Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Murray Tinkelman does it again

Illustrators hear the word "style" a lot. One major stress for soon-to-be illustrators during senior year of art school is finding a style (even though most illustrators' style changes significantly after they graduate, and continues to evolve throughout their career). The word gets thrown around a lot. So every now and then, when I hear someone remark to me about my style, I'm honestly a little caught off guard. To this very moment I consider myself still struggling to "find" a style. I don't have a formula for approaching an illustration assignment the way some illustrators do. I solve every problem individually, and without a preordained method for visual communication. I draw inspiration from a thousand different places. I do admit that I have a few top influences. My favorites are posters (from rock shows, to propaganda, to Polish films). But no two illustrations of mine look identical. And sometimes I worry about this. Is an illustrator's work supposed to look consistent? I mean, really consistent? That way an Art Director knows exactly what to expect. I hope not. I came across this post on Today's Inspiration, a blog by Leif Peng, and it put my mind at ease. Murray Tinkelman is the subject of the post, and it displays a few pieces Mr. Tinkelman has done throughout his career. They look like they could have been done by five different artists. "All these examples, taken from the first two decades of Tinkelman's career, suggest that the restless illustrator rarely settled twice on the same visual solution to any given problem," explains Peng. He reports Mr. Tinkelman stating in an interview in American Artist magazine from 1970: "'I enjoy variety and I try to use style in the same way a typographer uses type faces. The style is not dictated by whim, nor by the art director, but by the problem the job presents.'" I named Mr. Tinkelman, in a questionaire I answered for Communication Arts' Fresh page, as a major inspiration to me as an artist. When I was a soon-to-be illustrator, he gave a lecture at my school as a visiting artist. Now, through my monitor, from a quote on a blog, he's managed to inspire me yet again. Thank you, Mr. Tinkelman. Here's a great Tinkelman bio on Zina Saunders' drawger blog.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

LA Times Op-Ed

I just did a piece for Wes Bausmith at the LA Times for an op-ed piece written by Barbara Ehrenreich. It was a great article about unemployment in the U.S., and how Americans deal with it. The gist of it: Unlike the masses of unemployed in other countries, we don't organize in any effort to change the system. We get pretend jobs. A very well written piece, and a lot of fun to work on. Wes is one of my favorite ADs to work with. He always has great insight and feedback.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Village Voice Cover

I just finished a cover illustration for the Village Voice in NYC. I was working with Ivylise Simones on this one. I worked with her back when she was at the Miami New Times, and it was great to work with her again. The cover story is a really horrific cold case in the Bronx that's just been solved. Its a very sad story that, no matter the outcome of any trial, doesn't have a happy ending. Read it here.

I recently got a call from Joshua Kors, the author of the story. He called to compliment me on my illustration, and to tell me that he appreciated my work. I've never actually heard from any writers of the articles I've illustrated, so it was great to hear from him. Thanks again for the kind words Joshua, and keep up the good work.