Monday, August 13, 2012

Jillian Tamaki - Illustrator and Cartoonist

This summer I've been indulging my love of reading, more easily done these last weeks as I've also spent lots of time waiting around at golf courses for my son to complete tournaments.  I recently finished one of the best books I've read in a very long time: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.   Excellent, excellent, excellent, on so many levels; I urge you to read it.

And, because I'm a holdout for printed text, I stopped by my favorite bookstore to pick up a few more things to read.  I'm in the mood to read more thoughtful texts, as opposed to the typical light summer read.  While perusing the shelves, I discovered the work of Jillian Tamaki, whose exquisite embroideries are used as the cover art for a number of classic novels.  And, as a bit of good fun from the publisher, the front of the cover shows the image of the front of the embroidery while the back of the cover shows the reverse of Tamaki's work.  Wonderfully clever and unexpected!  I almost bought Emma just to have the cover art, but I already have two copies.  Bummer.  Here's a photo from Tamaki's website (used with permission) showing three of her embroidered covers:

Jill Tamaki's cover art for Penguin Threads
Tamaki has also illustrated for numerous publications, including The New York Times.     Her Sketchblog offers a look into the breadth of projects she's involved with.  Be sure to read her FAQ about making a living as an artist.  She's a very engaging writer and I especially love her guide to idea generation.   Admittedly, her thoughts are directed more specifically to an illustrator's creative process, but I think the nuts and bolts of her guide are applicable to most visual artists.


Cindy Green said...

Thanks for the info and links! Beautiful work!

Cindy Cooksey said...

Wow! I love these. Thanks for telling us about Jillian Tamaki.

Natalya Aikens said...

I bought the Wizard of Oz for one my daughters, love her work!