(above drawing by Mark English)

I’ve had a bit of cabin fever the past couple months, hiding out in my studio painting. The solitude is nice at times, but it’s important to keep the scales balanced. To avoid becoming a complete introvert, I’m heading to Sarasota, Florida on Monday for the week. Why would I want to spend a week in Florida in the summer, you ask? What on earth could be worth that heat? The Illustration Academy, hosted at Ringling College of Art and Design.

Now, while I would be extremely happy to be a student again at the Academy (like any illustrator out there), this time will be a little different. Doug Chayka and I will be guest (graduate) instructors.

Mark and John English and Brent Watkinson (my teachers from the old days) and Sterling Hundley and George Pratt are the core teachers for the program, which has a whopping fifty students this summer. I have immeasurable respect for these artists and feel so honored (and SUPER excited!) to return to the Academy. (I studied there the summers of ’95 and ’96.)

Doug and I will give an assignment on Monday that they’ll have the week to complete. (I’ll be sure to post photos when I return.) And while I’m not a “famous” illustrator like the amazing guest list of artists (although I have a couple young friends out there who think I am), I’ll still have lots to share about the past 11 years illustrating: 7 years at Hallmark Cards and 4 years freelancing. And the students will have a lot to share in return, I know. (I’m really looking forward to that part…)

I know I’ll come back super inspired and energized–which will be great since I’ll only have 2 short weeks to finish up work for my show in Jackson. So, stay tuned, and have a beautiful week.