Category Archives: From the Vault

Alumni Updates

Single Roar

Courtesy of Alumni Relations, here are a few updates on Illustration Alums:

  • Arleen Schloss, Certificate, Illustration ’64, with Alan Raymond and Douglas Reichter, has put together a selection of four short films and videos to document the redefinition of the Bowery through the last 40 years. The films are called How Do You Like the Bowery?, Performance Art Workshop On Subway NYC 1979, New York Underground Venues Late 70s/Early 80s, and Ducks in the Window.
  • Susan Andreasen, Illustration ’69 is an “EcoArtist,” teaching an eight-week class at the Armory Arts Center in Palm Beach, Florida on how to capture live wild animals on canvas and collect landscape information. She is also an environmentalist and an endangered species advocate who has devoted her career to promoting “green consumerism” and environmental awareness through her artwork. In addition, she donates a portion of her paintings sold to an environmental or endangered species charity.
  • Lois Joy Johnson, Illustration, ’70, is a well-known beauty and fashion editor, who has spent 25 years interviewing, reporting and shooting about and with the best of the best. Her versatility as a writer, editor, and media spokesperson on style for the 40-plus market is well established and respected in both industries. From supermodels like Christie Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova, and Lauren Hutton to hair and makeup gurus like Frederic fekkai, Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown, to fashion icons like Diane Von Furstenberg, Vera Wang and Norma Kamali, every “name” has graced her editorial pages. Johnson is a highly sought after media pro who appears on television and radio shows. She has been a frequent contributor to The Today Show, The Early Show, Extra and CNN. As beauty & fashion director of MORE magazine from 1998 to 2008, her lively personal column was also syndicated in Knight Ridder newspapers. Johnson has given speeches on beauty, fashion and dermatology at conventions and workshops. She adored her years at Parsons and has great gratitude to her former teachers, Marvin Israel and Albert Elia who started her on the road.

Are you an Alumni?  Make sure to let us know what you’re doing these days!  Email us.  And while you’re at it, get in touch with Alumni Relations too.

[image: Single Roar, giclee print by Susan Andreasen]

From the Vault: Noel Claro gets interviewed on Sprayblog


Illustration Adjunct Faculty Noel Claro was interviewed by Spraygraphic’s Sprayblog last April and I just now found out about it!  She talks all about her art, her creative process, and her inspirations.  Here’s a portion of the interview:

SG: What mediums do you work with?

NC: When I’m art directing and designing print work, my main medium is software: InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. For my products, I work with fabric, yarn, vintage papers, special waterproof paper, gaffer’s tape and fun fur.

SG: Describe your working process when creating a new work.

NC: I start by researching the subject or the company and determining who my audience is. Then I do sketches in InDesign…I rarely sketch in pencil because I’m not very comfortable drawing. My first round of sketches is usually chockfull of obvious solutions but it’s stuff I need to get off my chest. After that, it becomes more of a challenge to dig more deeply and try and discover a new direction for something.

SG: What kind of things do you do when you get blocked or find it hard to create something?

NC: Some projects are definitely easier to work on than others. If I’m blocked, I usually bake. I’m an avid baker and I’ve been doing it for years. I bake almost every day and it’s a wonderful distraction when I’m having trouble solving something visually. I make up lots of my own recipes so it’s still a creative process but it’s so different from the design work that I do, that it helps transport me away from that whole world sometimes.

Make sure you read the rest of Noel’s interview here, as well as checking out more her work at her official website.

Typography! Animation! Zines?

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.622231&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

Check out this great illustration by Illustration student Loa Hjálmtýsdóttir.  She created it for Daniel Weise’s Typography class this past Spring.  Go here to check out some of the other animations (scroll down!).  Some students created zines to illustrate their handmade typefaces.  We’d love to post some images, so if you’ve created one–send it along!

After the Fact: Montclair Art Museum Project

Students and Organizers of the exhibition

Montclair Art Museum recently held a exhibit called “The Elements of Fear” featuring work from the Sophomore Materials and Methods classes of the Parsons Illustration Department.

Gallery view

Jason Towns of the Montclair Art Museum’s “Museums and Opportunity Project,” a clubhouse program empowering people with brain injuries, has partnered with Parsons School of Design Illustration Department. on a unique classroom assignment.  The final results are currently on display at the Montclair Art Museum.

The project was about fear and how it is a factor in many emotions that are manifested in universal words. The assignment for this exhibition was to create illustrations that show how familiar words have an underlining element of fear.

The Parsons instructors were Ruth Marten, Chang Park, and Bob Sikoryak.

Chantal Bennett and Jason Towns

Congratulations to all the students involved in this exhibition and the instructors who helped them.  Also, our thanks to curator Jason Towns and Gary Schneider, Director of Education at the Museum, for inviting our students to participate.

Another gallery view

[Thanks to Bob and Cynthia for the images!]

Aftermath: Parsons Illustration Alumni Event at the Society of Illustrators

Back in March, New School Alumni Relations held a fantastic shindig up at the Society of Illustrators. The event was well-attended and a total blast! Here are a few snapshots:

Associate Professor Nora Krug, Dept. Chair Steven Guarnaccia, and Adjunct Faculty Eddie del Rosario

Soon-to-be Alumnae Lindsey Balbierz and Jasmine Wigandt

Alumni Peter de Seve addresses the crowd.

Graduating Illustration Senior Shanna Mahan and Adjunct Faculty & Alum Bob Sikorayk are in view!

See the rest of the photo set here and visit the New School Alumni Relations site to learn more about upcoming alumni events. Also, make sure to keep the department updated on your accomplishments so we can let everyone know!

From the Vault: Illustration/Animation Used in United Commericals

For such a large corporate company, United Airlines is using animation to create some unconventional advertisements. I rustled up an old USAToday article with this quote,

Why drawings? “We really wanted a unique look and feel, and that’s how we hit on the animation and illustration,” says Alex Leikikh, group account director at Fallon Worldwide, the agency that created the ads.

Here’s one of the (award-winning) spots called, “The Meeting,” created by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis :


You can see other spots at United’s website and read an article/analysis of the ad-series in the Slate archives.

From the Vault: Zina Saunders interviews Illustration Dept. Chair Steven Guarnaccia

saunders portrait of SG

Earlier this year, illustrator Zina Saunders interviewed Illustration Department Chair Steven Guarnaccia as part of her ongoing interview series with illustrators, which features artists talking about their work, as well as a portrait created on-the-spot by Zina herself. Here’s an excerpt from her talk with Steven:

Whenever anybody asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I told them I wanted to be an artist. But I never wanted to be a fine artist; I never fantasized about being a gallery painter. I wanted to do the stuff that gave me the most pleasure and the stuff that gave me the most pleasure was popular culture, comics, animation, so that’s what I figured I would end up doing. I only had a very brief crisis about the fine art/commercial art thing when I was in college at Brown University and I took classes at RISD and the kind of seriousness and dedication that the RISD students demonstrated made me think that maybe that was what being a real artist is.

But the reality of the situation was that my essential self really was not like them. I took a class as a little kid in the back of an art store, painting in oils, and I didn’t like the smell of it and I never liked getting my hands dirty. The other thing was, that my favorite fine artists in high school were Paul Klee and George Grosz and they were guys whose work looked more like my work than Monet and Picasso. Seeing Paul Klee painting in a suit, to me, seemed to make perfect sense. I was not interested in wiping painted hands on baggy blue jeans. That just wasn’t who I was.

Read the complete text of Steven’s interview here and check out more from Zina at her Drawger site.

From the Vault: Illustration Alum Jill Bliss Rallies to Keep Gocco Alive!

save gocco!

Back in October, an article in the New York Times discussed Parsons Illustration Alumna Jill Bliss and her efforts to revive production of Gocco printers. What is Gocco, you ask? According to Jill’s site

In the 1970’s Noboru Hayama, a printer and the japanese inventor of the “print gocco” system, wished to develop a quick and easy household color printing system. cleverly combining the basic priciples of screenprinting and rubber-stamping, “print gocco” is a clean, easy, and fully self-contained compact system that exposes and prints all in one unit.

And here is an excerpt from the New York Times article, written by Rob Walker:

Turns out that Print Gocco is both better known and somehow cooler than it has ever been here. And this is almost certainly because in late 2005, the Riso Kagaku Corporation, now an international and largely digital business, announced that Gocco was dead.It was this surprise announcement that inspired Jill Bliss to start a Web site called Save Gocco, which became a centerpiece of a product-fandom community (or at least a cult). Bliss, who used a Gocco machine she bought on eBay in her handmade stationery business, Blissen, says she threw together the site “on a whim.” She handed out some press packets at the Bazaar Bizarre craft fair in Los Angeles, and soon became ground zero of Gocco-withdrawal angst. The site ultimately collected more than a thousand names of enthusiasts, in a show of strength that the signers hoped might inspire some entity to start making the product again. It also carried news of Gocco art shows that started to pop up, and it listed retail resources. Wang says interest in the process among artists and crafters was already gaining momentum when word got out that the device was going to disappear. “Then there was just this urgency,” she recalls, “to find a Gocco.”

Read the rest of the article here. Visit for more information about Gocco printing.

If you live on the West Coast, don’t miss Jill Bliss’s show, currently at Giant Robot in Los Angeles. See more of her work and wares at her personal website.

(image from

From the Vault: Spraygraphic interviews Illustration FT Faculty Nora Krug


Bush by Nora Krug

Back in October, Spraygraphic Apparel interviewed Illustration FT Faculty Nora Krug for their blog. Spraygraphic strives to highlight artists and designers that create culturally conscious, socially active and politically provocative work. Here’s an excerpt from Nora’s interview:

Describe your working process when creating a new work.

NK: I easily get bored once I notice I’m using similar concepts, compositions and media and I try to always explore new themes and ways of working. When working on a personal piece the process can be really torturing. I can get very deeply involved and forget where I am. Every time it feels like I’m starting at the very beginning, like a puzzle with thousands of parts, and no reference image on the cover. I take a long time for sketches and I often have no idea what the final piece will look like. Every line I draw can be a struggle. But when I’m done and happy with the way it looks I feel extremely fulfilled. It’s a completely different story with my commercial work. I work much faster there and have a good sense of what the final piece will look like.

What kind of things do you do when you get blocked or find it hard to create something?

NK: I get very annoyed and angry and can’t stop thinking about possible solutions. It takes me an hour or so of socializing and thinking of something else until I emerge on the surface again. Usually the only way out is continuing to draw and redraw until it works. Sometimes it also helps me to distract myself while I’m working, because then the whole focus isn’t only on my fear of not being able to create what I want. I love listening to BBC Radio 4 and 7 online.

Where are you currently finding your inspiration?

NK: In everything. People, films, music, books, other people’s art. I’m also very inspired by peoples’ lives that have nothing to do with the arts.

Make sure you read the rest of the interview here for more insights about Nora’s work and interests.

Also, you can access the archive of other fantastic artist interviews by Spraygraphic here.

Congratulations, Nora!