Illustration News

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer

Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat

On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.

Watch the video of all the presentations (91 minutes), shot and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography 2012)

The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2012 by Alexis Mahrus

A big congratulations to the following eight Illustration students for placing in the 2012 NY Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition:

Afu Chan
Monica Garwood
Jeff Gomez
Christina Jung (repeat winner from 2011!)
Caitlin Ng
Maggie Olson
Sara Sydnor
Jenna Trost

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Theatres of the San Francisco Peninsula (Images of America)
Arcadia Publishing, 2011
Paperback, 128 pages, $21.99

Beginning with early playhouses and storefront nickelodeons, continuing through the movie palace period, the golden age of the drive-in theater, and the modern-day multiplex, this volume of vintage photos and carefully researched text the various eras of movie theaters on the San Francisco peninsula, from Sunnyvale to the San Francisco city limit. Coauthor Jack Tillmany, a former operator of Oakland's Piedmont and Parkway theaters, contributed the majority of the photographs from his personal collection. Coauthor Gary Lee Parks (Illustration 1988) has been involved for more than 20 years in theater preservation and restoration as both a professional and a volunteer. He accessed numerous public and private collections to compile this volume.

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

The Last of the Mohicans
Folio Society, 2011
Hardcover, 408 pages, $67.95

James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans was hugely popular when first published in 1826 and has become a classic of American literature. The story, partly based on historical events, is a tale of captures and escapes, betrayal and revenge, played out against the spectacular lakes and forests of the Hudson River Valley. The American culture critic Sarah Churchwell provides a new introduction, and the detail and realism of the story is captured in a series of 10 atmospheric oil paintings by Robert Hunt (Illustration faculty).

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

This Is the Game
HarperCollins, 2011
Hardcover, 32 pages, $16.99

In this picture-book celebration of baseball, aspects of the game are described in verse and illustrated with bold double-page spreads by Illustration faculty member Owen Smith). His illustrations, set in the 1920s and 1930s, feature images of American streets and stadiums of the time and capture the excitement of the sport. Many scenes show heroic figures in the foreground, posed against a misty backdrop of a crowded ballpark. Other pictures show people gathered around a radio, listening to a game, as well as kids playing stickball on crowded urban streets.

Posted on Sunday, February 5, 2012 by Alexis Mahrus

This month Illustration professor Barron Storey shares a new body of work in his solo exhibition, Soliloquy, at LeBasse Projects Gallery in Culver City, California. The collection illustrates Storey’s internal conversation, a layering and weaving together of thoughts, reflections, contemplation, and experiences. They are a magnification of his on-going personal journals, of which he reports to have filled 140 to date. The exhibition opens February 11 and runs through March 12, 2012.

Posted on Monday, January 23, 2012 by Alexis Mahrus

Early last year, Illustration faculty Robert Hunt was commissioned to do a motion logo for a new division at the publishing company Random House. The new division, Random House Worlds, focuses on multimedia. Hunt is famous for his luminous oil painting illustrations, but working with video and music in conjunction with his painting was a new venture for him.

Posted on Monday, December 5, 2011 by Chris Bliss

Dugald StermerView slideshow 

Just making “art” was not of interest to me. I always wanted to use my craft to say something to people I could not speak to directly -- large groups of people who I would never meet, but who I could address about issues that I thought important.
-- Dugald Stermer

Illustration chair Dugald Stermer died on December 2, 2011, at age 74. He started teaching in the Illustration Program at CCA in 1989 and was appointed chair in 1994. In 2003 he was given the designation of Distinguished Professor.


Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 by Clay Walsh

Congratulations to this year's juried R.A.W. Video (real artists at work) contest winners! The contest, open to all current CCA students, challenged contestants to create a two-minute (maximum) high-resolution digital film (including audio) with “In and Out of the Studio" as the required theme.

The goal was to encourage students to pick up their digital camcorders and highlight their community at CCA—whether in the classroom, studio, residence hall—or away from the college altogether. And the goal was definitely met several times over!

2011 R.A.W. Video Contest Winners

Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Cheesie Mack Is Not a Genius or Anything
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2011
Hardcover/eBook, 240 pages, $15.99

Ronald "Cheesie" Mack is not a genius or anything, but he remembers everything that happened before, during, and after fifth-grade graduation, and he's written it all down in his own unique and hilarious way, with lots of lists, drawings, and made-up words. Cheesie -- with a little help from Steve Cotler and black-and-white illustrations by Adam McCauley (Illustration faculty) throughout -- writes about family, friendship, and tough choices with great humor. Steve Cotler is also the author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.