Sunday, June 30, 2013

Zankel Scholarship - Society of Illustrators

"People are people." & "We're all a little weird."

These were two pearls of wisdom that came out during my recent trip to NY where I interviewed for the Zankel Scholarship.  The two day whirlwind of a trip was full of warmth, nerves, support, and inspiration.  I can't even begin to describe how simply wonderful the experience was. 

photo credit - Scott Bakal

I arrived in NYC on Wednesday afternoon where I met up with the other nominees - Audrey Benjaminsen and Andie Dinkin.  Together with host and judge, Scott Bakal we explored the city a bit and went to meet with Irene Gallo at Tor Books.  Later that evening we had dinner with Kate Feirtag and Scott at the Society of Illustrators building followed by a great lecture and discussion on the work of Maurice Sendak.  

photo credit - Audrey Benjaminsen

Audrey and I had the pleasure of staying at the Herald Square Hotel, which was the original Time Life building.  So many wonderful illustrated covers on display throughout the halls.  

photo credit - Scott Bakal

On Thursday morning all nominees were individually interviewed by a well rounded panel of judges (Matt Curtius, Gina Triplett, Scott Bakal, Judy Zankel, Donato Giancola, & Whitney Sherman) and before noon we were called together to hear the results.  

I was so shocked to be named this year's award winner!  Audrey and Andie are both so incredibly talented - and I'm so happy I got to spend a brief time with them to experience this amazing honor.  I'll definitely have my eyes on these two in coming years.

photo credit - Whitney Sherman

Following interviews we all had a great lunch together - this time with all nerves gone.  It was nice to speak to the judges more casually, and I'm glad we had the chance.  I received some really great advice during that lunch about steps I should take as soon as I graduate to really jump start my career.  More excited than ever about my future.

As I've expressed to each of the judges, being nominated for such a distinctive award was mind blowing in itself, but going so far as to win the award is something I'm still struggling to wrap my head around.  Regardless of the scholarship, the absolute best part of the entire experience was being surrounded by a group of people who believe in supporting, inspiring, and enabling young illustrators.  I hope that someday I might have the chance to give the same support to someone who will need it just as much as I do now.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Internship

Ah!  I've been so terrible with blog updating this summer.  I don't have regular access to the internet - but I'm going to try and set time aside each week from now on to keep everyone in the loop and let people know what exciting things I'm up to.  And trust me - they're bound to be exciting.  Already, just one month into my internship with Hallmark Cards, Inc - I'm in love.  In love with where I work, the people I work with, and the products we make.  

I can't post any work I've actually done here - not until later this year when my work is on the shelves anyway!  None the less, I can share how amazing the studio is - and give everyone a glimpse of my summer surroundings!

My amazing lettering mentor - Amber Goodvin made this sign for my desk.  Loved it as soon as I saw it - so excited to get to work with her later this summer!

Those who work in the "humor department" are known for telling people their job is a "joke."
I can't walk by this area without hearing laughter.  But honestly - that's pretty much true of every area.  Everyone at Hallmark is ridiculously happy and nice.  Go figure.

The Hallmark Headquarters is nine inspirationally-charged stories tall, hundreds (& hundreds) of talented & passionate individuals, and home to work days with 480 minutes of happy.  My current home is on the seventh floor - working in the "everyday greetings" department, but soon I'll move up to the penthouse (level 9) and work more specifically in the illustration and lettering studios.  (Incredibly excited for that.  I've been learning so much already!)

All throughout the halls - there is original works created by hundreds of artists that the Hall family personally collected.  There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY to not be inspired.  

Crazy and colorful are kind of a must here for all work environments.  Some areas are more private, but in general the spaces where creatives work are a more open format and flowing which allows for more regular communication between designers on the same team.  The place I sit in is so entertaining that most days I don't listen to music while working - too many jokes and stuff going on to want to drown it out.  I LOVE MY ENTIRE TEAM.  Everyone is so talented, helpful, supportive and willing to share knowledge and experience.  

The library is ridiculous.  Enough said - and it's totally cool to take the books you check out home with you.  Makes it a little easier for me to not have internet or tv at the apartment.  Who needs it when there are so many fabulous books and so little time?!

And then there are the other creative interns - so many talented people.  I have the pleasure of working along side the amazing Drue Davis - designer extraodinaire - you can check out her work here.

***I've added a new post about "portfolio building" recently to answer any questions my peers across the country might have about designing their portfolio for potential internships and jobs***