Women Who Draw, Write, and Inspire Us

 
Images left to right:  Louise Bourgeois  by   Elizabeth Haidle   (issue 2); sketchbook drawing by   Lisa Brown   (issue 3); watercolor portrait by   Lindsay Stripling   (issue 2); "Dream Before Building" by   Lark Pien   (issue 1);  Beatrix Potter  by     Elizabeth Haidle   (issue 3);  Martha Graham  by   Marlowe Dobbe   (issue 2); self-portrait by   Nina Chakrabarti   (issue 3); excerpt from  El Deafo  by   Cece Bell   (issue 1); "Hiroshima Mon Amour" by   Britt Browne   (issue 3)

Images left to right: Louise Bourgeois by Elizabeth Haidle (issue 2); sketchbook drawing by Lisa Brown (issue 3); watercolor portrait by Lindsay Stripling (issue 2); "Dream Before Building" by Lark Pien (issue 1); Beatrix Potter by Elizabeth Haidle (issue 3); Martha Graham by Marlowe Dobbe (issue 2); self-portrait by Nina Chakrabarti (issue 3); excerpt from El Deafo by Cece Bell (issue 1); "Hiroshima Mon Amour" by Britt Browne (issue 3)

 

Women's History Month is coming to a close, but we at Illustoria think every month should be women's history month! We are proud to pay homage to the courageous, intelligent, and rebellious women who have revolutionized their fields and empower us to dream big. Of recent, we've been thrilled to see collectives and movements such as Women Who Draw creating an inspiring platform for talented women illustrators. Today, we would like to take a moment to thank some of the amazing women who draw, write, and inspire us here at Illustoria.
 

artwork © Lisa Brown

cover art © Lisa Brown

artwork © Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown
Lisa Brown, the stupendous illustrator behind our Issue 3 cover, is a critically acclaimed illustrator, author, and cartoonist who resides in foggy San Francisco. She is the mastermind illustrator behind Emily's Blue Period by Cathleen Daly and 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy by Lemony Snicket and has written and illustrated the fantastic Depressed. Repressed. Obsessed. 3 Panel Book Reviews as well as Vampire Boy's Goodnight, The Airport Book, and How to Be. (And this is all just for starters!) Brown also featured her sketchbook and mini-drawing activity in Issue 3, which we love to pieces. Stay tuned for more highlights of Brown this spring, in our super-exciting-filled-to-the-brim-with-inspiration Issue 4: The Grow Issue! You can find more of her amazing work at http://www.americanchickens.com/


artwork © Cece Bell

artwork © Cece Bell

images © Cece Bell

Cece Bell
If you haven't gotten your hands on the heart-melting and hilarious El Deafo by the genius Cece Bell, you might want to stop reading right now and run to the nearest book store immediately. El Deafo is a graphic novel memoir that tells the story of Bell's hearing loss and subsequent adventures with a clunky hearing-aid-turned-super-power. Alongside this Newbery Award Winner, Bell has published I Yam Donkey, Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover, and Chuck and Woodchuck amongst many others.  We are so honored to have featured an interview with Cece in Issue 1 and a full length Q&A which you can read here. Check out more of Cece Bell's work on her website https://cecebell.wordpress.com


 
artwork © Lark Pien; from "Dream Before Building" in Illustoria issue 1, The Beginnings Issue

artwork © Lark Pien; from "Dream Before Building" in Illustoria issue 1, The Beginnings Issue

 
artwork © Lark Pien

artwork © Lark Pien

sketchbook art © Lark Pien

Lark Pien 
Lark Pien is a Portland-based acclaimed illustrator and the amazing talent behind the Long Tail Kitty series (for which she won the Friends of LuLu Award) and Mr.Elephanter. Pien was the colorist of American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang and Sunny Side Up, two graphic novels for young readers that we could not recommend more highly. We are blown away by "Dream Before Building," a mini-comic she created for Issue 1, and cannot wait to share some new projects she's dreaming up for Illustoria. Find more of Pien's work at http://larkpien.blogspot.com/?view=classic


 
artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

 
 
artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

artwork by © Elizabeth Haidle

Elizabeth Haidle 
Have you ever met an artist so talented you want to simultaneously: do cart wheels, bake them a 10-layered Boston cream pie, and hold a radio outside their window à la John Cusack in Say Anything? That's how we feel about our genius, prolific, and awe-inspiring Creative Director Elizabeth Haidle. In addition to spinning up magic at Illustoria, Haidle is the creator of Literary Giants As Kids, a fantastic series you can find in each issue of Illustoria, and illustrator of the dreamy Mind Afire - The Visions of Nikola Tesla, written by Abigail Samoun. We absolutely cannot hold our excitement for the release of I, Parrot, her most recent (breathtaking) graphic novel written by Deb Olin Unferth, which she is currently putting the final touches on. We love the ever-busy Haidle, whose work you can find at http://www.docucomix.com/ and  http://www.ehaidle.com/


Cloth Lullaby  by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

Iomogen by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Lisa Congdon

Me, Frida  by Amy Novesky, illustrated by David Diaz

Me, Frida by Amy Novesky, illustrated by David Diaz

Georgia in Hawaii by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Amy Novesky  
Amy Novesky is an award-winning children's book author and editor whom we adore five trips to the moon and back. Most recently, she has written Cloth Lullaby, a gorgeous tale of the illustrious, world-famous artist Louise Bourgeois, with stunning illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault. She has also written critically acclaimed books including Georgia in Hawaii, Me, Frida, and Imogen. We are so excited to have featured a full length interview with Novesky which you can find in issue 3. To read more about Novesky's work, check out http://amy-novesky.squarespace.com/.


Laurel Snyder 
Laurel Snyder is a prolific, critically acclaimed children's author who makes us want to smile for days. She is the author of numerous, joyfully fun-to-read novels for children of which some of our favorites include Orphan Island and Bigger than a Bread Box. She has also written the gorgeous picture books Swan, the Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova and the adorable Charlie and Mouse. You can find Snyder in issue 2, with her biographical  piece "Martha Graham In Motion," illustrated by fantastic artist Marlowe Dobbe, about the revolutionary Martha Graham, the Mother of Modern Dance. Check out http://laurelsnyder.com/ for more work by this beloved author. 


 
art © Lindsay Stripling for "The Best Invisible Thing" in Illustoria Issue 2

art © Lindsay Stripling for "The Best Invisible Thing" in Illustoria Issue 2

 
 
art © Lindsay Stripling

art © Lindsay Stripling

art © Lindsay Stripling

art © Lindsay Stripling

Lindsay Stripling
A phenomenal woman artist whom we couldn't admire more, Lindsay Stripling works from her studio in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco. We fell in love with her paintings the first time we laid eyes on them for their dreamy palettes, mystical settings, and ethereal subjects. Her folk and fairy tale-inspired narratives lead us into inner worlds that are rich and boundless. We're thrilled to announce that Lindsay's gorgeous artwork will grace the cover of our upcoming issue 4: The Grow Issue--so be on the lookout. Find more of Lindsay's work here: https://www.lindsaystripling.com/


 
Ruth Kneass laying with the meticulously sculpted pieces of her Bay Tower mobile.  © Ruth Kneass

Ruth Kneass laying with the meticulously sculpted pieces of her Bay Tower mobile.  © Ruth Kneass

 
Blonde Driftwood © Ruth Kneass

Blonde Driftwood © Ruth Kneass

Nine pieces in collage; a search-and-find activity in issue 3  © Ruth Kneass

Nine pieces in collage; a search-and-find activity in issue 3
© Ruth Kneass

Ruth Kneass
Driftwood artist and mobile sculptor Ruth Kneass creates stunning works of art that take years of patience, time, and skill to produce. She shares the story of her mother's influence and her inspiration growing up to be an artist in Illustoria issue 3. A true appreciator of beauty and nature, Ruth infuses her art and life with a feminine love, care, determination, wisdom, and strength that we find simultaneously awe-inspiring and reassuring. You'll find a treat in issue 3, where she disassembled one of her precious driftwood mobiles to create the most gorgeous search-and-find activity we've ever seen! Find more of Ruth's work here: http://www.kneassboatworks.com/


 
self-portrait © Nina Chakrabarti

self-portrait © Nina Chakrabarti

 
 
art © Nina Chakrabarti; from Nina's upcoming title  My Collection of Collections: A Sticker Book

art © Nina Chakrabarti; from Nina's upcoming title My Collection of Collections: A Sticker Book

 

Nina Chakrabarti
We had the chance to interview talented illustrator and activity book creator Nina Chakrabarti and learn all about her inspiration growing up between Calcutta, India and the UK. Born to an English mother and an Indian father, Nina's vivid childhood memories of bright colored saris and streets clamoring with the sounds of trams, trains, and rickety rickshaws; Chinatown and Brick Lane in London; and museums and nature all inspire the joyful work she produces today. In issue 3, she talks about her process creating books such as Hello Nature, My Wonderful World of Fashion, and her upcoming title, My Collection of Collections that will equally inspire young artists and grownup ones. Fun fact: Nina doesn't keep sketchbooks but rather "scribbles on loose scraps of paper, post-its, and newspapers that eventually get tucked away in a box, put up on a wall, or thrown away"! We love her passion for life and her eclectic style, which encourages us to get outside, observe, and appreciate all the diversity our wonderful world has to offer. Find her work here: http://ninachakrabarti.com/


These are just a few of the many amazing women whom we've had the chance to collaborate with over the course of our first three issues. At Illustoria, we are dedicated to increasing the visibility of female creatives by continually supporting and showcasing their work. Additionally, we are committed to promoting women's empowerment in the pages of our mag with stories of both world-famous and lesser-known female leaders from Beatrix Potter to Lee Bontecou. We hope that the stories in Illustoria and the artists behind them will inspire you and the next generation of strong, creative women for years to come.

ILLUSTORIA Launch Party

 
launch H.jpg
 

Come join us to celebrate the launch of ILLUSTORIA!

Get your hands on our first issue! Meet the staff, color and craft, clink some glasses. Free goodie bags for first 50 kids, so come early. Enjoy snacks, a free photo booth, a chance to win a raffle prize, plus readings by Illustoria's art director, Elizabeth Haidle, and a fave local author, Amy Novesky. We look forward to growing our community of artists, writers, makers, educators, librarians, retailers, and friends--so come join! 

When: Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (PDT) / activities + bubbles + snacks throughout / talks + readings at 3pm / raffle prize drawing at 4pm

Where: Minted Local - 222 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108  

Please RSVP to let us know you will be coming. 

Many thanks to our amazing event sponsors, Minted & Sakura of America:

 
 

FAQs

Can I invite friends?

Yes! We encourage you to spread the news to all your creative friends and their creative kids.

What activities can we expect for kids?

There will be coloring and crafts, a tattoo station, a free photo booth, and readings from our premiere issue.

Will we be able to purchase issue 1?

Yes! We'll be selling our first issue and you can also purchase a discounted subscription to the magazine.

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

Minted Local is just a 1-minute walk from the White House Garage lot and a 4-minute walk from the Montgomery Street BART station. 

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Contact hello@illustoria.com with any questions or to RSVP for a large party.

 

 

 

Jules of 7-Imp reviews ILLUSTORIA on Kirkus

 

Read the full feature on Illustoria on Kirkus Reviews

I have admired Julie Danielson from afar for a very long time. Many of you likely know her as "Jules" from her amazing blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, which is a goldmine of inspiring, eye-opening interviews with today's most beloved children's books authors and illustrators about their work and the creative process. I was so excited (and a little nervous) to hear that she was interested in reviewing Illustoria on Kirkus Reviews, and simply overjoyed to know that she gives Illustoria her thumbs up. Jules gets right to the heart of why I started the magazine, and how utterly gratifying it is to share a love of books and reading with kids. Read the review, and read Illustoria!

 

We Heart Sakura

 

Who doesn't love a maze?! But with a selection of colorful Gelly Roll Pens at our side, doodling and writing takes on another level of playful pleasure. Photo ©  Melissa Kaseman

 

When Michaela Yee at Sakura of America heard about us through a Facebook post, she connected with us right away. Aside from the fact that we have an amazing friend (Patricia Wakida of Wasabi Press) in common--one of those connectors of people who attracts artistic, talented, energetic, generous souls into her life--we both knew right away that Sakura and ILLUSTORIA were going to get along like playground pals at recess. 

 
Mark working on the Archidoodle activity for issue 1, with his trusty Micron Pens of course.

Mark working on the Archidoodle activity for issue 1, with his trusty Micron Pens of course.

 

While Sakura as a company is nearing its centennial and ILLUSTORIA is just a newborn pup, we have a lot in common. We believe in quality materials, access to artistic expression for all, and keeping creativity alive in both grownups and little ones. I must admit, as the new kid on the block I was already smitten with everything that Sakura represented. Art supplies are one of those pleasures that need not be guilty! Micron Pens are a staple in our house, with my architect-maker husband constantly sketching with his number 01s and 02s and on up the spectrum. The Pigma Sensei Pens are never far out of reach of my 10-year-old comic artist in the making, and my youngest can't get enough of his collection of Gelly Roll Pens.

 
Paper and ink are so important to me as a reader and as a publisher. I made sure to test out our uncoated interior stock for maximum drawability before we hit the press. The Gelly Roll Pens truly glide smooth as jelly on the pages of our mag, and the ink dries beautifully too--so no unsightly smudging when you flip the page! Photo ©   Melissa Kaseman

Paper and ink are so important to me as a reader and as a publisher. I made sure to test out our uncoated interior stock for maximum drawability before we hit the press. The Gelly Roll Pens truly glide smooth as jelly on the pages of our mag, and the ink dries beautifully too--so no unsightly smudging when you flip the page! Photo ©  Melissa Kaseman

 

We pretty much as a family tote them around to every and all long car rides and dinners out. I personally use a selection of all the above to capture my wandering thoughts and doodles. There's really something so satisfying about putting not just pen to paper but really lovely ink that glides oh-so smoothly and beautifully. The words and illustrations somehow look more intelligent and attractive on the page. Really, it does!

 
A selection of colorful Gelly Roll Pens on our table beckons the creative (and silly!) spirit in all of us. 

A selection of colorful Gelly Roll Pens on our table beckons the creative (and silly!) spirit in all of us. 

 

For Sakura, then, to see this new fledgling indie press and believe in us from the start--with no track record to show of but a lot of heart, enthusiasm, a dedicated team of contributors and a mission to inspire artistic expression, they proved to me that they are true supporters of the creativity cause. Their motto celebrates the "Power To Express" and we at ILLUSTORIA couldn't agree more. May we all tap into our own artistic expression and find the tools that work best for us individually, for our own daily creative practices. 

A very hearty thanks to our issue 1 sponsor, Sakura of America, for your support of us and your dedication to creative expression in all ages!