Brightness Magazine No 16

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SPOTLIGHT | 20 Vanessa Toye

SNOW WHITE | 24 Author: Gloria Ruiz Blanco | Illustrator: Ana Salguero

TRY TO MAKE YOUR WAY! | 30 Exclusive Interview with EINAR TURKOWSKI




RIVER STYLE | 54 Exclusive Interview with ELEONORA SIMEONI



In This Issue of

Brigh |6


htness Ellen Weinstein


Art Director & Editor In Chief

Creative Director & Graphic Designer

Web Design

Hasmik (Narjes Mohammadi)

Sadegh Amiri


International Contributors


Sales & Marketing

Concha Pasamar | Ana Rodriguez Ali Ghafele Bashi | Jen Yoon

Darya Ghafele Bashi

Brightness Studio

cover :I llustration by

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Mr.Keyvan Ghafele Bashi

a s k q u e s t i o n s a b o u t y o u r s u b s c r i p t i o n , p l e a s e e m a i l u s at:


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Š All Rights Are Reserved.


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ABOUT BRIGHTNESS Brightness magazine was founded by Narjes Mohammadi (Hasmik) and Sadegh Amiri in 2016 as a digital magazine to present exclusive interviews with experienced illustrators, whose wisdom and knowledge are treasure troves for young artists. We aim to promote the current works of popular as well as up and coming artists, so that people can be inspired by the beauty and effectiveness of illustration in expressing powerful ideas. For those who want to dive deeper into the wonderful world of illustration we present articles that give valuable insights into the creative minds of the world. We hope you enjoy reading our publications as much as we enjoy publishing them.


We want to change the world with art and love...








Are you interested in submitting to Brightness? If you’d like the chance of being published in one of issue, get in touch via this page. Please note that we receive many submissions each day and have limited space in each publication. So please show us the work you’re most proud of or the work you especially enjoy creating.

Submission Info Email your submission to with “ART SUBMISSION” in the subject line. • Submit images as JPEGs or GIFs • Submit up to 5 images • Image sizes should be at least 600px wide and no more than 1000px wide


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Ellen Weinstein

Exclusive Interview






Ellen Weinstein

Ellen Weinstein was born and raised in New York City. She is a graduate of Pratt Institute and New York’s High School of Art and Design. Awards include American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts Illustration Annual, Nami Picture Book Concours 2019, South Korea, Print’s Regional Design Annual, Society of Publication Designers, Society of News Designers and the Global Art Directors Club. Ellen’s work is in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. She has judged numerous illustration competitions including Society of News Designers 2019, Communication Arts Illustration Annual 2016, 2016 National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, AOI/World Illustration Awards, Society of Illustrators Annual exhibition, Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship and Society of Illustrators Zankel Scholarship. She’s featured in an eight-page article in the March/April 2013 issue of Communication Arts. Ellen’s work is also featured in Illustration Now 5! by Taschen.

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Ellen Weinstein

Exclusive Interview

Hello Ellen, I’ve read that you were born and raised in New York City, graduated of Pratt Institute and New York’s High School of Art and Design. What did you enjoy about that? What didn’t you enjoy? what originally made you want to become an illustrator / artist? I was born and raised in New York City and attended public school. Growing up in NYC, I loved the posters I saw on the subways and the art in the books I read as a kid. I applied and was accepted into the High School of Art and Design, which was a great introduction to the industry, and then attended Pratt Institute. I started out as a graphic designer with a portfolio that consisted of my illustrations with type. I realized early on that I was most interested in creating the images and I transitioned to becoming a full-time illustrator while freelancing as a designer How was life like after university? How did you face challenges as an artist? After school you have to blaze your own path. This is something I emphasize with my students. You have to find what work can sustain you creatively and what can sustain you financially, eventually they come together but not always all the time. What informs and shapes your taste and style? The books I read, the music I listen to, museum and gallery shows, movies. I am inspired by other art forms but my work is informed most by what I am curious in and want to learn more about. Your style is rich, like “Pop art” that you might find in a gallery, and perhaps quite unusual (at least here in Iran) for children’s books. What makes them children’s books? Contextualization makes art illustration: How our work is seen and what for what purpose. My color palette and compositions are consistent through the work whether it is for children or adults. You have also had experience in graphic design. can you tell me more about that, please? I interned in Milton Glaser’s studio my Senior year at Pratt and freelanced as a designer after school. I realized I wanted to be an illustrator early on but glad I had the training of a designer. I approach | 13

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Ellen Weinstein

Exclusive Interview

projects from a design/communication point of view and think about what I want to say and how am I going to say it. 1.What is your favorite piece of work in your portfolio? Why did you make it? Tough question, my favorite piece is always the one I am working on and the one after that. Can you tell us a bit about your process from start to final execution? I start every project with pencil and paper thumbnails, including personal projects. If I am working with text, I like to distill down to one sentence what I want to convey in an image. Once I know what I want to say and the feeling I want to create, I sketch many thumbnails. I need to see an idea on paper to know if it is going to work or not. I paint in gouache and compose the final art in Photoshop. Can you tell us a bit about your book Recipes for Good Luck and what inspired you to write and illustrate on this topic? I was working on an assignment a few years on superstitions and noticed a lot

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Ellen Weinstein

familiar behavior in the piece, since I am superstitious myself. The subject resonated with me and I wanted to follow my curiosity on it and explore it further. I began with a few personal pieces, decided to package the idea as a book pitch, and sold it to Chronicle Books. Working on the book gave me time to investigate and research a topic and see where I could take it. I established parameters for the subjects (diversity of people, practices, and professions- no addictive behavior or anything that spoke to mental illness or self-harming) and the art (a number of background colors, iconic images) in the beginning and then I had complete freedom to do anything within those boundaries. Let’s continue about your experiences as the president of ICON illustration conference and being on the Board of Directors of the Society of Illustrators and serves as Chairperson of the Museum Committee. What’s the most valuable lesson you have learnt throughout your carrier as a curator and manager? Serving on the board of the conference is a great opportunity to meet people, cultivate relationships and shape conversations about the industry. Illustrators are quick to downplay all the skills we develop in our daily practice. Being a board member is a way to develop those skills further and acquire new ones. As President I was constantly going back and forth

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between the big picture and all the details that go into making that picture work. Like any project, an idea is only as good as its execution and I worked closely with all the board members and director in seeing it through. I’ve read that you had speech and workshops in different countries, such as Japan, Italy and Spain. How did they programs different? How did your approach different? I love to travel and meet people through working with them. Art transcends language barriers and geopolitical borders. What we share is so much stronger than what gets lost in translation. I always welcome the opportunity! If you don’t mind, may I ask you about your challenges as a female artist or manager in the art industry? It’s hard to say since I can only speak from my own experience but one needs to keep putting themselves out there and keep going. I am inspired by the work and lives of Yayoi Kusama, Louise Bourgeois, Georgia O’Keeffe and other women who blaze their own trails and create compelling work at every phase of their lives. what’s the best piece of advice you have heard? “Always ask why,” from my mother who was given that advice from a teacher of hers.

Exclusive Interview

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Ellen Weinstein

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I am an illustrator, painter, and theatre designer. I was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and grew up in a community of artists. I have always loved illustrating and made my first ever wordless picture book when I was four years old. I love working on every type of conceptual illustration: editorial projects, posters, album covers, and children’s books. The most creative aspect of the work for me is finding a unique visual metaphor for the story. I like mixing digital and traditional techniques and always search for the right combination of clarity and mystery. I live in New York City, where there’s no need to look for inspiration. It follows you around. Every subway ride gives you enough material for a story. The challenge is to take all the grit, beauty, and tenderness and turn it into a drawing. I have been illustrating picture books for many years and have finally started writing my own. I have always translated words into images, and now for the first time, I’m doing the opposite. I think I am slowly finding a voice of my own. My first author-illustrator book, Anya’s Secret Society, came out in March. It’s about a left-handed girl and her imaginary secret society. My next book, Typewriter, is a story of a Russian typewriter that emmigrates to America and, once there, becomes completely useless. I have just begun working on a new picture book, Mona Lisa in New York, about Renaissance art, graffiti, and love in New York City.

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Va n e s s a To y e

I l l u st r a t o r

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The Creative Space Spotlight

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Exclusive Article

Snow White History and inspiration of the myth of the Brothers Grimm

Author: Gloria Ruiz Blanco Illustrator: Ana Salguero

I. The origin of the myth of Snow White. The story of Snow White is perhaps one of the best-known stories around the world. It was the first adaptation that took place in the cinema and in turn is the first animated film of the Walt Disney studios giving the company a great success. The Grimm brothers’ version is the canonical version of this story. The brothers were inspired by mythology, folklore and real-life characters to create one of the fairy tales that is still booming today after more than 200 years. The origin of Snow White’s tale is in Europe. The theme of this story, which is the conflict between mother/stepmother and daughter as their possible competitor, appears in different literary traditions, as researcher Angela Olalla Real points out. The oldest account of this competition appears in the myth of Psyche, a princess of extraordinary beauty who even Aphrodite, the mother of her beloved Eros, was jealous of. Aphrodite subjected Psyche to harsh tests, the last being to go down to the underworld and collect from the hand of Persephone (Queen of the Dead) a chest with an ointment for Eros to recover its beauty. This test was very difficult because anyone who went down to the underworld could not return. In the end Psyche successfully passed the test and married Eros. Aphrodite was invited to the wedding where she had to dance. | 25

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This story is very similar to that of Snow White as it shares common elements such as the beauty of the young woman, jealousy, as well as the triumph of the young woman and her subsequent wedding. At the wedding Aphrodite had to dance just like in the version of the Grimm brothers the stepmother dances on Snow White’s wedding day. Apuleyo, a 2nd century Roman writer, tells the story of Psyche and Venus (Aphrodite in Rome) in his work The Metamorphosis (Golden Ass). Here we see how the myth of Greek tradition comes to Rome where Apuleyo records it in writing but adapting it to Roman beliefs and gods. As the researcher Bruno Bettelheim states, European fairy tales are the residue of religious and pre-Christian themes. With the advent of Christianity they lost popularity as pagan tendencies were not tolerated. These myths and stories remained in the memory of the people who transmitted it orally from | 26

generation to generation. In the 16th century Giambattista Basile published the Pentamerón, inspired by Boccacio’s Decameron, the tale of traditional tales. International literary critics and researchers such as the American writer Stephen Crane, the Italian researcher Benedetto Croce, among others, point to the Pentameron as the richest, most artistic and popular book. In the Pentameron we find a story titled The Slave where the main character is a girl named Lisa. The story tells how Lisa is cursed by a fairy and tells her that when she is seven years old her mother will put a comb that will cause her death. The prophecy is fulfilled and Lisa’s family places the girl’s body in a glass coffin. To everyone’s surprise, the girl was growing inside the coffin as the years went by until she became a very beautiful woman. After the mother’s death, the girl’s aunt was jealous of the girl´s beauty. Such is the jealousy that tries

Exclusive Article

to destroy the young woman’s body but when she is taken out of the coffin the comb falls off and she is awake from her state of unconsciousness. In this story beauty and jealousy continue to be the main theme and we also see two elements that the Grimm brothers will take for their story. The first element is the comb and the second element is the glass coffin. II. The story elaborated by the Brothers Grimm and its inspiration in the princess Maria Sophia Margaret Catherine Von Erthal. In 1812 Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published Tales from Childhood and Home (Kinder - und Hausmärchen), where they compiled fairy tales from the German oral tradition. Within this story we find the story of Snow White (Schneewittchen). The story narrates a queen’s desire to be a mother, while sewing at the window she wishes to have a daughter as white as snow, black as ebony and red as blood. Her wish comes true and little Snow White is born. The queen dies and the King remarries an evil and vain woman. The woman possessed a magic mirror and asked him daily “mirror, mirror Who is the most beautiful in the kingdom?” the mirror always answered that it was her but when Snow White reached the age of seven the mirror confessed that the most beautiful in the kingdom was the little one. The jealous queen entrusts a hunter of her confidence to take the girl to the forest and kill her. As proof of the atrocity she asks for her liver

and lungs. When the hunter prepares to carry out this crime he repents and frees the little one in the forest thinking that the wild beasts would end up killing her. The hunter slaughtered a young wild boar and extracted the lungs and liver from it to present them to his queen. When the queen took possession of the viscera, she instructed the palace cook to cook everything with salt. The queen ate the viscera thinking they were Snow White. The little girl was alone wandering through the forest and saw a house where everything was perfectly clean and tidy. The little one ate of the seven small plates that had and ended up falling asleep in the beds. When the owners of the house, the seven dwarfs who were working in the mine, arrived at their house, they found the little Snow White. The girl told them her story and they decide to take her in. The dwarfs warn the little girl never to let anyone into the house and at the same time tell her that if her stepmother finds out she is alive she will come to kill her. The stepmother, through her mirror, learns that she has been deceived by the hunter and that the little one is still alive in the dwarfs’ house. So she decides to go herself and kill the little girl. Three attempts are made by the stepmother to kill Snow White. The first is when, disguised as an old woman, she offers the girl a headband, she agrees to buy it and the evil queen strangles her with it. When the stepmother finds out that Snow White is still alive, she goes back to the house in disguise

The Grimm brothers’ version is the canonical version of this story. The brothers were inspired by mythology, folklore and real-life characters to create one of the fairy tales that is still booming today after more than 200 years.

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and offers the little girl a comb. The comb was poisoned at the time the girl started combing her hair and falls back dead on the floor. The queen discovers through her mirror that the girl is still alive so that she again disguises herself as an old woman and this time poisons an apple on one side. When she approaches the dwarfs’ house, the suspicious girl does not accept the apple but the evil queen bites her on the side that was not poisoned, thus deceiving the young woman. When Snow White bites the apple falls dead to the ground and when the dwarfs arrived at the house at night they could do nothing to save her. The seven dwarfs put Snow White’s body in a glass coffin and left it in the forest because they felt sorry to bury it because she was so beautiful. One day a prince passes by and falls in love with the girl’s corpse. He asks the dwarfs for the body and in return he will always take care of it. When the prince’s porters take the coffin, one of them stumbles upon a bush, causing the piece of the girl’s apple to come out of her throat. Snow White revives and marries the prince. The queen was invited to her wedding and she was very curious because her mirror had confessed to her that the new queen was much more beautiful than she was. When she arrives she discovers that it is Snow White and in that moment the girl condemns her to dance with some burning iron shoes until she falls dead. When the Grimm brothers prepared this story together with the elements they took from Basile, they added others such as the mirror and the seven dwarfs. Where do these two elements come from? Researcher Karlheinz Bartels points out that Snow White is inspired by the life of Maria Sophia Margaret Catherine von Erthal, an 18th century German princess who suffered the contempt of her stepmother.

Princess Maria Sophia Marguerite Catherine von Erthal was the daughter of the Count of Kurmainz Philipp Christoph von Erthal. The little one was partially blind due to smallpox and was orphaned in 1741. Her father remarried Claudia Elisabeth Maria Von Venningen, Countess of Reichenstein. Philipp’s second wife put her children from another marriage before Maria Sophia who had to bear the contempt of her stepmother. The princess won the affection of her people because of her kindness and her close relationship with the children and miners of the Beiber mine. People of short stature and children work in the mine due to the narrowness of its galleries. Many of these children died working from blows or landslides. They wore coloured hoods and, according to research, some suffered from premature ageing. This fact could have inspired the two brothers in the creation of the seven dwarfs. The magic mirror of the story’s stepmother existed in reality. It was Count Philipp’s wedding present to his second wife. It is a talking mirror that is an acoustic toy that was in fashion in the 18th century. This mirror is currently on display at the Spessart Museum in Mainz. The mirror measures a meter and a half, does not speak but has the peculiarity of repeating everything that is said in front of it due to a reverberation effect. Bartels worked for ten years to investigate all these coincidences in the life of Princess Maria Sofia with the story. Many are the researchers who point out that the work of the Grimm brothers was the fruit of the compilation of oral tradition and folklore. But just like Bartels’ work and the clear coincidences, it is not unreasonable to say that they were able to draw inspiration from the life of this princess to add new elements in keeping with the history of the German people.


Author Gloria Ruiz Blanco

Illustrator Ana Salguero

Apuleyo, Lucio (1998). El asno de oro. Madrid: Gredos. Bartels, K (1990). Schneewittchen – Zur Fabulologie des Spessarts. Lorh am Main: Buchhandlung Reinhart von Torne. Bettelheim, B (1994). Psicoanálisis de los cuentos de hadas. Barcelona: Drakontos. Croce, B (2016). Introducción: Giambattista Basile. El pentameron: el cuento de los cuentos. Madrid: Siruela. Olalla Real, A (1989). La magia de la razón (investigaciones de los cuentos de hadas). Granada: Universidad de Granada.

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Exclusive Interview

Exclusive Interview with

Einar Turkowski

Einar Turkowski grew up in a small town near

Kiel, Germany, and received his degree from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. His first book, it was dark and eerily quiet , received several international awards. Classically and wonderfully, he creates his work with graphite pencils.

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1. Hi Einar! Please tell us about your background. What originally make you want to become an illustrator? Well, in fact there was never a doubt that I always wanted to make something with art. In reality I started to make small book projects at the age of five or six. It began with little magazines about ghosts and monsters. Then later on I already made three complete book projects before I began to study illustration in Hamburg. But on the other hand I always loved to make big abstract works painted in Acryl. It has been a little bit luck as well because a very long time I didn’t knew that it would be possible to study illustration. But at the end I came in exactly the right illustration class at the Highschool of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. That was the best thing that could happen to me. 2. What superpower do you have? I don’t believe that I have a superpower. But I think that I have a good feeling for the right composition, the right feeling of what makes a drawing or illustration interesting. When I was in school before studying I remember to become some A4 sheets about the most important contrasts in painting. I recognized that all these contrasts could work for black and white drawings as well and I found out that you can make contrasts out of much more things. To use all these on exactly the right place to catch the viewers interest is what I do again and again. This formed a high analytic way of seeing. This is what I am good in on the one hand. On the other hand I have a real vivid fantasy and I am given a high power of imagination. But I also started to form an own aesthetics while studying old masters of arts especially in black and white graphics so I get used to this very early. And one thing that I am really good in is to have patience ‌ 3. What is your work-day like? My work day is not very spectacular. I work each day in the week but I am just capable of drawing just 4 hours per day, two in the morning and two in the evening. This is because I have to be very concentrated and after two hours of drawing my eyes get tired and my concentration gets bad. So if I want to hold this high precise level I always need breaks in between. 4. What materials do you enjoy working with the most? I like everything that has to do with drawing or graphic techniques. I like all kind of pens and pencils, coloured pencils, marker or fineliner. But of course graphite is my favourite material. But if I work in bigger sizes on canvas for example I also like acryl paint. And I really like to mix techniques that are not to be meant for this. 5. How do you make the leap from an idea in your head to the action you produce? I always try to think very early about the concept of a book. So thinking about the typography and the layout at first is essential and extremely important if you want to reach a really exciting overall picture. And every new story wants to have its own attention and its own concept. If the typography is good, the pictures will be pushed once more. | 32

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Once I have been an intern of stage design and sometimes (not every time) my illustrations could be reminiscent of stage designs perhaps. When I was young I liked to make short films with an old super-8-camera and today I like to figure an illustration as a room or as a space where all the action takes place. That is one of the reasons why sometimes I leave out characters. In my point of view it could be very interesting to show just a scenery in which several things even could have happen or will happen. That‘s what the reader has to find out and that‘s why he is invited to let his fantasy work. So a stage design and an illustration have similarities. They both try to catch the readers view to lead him into a special world. And if you just have the scenery without characters you have the chance of reliving the story many times, and perhaps, each time it will be different. Mostly I have very detailed thoughts about my characters when the story already exists. So I just try to imagine how they should look like and thenmake some sketches to bring my thoughts to paper. Moreover I try to put forward some characteristics. Because my ideas in my head are mostly relatively clear, the most important thing is to ask myself if there couldn’t be another version of the picture that already exists in my head. Even when making the first sketches

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Exclusive Interview

7. What types of illustration projects do you enjoy working on? Why? I really like to move on the boundary between fantasy and surrealistic components on the one hand and the reality on the other. This produces irritations that makes my illustrations interesting. The viewer sees elements he/she knows and suddenly there are objects that are not so easy to classify. I enjoy these confusing moments.

it is very important to find more than one solution for one idea. So because of this I always try to produce many variations for just one illustration before I decide which one ist the best. Sometimes the first idea is the best one but sometimes the better versions come later. The secret is not to be too satisfied too early.

8. How much does it take to complete a project? The first book took me almost three years, because the original illustrations were not really small and moreover I wrote the story, made the typography and everything else. These days I am a little bit faster but one project could take one or one and a half years. I need one month for one illustration more or less.

6. Your illustrations are so vivid , do you use photo references or illustrate base on your memory? It depends on what the story wants me to do. Sometimes it’s better to work just with your fantasy, sometimes I prefer to make a lot of black and white photos as reference material. But I never copy, it’s just to see how things look like in reality and to be correct in proportions.

9. Which artists are you most influenced by? At the beginning it was Ludwig Richter, A. Paul Weber, Albrecht DĂźrer and Horst Janssen that really teached me many things. Hal Foster, Tomi Ungerer, Friedrich Karl Waechter as well. In these days there are so many outstanding artists that I am

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impressed of very often. I like artist from free art like Michael Fieseler, Neo Rauch or Laurie Hogin as much as illustrators like Emanuel Lepage, Chris van Allsburgh, Thierry Murat or Romain Renard. There are much more ‌ 10. What memorable responses have you had to your work? The most memorable responses have been the two grand prix that I achieve for two of my books, but every winning award is great as a response. And of course winning awards in the countries is very nice. There are also many little stories that really impress me. Sometimes I become friendly letters from all over the world that a really great. 11. What do you think about the role of an illustrator in the society? I never thought about my role of an illustrator in the society. I just try to make my way. But what I would like to be a side effect is that people learn to develop their own aesthetics. So I am just a small part of offering another style of illustration and of being part of a huge variety of authentic illustrative and narrative handwritings. So even if my artwork is just for a small group of people, it probably helps them to see the world in a different way. I prefer not to push the well known but to raise interesting questions. To make people aware of seeing in their own way ant to see exactly and twice is what I want them to encourage. And of course I want to bring them a little bit of magic. But this depends on what every single person brings with itself while looking and reading my books. | 36

12. What do you like and dislike about the illustration world? What I really dislike is mainstream illustrations and people who ask questions and who are not willing to find an answer for these. And of course the payment could be better. But the rest is one of the best jobs in the world because everything is about to bring exciting stories to the people. And you can work for this whenever and wherever you want to. 13. How do you think online design resources have influenced the art being produced today? I can’t say this but what I realize is that everything is getting faster and faster so that people have more and more difficulties

Exclusive Interview

in taking time for watching and for searching for answers. I think that for the development of ourselves and our children it is dangerous to get used to just one kind of medium and one kind of illustration. Variety is the spice of life ‌ 14. What are some of the most important considerations in creating an illustration today? To give time and happiness and to move peoples fantasy. To show them a different way of seeing and of course to teach them to be fair and full of respect towards theirselves, other human beings and nature. 15. Where do you see illustration going in the next few years? What I realize is that students and professional illustrators more and more use digital methods for illustration. I hope that on the other hand the analogue techniques will survive so that everyone is able to chose and see the difference. | 37

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YALDA Zayeshmehr which is known as Yalda and Shab-e Cheleh in Persian is celebrated on the eve of the first day of the winter (December 21-22) in the Iranian calendar, which falls on the Winter Solstice and forty days before the next major Iranian festival “Jashn-e Sadeh (fire festival)”. As the longest night of the year, the Eve of Zayeshmehr or the Birth of Mithra (Shab-e Yalda) is also a turning point, after which the days grow longer. It symbolised the triumph of Light and Goodness over the powers of Darkness. Yalda celebration has great significance in the Iranian calendar. It is the eve of the birth of Mithra, the Sun God, who symbolised light, goodness and strength on earth. Shab-e Zayehmehr is a time of joy. The festival was considered pone of the most important celebrations in ancient Iran and continues to be celebrated to this day, for a period of more than 5000 years. Yalda is a Syriac word meaning birth (NPer. milād is from the same origin) in the 3rd century CE, Mithra-worshippers adopted and used the term ‘yalda’ specifically with reference to the birth of Mithra. The original Avestan and Old-Persian term for the celebration is unknown, but it is believed that in Parthian-Pahlavi and Sasanian-Pahlavi (Middle-Persian) it was known as Zāyishn (zāyīšn-i mithr/mihr – birth of Mithra). The New Persian “Shab-e Cheleh Festival” is a relatively recent term. The celebration was brought to Iranian plateau by the Aryan (Iranian) migrants around middle of the 2nd millenniums BCE, but the original date of celebration could be reach as far as pre-Zoroastrian era, around 3rd to 4th millennium BCE. In Ancient Iran, the start of the solar year has been marked to celebrate the victory of light over darkness and the renewal of the Sun. The last day of the Iranian month of “Āzar” (21st December) is the longest night of the year, when the forces of Ahriman (darkness) are assumed to be at their peak. While the next day, the first day of the month of “Dey” known as “Khorram rūz” or “Khur rūz” (the day of the sun, 22 December) symbolises the creator, Ahura Mazda (the Lord of Wisdom). Since the days are getting longer and the nights shorter, this day marks the victory of the sun over darkness, and goodness over evil. The occasion was celebrated in the festival of “Deygān” dedicated to Ahura Mazda, on the first day of the month of “Dey” (December-January). Fires would be burnt all night to ensure the defeat of the forces of Ahriman. There would be feasts, acts of charity and a number of Zoroastrian deities honoured and prayers performed to ensure the total victory of the sun that was essential for the protection of winter crops. There would be

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The Birth of God Mithra & Significance of Winter Solstice in Iranian Culture & Heritage

I l l u s t r a t e d b y S h a m i m Va k i l i

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prayers to God Mithra (Mithr/Mihr/Mehr) and feasts in his honour, since Mithra is an īzad (av. Yazata) and responsible for protecting “the light of the early morning”, known as “Hāvangāh”. It was also believed that Ahura Mazda would grant people’s wishes in that day. One of the themes of the festival was the temporary subversion of order, as the masters and servants reversed roles. The king dressed in white would change place with ordinary people. A mock king was crowned and masquerades spilled into the streets. As the old year died, rules of ordinary living were relaxed. This tradition in its original form persisted until the fall of Sasanian dynasty (224-651 CE), and is mentioned by the Persian polymath Bīruni and others in their recordings of pre-Islamic rituals and festivals. The Iranian traditions merged into ancient Rome belief system, in a festival dedicated to the ancient god of seedtime, Saturn. The Romans exchanged gifts, partied and decorated their homes with greenery. Following the Iranian tradition, the usual order of the year was suspended. Grudges and quarrels would be forgotten and wars interrupted or postponed. Businesses, courts and schools were closed. Rich and poor became equal, masters served slaves, and children headed the family. Cross-dressing and masquerades, merriment of all kinds prevailed. A mock king, the Lord of Misrule, was crowned. Candles and lamps chased away the spirits of darkness. Another related Roman festival celebrated at the same time was dedicated to “Sol Invictus” (the Invincible Sun) dedicated to the God Mithra. This ancient Iranian cult was spread into the Roman world by Emperor Elagabalus (r. 218 to 222 CE) and declared as the god of state. With the spread of Christianity, Christmas celebration became the most important Christian festival. In the third century various dates, from December to April, were celebrated by Christians as Christmas. January 6th, was the most favoured day because it was thought to be Jesus’s Baptismal day (in the Greek Orthodox Church this continues to be Illustrated by Niloofar Ataeifar

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the day to celebrate Christmas). In year 350, December 25th it was adopted in Rome and gradually almost the entire Christian church agreed to that date, which coincided, with the Winter solstice and the festivals, Sol Invicta and Saturnalia. Many of the rituals and traditions of the pre-Christian festivals were incorporated into the Christmas celebration and are still observed to this date. It is not clear when and how the word “Yalda” entered to the Persian language. The massive persecution of early Christians in Rome which brought many Christian refugees into the Sasanian Empire and it is claimed that these Christians re-introduced and popularised “Yalda” in Iran. Gradually “Shab-e Yalda” and “Shab-e Cheleh” became synonymous and the two are used interchangeably. With the conquest of Islam the religious significance of the ancient Iranian festivals was lost. Today “Shab-e Cheleh” is merely a social occasion, when family and friends get together for fun and merriment. Different kinds of dried fruits, nuts, seeds and fresh winter fruits are consumed. The presence of dried and fresh fruits is reminiscence of the ancient feasts to celebrate and pray to the ancient deities to ensure the protection of the winter crops. Iranian Jews, who are amongst the oldest inhabitants of the country, in addition to “Shab-e Cheleh”, also celebrate the festival of “Illanout” (tree festival) at around the same time. Illanout is very similar to the Shab-e Cheleh celebration. Candles are lit and all varieties of dried and fresh winter fruits are served. Special meals are prepared and prayers are performed. There are also very similar festivals in many parts of Southern Russia that are identical to “Shab-e Cheleh” with local variations. Sweetbreads are baked in the shape of humans and animals. Bonfires are made and dances resemble crop harvesting. Comparison and detailed studies of all these celebrations no doubt will shed more light on the forgotten aspects of this wonderful and ancient festival, where merriment was the main theme of the festival. The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies

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Illustrated by Aaraam Alaaee

Illustrated by Sara Miari | 42

Illustrated by Reyhaneh Shiran

Illustrated by Narges Hashemy

Illustrated by Zohreh M irg hazanfar | 43

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Illustrated by Tina Heidari

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Illustrated by Sareh Aseman

Illustrated by Mina Naeimi

Illustrated by Hamraz Daneshvar

Illustrated by Homa Eshaqi

Illustrated by Simin Honarvar

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Illustrated by Farnaz Nadim | 46

Illustrated by Marjan Andaroodi

Illustrated by Salimeh Babakhan

Illustrated by Zahra Anjomshoa

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Around The World

Juan Vallecillos TURBULENTO is a project in the process of self-published fanzine that tells the story of a child who was sent to another planet to try to annoy and agitate anyone’s life, but perhaps on this planet they will not make it so easy ... water and dialogue They are his great weaknesses, will he change anything?

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Amalia Restrepo

Comfama is a Colombian company that delivers health, education, housing, culture and recreation to the people of Antioquia. On December 2018, Comfama came up with the idea of a Christmas Park where families could go and spend a day together, having nice food, going to Christmas concerts, playing volleyball, reading, skating on a synthetic ice rink etc. The overall feeling the client wanted was very welcoming and very traditional and the main goal of the park was that people could go and write their new years resolutions on huge illustrated walls. They called the brief “The Resolution Forest” they gave me only one theme in particular for one of the panels and that was the “profession or work panel” where I had to showcase different people, doing different jobs. Other than that is was pretty wide open. I designed 6 square panels. 3 square meters each that functioned as individual pieces but put together would work as one huge illustration. I started by thinking first and foremost about the traditional Medellin holiday. traditional houses, traditional food, families sitting together, our loved and famous “metro cable” etc. I love adding some magic to my work, especially if it’s for a theme that really calls for it and I thought that this could be a very fun piece if I let it fly, so to set an example, I thought about how people here look out their house windows a lot and talk to their neighbours from window to window, and I translated that into the forest and created a neighbourhood in the forest. Light is very important here as well so I tried to add a lot of light elements as well as our amazing mountains and of course dancing! The final illustrations were used as panels but also every element was an individual Photoshop layer so we also used them for the food court, the bathrooms, cut out characters for people to take pictures with etc.

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y name is Jen Yoon. I’m a freelance illustrator based in New York. My works specialize in both digital and traditional mediums, creating line works arouse deep, strong emotions. For base line works, I use pencil and mechanical pencil on letter sized paper, then switch that into Photoshop for coloring and editing. The main reason I still use a pencil even though there are many pencil-like brushes online out there, is because the natural curve lines and softness of pencil drawing has the special place in my heart. Since creating a piece of artwork that implies both traditional and modern value is the key to me, I received a lot of inspirations from traditional paintings in museums. Particularly, Metropolitan Museum of Art is my favorite museum to refresh myself when I’m stuck in the idea sketch stage. Also, Central Park is right behind The MET, which you can fully experience the autumn in New York right now. My ultimate goal as an illustrator is that shed light on the issues that we easily overlooked. I try to draw illustrations that knock on people’s heart, and keep reminding people to make a difference in their lives. Even if it is just a small thing, I believe that will change our world in a good way.

Website: Instagram: jenyoonart

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Kinga Britschgi

Exclusive Interview


STYLE Exclusive Interview with

Eleonora Simeoni

Eleonora Simeoni, illustrator and artist, born in 1995 in Bassano del Grappa. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. Fascinated by all that is surreal and poetic, his subjects are born from the passion for surrealism, Nordic art, esotericism, books (bestiaries, novels, poems, stories). his poetics is “a parallel world where things do not appear as we see them.�

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Eleonora Simeoni

Exclusive Interview

1. Could you give us a bit of background about your work and education, and how you started working as an illustrator? I have been drawing since I remembered. It has always been my greatest passion, along with that of books. In high school, I studied at an art institute, and now I attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. I approached illustration when I was little, reading picture books. Then, in the last year of high school, thanks to some teachers, I rediscovered this beautiful world, and I decided to enroll at the Academy of Fine Arts to study and learn about it in all its forms. 2. Do you enjoy working with a handmade aesthetic, or do you do a lot of computer work as well? What is the process you have for creating your illustrations? I use various techniques depending on the effect I want to create. I like experimenting, discovering new textures, using collages, and letting myself be carried away by the magic of the creative process. I always start with manual work; I like to use acrylic colors and collage. Sometimes I use digital to assemble the work and compose it like a small imaginary theatre. 3. How do you approach creating an illustration? And is that different depending on if you are working for a client or yourself? Often my illustrations do not have a real project defined behind them, but they are born while I work there. I start with an idea, an atmosphere, or a feeling that I want to recreate, and I try to let myself be carried away by the creative process. Working on commission or for a project is different from personal work. There is a lot of research to be done behind; it is essential to know the concept on which to work to interpret it at best and often the technique to be used changes depending on the work required. 4. Your work is deeply personal, a sort of record of your emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Is your work like a kind of individual therapy, or do you hope for resonance with a wider audience? That’s right; drawing is a necessity for me, the way I express myself. My work reflects a lot as I am, I feel that at a certain moment, or a memory of myself that emerges in my mind. I discovered with surprise that many people find themselves in what I represent, they can read and interpret my images in a personal way, associating them to their experience, and it is one of the things that most fascinates me and makes me happy. 5. which of your projects has been the most important to developing your personal style? I don’t think there’s a particular project that marked my “style.” I think it’s more of an endless personal search that only time slowly matures. If I look at my work of a year ago, it is different from what I do now, and in the future, it will change again! I think of style as a river that flows, it’s never the same, but it changes all the time, just like every person, everything. 6. What sort of skills do you think you need as an illustrator? I believe that an illustrator must develop his own personal knowledge and create his own universe of everything that represents him. Studying helps in this, and staying in an environment that stimulates creativity,

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Eleonora Simeoni

I don’t think there’s a particular project that marked my “style.” I think it’s more of an endless personal search that only time slowly matures. If I look at my work of a year ago, it is different from what I do now, and in the future, it will change again! I think of style as a river that flows, it’s never the same, but it changes all the time, just like every person, everything.


which is different for everyone! Knowing how to observe what surrounds him, being amazed, absorbing as many things as possible, just like a sponge 7. what are you currently fascinated by, and how is it feeding into your work? I have always been fascinated by everything that wants to give a different representation of reality, that creates wonder: fantastic creatures like the medieval ones, magic, astrology, symbolism, mythology, surrealism, but also philosophy. There are so many things that inspire me, and I always like to know new things. I always look for books that deal with this type of subject, but also a cinema, poetry. 8. How did you connect your illustrators to clients? Do you have a portfolio of images that you quickly send? I use Behance, a website where I insert the various projects and from has the opportunity to create its own portfolio online! I really like how it is set up, and there are a lot of artists, illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, etc. who use it. You will find many exciting things. But also the social networks: Instagram and Facebook, give you the chance to have your own space where you can upload your work. 9. Describe a time when you worked hard on a project, but you received negative feedback from your manager or client. What did you do? It happened that I was commissioned with graphics for some products, and the ideas I developed initially did not convince everyone. It’s hard to convince many people because everyone has their own thoughts and tastes. It helped me to confront them and listen to their opinions so that I could understand them in-depth and create more images. On the other hand, working on commission requires a lot of flexibility, it can be frustrating at times, but the important thing is to reach a compromise between their ideas and those needed. 10. Do you feel social media is an important tool for illustrators? Does having a social media presence change an illustrator’s ability to get commissions? Social media is certainly important for showing one’s work and being contacted, but it doesn’t define an artist’s ability. They help because they allow you to get in touch with people from different places, and doing it in person many times is difficult. 11. What are the steps an illustrator could take to try and get bigger projects and clients? I think that, as in every work, also the illustrator’s one is important to get in touch with different realities and people: sending your portfolio, participating in calls promoted by various artistic groups, competitions, interviews, exhibitions. Being able to create a small network of contacts in your field helps a lot to get commissions.

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Exclusive Interview

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Eleonora Simeoni

Exclusive Interview

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Eleonora Simeoni

Exclusive Interview

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Creative Space

The Plated Project What is The Plated Project? The Plated Project is social impact initiative that uses art to help end hunger. The project is an initiative by chlorophyll innovation lab, India’s first dedicated brand innovation collective. Why hunger? There are over 820 million hungry people in the world out of which 200 million live in India alone. In fact, Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and terrorism combined. What do we do? We join forces with talented artists globally to create limited edition art-plates with unique, beautiful art. When art lovers buy one of these art-plates, they help put food on another person’s plate. How did this start? We wanted to make giving to charity en-

gaging and addressing both impact and awareness together. That is why we created a collaborative platform that marries art, social impact and food-based experiences. What’s been the impact so far? In just a month from our official launch, we’ve sold over 750 art-plates. We’ve funded 3500 meals for underprivileged kids in India. We now have 50 artists on-board who are working with us. How does the model work? We sell the plate and from the profits, 80% goes to the charity and 20% goes to the artist. How can people collaborate with us? All details are on our website. Artists, brands and charities can get in touch anytime!

CHLOROPHYLL INNOVATION LAB chlorophyll innovation lab is a unique award-winning innovation collective that creates ‘moonshot’ ideas and IP for brands and businesses. The solutions focus exclusively on solving complex brand, business or societal problems. Some of their notable work includes creating the world’s first inspiration medal for The Tata Mumbai Marathon, enabling the world’s first immersive portal that connected Mumbai to 20 other countries around the world, created the world’s first emotive mix-o-bot to drive a perception change around AI. Their approach focuses on using a ‘cross-connections’ driven approach that is enabled by an ecosystem of 800 global innovators that form fluid cross-functional teams to deliver integrated innovations.

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Exclusive Interview

e Creativ Space THE

Chitresh Sinha

Chitresh Sinha is the ceo and head of innovation at chlorophyll innovation lab. chlorophyll innovation lab is India’s first brand innovation collective which is an ecosystem of 800+ global innovators. This ecosystem works on creating one-of-a-kind solutions for brands, businesses and societal problems. The Plated Project is an IP by the lab which is focussed on demonstrating how innovation can be used to solve a large societal problem. In his experience of over 13 years, Chitresh has created over 20 brands from scratch and has handled the end-to-end brand development for over 30 brands in 4 continents.

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Steven Heller


Be Persistent Be Good

Steven Heller wears many hats (in addition to the New York Yankees): For 33 years he was an art director at the New York Times, originally on the OpEd Page and for almost 30 of those years with the New York Times Book Review. Currently, he is co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author Department, Special Consultant to the President of SVA for New Programs, and writes the Visuals column for the New York Times Book Review.

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Steven Heller


Be persistent. Be good. Persistence is important but if you’re not good nothing will work.


1. Could you give us a bit of background about your work and education? I was born and raised in NYC. I was always hustling for work in creative places. I joined an underground paper in 1967 and that began my carrier and education. I have worked as art director/ designer for Scew, The New York Review of Sex, the New York Free Press and Rock Magazine. From there I want to The New York Times as art director of the OpEd page, the three years later I was art director of the Book Review. Contingent with that I wrote books (I’ve done over 190 or so. And I’m also co-founder and co-chair of the SVA/ New York MFA Design / Designer as Entrepreneur program.

5. What sort of skills did you need as an art director? A decent eye for both design and illustration and a little courage to SELL your ideas. 6. Do you feel social media is an important tool for illustrators? Does having a social media presence really change an illustrator’s ability to get commissions? Social Media has become very important. It’s a good way to reach a lot of people and it represents illustrators on their merits. 7. Do you have any advice for someone looking to work as an illustrator? Be persistent. Be good. Persistence is important but if you’re not good nothing will work.

2. what made you want to become an art director and lecturer? It was an accident. I was a cartoonist. A 8. What factors should illustrators keep in bad one. Art direction was something I mind when finding ways to improve their could do well. work? Can they draw well. Can they think and 3. What is the most challenging part about conceive good ideas? Are they reading being an art director? well and smart? If deficient in any of I am not an a.d. anymore. I left that these places, they better learn more. 8 years ago, when I retired from the Times. But working with artists is both 9. Let’s continue with your experiments the most challenging a rewarding. The as a curator. What do you believe is a key most difficult, at times, was working element in being a professional curator? with some ignorant editors that do not It depends on what is being curated. let the expert or authority do the job. Imagination is important and a good sense of space certainly helps. Also, 4. How did you select the illustrators you historical knowledge is essential. want to work with? Did you have a portfolio of images? 10. What challenges did you have in this I assume that in the past it would have job? been a lot of paper-based, print-based I was not really a curator, although I illustration, and now it will be all on a organized a few exhibitions. tablet… I met with illustrators every day in the 11. What do you have planned for the a.m. They had 15 minutes each to show future? me their work. If I like the work, liked To go on living, learning and experiencing. them or both, I’d give out a job. If the I keep on doing books, I continually result was fantastic Iwould use them answer the kind of questions you’re repeatedly. asking.

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• Social and political effects of graphic design • Philosophical perspectives on design • Evolution of branding • Development of the graphic design profession • Predictions for the future of the practice An examination of the concerted efforts, happy accidents, and key influences of the practice throughout the years, Teaching Graphic Design History is an illuminating resource for students, practitioners, and future teachers of the subject. Allworth Press an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. New York, New York Cover design by Rick Landers Copublished with the School of Visual Arts Printed in the United States of America

Steven Heller, former art director of the New York Times Book Review, is the cochair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur Program. He is the author, coauthor, and editor of more than 180 books on design, social satire, and visual culture. He writes the Daily Heller for Print magazine and contributes to Design Observer, Eye, Wired, the New York Times, and the Atlantic. He is the recipient of two honorary doctorates, the AIGA Medal for Lifetime Achievement and the Smithsonian National Design Award for “Design Mind.” He lives in New York City.



An Examination of the Practice through the Years Teaching the history of graphic design cannot simply be outlined by dates nor confined by places, but is defined by concepts and philosophies, as well as those who made, make, and inspire them. Teaching Graphic Design History is the first collection of essays, syllabi, and guides for conveying the heritage of this unique practice, from traditional chronologies to eclectic themes as developed by today’s historians, designers, scholars, and documentarians. With the editor’s distinct viewpoint and many exclusive contributions, Teaching Graphic Design History chronicles the customs and conventions of various cultures and societies and how they are seen through signs, symbols, and the artifacts designed for use in the public—and sometimes private—sphere. Areas of focus include:

US $24.99 / CAN $33.99



ISBN-10: 1-62153-684-X ISBN-13: 978-1-62153-684-0


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Brightness Gallery



This section is devoted to the works of some of the best illustrators from all around the world. As with any real gallery, ours too aims to introduce and present those creative and elegant artworks which are created by both professional and enthusiastic young artists. However, as opposed to the real galleries, this one will not be restricted by physical barriers or geographical borders, which implies that artists could easily connect to a wider range of audiences worldwide.

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Christmas “Nothing ever seems too bad, too hard, or too sad when you’ve got a Christmas tree in the living room.” Nora Roberts

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