Fall 2017 December Student Feature: Colin Kettler

For the last week of the semester we'd like to feature one more student before the break. Here is Senior Colin Kettler!

1.  Tell us about yourself! What’s your name, where are you from?  

My name is Colin Kettler and I am from Kansas City.

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2.  Why illustration? What brought you to KCAI?

I came to KCAI to study film with little drawing experience. I fell in love with drawing in my foundations year and I ended up going into the painting department. I loved the creative process and the experience of the artwork that was being made around me. I started to crave commercial knowledge and a new point of view so I came to the Illustration department.  

3.  What medium do you prefer?

I prefer paint of any kind. I started with oil paint, then I moved into watercolor, and now I am exploring digital painting. I have recently started painting murals. I also love drawing with charcoal and ballpoint pen.

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4.  Favorite project thus far and why?

My favorite project was the layered narrative image project in my narrative class my Junior year. I had a great time painting it and I think it was an important piece for my development.   

5.  Who and or what is an inspiration for you in art making?

I am inspired by my friends and family and also by my faith in Jesus Christ. My favorite painters are J.M.W Turner, John Singer Sargent, and Wayne Thiebaud, and my favorite digital painters are Atey Ghailan, and Pascal Campion.

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6.  Go to tool for sketching and idea making?

My sketchbook and my journal are the idea generating tools for me. I find that I need to write out my thoughts and make a list, and then after that make thumbnail sketches. The list puts my mind at ease and then I am free to create sketches and visual solutions. Lately I have been doing sketches in Photoshop and painting over them. I also work from personal photography. 

7.   What is your favorite go to meal?

My go-to meal is Chipotle because it’s delicious and good for 2 meals, but if I want to treat myself I get a big ol’ BBQ sandwich and fries from Gates or Joe’s KC.

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8.  If you were not doing art, what do you think you would be studying or doing instead?

I think I would be studying business or accounting, because I like math and I am very interested in small businesses. Or I would be learning some kind of manual labor trade.

9.   What other types of work interest you?

I am also interested in photography and design, and I wish I had time to learn sculpture and ceramics. 

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Contact info:

cmkett@gmail.com

insta: @kettlercreations

colinkettler.com

913-742-1012

TWO EVENTS this week!!

Hi everyone! It's been a busy, bustling semester! After months of planning, we have two events coming up THIS WEEK here in Kansas City, both of which highlight and feature the work of our junior and senior Illustration students. 

Our first event, The Harvest (held on Thursday, November 30, from 5-8pm), is an annual event that enables students to make connections, meet people and share their work with various individuals from the creative community of Kansas City that we invite to our department for the evening. If you're looking for an intern or are curious about the work that's currently being created within the department, we'd love for you to join us! The event is set up trade-show-style; juniors and seniors will have their portfolios available and will be in attendance for the duration of the evening to answer your questions and share their work with you.

Our second event, ILLUSTRATION NOW (held on Friday, December 1, from 5-8pm), features exceptional junior and senior work that was selected, curated and juried by the faculty. This show is also being held in the Illustration department and coincides with the campus-wide End of Semester shows at KCAI. This show, along with the End of Semester shows, continues throughout the weekend on Saturday, December 2 from 10am-5pm and on Sunday, December 3 from 12-5pm.

The work featured below is a sampling of some of the work that will be featured in ILLUSTRATION NOW 2017. We hope to see you at The Harvest and/or ILLUSTRATION NOW!

KCAI Illustration is located at 324 East 43rd Street, KCMO, 64111. Street parking is available.

Gabbi Brandini, '18

Gabbi Brandini, '18

Meredith Lucius, '18

Meredith Lucius, '18

Vaughn Parish, '19

Vaughn Parish, '19

Austin Chapman, '19

Austin Chapman, '19

Jeff Schoenhofen, '19

Jeff Schoenhofen, '19

Willow Hardman, '19

Willow Hardman, '19

Brinnon Schaub, '18

Brinnon Schaub, '18

Arlan Engin, '19

Arlan Engin, '19

Jess Bonniwell, '18

Jess Bonniwell, '18

Fall 2017 November Student Feature: Rory Frazier

Happy November everyone, we have new students to feature this month! Here we have Senior Rory Frazier!

1.      Tell us about yourself! What’s your name; where are you from?

 I'm Rory! I grew up in South Carolina and moved to Kansas City to go to school here.

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2.      Why illustration? What brought you to KCAI?
 I chose KCAI because I liked the campus and the city, and I was awarded relatively more scholarship money here than any of my other options. My original intent was to major in animation, but after one semester of that I knew it wasn't my thing. I wanted to make a living doing creative work, but I wasn't very interested in pursuing a fine art lifestyle, so Illustration was the obvious second choice.

3.      What medium do you prefer?
I really enjoy linoleum block printing or working with pen and ink on paper, but I have a tendency to go with digital solutions.

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4.      What’s been your favorite project thus far and why?
The Ouija Board project was a really great opportunity to play with illustrative lettering and design, and I had a lot of fun with it. I love a good hand lettering project!

5.      Who and or what is an inspiration for you in terms of your art making?
I can't think of any specific artists who were hugely influential to my work, but I find a lot of perspective in discussing work with others. For aesthetic inspiration I tend to look at a lot of tattoos, lettering work, plants, animals, and geometric design work.

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6.      What’s your go to tool for sketching and idea making?
Sketchbooking is my favorite part of the creative process! I hate erasing stuff so I use a ton of paint markers, mostly Posca brand.

7.      What is your favorite go to meal?
Spaghetti with mushrooms!

8.      If you were not doing art, what do you think you would be studying or doing instead?
I can't see myself participating in society at large if I wasn't pursuing a career as an artist. Without art, typical modern life sounds dreadfully boring. I'd probably be trying to build a self-sustaining home in the wilderness. Maybe I'd join a commune or something.

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9.      What other types of work interest you?
I'm really fascinated with high-end cake decorating for some reason? I also love ceramics and glass, and I've always thought that I might like to learn to work with glass some day. 

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You can find Rory on other social media platforms here:

instagram: roardraws
website: roardraws.tumblr.com

Nathan Fox is visiting tomorrow!

Nationally recognized illustration artist and KCAI alumnus Nathan Fox (’97 Illustration) will give a presentation about his life’s work and his role as the Chair of the groundbreaking Master of Fine Arts in Visual Narrative program at the School of Visual Arts in New York on Wednesday, Nov. 8 beginning at 7 p.m. in Epperson Auditorium on the KCAI campus in Kansas City, MO.

Nathan is an award-winning editorial and advertising illustrator, comic book artist and chair of the low-residency, interdisciplinary MFA Visual Storytelling Program for Creative Writing and Visual Arts through the education of the Artist as Author  https://mfavisualnarrative.sva.edu with clients that include The New York Times Newspaper and Magazine, Interview, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Wired, ESPN Magazine, Print, Entertainment Weekly, Mother Jones, Spin, Mad Magazine, MTV Store Windows and T-shirts, Burton US Open, Instant Winner and REAL Skateboards, DC Comics, Vertigo, Dark Horse Comics, Marvel and many other publications and mediums. Other projects include comics, narrative illustration, gallery work, murals, and skate deck designs. 

To view Nathan’s work, go to http://www.foxnathan.com. He is also represented by Bernstein & Andriullli, a creative management agency and media consultancy with offices in New York, USA, London, England, Sydney, Australia, and Shanghai, China.

Nathan will also be giving a ink/brush demo in the Illustration department (324 East 43rd Street, KCMO, 64111) on Friday, November 10 from 12:30-2:30.

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Nathan Fox / Subway poster for SVA

Nathan Fox / Subway poster for SVA

Fall 2017 October Student Feature Lauren Koluch

We have another student feature to help wrap up the month! This is sophomore Lauren Koluch!

1.      Tell us about yourself! What’s your name; where are you from?

My name is Lauren Nicole Koluch: a combination of two common mid-west names and a last name that no one can pronounce. I moved around a lot as a kid, but I was born in Kansas City, Kansas. Right now my older brother and I share an apartment in Kansas city, but our home is back in Liberty with our mom, younger brother, and Tuffy, the most bipolar bichon frise in the world.

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2.      Why illustration? What brought you to KCAI?

I was interested in KCAI because of my exposure to the school. I have taken pre-college art classes here and I have followed the work of several artists that graduated from the illustration program. For me this college was a dream choice because I got to stay close to my family and I'm in a major that I know will help me refine the work I am passionate about.

3.      What medium do you prefer?

I've always considered myself a digital artist ever since I got my first tablet in middle schoo. I don't hate traditional mediums, but there's a very streamlined and efficient translation from idea to finalized image within digital art that I adore. Even if I'm working on a traditional piece, I start with several digital sketches to get a clearer concept of the final image. I prefer Photoshop as a digital painting medium.

4.      What’s been your favorite project thus far and why?

My favorite project thus far has been the Ouija board for Hector Casanova's Graphic Form class. The focus on hand lettering is helping me break from my usual style and have a little fun!

5.      Who and or what is an inspiration for you in terms of your art making?

The concept art behind video games and films are always the most inspirational for me. I have several art-books for different movies that feature illustrations of objects, characters, and locations that were sifted through for the final aesthetic of the movie. For me, I love to see the exploration of multiple illustrators invested in one concept, even if their design wasn't chosen in the end.

6.      What’s your go to tool for sketching and idea making?

For concept sketching I always use Photoshop, but when working in a sketchbook I try to keep it fun by incorporating multiple mediums. My favorite materials to throw in are cut paper and glitter. It gets messy

7.      What is your favorite go to meal?

My go to meal will always be a gigantic fruit smoothie because it's sweet, creamy, and pink. A bonus is that you can sneak a broccoli or two in there and you can't even tell.

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8.      If you were not doing art, what do you think you would be studying or doing instead?

If I wasn't pursuing art I would focus my studies on the sciences. I have a knack for chemistry, but I'm also interested in biology and psychology.

9.      What other types of work interest you?

Sculpture and 3D modeling work has always fascinated me. Especially when it contains a narrative or sense of action in that space. I'm always interested in art that has an intriguing narrative woven finely into it, no matter what medium.

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You can find Lauren on social media!

Instagram

 

Fall 2017 October Student Feature: Astrid Blurr

On behalf of the Illustration department, the web team would like to feature students each month in showcasing who is in the department and who they are. Here we have Astrid Blurr!

1.      Tell us about yourself! What’s your name; where are you from?

Hi! My name is Astrid Blurr. I’m from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I love animals, pastel colors, cartoons, video games, comics, so i’m pretty much a media nerd.

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2.      Why illustration? What brought you to KCAI?

I actually didn’t know what illustration was, and thought I’d go into something like drawing and painting. I was fortunate enough to go to UNCSA’s high school visual art program my senior year, and they brought representatives from different art schools to give presentations. It was actually when one of the representatives from KCAI came to visit, and during our interview told me I’d do good in Illustration that I really started to look into illustration programs. Along with my really good talk with the KCAI representative, I really loved the mixture of nature and city that Kansas City had, and I really enjoyed the work coming out of Illustration. It felt like the right fit compared to all the other art schools.

3.      What medium do you prefer?

I’m versatile when it comes to choosing a medium, so it depends on the needs of what project i’m working on that I choose what medium I use. Though I primarily use ink for line work, and then I color digitally. It’s the quickest way to work which is why i use it the most.

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4.      What’s been your favorite project thus far and why?

My favorite project thus far is in between the ME project and Maura’s quick zine project. I really loved that the quick turnaround that then gave you the ability to just be goofy and not get attached. I still love looking back at the nonsensical narrative I made. I also loved the ME project because I got to do what I wanted. After three years of doing teacher projects it was really freeing and rewarding.

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5.      Who and or what is an inspiration for you in terms of your art making?

This is really hard to answer because I have so many outlets of inspiration. I’m drawn to Sarah Lasater, Harmony Becker, Studio Ghibli, Steven Universe, music like Glass Animals, and Jungle Giants, and I could go on forever so I’ll stopヽ(o-` _ ′-o)

6.      What’s your go to tool for sketching and idea making?

My go to tool is the classic pencil. It’s erasable because god knows I make a shit ton of mistakes, and it’s easy to draw over with ink.

7.      What is your favorite go to meal?

My go to meal is jarred fruit, easy to travel with and natural/organic enough. I also like eating pickles sometimes. I’m vegan so my “favorite” go to meals are going to be odd.

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8.      If you were not doing art, what do you think you would be studying or doing instead?

Because of my love of animals I actually wanted to be a veterinarian before I realized I wanted to be an artist, but i’m queasy with blood  and super emphatic so that wasn’t going to happen. Considering art was really one of the only things I was good at in school, I might have tried to make it as a singer. I love singing and have been told a lot I have a nice voice, but sadly I have stage fright when it comes to singing, so don’t know how long that would have lasted.

9.      What other types of work interest you?

I’m super interested in game art. I love the idea of making things as simple and as exaggerated as possible while still being readable. I also love visual storytelling, and I think video games are one of the most successful forms of storytelling. Video games like Hyper Light Drifter, Zelda Wind Waker, Stardew Valley, Animal crossing, and Mario Sunshine are my top favorites.

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You can find Astrid on other forms of social media too! 

Website

Instagram

Faculty Feature: Il Sung Na!

This year the KCAI Illustration Web Team is launching a few new features one of which will focus on our faculty, all of whom are working illustrators/artists. Our first feature is on the newest member of our faculty team, Assistant Professor Il Sung Na. This summer, Il Sung and his wife relocated from New Jersey to Kansas City. We were able to catch up with him recently and ask him a few questions about this new position, his first impressions of the Midwest and what he loves about being an illustrator and educator. 

1.  When did you first realize that you wanted to be an illustrator?

When I first got into an art college, I only knew that I like drawings but nothing more than that. Then I met a friend who loved children’s picture books and we spent a lot of time together in bookstores. I was fascinated by how picture books can tell stories with illustrations. Text and illustration are telling the same story but different ways. In a picture book, illustrations extend, clarify, complement, or take a place of words. And as a visual person and also a non-English speaker, this was a perfect way to tell my stories without saying/writing too many words. Since then, I wanted to make picture books with my stories and that’s exactly what happened. 

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2.  What has been the most challenging aspect to your craft and profession?

Keeping a creative routine. Although I love creative processes, sometimes it gives a hard time to go through. I enjoy the process of thumbnail sketches, character drawings and colors, however I always have a hard time to come up with ideas and write stories. So I spend more or less half potion of times from a whole creative process to find good ideas/stories. There are also lots of thumbnails and crossed out lines (there are lots of revisions involved), but I have to keep drawing/making/creating until I get it right. It’s a kind of routine we (as creative people) cannot get away. Productivity comes at a price. 

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3.  Who has been your mentor? What makes you different from them and the same?

I had a professor at my foundation who discovered my talent of drawings and lead me to the right direction. He emphasized students to draw from life. Observation drawing was the key with his assignments.  

And there are more! Although I haven’t met them, I learned a lot of things from their works. I know this may not what you meant, but this is how I learned and found my ways of working.

I made my first dummy book when I was a sophomore level, but I did not know anything about a picture book. So I used picture books as my mentors. The Rabbit by John Marsden (author) & Shaun Tan (illustrator) and Slow Loris by Alexis Deacon. I read the books over and over, exam layouts, compositions and flows in the books. I really enjoyed the ways they tell a story. Simple text but just enough, and illustration does the rest of the job. Shaun Tan and Alexis Deacon are still among my favorites, and I was influenced by their works very heavily from the beginning. Maybe that’s why all of my picture books have simple texts, only one or two sentences on each spread. Maybe because I still believe that illustration can tell more stories than texts.

There are many artists/illustrator who I got inspirations from, such as Kveta Pacovska, Quentin Blake, Brian Wildsmith and John Birningham. And of course, there are a lot more because I keep adding artists to my lists.

My recent discovery of Javier Zabala, Spanish illustrator, made me to try watercolor after being away from it for many years because I did not enjoy using it. At first I tried to make a drawing like his, then I modified the ways of working with my tastes, adding color pencils and marker pens. 

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4. What are you most excited about with this position?

Well, what’s the most rewarding is when I know that students make some progress in their works in any way. I am no difference, but I want to see students prove me wrong in a way, too. I try to be honest but all feedback and critique are from my perspective and we all have different experiences and different opinions. Sometimes we agree but sometimes we disagree. I think that’s the moment that students really jump in and dig deeper, and show what they can do. I wait for that moment to happen. And once it happens, I appreciate and enjoy the moment.

5. What are your first impressions of the Midwest?

Green, hot summer, kind people and Antiques! 

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6.  What part of your career best prepared you for educating?

This is a tricky question indeed. Because I am still learning things from others and I guess this is on going process which never ends.

When I was in college, I had good professors and great studio mates throughout years. But I did not get specific feedback for picture books as there were no one who had experiences in the children’s picture book industry. I learned many things while I worked with publishers and year after year I gained more experiences that I want to share with students who want to be an illustrator (or storyteller). When I looked back my student years I sometimes wondered if I had some experienced people around, I would have learned more efficiently? Maybe or maybe not. But that made me consider sharing my experiences.  

Also working with clay is one of my strength. Nowadays it’s not strange at all that illustrators work with different media like ceramics. I have started working with clay knowing nothing and wanted to get away from my daily creative routine. I just wanted to have some fun, make a lot of junks. However, it certainly added to my artistic repertoire and enriched my range as a visual creator and a storyteller. It was a kind of ‘AHA’ moment. And I want students to try some different materials because we never know what we are capable with until we try. 

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7. What career did you think you would have when you were a child?

Architect! My dad was an architect and I lived in a house that he built when I was a kid. Although I had a different path to study industrial engineering when I was in Korea, I was fortunate to pursue my parent that I had a passion for drawing. 

I still dream about design or draw my future house in the future though. Maybe one day I will do. 

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8. What keeps you inspired? Do you have a mantra or philosophy to your work?

A lot of things really. It can be from conversations with people, in exhibitions, watching documentary films or anything touches my curiosity. Sometimes it starts from a word or an image. I keep my eyes and ears wide open you can observe so many things. Always ask to myself how and why. I also keep recording ideas on my sketchbooks otherwise I will forget them after seconds.

"Keep It simple" has been my motto. Sometimes less is better. I understand that we want to show so many things at once but showing one at a time makes it easier to understand.

"If there is something to steal, I steal."  -Pablo Picasso

This is the quote that I have been following since I was a student. I don’t mean to steal physical things or other artists’ ideas. What I mean by that is learning from others.

There is always something to learn. I learned good compositions from photograph, movie scene or painting and use it my works. I learned how to write a story by reading other people’s story. It’s not copying other people’s work. You need to digest it in you well and make it yours. We are creative people but it’s really hard to create something from nothing.  

BIG thanks to Il Sung for taking the time to answer our questions. Welcome to KCAI, Il Sung! To see more of Il Sung's work be sure to visit his website.

2017 Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Conference!

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Conference is coming up! Mark your calendars for November 3-4, 2017. This year's conference will be held at the KU Edwards campus in Overland Park, Kansas. The Kansas/Missouri region of SCBWI will host a day-long conference on Saturday the 4th with agents, authors and editors from across the nation offering keynotes and informative breakout sessions for those interested in writing/illustrating picture books, middle grade or young adult novels. Friday the 3rd will consist of portfolio and manuscript reviews, along with a regional social. Many of the speakers/reviewers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts, but paid conference attendees will be able to submit manuscripts to them after the conference which is an added benefit of attendance.

Those interested can visit the website at https://ksmo.scbwi.org for information on registration, faculty bios and the conference schedule. If you have further questions, please send an email to ksmo@scbwi.org.

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Happy Eclipse & Happy First Day of the Semester!

Welcome to all of our new sophomores and transfer students and welcome back to all of our returning students! The new semester is here! Although we had a pretty steady downpour this morning, the skies cleared up just enough for all of us to go outside and witness the 2017 Solar Eclipse. Wow, it was amazing! We're all looking forward to another fantastic year! What a way to kick it off!

KCAI Illustration students and faculty, getting ready to watch the 2017 eclipse

KCAI Illustration students and faculty, getting ready to watch the 2017 eclipse

2017 KCAI Art & Design Auction!

After a month of wrapping things up, the summer is officially upon us. Yay! The 2017 Art & Design Auction is this Saturday, June 3! All of the full-time Illustration faculty have work in the auction this year. We are proud and honored to support KCAI in its effort to raise funds for student scholarships.

Assistant Professor Maura Cluthe was recently interviewed by KC Studio Magazine about why she continually donates work to the auction:

Maura Cluthe, assistant professor of illustration and KCAI alumna, knows first-hand the impact scholarships make to students. The amount of financial aid she received from KCAI helped her make her final decision to come to Kansas City for college. 

“Since the inception of the KCAI Art & Design Auction, I have donated work to the auction. As a student, I relied heavily on my student scholarships and worked very hard to maintain them. They enabled me to be here; I am immensely grateful for that. As an alumna and now as a faculty member, I am happy to donate work to the auction with the hope that it will not only find its way into a new home, but also help to support a student like me. Every little bit helps, and can make all the difference. I’m honored to be a small part of this ongoing effort to support our students,” said Cluthe

Cluthe’s art blurs the lines between art, illustration and design. Her mixed media work integrates text drawing, photography, painting and other things she has collected. Her donated piece, “Arrange and Rearrange”, oil, alkyd, enamel, enamel marker on canvas, 48 x 48 inches, is valued at $2,800.

Below are the pieces that were donated by KCAI Illustration faculty. For more information on the auction, or to bid on a piece, visit https://donate.kcai.edu/auction .

Steve Mayse, 2nd Hand Rose

Steve Mayse, 2nd Hand Rose

David Terrill, Jazz Capitol

David Terrill, Jazz Capitol

Hector Casanova, Soft Like A Prayer

Hector Casanova, Soft Like A Prayer

John Ferry, Omaha

John Ferry, Omaha

Maura Cluthe, Arrange and Rearrange

Maura Cluthe, Arrange and Rearrange

2017 End of Semester Show preview #2!

AH!! We're less than a week away from the 2017 End of Semester Show opening!! We hope you can join us THIS FRIDAY, APRIL 28 from 5-8 pm as we kick off the show. As promised, here's another little sneak peek of some of the fantastic work that makes up the show this year. We hope to see YOU there!! (Second show poster by senior Coti Meier.)

Coti Meier, senior

Coti Meier, senior

Allie Davenport, sophomore

Allie Davenport, sophomore

Courtney Belisle, senior

Courtney Belisle, senior

Max Peake, junior

Max Peake, junior

Harper Swindell, senior

Harper Swindell, senior

Penny Clarkson, junior

Penny Clarkson, junior

Allason Lewis, senior

Allason Lewis, senior

2017 End of Semester Show preview!

YES! It's that time once again (!) and once again, I can't believe it's the end of yet another year. Last night, the full-time faculty got together to review and jury the work that was submitted for the annual End of Semester Show. We are SO PROUD of our students and the wonderful work they're doing. We're looking forward to showcasing some of this work with you next week.

JOIN US next Friday, April 28 from 5-8pm for the opening of the 2017 KCAI Illustration End of Semester Show and Pop-Up Shop at 324 East 43rd Street, here in KCMO. The KCAI Illustration building is located on the corner of 43rd and Oak Street. If you can't make it to the opening, feel free to stop by on either Saturday, April 29 from 10am-5pm or Sunday, April 30 from 12-5pm to view the exhibit.

To kick off the show, here's one of two promo posters for the show, illustrated and designed by senior Steven Bolds as well as a preview of a few images of the pieces that will be on exhibit.

We hope to see you there!!

Steven Bolds, senior

Steven Bolds, senior

August DeMarea, sophomore

August DeMarea, sophomore

Shafer Brown, senior

Shafer Brown, senior

Michelle Julmisse, sophomore

Michelle Julmisse, sophomore

Cameron Kunke, junior

Cameron Kunke, junior

Jeff Schoenhofen, sophomore

Jeff Schoenhofen, sophomore

Miles Klos, junior

Miles Klos, junior

Coti Meier, senior

Coti Meier, senior

Cooper Parish, sophomore

Cooper Parish, sophomore

Megan Henley, junior

Megan Henley, junior

Rottana Kul, senior

Rottana Kul, senior

Jess Bonniwell, junior

Jess Bonniwell, junior

Jaycie Womack, sophomore

Jaycie Womack, sophomore

Ethan Tucker, senior

Ethan Tucker, senior

Gabbi Brandini, junior

Gabbi Brandini, junior

Katya Heisel, senior

Katya Heisel, senior

Thanks for checking out the work! Stay tuned for another preview early next week!

Society of Illustrators Student Competition 2017 winners!

Every year the Society of Illustrators puts out a call for entry for their highly competitive Student Competition. Students from across the country enter; this year just over 2300 students submitted work but only 220 of them were chosen for inclusion in the show. 78 schools from across the country are represented in this year's exhibition. We are extremely proud of our students and proud to be one of the schools represented in this show.

All of the pieces below will be on display at the Museum of American Illustration in New York, NY from May 9 - June 3 with an opening reception and awards ceremony on Friday, May 5, 2015.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of the 2017 winners! We're so proud of you!! 

Alison Polston, '16 / alisonpolston.com

Alison Polston, '16 / alisonpolston.com

Steven Javon Bolds, senior / stevenjavon.tumblr.com

Steven Javon Bolds, senior / stevenjavon.tumblr.com

Shafer Brown, senior / www.shaferbrown.com

Shafer Brown, senior / www.shaferbrown.com

Willow Hardman, sophomore / willowhardman.daportfolio.com

Willow Hardman, sophomore / willowhardman.daportfolio.com

Allason Lewis, senior / allasonlewis.com

Allason Lewis, senior / allasonlewis.com

Coti Meier, senior / www.cotimeier.com

Coti Meier, senior / www.cotimeier.com

Lauren Seider, senior / yellowraincoatsociety.com

Lauren Seider, senior / yellowraincoatsociety.com

The 2017 Covers + Pages Anthology is on its way!

Covers and Pages is a junior-level sequential storytelling course in which illustration students are encouraged to tell short, sequential, visual narratives. Oftentimes these narratives are without text, so the narratives rely exclusively on visuals as a means to tell the story. 

Every spring, Assistant Professor Maura Cluthe and Assistant Professor Hector Casanova compile and curate the content for the anthology. The covers, however, are judged by various comic book artists from the Kansas City Community. This year, we were lucky enough to have Buster Moody and Matt Fox stop by and jury the covers this year. What an honor!

Matt Fox and Buster Moody in the house!

Matt Fox and Buster Moody in the house!

Buster and Matt graciously joined us one evening in March to jury the covers. With 28 students in the junior class, there were plenty of great covers to choose from. After some back-and-forth deliberation, Buster and Matt narrowed it down to 6 covers and then narrowed it down again to these final 4. For the final anthology, we'll be printing 2 separate books with 4 different covers but the content within the two books will be the same. 

Please join me in congratulating Emily Alvarez, Astrid Blurr, Max Peake and Brinnon Schaub whose work will be on the covers of the 2017 Covers & Pages Anthology! Congratulations, too, to runners-up Gabbi Brandini and Cameron Kunkel! Congratulations all!

Emily Alvarez

Emily Alvarez

Astrid Blurr

Astrid Blurr

Max Peake

Max Peake

Brinnon Schaub

Brinnon Schaub

Gabbi Brandini

Gabbi Brandini

Cameron Kunkel

Cameron Kunkel

Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski visits KCAI

Every semester, we the faculty put together a 3-hour Mystery Project for our students. Although the timing of the Mystery Project is typically on the first Monday after Spring Break, until it's announced, the students don't know what the project is going to be - they only know that they'll have 3 hours to complete it. Every full-time faculty member takes a turn to create a Mystery Project and this spring, it was up to Assistant Professor John Ferry to put it together.

John had heard Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski speak at Hallmark several years ago when he was working there as a studio manager. What she had to say about her experiences was life-changing, impactful and unforgettable. In an effort to expose our students to Sonia's story, John reached out to Sonia's oldest daughter, Regina, who helps to coordinate Sonia's many speaking engagements. Sonia loves speaking to young people, specifically, as it is her hope to tell her story so that it is not forgotten and so that the atrocities of the Holocaust never happen again.

Sonia and her daughter, Regina, were kind enough to take some time to stop by and talk with our students yesterday. Senior Coti Meier posted about her experience in hearing Sonia speak and summarized her visit so eloquently:

"Yesterday KCAI Illustration hosted Sonia Warshawski to tell her story of how she survived the concentration camps during the Holocaust. She told some horrific accounts of what happened to her, what she saw and stressed the importance of reading history, but the most important topic of Sonia's speech was love. She said, "MOLD THEM WITH LOVE," emphasizing the importance of shaping a child's life with love. This resonated with me because she went through immense trauma at a young age, yet she is still here today to tell us to love and to put out hate. Something so simple, yet has the ability to do so much. She is an incredible woman and I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to listen to Sonia speak."

After hearing Sonia's story, we asked each student to create an image based on her story using the words CONVICTION or RESILIENCY as a springboard for their idea. Here are a few pictures from Sonia's visit as well as a few of the images that were created.

BIG THANKS to Sonia and Regina. Sonia, thank you for sharing your story. Our hearts are with you! Hats off to John Ferry, for making this happen. 

For more information about Sonia and the upcoming documentary about her experience, be sure to visit bigsonia.com

Sonia Warshawski and Steve Mayse, Illustration Chair and Professor

Sonia Warshawski and Steve Mayse, Illustration Chair and Professor

Sonia Warshawski and sophomore Eien Carpenter

Sonia Warshawski and sophomore Eien Carpenter

Sonia Warshawski, her daughter Regina Kort and Assistant Professor John Ferry

Sonia Warshawski, her daughter Regina Kort and Assistant Professor John Ferry

Sonia, telling her story to Illustration students and faculty

Sonia, telling her story to Illustration students and faculty

Coti Meier, senior

Coti Meier, senior

Brinnon Schaub, junior

Brinnon Schaub, junior

MacKenzie Fulmer, sophomore

MacKenzie Fulmer, sophomore

Steven Bolds, senior

Steven Bolds, senior

Jack Mied, junior

Jack Mied, junior

Allie Davenport, sophomore

Allie Davenport, sophomore

Miles Klos, junior

Miles Klos, junior

Emily Alvarez. junior

Emily Alvarez. junior

Lana Hughes, sophomore

Lana Hughes, sophomore

Claire Harlow, junior

Claire Harlow, junior

Students - if your artwork is posted here and your name isn't listed, please email me, Maura Cluthe, and I'll add your name by your image. Thanks.

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT - DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JAN 15, 2017

Illustration Faculty – Non-Tenure Track Full-Time

The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI), a national leader in visual arts and design education, is seeking applications for the full-time position of Illustration Faculty. KCAI offers an exceptional benefits vacation and holiday package for full-time staff including 100% employer paid insurance and a 5% retirement match for eligible participants.

The appointee will be contracted to hold a full-time faculty post in the illustration department teaching a full load of 18 contact hours or 9 credit hours per semester. Teaching responsibilities include sophomore, junior or senior level major studio. In addition to teaching responsibilities full-time faculty expectations include service to the department and the college community through various means as well as an ongoing professional practice.

The Department of Illustration:

Illustration students work with traditional and digital media to develop the conceptual, technical and aesthetic skills necessary for success in the diverse range of practices in this evolving field. Courses such as Drawing and Design Systems, Exploring the Narrative and Visual/sequential Storytelling are geared toward enabling students to simultaneously express themselves as artists while learning how to communicate substantive visual messages.

Students work on collaborative assignments and are required to participate in an internship that provides real -world exposure to creative issues in professional work settings. The department features studio and classroom technology to prepare students for diverse areas of professional practice. Work in a digital and an analog environment is designed to facilitate creativity and interdisciplinary approaches to image making.

Department faculty members are all practicing professionals working in the four corners of the illustration field: publishing, editorial, advertising and institutional. The faculty’s combined experience is passed on to students in preparation for their own careers. See more at http://kcai.edu/academics/majors/illustration/ and www.kcai-illustration.com.

Education and Experience Requirements:

  •   MFA in illustration or a related field

  •   A minimum of 2 years teaching experience and professional practice in illustration

  •   Evidence of professional achievements in the field of illustration

  •   Knowledge of software programs including Adobe Creative Suite

    About KCAI: The Kansas City Art Institute is a private, independent and accredited college of art and design founded in 1885, and located in the cultural heart of metropolitan Kansas City, Missouri. The college enrolls nearly 600 undergraduate students regionally, nationally, and internationally. For more information, please visit www.kcai.edu.

    Application Deadlines and Procedures: Although the position is open until filled, fullest attention will be given to those applications received by January 15, 2017 (this is an extension of the original deadline of December 1, 2016). Applications received during the on-campus finalist stage of the search are not guaranteed consideration.

  • apply by e-mail to: jobs+IllusNT1718@kcai.edu attach to the e-mail in PDF format only:
  • letter of application
  • curriculum vitae
  • statement of teaching experience and philosophy
  • list of active and workable web link(s) to personal and/or commercial work as well as supervised student work with project descriptions where applicable
  • list of 3 professional references we may contact

Applications with accessible PDF files and workable web links will normally be acknowledged by return e-mail within one week of submission.

Questions may be directed to:  KCAI Director of Human Resources HR@kcai.edu / 816-802-3434

Kansas City Art Institute is fully committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and to attracting, retaining, developing and promoting the most qualified employees without regard to their race, gender, gender identity, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, citizenship status, veteran status, or any other characteristic prohibited by federal, state or local law.

KCAI provides reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in the job application process. If you have any difficulty using our online system and you need an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact the Human Resources Department about your interest in employment. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Kansas City Art Institute’s Human Resource Administrator at hr@kcai.edu .

EOE/AA: Minorities/Females/Disabled/Vets

2016 End of Semester Show preview

Every year at this time of year I find myself completely amazed at how fast the semester has flown by and I wonder where the time has gone. Once again, our students have created some wonderful, inspiring, thoughtful work - we're so proud of you all! To give you a taste of what's going to be in the show, we've decided to give you a little sneak peek and show some of the work here. But don't take our word for it -- come by and see the entire show for yourselves! There are close to 150 pieces in this year's show. Join us for the opening THIS FRIDAY, May 6 from 5-8 pm! KCAI Illustration is at 324 East 43rd Street, KCMO, 64111. Hope to see you there!

The show continues this Saturday, May 7 from 10am-5pm and will be open again on Sunday, May 8 from 12-5pm.

Twodee Weaver, senior

Twodee Weaver, senior

Coti Meier, junior

James Meid, sophomore

James Meid, sophomore

Karolina Asimov, senior

Karolina Asimov, senior

Steven Bolds, junior

Steven Bolds, junior

Jess Bonniwell, sophomore

Jess Bonniwell, sophomore

Tobias Rose, senior

Tobias Rose, senior

Ethan Tucker, junior

Ethan Tucker, junior

Cece Martin, sophomore

Cece Martin, sophomore

Emily Woodson, senior

Emily Woodson, senior

Luna Green, junior

Luna Green, junior

Gabrielle Brandini, sophomore

Gabrielle Brandini, sophomore

JOIN US for the 2016 KCAI Illustration End of Semester Show!

JOIN US on Friday, May 6th from 5-8pm to view the 2016 End of Semester Illustration Exhibition, featuring works by sophomore, junior, and senior illustration students. The exhibition will be open to the public throughout the weekend. Refreshments will be served!

Come on by! We'd love to see you!

Stay tuned for a preview of the work that'll be in the show, here.

KCAI Illustration 2016 End of Semester Show poster by junior Lauren Sieder

KCAI Illustration 2016 End of Semester Show poster by junior Lauren Sieder