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Julia Breckenreid
September 2011
Friends With Benefits ;)
posted:

In the time that I've been an illustrator (about twelve years now), I've been drawn to collaboration.  I've done so through group shows, organized get-togethers for coffee, or a few drinks, workshops in my old studio, or through volunteering at ICON.
 
I did it because I needed to. There have been so many moments when I've felt stuck, frustrated and bored. Surrounding myself with those whose work I admired spurred me on. It helped me reassess what I was doing. I took comfort when some confided that they were also struggling and celebrated their successes, even when I was envious. In those chunks of time when work was at a stand-still, it was a way to stay focussed on what I really desired, to remain an illustrator.
Last year when I was in Prague, I went to many galleries and museums, but the thing that excited me the most was a place called, Orbis-Pictus. The event was titled "leporeloHRA", an interactive drawing project that invited visitors to make creations of all kinds, using paper, drawing implements and a variety of rotating machines and instruments. The project demonstrated that creative play can function as a universal means of communication without language or age barriers.I could barely grasp the concept at the time (no English explanation could be found). I loved the feeling of the place though. Collaborative work, freedom to play - it felt very fresh to me, something I'd been craving.

Through many conversations with friends about my trip to Prague, what emerged was a desire to have a space where we could learn from each other, collaborate, share ideas,  work, and play.  In Toronto, illustrators have never had a central place where they could show their work, get reliable industry help, rethink, retrain, and share what they know.
 
Now there is. It's called nook.
 


It's a hub, a place for you to expand, grow, and get support.
 
I've always thrived on the burst of energy I get from collaboration and I want to share… So when are you coming by?

New Robertson Settlement Deadline & Uxbridge Tour
posted:
Two things:

1) Last year I blogged about visiting Viktor Tinkl's property and gallery during the Uxbridge studio tour - well that tour is on again and also features illustrator Tracy Walker!  September 17th & 18th 2011.

2) Important Information Regarding the Second Heather Robertson Settlement

If you're a freelance illustrator, this message may affect you:
 
If you're a freelance author who wrote articles for any publications published by Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., Rogers Publishers Limited or Canwest Publishing Inc., you may be eligible to make a claim under the second Heather Robertson settlement. (This is the second class action suit.)
 
The settlement is in relation to a class action lawsuit launched on behalf of freelancers by Heather Robertson against Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., Rogers Publishing Limited, CEDROM-SNi Inc., ProQuest and CanWest Publishing Limited.  
 
The settlement was approved on May 2, 2011 by Justice Carolyn Horkins of the Ontario Superior Court with a separate settlement being reached with CanWest Publishing Limited and approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on June 16, 2010.
 
The lawsuit alleged that the copyright of freelance authors who wrote articles and other pieces in publications published by Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., Rogers Publishing Limited or Canwest Publishing Inc. was infringed when these works were subsequently disseminated in online databases without obtaining permission.  
 
View the settlement approval notice in English

 
View the settlement approval notice in French

 
Any freelance illustrator who may have created works for any of the above organizations could potentially be covered by this settlement and be eligible for compensation. To see if any of your works are covered by this settlement, please click here to view the most up-to-date list of publications that apply to this settlement. Your local library may also have access to databases that can assist in searching to see if any of your articles qualify under this settlement.
 
The deadline to submit a settlement claim is Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. For more information on making a claim and to access the settlement claim form, please click here.  
 
If you are covered by this settlement and wish to opt-out and not receive any compensation, please click here.
 
For more information on this settlement or if you have any questions about making a claim, please contact Koskie Minsky LLP by email at freelance1classaction@kmlaw.ca  or by phone at 1-866-777-6343.
 
New Deadline in Google Settlement Proceedings: On July 19, U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin held a status conference with Google, the Authors Guild and the American Association of Publishers to get an update on efforts to secure a new agreement after the Amended Google Settlement was rejected by Judge Chin earlier this year.  
 
After expressing his frustration with the lack of progress on reaching a new agreement, Judge Chin gave all parties a deadline of September 15 to strike a new settlement to lawsuits launched against Google that alleged that its scanning/digitization of books for its Google Book Search program infringed copyright in the United States. The judge also speculated that if the deadline passes without without an agreement, the case could be headed to trial.
 
Should Have Been Illustrated: TIFF
posted:
The Toronto Film Festival starts tomorrow, September 8th. It's all very exciting and generally all are on the lookout for a glimpse of an actor or actress strolling through Yorkville and elsewhere.  I include myself in the masses who love going to the scheduled movies to have the opportunity to hear the director's perspective and listen to the questions posed to the cast when the movie is over.
However, one thing stands out to me year after year - TIFF does not use illustrated posters to celebrate the festival.  They used to.  Have a look - I've scrounged up what I could find online and starting at the top left, they begin around the mid-80's with an illustration done by Canadian illustrator Heather Cooper:
 

Illustration dwindles on the yearly posters that follow, with the exception of a poster in 2009 with a concept of wings for eyes.  Much use of photography, photoshop magic and ending with what looks like a stock photo in 2009.  I have not found, nor can I recall the posters that may have followed in 2010 or the present year.

 

I understand that illustration does not suit every job.  Conceptually, there are some nice ideas found here and there… 2007's posters is quite nice, with a pastoral scene glimpsed in the darkness above the screen.  However, I love what illustration can do and my reaction to it. The value of an illustrated poster feels different to me, something to keep, to pore over, to wonder, to allow for a suspension of disbelief - and when it has a fantastic concept to boot, it knocks me out every time. 

 

This poster illustration done by Robert Neubecker, granted, is not for a film festival but the filmmakers took a chance on illustration instead of using photography like everyone else. (It won the Key Art Award for Best Comedy Poster of 2004- the oscar of movie posters. Also awards from SI, A.I.G.A. and AI.)

 

So TIFF, what's the problem? Why so short-sighted? Posters for an international film festival say something about the place that they are held, so what is it you are saying about Toronto?

 

Have a look at some more posters I found online that stuck out to me below, and tell me that illustration is less than powerful, sharp, beautiful, wondrous, inspiring, collectable and MEMORABLE...

 

 

This poster illustration done by Robert Neubecker, granted, is not for a film festival but the filmmakers took a chance on illustration instead of using photography like everyone else. (It won the Key Art Award for Best Comedy Poster of 2004- the oscar of movie posters. Also awards from SI, A.I.G.A. and AI.)
 
Have a look at some more posters I found online that stuck out to me below, and tell me that illustration is less than powerful, sharp, beautiful, wondrous, inspiring, collectable and MEMORABLE.This poster illustration done by Robert Neubecker, granted, is not for a film festival but the filmmakers took a chance on illustration instead of using photography like everyone else. (It won the Key Art Award for Best Comedy Poster of 2004- the oscar of movie posters. Also awards from SI, A.I.G.A. and AI.)
 
Have a look at some more posters I found online that stuck out to me below, and tell me that illustration is less than powerful, sharp, beautiful, wondrous, inspiring, collectable and MEMORABLE.
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Breckenreid is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!