Ken Graning Interview

It is my pleasure to present the autobiography and artwork of illustrator, Ken Graning. Ken Graning's impressive career as an illustrator spans an astonishing forty six years.

When It Comes To Logos These Companies Don't Play Around

The video game industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. In March, Forbes reported that Gabe Newell, founder of Valve Corporation, is "one of the richest people on the planet".

Ed Fella Interview

Ed Fella is one of the most prominent graphic designers of our time, and as you can imagine, a conversation with Ed Fella is both inspiring and enlightening

The Amazing Illustrations and Sketches of J.R. Mounger

Artist and designer J.R. Mounger has a passion for illustration and you sure can tell by the artwork he creates.

An Interview with Art Licensing Consultant, Maria Brophy

I first learned of Maria's work last year, when I featured the artwork of surf lifestyle artist, Drew Brophy, here on Illustration Pages - I've been a loyal fan and avid follower of both ever since.



Goncalo Viana Illustrations and Cartoons on Facebook

The playful, editorial illustrations of Goncalo Viana are brilliant. His illustrations are filled with color, texture, unique characters, geometric shapes and patterns. Goncalo Viana has a style all his own. He's created illustrations for The New York Times, HOW Magazine, T Rowe Price and many more.

Goncalo also sells prints of his illustrations. So you can have a few of these beauties framed and hanging in your studio or home.

Goncalo addresses a very important issue on his Facebook page - copyright issues. Since the inception of Facebook there have been numerous questions surrounding Facebook's copyright terms. A year ago Facebook addressed the issue with the article, On Facebook, People Own and Control Their Information. Now if after reading that article you're still unsure about posting your artwork directly on Facebook do as Goncolo does. His solution is simple and smart. When you post on your Facebook page link out to your personal site, blog or Flickr album. Most artists today seem to be comfortable creating photo albums of their work on Facebook and without incident. But remember, this is your artwork and in many cases your livelihood we're talking about here. You shouldn't post your work anywhere you don't feel comfortable. What do you think of Facebook's copyright terms? Are you comfortable with posting your artwork on Facebook? Have you run into problems or issues posting your artwork on Facebook?

The Art of Healing

In 2005, my brother suffered a heart attack. Thankfully, he’s made a full recovery, due in part to my quick-thinking sister-in-law who gave him an aspirin when he was experiencing chest pains, to the lightening-fast response of the EMTs in Fairfax County, Virginia, who teleported him to one of the area’s premier cardiac hospitals, the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute.

Hospitals can unnerve me with their cold, clinical atmosphere, antiseptic smells, and ominous looking equipment. When I arrived at Inova I was taken aback from the moment I stepped into the lobby. Multi-story glass windows poured sunlight into the area, and everywhere I looked there was color – from the warm wood tones of the front desk to the swirling inset design of the floor, and the beautiful artwork hung on walls which were painted in soothing, “real-people-can-live-with-these” colors.

As I walked the organically curved hallways to the cardiac wing, I came upon a stunning indoor Zen garden bathed in sun from an overhead skylight. Outside were beautiful meditation gardens, with calming reflective pools and soothing waterfalls. I felt the weight of my anxiety ease as I approached the Intensive Care Unit, where I found my brother in a quiet, sea-blue room, his bed facing a beautiful photograph of a pristine lake flanked by snow covered mountains. What kind of a place was this?

It was the kind of place that understood that our environments directly impact our well-being, and things like color, art and nature can have a profound effect on how well we heal. Florence Nightingale was one of the earliest proponents of noting how important one’s physical environment was to healing. Fast forward to the year 2000 when Diane Brown, a curator and private art dealer founded RxArt.

RxArt is an amazing program that brings contemporary art to healthcare facilities (many of these children’s hospitals) to help patients relieve stress and anxiety by engaging them through these art installations. The program offers a rich variety of art forms and boasts an impressive list of contemporary artists from the whimsical Weimaraners of William Wegman to the contemplative wall paintings of Mary Temple.

Art can be provocative, and is, in fact, often spoken about in terms of how it shocks us or how it deconstructs that which is comfortable and familiar. But art can also be profoundly healing – soothing, inspiring, it engages us and allows us to see beyond our immediate situation for respite from our struggles. It reminds us of the beauty that exists within the world during times when it might otherwise be difficult for us to see with our own eyes. It allows us to connect – to the artist, to a concept, to a cause, and sometimes to a forgotten part of ourselves. Art is good medicine.

Article by LYDIA GNAU
Painting courtesy of KIMBERLY KIRK
Kimberly Kirk is a young emerging artist whose visual creative process is uniquely influenced by her strong background in dance and storytelling. Inspired by her love for nature and spirit, her art is saturated with vivid natural hues and rich with symbolic meanings. She holds a BA in Transformational Arts from the University of Minnesota. Transformational Arts is the study of empowerment through the arts--dance, creative writing, theater, and music. She makes her home in beautiful Kauai with her husband and daughter where she nurses an addiction to surfing.

Take A Walk in Italy & Find Inspiration from Ericailcane

Contributed by Melissa Kojima

Since I have a hyperactive, out-of-control brain, I have yet to run into artist block. But if it happens to me, I've gotten a lot of good advice from other artists. Many of them have said to just step away from whatever art you're doing. Just don't think about it for a while. They say go play with your kids. Talk to friends you haven't taken the time to see in a while. Or go out and eat a good meal. Taking a walk can also be a way of renewing the artistic mind.

And if you ever take a walk in Italy, you might come across street artist, Ericailcane's amazing art. Seeing it is sure to get you revved up and inspired to go back to working on art. Below are a few of examples of his work.

Unfortunately, his website is under construction at the writing of this post. But you can find a ton of his work just by looking up his name. Click on this link to see many more amazing examples of his art on paper, on the streets and in galleries.

Discovery Arts, Helping Children With Cancer Through Art

Discovery Arts uses the arts as tools to help children step outside the confines of their illness and into the world of creativity and imagination. Children with cancer have enormous emotional needs: they need a safe place to express their feelings about their illness; they need relief from the pain and chaos of critical illness; they desperately need fun and normalcy. Discovery Arts programs, called Arts Adventures, meet these needs through fun, interactive explorations of music, dance, art and drama. These creative adventures strengthen children’s emotional health so they can better cope with the enormous difficulties critical illness. This in turn positively impacts their treatment and recovery.

The Amazing Illustrations and Sketches of J.R. Mounger on Facebook


Artist and designer J.R. Mounger has a passion for illustration and you sure can tell by the artwork he creates. His illustrations and sketches are bursting with imagination and wild ideas. His hand drawn letter-work is impeccable.

Wait until you see the images J.R. posts from his sketchbook - skulls and daggers, tattooed wrestlers, bombshell beauties, laser-shooting, alien robots and all sorts of insane characters. This guy's work is phenomenal. You can see that J.R. Mounger is one of those illustrators with a natural ability to create and draw.



Sectioned off in different photo albums, the Photo tab on J.R.'s Facebook page is filled with piles of photographs of his work. Only one important thing is missing from his page. Where's all your information for the info tab J.R.? Website? Blog? Contact? Bet he's just been so busy drawing and dreaming up fantastic illustrations he forgot to add how to get in touch with him.


Wouldn't you love to buy one of J.R.'s original drawings? Or 10 or 15 of them?

Children's Illustrator Irisz Agócs on Facebook

There's a lot of energy and emotion in illustrator, Irisz Agócs' sketches and illustrations. They have a refreshingly free-spirited and captivating quality about them. The loose line-work and oftentimes, subdued color palette is what fills Irisz's illustrations with so much character and feeling. The delightful, innocence of her artwork is appealing to both children and adults.

Irisz Agócs' illustrations can be little watercolor-filled tears or paint spattered smiles - either way they'll make your heart melt.

The Realistic Sculpture of Adam Beane

Can you believe the detail in Adam Beane's sculptures? You almost expect their eyes to blink, turn to you and say something like, "What are you looking at?" He doesn't use clay to sculpt his figures. Adam uses a material he calls CX5, which he has developed himself. What's this material made of? Well, only Adam Beane is privy to that information.


Ben Powis Illustrations Found on Facebook and iTunes

Ben Powis' unique style has a Tim Burton type of atmosphere to it with similar Burton style hints of humor slipped in here and there. Ben has somehow managed to create illustrations that are spooky but yet inviting. Your actually drawn into Ben's illustrations - feeling more like a participant not merely a viewer.

Ben writes and illustrates awesome mobile graphic novels that you can download and read on your iPhone and iPod Touch. He currently has two available, Turtle Guitar is available free, and, Where Grows The Bitter Herb can be downloaded for as little as $0.99 on iTunes.

Not only will you want to fan Ben Powis' Facebook page. You'll to want to bookmark his website, Ben Powis Illustration and follow his blog, Lost in the Woods - just to keep up-to-date on his mobile graphic novels if for nothing else.

Have you downloaded his graphic novels yet? They're fantastic! What did you think about them?

A Winter’s Blast of Inspiration

Let me admit right here that I’m not a huge fan of winter. I didn’t mind it so much when I was younger, but now the colorless days feel lifeless to me – a difficult environment in which to find creative inspiration.

But find it I did, and in all things, it was during a snowstorm deemed a white-out (can we get anymore colorless than a “white-out”)? It was during the height of the storm that I was stopped in my tracks by how beautiful the world around me looked enveloped in snow. The familiar lines and objects of my neighborhood were now transformed, subdued, and sometimes hidden altogether, which allowed me to see my surroundings in a new light, a different perspective – the very launch point of creative inspiration.

It was lovely to see my world softened by a glimmery veil of snow, diffusing the formerly stark winter landscape into a cottony composition in white. The once bare branches of my plum tree were now flocked with snow, giving the appearance of feathery alabaster blooms billowing from its limbs. The bright crimson twigs of my red dogwood rose brilliantly from the snow, like cherry licorice whips you’d find in a candy store.

The wonderful thing about finding creative inspiration is that the opportunities for its discovery are infinite. I was delightfully surprised to find that a blustery snowstorm in the dreary season of winter was the catalyst I needed to find inspiration in things that have always been within my sight, but that I could now truly see.

How do you feel about the winter? Where do you look to find inspiration during these long winter months?

Article by LYDIA GNAU
Paintings courtesy of CELESTE BERGIN

In 1976 Celeste Bergin earned a degree in Graphic Design from Mt Hood College in Oregon. She also attended the Pacific Northwest College of Art. In 1978 Celeste began her 25 year career in graphic design and advertising, working for Robert Selby Design, Borders, Perrin, Norrander, Nike and Wieden and Kennedy.

In 2004
Celeste began painting full time - outdoors and directly from life. She has had workshops with Kitty Wallis, Kenn Backhaus, Robert Gamblin, Eric Jacobsen, Mitch Baird and Elio Camacho. Strongly influenced by Andy Warhol, Magritte and Wayne Thiebaud, her work incorporates an appreciation for the beauty of nature and her preference for bold expression. Celeste has exhibited her paintings in Galleries and non-profit arts organizations and also has work included in private collections throughout the United States.

Artist Aaron Jasinski on Facebook, The Future Has Arrived

The dreamlike paintings of Seattle artist Aaron Jasinski will transport you to another world - a world of amusement and melancholy - solace and discord - these depictions of fantasy, reality, - imagination.

The brushstrokes of Aaron's paintings create wonderful textures and patterns. His combination of colors yields art expressive and emotional, filled with captivating shapes and swirls of light and shadow.

Hopefully soon we'll see a lot of Aaron's extraordinary artwork on his Facebook page in the Photos tab. It would also be great to see an Events tab with information about upcoming exhibits he plans to participate in. The fans on his page are very passionate about his artwork - and with good reason. Let's give Aaron Jasinski more fans and see if we can encourage him to add a little more to his Facebook page.

Do you have any suggestions that you find to be working for you on your Facebook page?

Inspiring Others Can Be Inspiring: My Exprerience As a Live Painter

Below is a photo of me live painting for the first time at a hip bar in Los Angeles, CA. What made me get out there in front of a bunch of strangers and expose my art process and mistakes? Was I foolishly confident? Maybe. Was I willing to take a risk? Definitely. I took the risk because for months I'd been watching my art buddy, John Park do the same thing. Every week, he painted at a bar in front of an audience.

Seeing how he did it gave me ideas of how to improve my art and new things to try. It also made me want to get out there and watch him every chance I could get. His unfailing effort seemed to boost my own efforts. His vibrant forms and fun subjects made me want to inject more fun into my art. In short, he inspired me.

If you watch the short video above, you'll see the beginning of the bizarre piece I started at the bar. But you won't see how people came up to me and complimented me, praised me or encouraged me to keep at it. One guy even wrote me a poem that was inspired by my art. I admit I was a little nervous to start with, but as more and more people came up to me and talked to me, I relaxed. I may have inspired some of them, but they, in turn, inspired me.

As you can guess, I highly recommend doing and seeing live painting. If you're fool hearty enough to put yourself "naked" (as one of my art friends calls it) out there, then you'll have the chance to absorb and interact with the audience who will soon be your fans. You'll inspire them and they'll inspire you. You've got nothing to lose----well, maybe not---good luck and happy painting to all.

Illustration Pages' Facebook Page, Recognized on the Escape From Illustration Island Website

Illustration Pages recently had the honor of being recognized by the Escape From Illustration Island website has having one of the Top 10 Facebook Pages for Illustrators.

Escape From Illustration Island is one amazing online resource. This site has so much valuable content for the illustration community you'll bookmark it and keep going back for more. Illustrator Thomas James built Escape From Illustration Island as an online community, a place where illustrators can ask questions, find answers and inspiration, read reviews, gather information, learn from tutorials and more. One of the many impressive features about the Escape From Illustration Island site are the professionally produced podcasts. Thomas recently wrapped up his twentieth podcast for the site with artist, Drew Struzan. These podcasts are so enlightening and compelling, you'll find yourself listening to them over an over again, waiting in anticipation for the next one.

The Escape From Illustration Island Facebook page is impressive also. Boasting a fan base of 1,182 EFII supporters, it too is rich with information. Thomas takes you right to his Welcome tab upon entering the page where he displays a large EFII banner, with large, bold copy underneath briefly explaining what EFII is about, and a "Become a Fan" button at the top just above the banner. He utilizes a Store tab to sell merchandise and a Reviews tab for readers to give reviews of the EFII site.

Thomas James is providing the creative community with a priceless tool through the Escape From Illustration Island website. The challenge of maintaining such a site is no small undertaking. It's great that everyone shows their appreciation by fanning his Facebook page and participating on his site. We wish Thomas much luck and continued success not only with the EFII site but also with his illustration career.

The Beautiful Paintings of Artist Jay Alders on Facebook

New Jersey artist, Jay Alders proves you don't have to be living in Hawaii to capture the true sense of freedom that comes from riding the waves. You also don't have to be a surfer to grasp the essence of Jay's paintings. His work embodies passion for life, and a love for all things living.

Jay's stylized paintings will have your mind soaring though your feet remain grounded. Somehow through his work we're reminded, in life we're connected with everyone and everything around us.

Jay Alder's paintings are beautifully textured, richly colored snapshots of individual moments of peace, harmony and relaxation.

You might find yourself already connected with Jay - even before you become of fan of his Facebook page.

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