Scott Bakal
Things I Paint
Article for Baseline Magazine & Traveling Abroad
My colleague, educator, author and designer Elizabeth Resnick and I co-teach a travel course through MassArt. It's called Crossing the Pond: Exploring Communication Design in London and Dublin. We take graphic design and illustration students (usually 50/50) to the UK and Ireland for about 17 days for museum and studio visits as well as see lectures from designers and illustrators. The focus being; what are the differences and similarities between the U.S. and other countries in their use of design and illustration.

We just got back a few days ago from our 2016 trip and finally, an article we co-wrote about our 2014 trip and course is now being published by Baseline magazine.

You can download the full article PDF here. Thank you to Hans Dieter Reichert, Publisher of Baseline.

It is a wonderful trip and highly curated experience for the students. We hit the ground running from the very day we land. Often visiting two to three studios a day as well as cultural visits to the V&A Museum in London, Chester Beatty Gallery in Dublin to name only two. We also purchase tickets to plays going on at the time and there is always one day in each country that the students can explore the country on their own.
Crossing the Pond - 2016 Class/Dublin
Highlights for the 2016 trip include visiting Pentagram UK and a talk from brilliant designer Harry Pearce; visiting St. Bride's and seeing original sketches for Gill Sans, pages from the Book of the Dead and a complete first book printed in English from the 1400's; visiting Annie Atkins studio - she creates the graphics for TV shows and movies such as the Grand Budpest Hotel, The Tudors and others - all the newspapers, signage, etc. for the sets. Further, lectures from illustrators Steve Simpson, Alan Clarke and Sarah Bowie were wonderful and ended up with all of the students and much of the Irish Illustrators Guild chatting it up at a local pubover pints.

This is only to list a fraction of the itinerary.
Annie Atkins
Another highlight is while we are un the UK and Ireland, we connect with other schools. We visited the Cambridge School of Art where are students shared presentation of their work and had a rich discussion about being a student in their schools, Royal Academy of Art where they saw presentations from illustration and design Masters students and finally Dublin Institute where our students worked directly with DIT students on a two-day project with live clients in the Dublin area and gave presentations of their work.

The students have the chance to connect with their UK and Irish peers but also experience education styles in those countries first hand.

(Pictured below: left is MassArt Junior graphic design student Lexie Rubin and on right in yellow, MassArt illustration Senior Victoria Maxfield who has been in the last two Society Student Scholarship competitions and won last year's Zankel Scholarship.)
MassArt and DIT students working together on live community projects.
This is one of my most favorite courses I teach (duh!) because not only do I have the chance to  give the students an opportunity to experience all of these wonderful things, but everytime the course is run, we try to change up and bring in new things as well that we discover as teachers.

It's always a wonderful experience and the time with the students who eventually become dear friends is really the whole joy of the trip.
Panel Discussion - SVA NYC
I was invited to be on a panel discussion at SVA tomorrow night. Graduating so long ago, it was an honor to be asked back to be part of a talk about being an artist and what's next for me. I look forward to hearing the other panelists stories as my new directions and experiments in art coincides with what they're doing.

I'm also doubly honored they decided to use my work for all the promotion for the event. I wasn't expecting that.

It's free and open to the public at the SVA Theatre - 333 West 23rd Street.
Portrait of Jan Hus for Liberty
One of my favorite clients over the years, Bryan Gray of Genesis Design called to do a couple of portraits for the next few issues of Liberty Magazine. This is the first one, Jan Hus. In a time when you questioned the church, you took your life in your own hands. The poor fellow was burned at the stake. 
It's not very often that I stick with a limited palette but I kept leaning toward it when I was thinking about how to handle the final. Reminiscent of the red crayon drawings of the time, I wanted to give a feel of that period in the early 1400's.
Artwork in context.
New Britain Museum of American Art
I'm a little behind with posting but I am pleased that in August, the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut has acquired my Dim Stars - Pollution Series for the museum's permanent collection. A total of nine large paintings, this series has been awarded by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Luerzer's 200 Best and 3x3 as well as been exhibited in shows in New York, Boston and Vermont and now has a permanent home in Connecticut.

The New Britain Museum, founded in 1903, is the first museum strictly dedicated to American Art in the country. Further, the Sanford B. D. Low Memorial Illustration Collection, begun in 1964 and comprising more than 1,700 works, is the nation’s first museum-based collection covering the history of American illustration from the 19th century to the present

When I first discovered this museum, I was driving by on my way to my family's house and followed the signs to a small two story house built sometime in the 1800's. I was surprised to see an exhibition of the Hudson River artists as well as work from James Montgomery Flagg, Dean Cornwell and Norman Rockwell and many other illustrators and historic and contemporary artists. Years later a new museum was built, which I am standing in front of in the above photo. Now the New Britain Museum is in the process of another expansion, which finishes in October and will create seven galleries in a new wing. There is more to read about this museum at their website.

There aren't many major museums in the country that have collections that cater to illustration and have galleries designated for its exhibits. I would have never thought I would find myself being asked to be part of this collection. I am moved and deeply honored.

Special thank you's to Douglas Hyland, Executive Director; Emily Misencik, Assistant Curator; Stacy Cerullo, Collections Manager; Lindsley Wellman and the Sanford B.D. Low Illustration Committee. Extra special thanks to Murray Tinkelman.
Frost | 16” x 20” | Acrylic and Ink on Wood Panel
Global Warming | 16” x 20” | Acrylic and Ink on Wood Panel
Float | 30” x 40” | Acrylic and Ink on Canvas
Diamond Core #1 (Acid Rain) | 16” x 20” | Acrylic and Ink on Wood Panel
Diamond Core #2 (Death) | 11” x 14” | Acrylic and Ink on Wood Panel
Diamond Core #3 (The Cleanse) | 16” x 20” | Acrylic and Ink on Wood Panel
The Search | 17” x 11” | Acrylic, Ink and Metallic Paint on Crescent Illustration Board
CO2 | 16” x 20” | Acrylic, Ink and Silver Leaf on Wood Panel
Diamond Power! | 30” x 40” | Acrylic and Ink on Canvas
Recent Articles

Work (21)

History - Joe Bowler (46)
Bakal is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!