MassArt Illustration

October 1, 2018
by alice.stanne

Day of Dead Skulls – Virtual 3D Illustration

The first project of the semester for Wesley Bedrosian’s new class, Virtual 3D Illustration, was to sculpt and paint a skull celebrating the Day of the Dead. Models were sculpted in ZBrush and rendered using Keyshot.
 Details of the individual skulls can be seen in the slideshow below:

Virtual 3D Illustration Skulls

September 10, 2018
by alice.stanne

AIFF Poster Contest

This year Robert Maloney’s Experimental Illustration class worked with the Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) organizers to design a poster for the 2018 festival. Each student created a unique poster for the festival, with one student’s work selected as the winning design.

Congratulations to Rico St. Paul (BFA’19), whose poster was selected to represent the 2018 festival! Says Rico about the poster: “Yearning for spring, I approached this piece to commemorate the birthing of a new digital age. Using both traditional and digital materials, from micron pen to found branches to Photoshop blending modes, intended to communicate a directed unison of these methods of creation, both in the future of illustration and cinematic age.” 


AIFF even taped an interview with Rico about the winning poster!

The additional designs created for the poster can be seen in the slideshow below:

AIFF Poster Competition

September 5, 2018
by alice.stanne

What Can You Do with One Week and $80?

Q&A with Illustration major, Jenny Whipple

by Assistant Professor Lisa Kennedy

You Must Be Artificial from Chris K. Daniels on Vimeo.

With just $80 and one week, MassArt Illustration major, Jenny Whipple and film major, Chris Daniels created an award winning short film, “You Must Be Artificial,” which was shown this summer at the Cannes FilmFestival in France. Their film was made for the Campus Movie Fest, a worldwide competition that challenges college students to make a five minute film in a week. Jenny tells us more about the competition and how she works.

The film was made under extreme limitations, such as a week of time and an $80 budget. What was your strategy and attitude in dealing with these types of constraints? Did you have to work with any other limitations?
JW: The limitations created more than a stressful work environment; they created a space in which each member of the team could gain experience in working quickly yet efficiently. The budget felt like the least of our worries, because Chris and I are very used to working with little to no funding for our projects as I’m sure most college students are! I feel the biggest limitation for myself specifically was probably the stress of seeing our shot list and knowing we had to get it done with enough time for Chris to edit it all.

How did these restrictions influence the work in that, how did they enhance it? How were they limiting?
JW: Since every CMF team faced these limitations, I feel as though the limitations were a mostly positive thing. They allow each team to show their core strengths in such an unpolished way, allowing every entry to be really interesting and full of raw potential.

How many hours did it take to make? How did you scheduled the time along with your schoolwork?
JW: Roughly 32 hours for the whole process — Scheduling along with classes was pretty tough, but not impossible. Being in the illustration dept. Made it a bit tougher I feel, since I had my separate workload that didn’t intercept much with the You Must Be Artificial project. It was a lot of late nights talking about the shot list and filming scenes.

What advice can you give to other students and creatives facing time and budget restraints in their work?
JW: I’m definitely not an expert at facing time restraints, but my advice would be to try and stay positive about it. I’ve found that stressing out just wastes more time than necessary. Allow yourself some time to decompress and do something you enjoy, but try not to dwell on how much you have backlogged and instead, make a plan and steadily work your way through it. Budget restraints are as simple as calling in favors and scouting for locations where you are pretty sure they won’t kick you out before you can grab the shot you need!

Are you self taught in filmmaking? How did you learn? What tips can you give to illustrators wanting to work in film?
JW: Just throw yourself into it. Find someone passionate and take anything they can teach you. Chris actually started me out in film back in high school by essentially forcing me to film for him when he didn’t have a camera op, and I just fell in love with it. He started asking my opinion on shots more frequently and we just went from there. Having another person who is passionate about what you want to learn is the most helpful commodity. That and wasting days watching other people’s amazing camerawork and studying up on terminology and famous scenes.

As the cinematographer, what was your role?
JW: For this short film in particular, I assisted with the shot list, lighting and manned the camera for the majority of the shoot (though Chris can’t seem to keep his hands off the camera for 100% of the shots) With such a limited team, we all did more than our job title says, between setting up the room to film in and helping a squirming cast put their contacts in I felt more like a cinematographer and assistant director by the end.

Is there a correlation between your illustration and filmmaking? How so?
JW: There’s definitely a huge correlation. Illustration teaches you to think a lot about composition and how a viewer’s eye will move through a piece, and cinematography focuses on that same composition throughout a scene. I have had the most fun in cinematography when I consciously connect it to problems I have faced in illustration, and particularly enjoy the struggle of thinking about the composition of thousands of frames of video in a single shot.

What inspired the short, “You Must Be Artificial?”
JW: in Chris’ words: “I find the growing development and evolution of Artificial Intelligence in our real world right now incredibly interesting. Though with that, I’ve always been drawn to taking something from the real world and adding a “what if” element to twist and fictionalize things. So with this short, in the very limited amount of time I had to make it, I wanted to create a strongly human and mysterious element to the question of what defines humanity versus artificial beings. I thought the most interesting, compelling way of doing that would be to have two individuals trying to evoke emotion out of each other with a series of intensely personal questions”

How has attending Cannes changed your perspective on filmmaking?
JW: The Cannes Film Festival was the first time I thought about film/video as a potentially viable career path for myself. Before, I saw it as a passion to keep on the side of my illustration, however, after coming back home I’m starting to see all the ways I can incorporate both into a potential career. Whether it’s through set design, concept art, background work, or just as simple as using my illustration work to influence my shot setup and composition, I’m excited to see where the mixing of these two mediums can get me.

Has attending the festival opened up any unexpected opportunities and connections yet?
JW: The most important connections were all of the other inspired filmmakers who were in the short film corner alongside us. I have made some lifelong friends during my time in Cannes and have learned a lot already from their experiences. The craziest opportunities were the networking parties I attended, it was exciting to see the extravagant events held by producers, financiers, and sales agents. My favorite encounter was at a party held in a castle overlooking Cannes where I met a man who told me he punched Harvey Weinstein in the face and knocked him to the ground!

What was the best piece of advice you received at Cannes?
JW: I think the best advice I received was simply to always be working. Even when you feel worn out and uninspired, find something to inspire a little bit of creativity and keep creating. The people who become well known and lucrative in any field are the ones who stay home and work while everyone else is out.

What are you working on next?
JW: Chris and I have worked on multiple projects since You Must Be Artificial. I’m on the writing team for a new show we’re in the developing stages of, and along with six other short films, my own illustration projects, a satirical webseries, and talk about a horror short, I’ve been pretty busy since I’ve returned!

What would you like us to know that I didn’t ask?
JW: Just that, despite the negative response from some faculty in the film department saying that we shouldn’t take this opportunity, I am extremely glad that I took it. This trip to Cannes has been the most influential, inspiring, and overall valuable thing I have encountered since I even started thinking of art as a viable career path. I am thankful to the illustration professors for being so supportive of my decision to attend and making accommodations for me to follow this dream of mine.

June 13, 2018
by alice.stanne

Handel & Hadyn Project Hercules

Every year the Handel & Hadyn Society partners with the MassArt Illustration department to develop a body of work to display at Symphony Hall in conjunction with a selected concert program. This year Illustration juniors created work for Handel’s Hercules. 

Photo by Lara Silberklang

From among the work twelve students were selected by a jury to be displayed at Symphony Hall. Jury members (from left to right), MassArt President David Nelson, Professor Irena Roman, H&H Artistic Director Harry Christophers, and Professor Margot Zurakowska.

Congratulations to Rebecca Bischof, Kathryn Burke, Lisa Davidson, Suwichack Finneran, Zoe Gillette, Danielle Hill, Laila Kherallah, Liam Mahoney, Maude Njoku, Kelly O’Hanlon, Rachel Utzig, and Lillian Vo, whose work was on display!

Handel & Haydn 2018

June 6, 2018
by alice.stanne

Roadside America: Student Show at Mosesian Center for the Arts

Students from Irena Roman’s Professional Illustration class are participating in Roadside America, an exhibition at The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts. Roadside America  showcases artwork that depicts roadside attractions, features along the side of the road meant to attract tourists. Places one might stop on the way to somewhere, rather than actually being a destination.

The show will open tomorrow night, June 7th from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The exhibition features work by Cara Betti, Holly Hudoka, Natalie Kenney, Kim Minjeong, Endia Kneipp, Ryan Koester, Soyeon Lim, Kellie McDonald, Edwin Peralta, Michelle Poirier, Gemma Tracy-Burns, Anh Tran, Melanie Veins, Dora Wang, and Jorge Jimenez.

A special congratulations to Endia Kneipp who won Best of Show in the Roadside America exhibition for her series of “murder” houses (including Lizzie Borden’s house) and to Dora Wang who won Honorable Mention for her Brooks Ketchup Bottle Water Tower image.

Endia Kneipp


Dora Wang

Running concurrently at Mosesian Center for the Arts is Your Are Here Landscape/Cityscape Exhibition. Over 50 professional artists are participating in this show which runs through July 20th. Congratulations to Illustration senior Anh Tran who won Best of Show for images of Vietnam she created for her senior thesis.

May 24, 2018
by alice.stanne

Congratulations Seniors!

Congratulations to our senior class of 2018 who are graduating today!  Here they are, standing in a gallery of their work in MassArt’s Design and Media Center.

A few weeks ago the Illustration seniors participated in their final portfolio review. Every spring industry professionals come in to look at senior work and provide feedback. Seniors can meet with professional illustrators, as well representatives from publishing, galleries, tattoo shops, design firms and more.

We can’t wait to see what our new alums do!

April 20, 2018
by alice.stanne

Senior Portfolio Night

Join the Illustration department as we celebrate the work of our graduating class of 2018! You are invited to view the portfolios of MassArt’s Illustration class of 2018! See award winning work that has been accepted into many prestigious competitions.

The event will be held on Thursday, May 10th from 6:00 – 8:00 in the Atrium of the Design and Media Center.

March 30, 2018
by alice.stanne

Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Selections!

Congratulations to the Illustration seniors who were accepted into this years Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Exhibit!

From the Society: In a competition which can kick start a career, students bring their most sophisticated, well-crafted and original work to be tested. A jury of professional peers, including illustrators and art directors, selects the most outstanding works created throughout the year. Pieces are accepted based on the quality of technique, concept and skill of medium used.

The following students have been accepted into the show which will be on display at the Society in May.

Title: the room shifts at night
Student: Crystal Araiza
Medium: Mixed medium
Instructor: Malgorzata Zurakowska

Title: meseukkeoum
Student: ctset
Medium: Digital
Instructor: Wesley Bedrosian

Title: Everything is Fine
Student: Michelle Nutter
Medium: Digital
Instructor: Bob Maloney

Title: Happiness is Other People
Student: Dora Wang
Medium: Digital
Instructor: Scott Bakal

Title: The Myth of Women’s ‘Empowerment’
Student: Dora Wang
Medium: Digital
Instructor: Scott Bakal

Title: Rose Colored Glasses
Student: Dora Wang
Medium: Pencil and digital
Instructor: Scott Bakal

March 27, 2018
by alice.stanne

Visiting Artist – Andrea Dezsö

The Illustration Department presents a lunchtime talk with renowned artist Andrea Dezsö. The talk will be held on April 10, from 1:00 – 2:00 in the Tower Auditorium.

Andrea Dezsö is a visual artist/illustrator who works across a broad range of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, site-specific installation, artist’s books, cut paper, animation and large-scale public art.

Andrea’s work has been exhibited around the world and has been featured in publications such Art Forum, Art News, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and in numerous books.

March 23, 2018
by alice.stanne

Alumna Kathleen O’Hara Showcased in CommArts

Congratulations to alumna Kathleen O’Hara (BFA’17), who has been featured in Communication Arts Student Showcase!  The work in the showcase is chosen for the “quality of [the artists’] conceptual thinking, and the meticulous execution of their craft.”
“Great Bear’s Folly is a cloak made out of a giant bear that gives its wearer magical benefits such as resistance to cold. I illustrated a hero of old wearing the cloak, standing tall in the snowy wilderness. A commissioned project for Many Sided Dice done outside of school.”“Created for Zullo Gallery’s show “Provocation”, my pieces showcase young women in armor, highlighting their strength and power as individuals making their marks on the world.”“The Green Rider’s Wale is a magical item used to summon large animals to ride and use to fight evil. The item is heavily tied to nature and I emphasized this with the dramatic use of sunlight and leaves. A commissioned project for Many Sided Dice done outside of school.”“The Guise of the Death Bear is a magical headdress that grants the power to turn into a rage-filled beast. The glowing eyes and long nails foreshadow the oncoming transformation. A commissioned project for Many Sided Dice done outside of school.”