HULUKU 2021: AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR WINNER TANAYA NADKARNI
HULUKU 2021: AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR WINNER TANAYA NADKARNI
by | Mar 22, 2022 | 0 comments
A Picture Of Tanaya Nadkarni
Tanaya Nadkarni

As part of our celebrations for the 2021 Huluku Competition we invited our top 3 placed digital illustrations to share a little about themselves and their amazing work. In this interview we talk to Tanaya Nadkarni who won the 2021 competition with her artwork ‘I am’.

Huluku has been blessed by having inspirational artists and designers enter the competition and we are delighted to introduce Tanaya as the winner of the 2021 competition.

Q1: Tell us a little about yourself, what are you up to at the moment?
Tanaya: I am a final year architecture student, studying in Mumbai. I freelance as an illustrator in my spare time. Currently, I am working on my Architectural Design Dissertation for my final year project.
Q2: Does the place you live or are from inspire you in your work or life and if so how?
Tanaya: Very much! My work tends to show heavy influences of my surroundings and the stories I collect from my everyday experiences. I am inspired by my close group of friends, teachers and other mentors and the thoughts they share with me. One of my favourite things to do is to just observe people in their own element and then translate them into semi-fictional characters and create exotic narratives out of it!
Q3: What was your earliest ambition?
Tanaya: Believe it or not, I aspired to become a fashion designer, simply because I love the smell of new clothes and I think it requires an amazing sense of intelligence and creative genius to make a canvas out of a human body. However, over time I realised I love thinking about spaces and spatial qualities,  that impact our being, more so than anything and that’s how I ended up in Architecture school.
Q4: Have you fulfilled it?
Tanaya: I haven’t! I believe that my creative journey has always taken new routes in between and this is just the beginning! I am a designer at heart which encompasses everything from architecture to graphics to illustrations. I am not yet ‘fulfilled’ with either of these design fields and I am always looking to explore more!
Q5: Ambition, Luck or Talent? What matters most in the creative world?
Tanaya: A little bit of everything! From the experience of my creative journey, I have come to believe that talent is something which shouldn’t be a prerequisite. Hard Work and consistency is the key to everything, even if you lack a bit of talent. It will not hinder your success, if you put your mind to it. My ambition towards the work that I do has helped me deal with a lot of challenges, academically and otherwise too! My work is what keeps me sane, I think! As far as luck goes, sometimes, you have to make your own luck and sometimes, it just works out!
Q6: What would you like to achieve that you haven’t been able to yet?
Tanaya: I am still a student and there are many many things to learn and achieve! Although, I am keen on achieving a little more self confidence and trust for my personal growth. It’s always a good idea to have that in reserve!
Q7: Who is your creative inspiration or mentor?
Tanaya: I am lucky to have many positive influential people around me! My peers, close friends are my constant motivators and at every step of the way, I have found amazing professors; it would be unfair to list just a few of them! I realise this, at certain occasions in life and I am utterly grateful for it. I also am influenced by many beautiful filmmakers like Wes Anderson, Tarkovsky and the stories they make.
Q8: Do you have a favourite design or artistic movement? Why?
Tanaya: For me, the moment while I am still in the process of completing an artwork or a project that is turning out to be the way I wanted it to be, is when I feel the most satisfied. The artwork may not be complete just yet, but the feeling of going in the right direction, knowing that the output will be surprisingly wonderful and then followed by the urge to reach completion to see it all finished, gives me a huge serotonin boost!
Q9: What style or technique in art and design makes you feel the happiest/or feel good?
Tanaya: I am in love with digital art and the immense possibilities digital tools have to offer, however, a micron and a pen is the best medium for me to really experience the connection among the brain, hand and paper.
Q10: How did you hear about the Huluku Competition?
Tanaya: I am always on the search for competitions with exciting briefs. I came across Huluku, by simply googling! It was the first competition that popped up and when I read the brief, it seemed so thoughtful and challenging, that I couldn’t resist trying.
Q11: How did you get inspired to create your artwork for the competition?
Tanaya: I had chosen the theme of sexual orientation under the umbrella theme of Inclusivity and the inspiration came to me from a slinky! It is a spiralled spring toy and it creates these beautiful flexible patterns of blending colours when it is played with. I thought this is how sexual orientation could be looked at- not always permanent, its ever changing patterns, which are beautifully blending.
Q12: Were the themes of inclusion, diversity and authentic representation something you were familiar working with prior to the competition?
Tanaya: I was aware of these terms prior to entering the competition, however, research helped me gain a newer perspective and a better understanding of it. I understood that these terms need to be more spoken out loud and their meanings should be very clearly defined for everyone.
Q13: Are you planning on building the concepts you incorporated into your entry into more of your work? If so, how?
Tanaya: Definitely! I will be sensitive towards including the elements that show a bit more of inclusiveness and authentic representation. I wish that my artwork is impactful for anyone who wants to enjoy it.
HULUKU 2021: AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR 3RD PLACE RUNNER UP CRISTINA ALVAREZ
HULUKU 2021: AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR 3RD PLACE RUNNER UP CRISTINA ALVAREZ
by | Mar 22, 2022 | 0 comments

As part of our celebrations for the 2021 Huluku Competition we invited our top 3 placed digital illustrations to share a little about themselves and their amazing work. In this interview we chat to Cristina Alvarez who was the 3rd place runner up in the 2021 competition with her jazz age artwork ‘Everyone’s Invited’

Huluku has been blessed by having inspirational artists and designers enter the competition and we are delighted to introduce Cristina as the 3rd place runner up for the 2021 competition.

Q1: Tell us a little about yourself, what are you up to at the moment?
Cristina: I am a fashion designer in love with illustration. I decided textiles would become my canvas and thus created my own brand mixing textile design and Colombian leather goods craftsmanship (www.tabibito.com.co). I am currently exploring a different version of my work by building my personal brand as an illustrator and freelancer (www.cristinadraws.com). I really look forward to selling my art and telling stories in as many formats as possible.
Q2: Does the place you live or are from inspire you in your work or life and if so how?
Cristina: I am from Colombia and since I was very young I’ve always been in contact with animals and nature. I would say this is definitely reflected in my art. I absolutely adore animals. They ooze freedom, authenticity, mysticism and colourful expression in whatever they do. I love reflecting that kind of magic in my work as an artist.
Q3: What was your earliest ambition?
Cristina: My earliest ambition was to be a horse alternative therapist. But that was decades ago! As a professional designer I think it was to reach as many people as I could with my bags, which are the ones that have been carrying my most authentic art for several years now.
Q4: Have you fulfilled it?
Cristina: Yes and no. I have reached a lot of people and seeing them walk by, on the street, with my bags, brings me a level joy no one could ever imagine! But, no, I haven’t reached even close to half of what I wanted to achieve in my initial vision. It was (is) a pretty big vision and it keeps evolving.
Q5: Ambition, Luck or Talent? What matters most in the creative world?
Cristina: All. Though instead of luck I would call it timing. And instead of talent, consistency. Ambition gives you vision of how far you want to go, and keeps you dreaming and aiming high. Consistency is the best friend of “practice makes perfect” and I believe not much will happen without it. And timing comes from the momentum of feeling good about what you’re working on, and it makes things happen easily.
Q6: What would you like to achieve that you haven’t been able to yet?
Cristina: I would like to incorporate my art and creativity into the leather goods industry in more ways, with my current and future brands. I would also love to get involved in the editorial industry by creating wonderful book covers and illustrations for content I appreciate.
Q7: Who is your creative inspiration or mentor?
Cristina: I was influenced by designers and design houses like Alexander McQueen, Mary Katrantzou and Balmain. They all inspired me to see fashion as a limitless form of artistic expression, rather than just a way of creating commercial clothing that, yes, we all need and use daily, but anyone can easily design, copy and replace them too (artistically speaking). I wanted to be able to express all the colour and creativity within me, and they lighted the way for me to see I could do it in a functional way within fashion.
Q8: Do you have a favourite design or artistic movement? Why?
Cristina: I am moved by Impressionism and Surrealism. I find mesmerizing the use of apparently random brush strokes to create a bigger picture. The combination of colour that doesn’t even belong there, but that ties up the painting is very satisfying for me to experience. I am also fascinated by the reinterpretation and transformation of what we “agree is reality”, and thus Surrealism like that of Ray Caesar’s is very appealing to me.
Q9: What style or technique in art and design makes you feel the happiest/or feel good?
Cristina: I’ve always felt at ease with the fluidity of watercolours mixed with the detail of fine point line art. I love lines that give some order to an otherwise absolutely soft and free flowing medium. I also like working on Procreate and Photoshop. I really enjoy the freedom and flexibility digital mediums grant, by allowing the exploration of art with anything from colour to texture to weird effects, all in one.
Q10: How did you hear about the Huluku Competition?
Cristina: I was looking for illustration competitions I would feel drawn to. When I read the brief I knew it was a competition I’d feel very comfortable and proud being a part of.
Q11: How did you get inspired to create your art work for the competition?
Cristina: I started thinking about where in everyday life I could find groups of people working together, and musicians came to mind. I came upon a Jazz band flyer and it felt absolutely iconic. I’d seen this same representation before and, as always, I was drawn to the passion and energy it carried. I wondered how a modern reinterpretation of it would look like and I knew that was it. I would create my own version of what a diverse and inclusive modern Jazz band could look like. After all, music is a universal language, ever inclusive and limitless.
Q12: Were the themes of inclusion, diversity and authentic representation something you were familiar working with prior to the competition?
Cristina: Not really. But I do love authenticity and people being free to express themselves, as much as I love learning from the various cultures around the world. Anything that is a representation of open minded values as well as respect and appreciation for others, is something I can easily support and have fun being a part of.
Q13: Are you planning on building the concepts you incorporated into your entry into more of your work? If so, how?

Cristina: I hadn’t thought about it but I would love to, now that you mention it! You leave me wondering what else I could do to express inclusion, freedom of expression, diversity and joy through my art.

If you’d like to find out more about Cristina and her work please check out her social and websites for both her own work and her design brand TABIBITO

HULUKU 2021: AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR RUNNER UP JASMIN LEIGH HOLDWAY
HULUKU 2021: AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR RUNNER UP JASMIN LEIGH HOLDWAY
by | Mar 22, 2022 | 0 comments
A Picture Of Jasmin Leigh-Holdway
Jasmin Leigh-Holdway

As part of our celebrations for the 2021 Huluku Competition we invited our top 3 placed digital illustrations to share a little about themselves and their amazing work. In this interview we hear from Jasmin Leigh-Holdway who was the runner up in the 2021 competition with her artwork ‘Roots Of Connection’

Huluku has been blessed by having inspirational artists and designers enter the competition and we are delighted to introduce Jasmin as the runner up for the 2021 competition. You can see more of Jasmin’s work at her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/jasmin.holdway

Q1: Tell us a little about yourself, what are you up to at the moment?
Jasmin: I’m a student currently studying at Design Centre Enmore, I’ve already completed two design courses and I’m now completing a Diploma of Graphic Design and Illustration.
Q2: Does the place you live or are from inspire you in your work or life and if
Jasmin: Yes, Australia does inspire my work because of its unique wildlife, landscapes and locations, my personal work is inspired by colourful cityscapes and trendy suburbs.
Q3: What was your earliest ambition?
Jasmin: To be an artist or have a career related to design.
Q4: Have you fulfilled it?
Jasmin: I’m still currently studying to fulfill this ambition and am gathering up artworks for my portfolio.
Q5: Ambition, Luck or Talent? What matters most in the creative world?
Jasmin: All three factors matter equally in the creative world, you need both ambition and talent to get yourself noticed by others and you also need luck to get noticed at the right time.
Q6: What would you like to achieve that you haven’t been able to yet?
Jasmin: I would like to achieve a stable design career that I can live off, or sell my work to the public.
Q7: Who is your creative inspiration or mentor?
Jasmin: I am inspired by many artists and creators, such as modern graphic designers, animators, surrealists and graffiti artists along with my Tafe teachers. Music is also a big inspiration to me.
Q8: Do you have a favourite design or artistic movement? Why?
Jasmin: I personally like Surrealism, Impressionism and pop art movements. I like the colours, shapes and textures of Impressionism and pop art and the dream-like and confusing nature of surrealist art.
Q9: What style or technique in art and design makes you feel the happiest/or feel good?
Jasmin: I love bright, bold neon colours, with defining shapes and sharp lines especially in graphic design and graffiti. I also really like incredibly detailed artwork that keeps your attention for a long time.
Q10: How did you hear about the Huluku Competition?
Jasmin: My Digital graphics teacher made a brief where we had to make artwork for the competition.
Q11: How did you get inspired to create your art work for the competition?
Jasmin: I thought of how people are connected by nature and how people are connected with each other just like the roots of plants and trees.
Q12: Were the themes of inclusion, diversity and authentic representation something you were familiar working with prior to the competition?
Jasmin: Yes I have always liked drawing diverse artwork, especially character designs ever since I was young.
Q13: Are you planning on building the concepts you incorporated into your entry into more of your work? If so, how?
Jasmin: I already try to incorporate diversity into all of my artwork but maybe I’ll try to include elements of nature more for example drawing more landscapes, floral and fauna.
Introducing CIEDA’s Uusi Tyyli
Introducing CIEDA’s Uusi Tyyli
by | Mar 22, 2022 | 0 comments

@uusityyli – A brand new design movement – for everyone, everywhere.

These days, things with cool Nordic sounding names are, apparently, at least as popular as stuff with other names so we used this science to come up with a name which means ‘new style’ in Finnish and is pronounced ‘ooo-see tee-lee’.

With that bit done we spent the next few minutes considering what we wanted to do with our new name and then a passer-by suggested we create a design movement which seeks to unite everyone by ensuring that as people design they try and incorporate the basics of inclusion, access and inclusive environments as much as possible. Essentially like embedding ‘doing the right thing’ as early as possible in each decision making stage so that whatever it is we are creating is already ‘humanfit’ or at least has the capability to improve in the general direction of the people who will use, be around or look at what we create.

Welcome to Uusi Tyyli.

What is striking about most design movements is that they involve a sector, style, political or religious movement that is narrow in focus. Uusi tyyli is different. It is a based on a belief that we are all decision makers in everything we do. These micro decisions make micro impacts on other people and our environment. They can be the difference between social inclusion and social exclusion, between having a shared identity or not.

Most people might not think twice about the everyday decisions they design for themselves and for others. But there are parallel worlds out there with intersections into our world. These are the worlds of the artist, the potter, the builder, the architect, the writer, the musician, the planner, the dancer, the cosmetician, the web designer, the marketeer, the programmer, the AI itself and the, well, the world of the professional designer. These are the people who are in control of whether we are included or excluded from their worlds, from their products and from their vision.

Uusi Tyyli is the new design movement which seeks to include creative inclusion in the craft and creativity of these professional designers – whatever they have in mind.

It is a movement with a fluid philosophy that is constantly shaped by the individual but founded on the principles of inclusion and access and promoting a diversity of ways for people to participate and engage with.

Uusi Tyyli was devised as a way to create subtle change in the art and design community by organising a movement they could adopt. A key part of creative inclusion is to maintain the energy of the moment – by including more types of people we get more energy to solve things and maintain a sense of excitement.

If the process is interesting then the result will be interesting. A goal constrains the imagination. The search for an objective becomes a trap. It is better to identify areas of focus.

Uusi Tyyli is not about training but about equipping people to think creatively about inclusion for themselves. To explore within the area of focus rather than set a goal. Untrained but willing they will be able to start developing new things within their own worlds.

Uusi Tyyli is about having fun and playing and experimenting like a child not having constraints applied like an adult. It isn’t about a rules-based order but about curiosity to improve not seek perfection – there isn’t a right or a wrong with Uusi Tyyli just an electrifying forward motion that provides the energy not the criticism to encourage creatives to think inclusively. 

What’s Involved?

Uusi Tyyli is about sharing the ideas whatever they are because it’s about finding the 1 great one from the 1000. It’s about applying the lessons of creativity to inclusion and diversity. It’s about giving a new area of focus to everyone. Creating a sandbox called inclusion for others to explore whilst drawing attention to all the cool bits to excite and amaze and stimulate as people go.

There is only one call to action with uusi Tyyli – that is if you choose to design inclusion into your work that you:

  • Tell someone about it
  • Say why you did what you did what you did
  • Say how it change things for you?

It’s really going to be about the art of asking yourself questions. How, why, what questions that will set out the usability angle. It’s a delicate way of challenging the thought process of your design. It is ultimately about nothing being perfect in a non- ideal world but recognising that this is the world I want to see and help build.

It’s about simply being able to ask the question and then realising how people can be excluded.

Introducing CIEDA’s Project Wigwa
Introducing CIEDA’s Project Wigwa
by | Mar 22, 2022 | 0 comments

CIEDA is going to begin working with a expert local delivery partner on an exciting new venture for an amazing area of Kenya called Kisumu County.

Project Wigwa is a pilot project for CIEDA Nexus which is the concept where CIEDA can create inclusive environments which in turn can learn and develop together. The Project will be focused on supporting the students, parents and economic community of a primary school in a part of Kisumu Town which is a deprived area of high-density housing situated near the shores of Lake Victoria.

The Project is being designed around communities within Kisumu County which has Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city, at its heart. Kisumu is a port city built up to a population of around 700,000 on the banks of Lake Victoria, was the first UN Millennium City in 2006 and is not far from the home village of Barack Obama’s father. Most of the people of Kisumu are trilingual being familiar with Kiswahili, English and Dholuo which is the local language of the Luo, one of Kenya’s largest ethnic groups.

Kisumu County is made up of 7 sub counties and forms one of the 47 counties of Kenya. It has a population of 1.15 million. Maseno University attracts students from all over Kenya for its IT department, there is also Great Lakes University and Kisumu Polytechnic alongside 706 primary schools, 173 public secondaries including Maseno School which is one of oldest secondary schools in the country. Private education is also popular.

The population of Kisumu County is known for generally high levels of IQ which is anecdotally linked to the consumption of fish. Tourism is also likely to become important due to the development of Kisumu International Airport.

CIEDA will be working with our delivery partner alongside providing providing strategic direction, project management. The Project brief is to work with and support a cohort of up to 200 pupils of a Standard (4-8) which is middle and upper primary. These students will then be put into 5 clusters of different age groups and a Leader asked to volunteer to lead the cluster.
CIEDA is an organisation that is designed to support the promotion of inclusive design principles around the world, support the new, global, generation of designers and decision makers of our world to embed the principles of inclusive design at different intersections in their education and working lives. We promote both Creative Inclusion which is about blending creativity and inclusion together and Regenerative Inclusion which promotes sustainable inclusion.
There are clearly defined participants and beneficiaries associated with Project Wigwa. The general beneficiaries will be children, women, the wider community who predominantly subsist on less than 5 USD a day.

Introducing CIEDA’s Uusi Tyyli
Introducing CIEDA’s Uusi Tyyli
by | Mar 15, 2022 | 0 comments
Introducing CIEDA’s Project Wigwa
Introducing CIEDA’s Project Wigwa
by | Mar 15, 2022 | 0 comments
HULUKU 2021: AN INTERVIEW WITH<br>OUR RUNNER UP JASMIN LEIGH HOLDWAY
HULUKU 2021: AN INTERVIEW WITH
OUR RUNNER UP JASMIN LEIGH HOLDWAY
by | Mar 15, 2022 | 0 comments
HULUKU 2021: AN INTERVIEW WITH<br>OUR WINNER TANAYA NADKARNI
HULUKU 2021: AN INTERVIEW WITH
OUR WINNER TANAYA NADKARNI
by | Mar 15, 2022 | 0 comments
HULUKU: AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL PERKINS FROM SYDNEY’S TAFE – DESIGN CENTRE ENMORE
HULUKU: AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL PERKINS FROM SYDNEY’S TAFE – DESIGN CENTRE ENMORE
by | Feb 07, 2022 | 0 comments

Following on from the success of Huluku 2021 we wanted to get an insider view on what it was like helping students enter the 2021 competition. So we’ve interviewed Michael Perkins, teacher and mentor and all round guru, at TAFE New South Wales Design Centre Enmore – a leading Australian Design School, to get the lowdown.

Check out TAFE here tafensw.edu.au/design-centre-enmore and our thanks to Michael for creating such a honest and inspiring interview.

CIEDA: Tell us a little about yourself, what are you up to at the moment?

Michael: My active career as a designer was primarily in the news media industry as an editorial artist creating a wide range of materials from cartoons, editorial illustrations, information graphics and animations .

Currently, I am fortunate enough to be a teacher at TAFE New South Wales, a role that fulfills my love of teaching and mentoring the next generation of young creatives.

CIEDA: Does the place you live or are from inspire you in your work or life and if so how?

Michael: I think most creative people are inspired by their particular surroundings whether you live in the city or are from more remote areas of the country.

Things that we see and experience cannot help but to influence one’s artwork, much can be gained from observing the people, places and situations in which we live. As an artist one should be constantly looking at the world around us with an artist eye. There is material and subject matter everywhere we look, whether in the supermarket, in a traffic jam or just out walking the dog.

CIEDA: Ambition, Luck or Talent? What matters most in the creative world but also within learning environments?

Michael: Speaking from personal experience having gone through art and design school, there were many other students that possessed far greater natural talent than I , and for whatever reason, are no longer working in the industry. While talent is surely a wonderful thing to possess, I don’t think it is the magic ingredient, sheer hard work, dedication and determination is what will drive your success.

CIEDA: What would you like to achieve that you haven’t been able to yet?

Michael: None of us are the finished article we all have unfinished business and creative dreams and endeavors inside of us, even as a more mature artist I feel that I have much to learn and much yet that I would like to achieve in my field, I’m constantly aware of the evolving digital landscape and the many new creative opportunities that are presented by new and emerging technologies and trends.

CIEDA: Who is your creative inspiration or mentor?

Michael: I think that’s a really great question, from personal experience when I was a young designer I had the very great privilege of working with some astounding creative artists, it was an absolute education for me to work with these artists and to see the amazing artwork they would conjure up with a jar of ink, a blank piece of paper and a powerful imagination

I was fortunate enough to work for some extremely supportive of art directors who we are not afraid to give me an honest and forthright assessment of my work or he occasional shoulder to cry on when I needed it, and to this day , I seek out their valued opinions and appraisal of my work.

CIEDA: Do you have a favourite design or artistic movement? Why?

Michael: Personally, all good artwork inspires me, from a well-painted landscape to a fantastic piece of packaging design. I must admit I have a soft spot for artists with a postmodern aesthetic, Guerrilla Girls, Damien Hirst, and of course, the high priest of pop Andy Warhol. Artists who challenged the concepts of what we think of as illustration–and art.

CIEDA: What style or technique in art and design makes you feel the happiest/or feel good?

Michael: While being primarily a digital artist for nearly 30 years, I still enjoy working with traditional media and techniques. Having studied fine art as a younger man I return again and again to my first love, paint and paper. I feel that it is a refreshing counterpoint to digital artwork.

Working with traditional paint and methods is as you know very much a high-wire act where mistakes and decisions are often irreversible, and I really enjoy the constant challenge of resolving and evolving those issues, to complete a painting sometimes successfully (and sometimes not!), either way the experience is valuable.

CIEDA: How would you describe your approach to teaching creative subjects?

Michael: I really do encourage my students to work instinctively and prolifically and try not to get bogged down on small details to see the big picture draw fast and draw often.

Builders – build

Writers – write

Artists – art

Draw and create every day and you’ll find your voice and style. Don’t try to emulate others – be yourself!

I don’t specifically teach my students how to draw on a technical level, so much is how to think and how to see the potential in the situation of subject

The greatest artistic resource is an artist’s imagination, not the internet. Be authentic, be real, show your sense of humor in your artwork.

CIEDA: Tell us a little about TAFE and the classes you teach?

Michael: Primarily here at TAFE I teach digital techniques focusing on digital applications such as photo shop and illustrator , and having worked with these technologies for many years I still find new and different approaches to solving some of the problems that they present and am often inspired by the way my students approach particular problems.

CIEDA: Do you always look for external events or comps to inspire the class or is this a new thing?  

Michael: Absolutely, I think it is very valuable for an emerging creative to engage with and react to events around us and I think the wonderful opportunity presented by entering competitions like the recent Huluku competition, allow students to engage with real-world scenarios and activities.

CIEDA: The class was very successful with their entries. How did you find embedding the concept and the competition itself (timeline, entry requirements, platform access, etc.) into your class?

Michael: I’d really like to say that upon briefing the students regarding the competition, they were extremely excited to participate, many of the students had never entered a competition of this nature before and so motivating the students to do their best work was no problem whatsoever

Also, working to a deadline was a valuable lesson to students who have aspirations to enter the industry understanding the importance of delivering high-quality artwork, on time and to specification.

CIEDA: Why do you think the class was so successful?

Michael: Understanding that the best illustrations have something to say or even cause the reaction is important whether that makes our viewer laugh or gives pause to think these are the most important things with an illustration if your illustration has no purpose or does not create a reaction it really doesn’t matter how well you have rendered the subject, it’s just a pretty picture.

For the competition we spent quite a bit of time just brainstorming, trying to sort through and cut to the heart of the issue, coming up with a concept and seeing if we could push it further and further into directions that we had not even anticipated, I think a lot of great ideas can come about this way before a pencil is even touched.

CIEDA: Were the themes of inclusion, diversity and authentic representation something you were familiar working with prior to the competition?  

Michael: Read anything and everything.

The more input we have the better quality of our artistic output. I would encourage all design and art students to be aware of the world around us. The issues affecting our lives and culture. I think the concept of authentic representation is one that we see evidence of more and more in today’s media. It’s refreshing to see people of different races, genders and abilities, represented in the media today going about their business and everyday lives like anyone else.

CIEDA: Have you any plans to continue building these concepts into your teaching and projects? (Maybe next year’s comp!)

Michael: Absolutely yes. I would love to see our students engaging more often in various competition platforms, such as yours. I think it really does keep things fresh and relevant in the classrooms. Additionally, it offers students a wonderful opportunity to showcase their work and receive exposure for their creative talents.