Thrilled to be asked to create original artwork for the Washington Post that expresses my feelings as the anniversary of the march approached. Basically it was ' Do WHATEVER I wanted!' See the full story and all the other great art by other female illustrators HERE
I wanted to do some new art for the march and had the idea to ask my pal illustrator Jenny Kroik to help me get the word out to other female illustrators to create a marcher and we partnered with pincause.com who has raised lots of money for good causes through sales of great pins. (That's why Charlie is wearing a Pincause pin :) The next day I heard from the Wash.Post - so I was ready! The idea didn't seem to take off with other women illustrators doing a marcher with a Pincause pin, but that's ok, we have plenty of time! Prints are available of this art in my shop
Here's a view into my creative process on this. I had 2 days for the idea then 4 days to finish the art. Tons of time!
The Washington Post asked us to answer these questions - but then they used just a tiny bit of it.
1. What does the women’s movement mean to you?
I've been involved in women's issues and supporting causes I believe in with my work for a long time. Abortion rights, domestic violence, & women's health are some of my top causes. After illustrating the cover of the New Yorker celebrating gay marriage with my two brides, I felt connected to gay marriage in a very special way as well.
2. How has the last year been shaped by the movement?
Well, I have to be honest. Before this past year, I always voted and gave money, and offered to help out with art and design for causes i wanted to support. While I was aware of what was going on in the news... I would not call myself 'political.' I was so devastated by Trump winning I felt like I was in mourning. Even with her flaws I had been so excited to have Hilary as the first female president. To witness the first Black and female presidents in my lifetime seemed incredible. What HAS happened in the past year is many people, like me, have become more awake. The evil that Trumps administration has revealed has always been there, and it had to come out sometime. Peoples true colors are showing and it's painful and hard, but many have woken up in a way they wouldn't have - had Hilary won. So this is the silver lining.
3. What role do you think art plays in the movement?
Art affects people. It can make them think, or feel something that they might not feel otherwise. People tell me my art can make them feel better, or happy. So if in these dark times, art can be a light of inspiration for people, then this is an important thing. I want to use my art to help bring awareness to how important it is to vote. When I had this super hero with her dog idea, I realized that maybe a series of different women, girls and dogs would be a cool campaign for getting out to vote. Why the dog? Charlie is my muse. I put him in a lot of my work. I think every super hero would want a super dog!
To me - it's all about voting now. It's the only way we can really change things, so whatever I can do to help? I want to do it. This past year has also brought collaborations and connections with other female artists that I'd never met and that has been amazing. Being on the cover of RESIST! and part of that project was very exciting. To raise awareness for the upcoming march I've partnered with my pal illustrator Jenny Kroik, and Pincause to create some art. Pincause raised over $160k to support a variety of causes in the past year. (This is why my dog Charlie sports a Pincause button:) Their buttons are available at Pincause.com. Their pins are now supporting local marches all over the country with their fundraising as many are woefully short on money.
I thought I wasn't going to be able to show this art until Sunday when it came out in the newspaper. So I modified this girl adding a Pincause button, and a few other changes. I'd been inspired by a photo to paint the original super hero kid. Prints are available in my shop.
This animation was created for ACIS - a company who specializes in student travel. We wanted to use this year's catalog art and also to create an ad that shows the magic, adventure, and excitement of travel. Peter Jones who runs the company happens to also be a great friend and he is an amazing creative collaborator! I've illustrated the covers and inside art of their catalogs for the past five years and this is the second year we've created an animation. Projects like this are my favorite - collaborating with my wonderful animator John Ryan of Dagnabit, and my daughter, musician Sonya Kitchell for the music. Last year Peter and Sonya wrote the lyrics for the song together and this year Sonya changed it up and gave it a fresh new melody that I just LOVE! Careful - it will get stuck in your head.
Every animation begins with a storyboard. This is how we work out timing and begin to tell the story. Like for example - we had too much dead space between frames 7-9 so we added the four people (I love how her arm gracefully moves onto the guys back!) and then we added the words "Let's Go". We had more beautiful animation of the dancer, but decided this is a travel client, not a dance client - so we had to let that go. I think that might be my favorite part - when the dancer jumps into the Degas painting! When you only have 40 seconds, every single second must be perfect. I love everything about this collaborative process.
We also created seven short 10 second spots to be used for online ads. To see the shorts and more animations - go HERE.
Every animation begins with a storyboard. This is how we work out timing and begin to tell the story. Sometimes there will be a few seconds that feel too slow or are not working and then it becomes a challenge to figure out how to fix it. Luckily my wonderful animators John and his son Lucas of DAGNABIT are very patient men!
Charlies Halloween costume would be easy. Super Lover Dog. :)
It is SUCH a thrill to have my art on the cover of the New Yorker! Every since I was a little girl I loved drawing women and pretty clothes. When I realized this could be a career like my babysitter Martha Vaughn who went on to illustrate the Style section of the Washington Post - I knew that was what I wanted to be - a fashion illustrator. I graduated from the Academy of Art in San Francisco where I was lucky enough to study with fashion illustrator Gladys Perint Palmer. Her free and loose way of drawing was a huge inspiration to me. I worked for many clothing designers, often bartering for clothes instead of money. I once pulled up to the toll booth on the Golden Gate Bridge in my little red Fiat sports car wearing $1000 leather pants and not enough money for the toll. (now I drive a Prius and try to only buy second hand :) When I met my husband, artist Peter Kitchell in San Francisco and we moved to the boonies of Western Massachusetts, I soon realized I'd need to branch out if I wanted to continue to make a living from my art, but fashion and beauty still remains one of the things I love to paint most.
It gives me much joy to share a bit of beauty through my art and if it brings even just a moments respite for people from all the ugliness we are bombarded with daily- then I am thrilled. Painting beauty in many forms has become a very important aspect of my work.
Here is a bit of my process showing how I arrived at this final cover art. Yes, sometimes the final result has very little to do with the beginning ideas!