Memphians! And persons with private jets and/or mutant flight abilities:
The Memphis, Illustrated show at the Dixon Gallery is up! Come out to the official opening and reception on Thursday from 6-8pm. Say hello! It’s easy to spot illustrators: we’re the really beautiful ones with hunched backs and early onset arthritis.
Non-Memphians: the Dixon is one of the two big art museums here in town, so it’s really cool that they’re doing a show highlighting a small sampling of the illustration scene here. That includes these artists and friends:
Please check out their work since you can’t make it to the show! Yay, illustration!
In April, I’m going to be in two exhibitions that I’m pretty excited about!
The first is another show with the Light Grey Art Lab; it’s about animal myths and called, appropriately, Animystics. Considering I mostly draw either a) guardian lions or b) funerary horses anyway, this was right up my alley. It opens April 25th at the wonderful Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis.
The second show is at the Dixon Gallery here in Memphis. It’s called Memphis, Illustrated and features mostly poster work by local illustrators. It opens on Thursday, April 17th.
BASICALLY GUYS, it’s a show with all of my friends and me. They kicked the Sargent out of its frame and put one of my posters in it.
I’ll also be doing a little lunchtime lecture at the Dixon on April 23rd. It will be a short primer on the American illustration tradition, and how that relates to illustrators working today. I think there will be food too which, let’s be honest, is the only way I get anyone to listen to me.
Yesterday, a few of us went to a screening of Mu-Ming Tsai’s Design & Thinking documentary put on by our local AIGA chapter. Afterwards there was a panel of various local designers, teachers, and entrepreneurs to discuss what “design thinking” meant to them, their practice, and the city at large.
From how I understand it, “design thinking” is: context + function + form. Or empathizing with the context of a problem, correctly formulating the right questions, and efficiently solving said questions.
I liked it and thought it was interesting, but I did think some of the discussion brought into sharp relief the differences between a systematic approach of “thinking like a designer” and actually thinking creatively.
One panelist suggested to a group of graphic design students that they “not be possessive of their art”, that they downplay the artistry aspect of design and allow the context of their design problems to be their primary concern.
I understand that sentiment, especially in the context of working with a client, but I think overall it’s detrimental to illustrators, who live in a more ambiguous intersection of art and business. I would argue that artistry is of the utmost importance to illustrators, as our personal voice is what truly sets us apart. You should not only own it, but run with it all the way to the bank.
This is by no means a slight on designers or to say that illustrators are inherently different than designers. I love designers! Designers are illustrators, illustrators are designers, etc. Labels don’t really matter anymore, just skill sets.
I wonder if that was my default face when listening to students?
From MCA’s new undergrad catalog.
Today, I went to the Civil Rights Museum, formerly the Lorraine Motel, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
I love my city. I hate my city.
I’m pretty sure I’ve drawn this same girl before, in the same chair, from the same angle. Going to find different places around town to sketch next week.