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A Personal Touch – Raul Colon, Dr. Jill Biden, and the USS Gabrielle Giffords

Back in 2012, Raul Colon was contacted to illustrate former second lady of the United States Jill Biden’s children’s book “Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops”. Inspired by her granddaughter Natalie and told from the point of view of a child with a parent on the other side of the world, this acclaimed title was a proud accomplishment for both the author and the illustrator.

Illustration by Raul Colon:

Cover, "Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops"

The title’s esteemed editor, Paula Wiseman, recently reached out with a very special request from Dr. Biden: she wanted to acquire some of the original artwork to display aboard the USS Gabrielle Giffords, a littoral combat ship of the United States Navy that she sponsored at the ship’s 2015 christening. Deeply honored, Raul was more than happy to help facilitate this request.

Raul Colon original artwork displayed inside the USS Gabrielle Giffords:

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We are deeply moved by this personal gift and Dr. Jill Biden’s sentiments. To this incredible and inspiring woman – thank you.

How To: in the Studio with Josee Bisaillon

Josee Bisaillon recently shared a fun “how to” on her blog, and it is so cool to see how her adorable work comes together. From extremely loose thumbnails to the final product, we really appreciate seeing how the artist approaches her work.

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Thanks for sharing, Josee!

Cook Prize Awards

The Cook Prize Awards honor the best science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) picture books published for children aged eight to ten. It is the only national children’s choice award honoring STEM titles, making it an invaluable resource for parents, teachers, and children interested in exploring these interests through literature.

Cover for “Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea”, illustrated by Raul Colon:

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea

Our very own Raul Colon was proudly awarded an honor award for his work on “Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea,” a story about the acclaimed scientist Marie Tharp and her pioneering efforts to map the ocean floor.

Spreads from “Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea”, illustrated by Raul Colon:

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As part of the annual festivities, Raul was invited to visit with young students, further encouraging them to follow their curiosity. Take a look at this inspiring interview to see the artist in action.

We are proud of Raul and his commitment to creating beautiful works that celebrate important figures in history – particularly women. Congratulations, Raul!

 

Valeria Petrone Recognized for New Children’s Title

Valeria Petrone is pleased to announce that her illustrations for “Abitare Sottosopra, un Parco di Notte” and “Tilda e la Luna” have received the ‘distinguished merit’ and ‘merit’ awards, respectively, from the 3×3 Magazine Picture Book Annual – wonderful!

Valeria’s strong graphic work appeals to adults and children alike, but there’s no ignoring the fact that the “cute factor” is totally maxed out in her adorable picturebooks.

Sometimes it’s best to let the art speak for itself….congratulations, Valeria!

Images by Valeria Petrone:

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3×3 Announces Carlo Stanga as a Winner

3×3 Magazine has been sharing the results of their recent competition (would you believe that they are up to annual number 14?!), and Carlo Stanga is proud to announce that his recent title, “I am London,” is a winner in the Picture Book Show.

“I am London,” by Carlo Stanga:

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This beautiful book – written and illustrator by Carlo – celebrates the energy, history, and distinct personality of this wonderful city.

Congratulations, Carlo!

V&A Illustration Awards Announce A. Richard Allen as Winner

The V&A Illustration Awards are the UK’s most prestigious annual competition, honoring the very best in British book, editorial, and student illustration. And this year, A. Richard Allen proudly took the Editorial Illustration and Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Awards for his timely (unfortunately) and very witty (thankfully) illustration, “Trump Wave”.

“Trump Wave,” by A. Richard Allen:

V&A Illustration Award Winner

A. Richard Allen’s illustration accompanied an article in The Sunday Telegraph on the potentially dramatic impact of Donald Trump’s election victory on global financial markets. It takes its cue from the instantly recognisable composition of Katsushika Hokusai’s famous 19th-century woodblock print Under the Wave off Kanagawa (The Great Wave). Adapted to Donald Trump’s equally familiar hairstyle, A. Richard Allen’s illustration is succinct and eloquent, managing to be humorous without being at all trivial.

The judging panel was particularly impressed by the use of a well-known art-historical reference as commentary on current affairs and voted Trump Wave as the overall winner of the 2017 competition, making A. Richard Allen the recipient of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year prize.”

We couldn’t be happier to share this announcement with you today – and on the artist’s birthday, no less! Congratulations, Richard.

 

Major Nominations for Victo Ngai

Victo Ngai has some pretty major news: the talented artist is honored to announce that her piece “Forest of Memory” has been nominated for a Chelsey Award!

“Forest of Memory”, by Victo Ngai:

Forest of Memory

The Chelsey Awards, which were established by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, recognize individual artistic achievement for any given year. You can take a look at all of 2017’s nominees here, and check out the artists in the “Best Cover” category here.

But ladies and gentlemen, we are not quite through – Victo has also been nominated for a Hugo Award in the “best professional artists” category! This is an incredibly prestigious honor from members of the Science Fiction community. Worldcon 75 members are now eligible to begin voting – but you know who we’ll be rooting for!

EDIT: Just as we were posting the above news, Victo sent us yet another update – she is also a top ten finalist for the Locus Award! Winners for this annual prize are selected by members of the Locus Magazine community. It goes without saying that winning the popular vote would be quite an honor. We will be sure to keep you updated as the results come in.

UN Stamps Celebrate Dance Cultures

Ahhh, the ecstasy of dance – truly one of the purest forms of human expression. According to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and a recent project’s brief and objective, “Dance promotes in a lively manner reciprocal knowledge and respect of diversity. Dance is both an art form and a method of communication in cultures around the world.”

How fitting to team up with some of the world’s foremost visual communicators, including Victo Ngai, with the purpose to connect and celebrate this glorious art form. In partnership with the United Nations, Victo created two illustrations that are comprised of elegant, stand out elements (the stamps themselves) that come together to create a complex composition. The results are stunning.

Images by Victo Ngai:

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Victo Ngai Dance

Victo Ngai Dance stamps

Thank you to Sergio Baradat at the United Nations for commissioning this extraordinary project. We are in awe of the results!

Rosé all Day! New Design from Valeria Petrone

Who doesn’t love a glass of rosé once spring hits? Please take note: noone is raising their hands!

This latest project from Valeria Petrone is a real showstopper, and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. Created for Tormaresca Vineyard in collaboration with animator Silvio Mancini (and art directed by Valeria), it is a thrill to see her illustration come to life.

Image by Valeria Petrone:

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We strongly recommend taking half a minute to check out this delightful animation – and don’t forget to raise your glasses!

New Conceptual Title from Guido Scarabottolo

Guido Scarabottolo’s award-winning conceptual work engages and intrigues. Compelling and mysterious, he has a knack for distilling images to their simplest components while celebrating the absurd. And in his latest title, published by La Grande Illusion, he has taken his unique vision to new heights.

Image by Guido Scarabottolo:

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Guido charmingly describes his new book as being “only for extremely sophisticated readers or total illiterates. It is a book about writing, reading, drawing, thinking, and traveling.” Indeed, it is a book about life experiences – and reality is often subject to interpretation. Perhaps that is how he arrived at this incredibly clever and novel idea.

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Yes, you are “reading” that correctly – no text! Yet the pages remain undeniably intriguing. Guido has wowed us once again with this surreal approach.