod experience — and his artistic and illustration talent — has kept the wheels rolling with work in other great Pixar movies.

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Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 by Laura Braun

An East Coast native, Sussman moved to the Bay Area in 2003 when he decided to transfer to California College of the Arts (CCA) from Carnegie Mellon University. At CCA, where he graduated with a BA in illustration, Sussman says he found the community and approach to art he was looking for.

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Posted on Monday, March 7, 2016 by Laura Braun

In 2004, Sussman transferred to the California College of the Arts and Crafts from Carnegie Mellon University, driving from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to join the Bay Area art scene. Since then, he has earned a degree in illustration from CCAC.  He spent the past decade practicing his craft in different areas of the Bay, moving from Oakland to San Francisco and now Berkeley.

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Posted on Monday, February 15, 2016 by Janet Vail


Aaron De La Cruz’s (Illustration 2004) work walks the line between organization and chaos. When you first look at his paintings you see tidy curves and lines. You start to search for patterns and repetition, figuring the artist must use some mechanism to produce these massive wall murals.

But the closer you look you realize nothing is repeated, each new mark slightly different from the last. You’re in a maze, heading toward the unknown, and there’s no turning back.

Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2015 by Laura Braun

Stuart, who graduated from the California College of the Arts in 2010 and recently contributed to a Wes Anderson-inspired art show called "Bad Dads," met with Ulmer at the Awaken Café in downtown Oakland, where Ulmer unveiled the layers of emotions and storylines behind Great Headless Blank. Together, they devised something that could aid the narrative of the music without overpowering it. Their focus was the idea of music as more than just a soundtrack to the listener's daily activities.

Posted on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 by Laura Braun

Lipkis, who studied illustration at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, said he came to New Orleans in 2014, after having traveled across much of the United States and Europe, asking permission to paint murals at select sites as he went.

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Posted on Monday, October 26, 2015 by Laura Braun

The late singer is the subject of two exhbitions currently at the CJM.

San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) has a slogan that reads: “Connecting art, people, and ideas." So when the museum launched its two new Amy Winehouse exhibitions -- Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait and its corresponding exhibition You Know I’m No Good -- assistant curator Pierre-François Galpin (MA Curatorial Practice 2014) jumped at the chance to do just that.

“I’ve always been an Amy Winehouse fan, and I was looking to work around pop culture -- not just art -- so I was really glad and excited when this opportunity came up,” says Galpin.

Best known for her 2006 hit song “Rehab,” Winehouse passed away in 2011 at just 27 years old from alcohol poisoning after a long and public battle with substance abuse.

Both exhibitions opened July 23 at CJM, mere weeks after the release of Amy, a critically praised documentary about the singer. With the spotlight back on Winehouse, the museum sought to help fans and spectators see past the fame and tabloid fodder and present her life in a more intimate and previously unseen way.

For the stateside debut of A Family Portrait, Galpin worked closely with the curators of the Jewish Museum London, where the show originally opened under the careful supervision of Winehouse’s brother, Alex.

Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2015 by Chris Bliss

CCA students pose in front of new mural with faculty member Eduardo Pineda

A stunning new mural was unveiled this month on the Oakland campus of California College of the Arts (CCA).

Six CCA students were selected this summer to paint a new mural on the side of Martinez Hall. Led by faculty member and noted muralist Eduardo Pineda, the team set out to create a mural that would celebrate and promote diversity and social justice, two core values of the college.

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Queen Califia Rules!

The central focus of the colorful mural is Califia, a mythical warrior queen who ruled over a kingdom of black women living on the "island" of California. Her representation here was inspired by depictions of the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego, the 16th century Mexican peasant to whom the Virgin Mary was said to have appeared.

In the CCA mural Queen Califia represents the people, culture, and land of California, and she is surrounded by a landscape that is both natural and political.

Juan Diego, depicted as a black youth wearing a hoodie, offers Queen Califia light, water, and corn. Diego represents the long struggle for freedom and equality, while Queen Califia symbolizes an untamed and bountiful land prior to the arrival of Europeans to the Americas.