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Cool Careers Dress Up for Girls is Here!

Are you hustling to find a terrific stoking stuffer for the precocious little smarty pants in your life? Well, have no fear! Laura Tallardy has come to the rescue with the release of her newest app, “Cool Careers Dress Up for Girls,” an awesome new take on the traditional “dress up” app.

Progressive and stereotype-breaking,  Cool Careers Dress Up for Girls allows the user to create characters that are scientists, astronauts, doctors, race car drivers, and more. With a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and non-traditional jobs, the app encourages players to engage their creativity while broadening their horizons – simply put, it is a wonderful way to send a positive and inspiring girl-power message that any parent would love.

You can see the app in action here, and check out the website to learn more – and download!

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Victo Ngai Designs SPECTRUM’S latest Call For Entries

Victo Ngai’s latest bid towards world domination has earned her yet another accomplishment: take a look at her fabulous illustration for SPECTRUM 22′s Call for Entries Poster:

tumblr_ngbnhcNpeF1qkb10mo2_500SPECTRUM is arguably the most revered awards program in the Science Fiction and Fantasy realms, so to be tasked with branding the book is quite an honor.

Victo shared a few words describing her engaging design:

“The tile of this piece is Rule Breaker. The girl represent the role of an artist, bringing colors and surprises into the predictable mundane daily routines (monochromatic checker cage). She’s not afraid to break rules and confinements which suck blood and fun out of life (leech monster in square checker suits).”

If you follow Victo’s work closely, you already know that this dynamic young artist is always eager to explore new ways to create her trademark imagery. One could say that, conscious or no, this spunky superhero might contain just a touch of the artist’s own spirit.

“The Art of the Heirloom,” Featuring Sally Vitsky

Ten years ago, Ken Greene founded the Hudson Valley Seed Library to educate and give consumers access to the kinds of beautiful heirloom vegetables that once abounded on nearby farms. With huge corporations controlling the majority of commercial seed distribution, one might be amazed to learn how genetically modified and tasteless varieties have completely replaced the diversity of delicious produce that we were once able to enjoy.

And in a marvelous effort to celebrate the diversity of seeds that he and his company have made available, Greene has teamed up with various artists over the years to celebrate the valiant veggies.

“Art of the Heirloom,” now at the New York Botanical Garden, showcases 59 seed-pack designs created by a terrific assortment of artists – including our own Sally Vitsky!

This wholesome exhibition will remain on display until July 19th, and then will begin to travel throughout the United States. You may learn more about the show and the Hudson Valley Seed Library in this wonderful article from the New York Times – which also featured Sally’s illustration in the slideshow.

Image by Sally Vitsky:

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Just a Sneaky-Peaky from Paul Garland

Paul Garland reached out to us with some very nice news recently, and we felt inclined to share! From his blog:

“…I’ve just received an email from The Association of Illustrators informing me that my entry to ‘The Prize for Illustration 2015? in association with the London Transport Museum has been successful and will be amongst those exhibited! A big thank you to all of the judges!
Here is a sneak peak at my entry titled ‘Meeting Place’ – just a tiny section, I’ll reveal all at a later date…”

Some may recall that Paul’s wonderful polar bear was honored in the same show last year:

Image copyright Paul Garland:

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And here’s a little teaser of this year’s winner…..stay tuned for the full image!

Image copyright Paul Garland:

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Mega Huge Super Big Deal from Raul Colon!

Last week we were very eager to share Raul Colon’s wonderful mention in the New York Times Sunday Book Review for “Draw!”, an engaging, wordless storybook that he recently published with the visionary Paula Wiseman of Simon and Schuster.

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A nod of approval from the Book Review is quite the acknowledgement in our world, so you can imagine that we were particularly blown away when we learned that Raul has also been selected as one of the Times’ Best Illustrated Books of 2014. Wahoo!

“Every year since 1952, the Book Review has convened an independent panel of judges to select picture books on the basis of artistic merit. The winning books are chosen from among thousands for what is the only annual award of its kind.”

This is a pretty big deal, ladies and gentlemen!

We are incredibly proud of Raul and also grateful to Paula for consistently creating such amazing books with one of our favorite artists.

And if you haven’t check out “Draw!”, perhaps it’s time to learn what all the fuss is about.

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Raul Colon’s “Draw!” Celebrated in the New York Times Sunday Book Review

Raul Colon’s latest masterpiece “Draw!” has been receiving some pretty awesome praise from various industry heavy hitters. And just in case you missed it over the weekend, we wanted to gloat a bit: the latest mention comes from none other than the New York Times Sunday Book Review! Here is what they had to say:

“Draw!” tells of a journey as well: the inward journey of an artist’s creativity. A young boy, alone in his room except for his book about Africa and some art supplies (and medicine on the side table, hinting at a stuck-in-bed illness), begins to draw. He is soon transported into his imagination, and as he becomes engrossed in his fantasy African world, Colón’s loose pen-and-ink sketches transform into fully rendered pictures. These images are rich and glowing; one can almost feel the warmth of the sun and the nubby fur of the giraffes. Yet the delicately scratched lines and texture of the colored pencil on paper never let the viewer forget the artist’s hand, creating a lyrical balance of fantasy and reality that is ideal for a book celebrating artistic expression.

The book’s theme of the power of art to befriend, pacify and inspire, while not unique, is still a poignant one. In an author’s note, Colón recalls his own childhood memories of drawing alone in his room. By illustrating this actual experience with sketchy lines that contrast greatly with the fully rendered images of his fantasy, Colón suggests what many artists, writers and, of course, poets know in their own lives: an imaginary world even more fully realized than reality.”

You can check out the review in its original context here, and learn a bit more about this terrific story!

Images by Raul Colon:

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MFA Illustration of Visual Essay program at SVA celebrates 30 years with the “Visual Arts Journal” – and Steven Tabbutt!

The MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Program at SVA is celebrating 30 years this fall, and what better way to toast this achievement than by curating a retrospective exhibition at the SVA Chelsea Gallery!

“We Tell Stories” will showcase the works of various boundary-pushing alumni while honoring the program’s tremendous success and influence, and our very own Steven Tabbutt is very excited to share that he has been chosen for inclusion.

The celebration doesn’t stop there, however! “Visual Arts Journal” is also getting in on the action by lauding the program with a color commentary feature in their latest issue while also creating a suite of four covers, each featuring a detail of work by an alumnus. It is with great enthusiasm that we announce that Steven’s striking piece “Infest” has been chosen for the fall 2014 cover:

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Congratulations, Steven!

A Sneak Peak from Carlo Giambarresi

A recent project from Carlo Giambarresi and LA Ads in Toronto showcases the tremendous power of an effective collaboration. Celebrating the development of a new luxury highrise, the aim was to highlight the distinctive nature of the newest addition to the city’s skyline: in particular, its bright red color.

Carlo used that terrific brain of his to generate a very simple – yet striking – concept, and we have been blown away by its efficacy:

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Many thanks to the art director, Coni Kennedy, and we can’t wait to see the next installments of this great project!

The Art and Spark of Children’s Books

The Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco is excited to announce a fun and engaging round table “related to the creativity behind Italian fairytales and the current state of Italian children’s literature” – and our very talented painter, Simona Mulazzani, will be in attendance!

Take a look at their website to learn more, and if you’re in the San Francisco area, be sure to sign up!

Image by Simona Mulazzani

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