Illustration News

Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 by Minnie Phan

Minnie Phan with work presented at her Junior Review

Prior to hearing about CCA, college was not an option in my mind. Aside from financial issues and living in an immigrant household with little experience with higher education, my teenage years were rocky.

I never thought more than two steps ahead when it came to my future. I struggled throughout my schooling and was consumed with (infamous and debilitating) angst. I spent many nights alone.

The turning point of my life occurred when I began to use my hobby of art as an outlet -- as therapy, even. Having my sketchbooks and journals bear witness to my manic thoughts and wild ideas became something of a ritual. It became a channel for every stupid decision I had made, every jerk who harassed me, every class I failed.

Art and writing became profound parts of my persona, and, thankfully, I found a community and companionship in fellow artists.

Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 by Rachel Walther

Grady Gordon in his studio (photo by Rachel Walther)

Grady Gordon (Illustration 2008) says that he does one thing, and does it well. Since his last year of study at CCA, he's been working almost exclusively in monotypes. This is a (somewhat unpredictable!) printmaking process in which ink is applied directly to a smooth Plexiglas surface, then paper is pressed to the Plexiglas, resulting in one-of-a-kind prints.

Gordon's portraits of demons, goblins, and warriors have a visceral and urgent quality to them. You half-expect his creations to leap off the paper and into the night.

Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Owen Smith, the new chair of CCA's Illustration Program, got his first New Yorker cover commission when he was a senior at Art Center College of Design. "I'd entered a work in a juried competition, and it was published in American Illustration, and Françoise Mouly, the art director of the New Yorker, saw it and called me. I was lucky. But I suppose it's also true that you make your own luck, as they say."

So, what is Smith's advice for students looking to break into the field?

"They should enter their work in juried competitions, like those run by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, and Communication Arts. They have categories for unpublished work and student work. It is a great way to get your art seen alongside the art of very successful, senior professionals."

Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Star 82 Review issue 1
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013
Paperback, 44 pages, $9.95

Printmaking faculty member Alisa Golden has started an online and print-on-demand art and literary publication called Star 82 Review. The inaugural issue includes poems by two CCA faculty members, Stephen Ajay and Hugh Behm-Steinberg, as well as pieces from alumni Leonard Crosby (MFA Writing 2012), Lisa Kokin (BFA 1989, MFA 1994), and Rachel Smith (Illustration 2010).

Golden says: "In this issue, memory shimmers and vision lights up. Conflicts arise and are met. Words dance and talk and sing through childhood and beyond. We have objects of wonder that are pivots for the works: ruler, pineapple. baseball, pencil sharpener, knife, scarecrow, wallpaper, half of a twenty dollar bill, and more. The categories included are: flash, postcard lit, art post images, and erasure texts.

Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Allison Byers

The Shaw-Blanchard-Amberson lineup had been together since the band's beginning. Shaw began playing open mics while she was an undergrad at California College of the Arts. She was soon invited to play a house party and quickly found a backing band, which included Amberson.

Visit source »

Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Allison Byers

Jenny Parks is a scientific illustrator that also happens to be a shameless nerd, with a penchant for drawing animals, dinosaurs, imaginary creatures… and occasionally, people as cats. Somehow, she found herself with a bit of internet fame with the illustration ‘Doctor Mew’, and has been baffled ever since. With a BFA in illustration from the California College of the Arts, and a graduate degree in Science Illustration from UC Santa Cruz, she now resides in San Francisco as a freelance illustrator, fulfilling her destiny to make a living drawing cute, fuzzy things.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Allison Byers

Lynn Sondag in her studioView slideshow 

For most students, graduation marks the end of their academic career. But for some California College of the Arts alumni, graduation was only the beginning. Many have become educators in their chosen field, and a select few serve in chair and director positions at educational institutions across the country and around the world.

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Take Me to Your BBQ
Disney-Hyperion, 2012
Hardcover, 40 pages, $16.99

Aliens have landed on Willy’s farm, and they’re not leaving without a square dance and a square meal! So fire up that grill, lay on the barbeque sauce, and snatch up that fiddle. Told in verse, this rollicking story puts a twist on the typical encounter with the third kind. Adam McCauley’s (Illustration faculty) out-of-this-world illustrations match Kathy Duval's hoedown rhymes like ribs and taters! Get ready for some extraterrestrial, lip-smacking fun.

Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

A character concept for Fergus from the Pixar film Brave, by Steve Purcell

Steve Purcell (Interdisciplinary Fine Arts 1982) is a cartoonist, animator, director, game designer, and Eisner Award recipient. He works at Pixar, and was a writer and codirector of the 2012 feature film Brave.

While at CCA he contributed comic strips to the college newspaper, Spectrum, and these were the first public appearances of his characters known as Sam & Max Freelance Police, a duo of anthropomorphic animal vigilantes and private investigators who have subsequently enjoyed great success in comic, TV show, and game formats.

One of Purcell's friends and fellow students at CCA was Mike Mignola (Illustration 1982), who went on to become the creator of Hellboy. They both studied under Vince Perez and Gary Ruddell. After graduation Purcell freelanced for Marvel Comics and spent some years at LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic before landing his current job at Pixar.

Purcell shared some insights about his career in the latest issue of CCA's Glance magazine:

Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 by Chris Bliss

Lisel Ashlock, My Escapee, cover art and design

A friendly alligator on a quest to get clean, an imaginary universe of original creatures, and a depiction of the phenomenon called data scraping -- these are just a few of the concepts that CCA Illustration alumni have been challenged to bring to life.

With 167 students currently enrolled, the Illustration Program is one of the largest at CCA. Every year, students, alumni, and faculty are recognized and honored in national illustration competitions. The program consistently produces talented and accomplished artists who go on to build successful careers.

We recently interviewed four Illustration alums to see what paths they have taken since graduation and to ask them to reflect on their time at CCA.

Pages