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    Paving an Illustrator's Path

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    Julia Blattman has lived in the Bay Area her entire life. An Academy of Art University’s Pre-College course in her Junior year led her to enroll in the School of Illustration, and it’s been a ride ever since.

    Her focus was on illustration that was geared towards visual development for animation and games. She put in the time to network, attended events and conferences related to the illustration field, and her efforts have paid off. And it’s no wonder that she’s interning as a concept artist at Disney Interactive in Glendale, California. She’s creating game artwork for some of Disney Pixar’s game apps, and she’s thriving on the positive and creative work environment at the studio.

    In school, Julia was especially inspired by illustrators Glen Keane, Dice Tsutsumi, Cory Loftis, Victoria Ying, Brittney Lee, to name a few. But she feels fortunate to have studied under the directorship of Chuck Pyle.

    She remarks,“He [Chuck Pyle] truly cares about how his students are doing and encourages them to reach their fullest potential. His dedication is admirable and it clearly shows through his work and his teaching. If the Illustration Department was Hogwarts, he would be Dumbledore.

    I learned a tremendous amount about drawing for film with Anthony Christov, Joko Budiono taught me how to tackle perspective, and there are many more instructors that had a huge impact on me. The experience and knowledge I learned from teachers in the School of Illustration is something I wouldn't trade for the world!”

    Julia had the honor of being a finalist at the 2015 New York Society of Illustrators Student Competition, and she exclaims, “The piece that got in was actually a homework assignment from Advanced Perspective! I also got to see Chuck Pyle accept his award at the Society of Illustrators as the Distinguished Educator of the Year. “

    Sometimes it’s difficult to gain the right footing on a new path, but Julia’s road appears solid; leading onwards and outwards.

     

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    Girl and Alpaca, by Julia Blattman


    Jean Kim Honored at SCBWI

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    Above: An illustration from Rabbit Moon, a story written and illustrated by Jean Kim, about a lonely rabbit on the moon who makes stars. Left: Jean Kim and her Certificate of Honor from the SCBWI in New York City

    "I believe that this honor gave me strength to believe in myself as an illustrator and kept me dreaming."  

     

    Jean Kim, May 2014 alumna from the School of Illustration Graduate School, with a specialty in children’s books, recently attended the Winter SCBWI Conference, (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) in New York City. Her portfolio was selected as one of the two honors portfolios granted by the SCBWI.

    The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, is one of the largest existing organizations for writers and illustrators. It is the only professional organization specifically for those individuals writing and illustrating for children and young adults in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia.  The annual winter conference draws about 1000 people and the portfolio awards are chosen by a group of industry professionals. As a result, Kim’s work was seen by over 200 art directors and agents and now she has the privilege to meet one on one with an art director from a major publishing house.

    "Receiving an honor from the SCBWI NewYork Conference was such an honor and means so much to me. I felt like all my hard work paid off. I graduated with honors with a degree in Illustration last summer. After graduation, I really didn't know what to do because my 'being a student' was over. I always knew I wanted to be a children's book illustrator, and I had a few pieces I liked in my portfolio. But my agent was skeptical about my work and not so supportive, so I was discouraged. Also, being a freelance illustrator can be unstable.

    "Therefore, when I decided to go to one of the biggest conferences in New York, it was a huge challenge for me. There were so many people from the children's book market; publishers, editors, agents, writers and illustrators. It was really overwhelming. And I saw so many amazing talented artists and their portfolios. So when they called my name on the last day when they were awarding honors, I couldn't believe my ears! Also, after the conference, I was contacted by several good agencies who understood my voice in my work.

    "I believe that this honor gave me strength to believe in myself as an illustrator and kept me dreaming."

    - See more at: http://blogs.academyart.edu/ill/ill.html

     

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