Sunday, December 27, 2009

snow shadow shorts

Take two teenagers, a novice animator aunt, a snowy beach, and a VERY sunny Christmas Eve, and this is what you get.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

artafacta: ocultura

“O” already? Ocultura, this month’s Spanish word mash-up from Artafacta, could be my favorite yet in terms of possible imagery. Maybe it's my devilish nature, or maybe it's just the wacky way it “translates” to English, but this one was a lot of fun. “O” also stands for opera, which makes me think: one man's cult is another man's high art. Oprah, anyone?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

the artist at work

I've been doing a bunch of quick little wash drawings lately. I think this little guy will become part of a narrative somehow.

In other news: stay tuned for the launch of my Etsy store—that wondrous portal for all things handmade. There you'll be able to purchase original etchings, silkscreens, watercolors and other stuff from the comfort of your own desk. Hopefully, if the proper cyber handshakes take place this week, I'll have it up by the weekend.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

switzerland bans minarets

This past weekend, the “neutral” people of Switzerland voted to ban the building of minarets. Sometimes, images design themselves—I certainly felt that way about this one. I'm glad I have a place to editorialize my non-neutrality on the issue.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

mtvu woodie awards–december 4th

Lucky me! On Wednesday night, I went to the MTVu Woodie Awards at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC...all I can say is WOW! Christopher Landy and his team at Vibrant Design did an amazing job! Matt and Kim opened the show by riding into Roseland on bicycyles, then took the stage while my little guys started marching across—I don't know how many screens. It was a big thrill. And to top it off, Matt and Kim won in their category for best video.

MTV will broadcast the entire show on December 4th at 10 PM, ET.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

kiwi magazine - november/december 2009

The last page of the latest issue of Kiwi, a terrific, bimonthly parenting magazine (with no connection to New Zealand) features one of my illustrations. I picked up a copy last night and couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Best of all, last week I finished two additional pieces for their February/March 2010 issue.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

mtv woodie awards animation

Ever heard of the MTV Woodie Awards? Well, I hadn't until about a week ago when my lighting-designer-guru friend Christopher Landy of Vibrant Design called me. He wanted an animation of some figures to project along a 48' balcony for the awards show at Roseland Ballroom in New York, behind nominated band Matt and Kim while they perform their song "Lessons Learned."

So I spent the better part of last week on it. (See below, where you can watch a beginning clip.) If you want to see Matt and Kim's nominated video and hear their terrific song, check it out here on YouTube.

There were definitely some lessons learned on my part technically, but over all it was really fun. I can't wait to see what Chris and his crew do with it—they're going to add lots of color and other effects.

The show will be broadcast on December 4th—more details to come in a later posting.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition—Sunday at 8 p.m.

Get out the popcorn and the Kleenex box! Yes, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” airs this Sunday, November 8th at 8 p.m. on ABC.

I doubt my work will cause any unnecessary weeping on the part of the lucky homeowners, but my sources tell me anything on this show can induce tears. In fact, a friend this week told me she and her family call EMHE "The Cry Show." I know what you're thinking, "Oh, goody—just the thing I need to start my work week."

I'm almost certain you can see video highlights (and maybe some stills) on the EMHE website the day after the broadcast. So, if you're busy blinking, taking a potty break, or...ahem...watching “The Amazing Race,” you can still check out my handy work in situ.

You can even buy the bumble bee mural for your own bedroom. No foolin’! Here's the link.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the big sibling book

The Big Sibling Book, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal hit stores this month, and I just got my copies in the mail. While finishing up my thesis at SVA this Spring, I created a series of over 100 spot and sticker illustrations for the interior. Published by Potter Style (a division of Random House) Big Sibling is a write-in album for a child to record milestones in the life of his or her newborn sibling. ( gave it a very nice review this week.)

All the sales materials were released before I was brought in, so you won't see my work on Amazon or the other online vendors, but the images here give you a pretty good sense of my part. The palette was changed sometime after I turned in my final art, so while not exactly what I'd intended, the overall packaging of the book is very nice. Maybe next time, I'll get a stab at a cover.

Monday, October 26, 2009

extreme secrecy no longer!

At long last, the broadcast date for that home makeover show featuring my artwork has been revealed! Tune into your local ABC station on the evening of Sunday, November 8th, at 8 PM EST. My contact tells me they spent more time in "my" room than the other kids' rooms...which probably means a few seconds, so watch carefully! I created a wall mural, and several smaller framed animal portraits for a one-year-old's nursery.

Friday, October 23, 2009

new work on the web

In addition to my fake fiction series, I’ve been working on a bunch of new, issue-driven editorial pieces which I’ve just posted to my website.

Speaking of fake fiction....

Has anyone out there been tossing around titles for your own great American novel? If so, send them to me, and I’ll illustrate a virtual book cover. (You are not required to have written a single word of said novel. ;>) The titles I’ve been working with these last few months are taken from various readings or conversations that have inspired me visually. It has been lots of fun for me—I hope that shows in the work.

And stay tuned....

I am told that in early November, the episode of a home makeover TV program featuring my work will be broadcast. Specifics to come in a future posting.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

artafacta: nicotinta

We're up to the letter "N" with this month’s Spanish word mash up: “nicotinta.” (And you know how I feel about smoking.) You can see the entire fanzine and interpretations by other artists at the artafacta website. A few of my favorites are by Joan Negrescolor, Milan Rubino, Oscar Ángel Rey, and especially Pep Boatella. Simply gorgeous!

Monday, October 12, 2009

a (very short) collaboration

My 13 year-old nephew and I collaborated on our first animated short (very short) last evening. While he was director, producer and screenwriter, my primary role was facilitator/key grip. You can view it here. Be sure to have your sound on. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

MORE in the playground

As you can see, my obsession with letterplayground continues!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

letter playground

Recently, illustrator Nate Williams created a site called “Letter Playground” for those of us who love type and playing around with it. There, illustrators, designers and photographers can post their interpretations of their favorite letters or digits. Today I joined, and uploaded a number of images including my complete set of caps from “Alphabetic Ballyhoos or Crotchety Draconian Expletives.” My black and white "T's" you see here were created for a collaborative student project at SVA last year.

Friday, September 4, 2009

artafacta: musicópata

This month’s word for the artafacta fanzine is musicópata. I don't think I've ever had reason to make blood splatters before—they're kind of fun...heh, heh, heh...

Monday, August 31, 2009

did anybody ask spidey?

Even superheroes aren't recession-proof.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

world headquarters

lost at e minor

Before I'd even finished my morning coffee today, I got an email from someone in Pune, India complimenting me on my work seen on the "Lost at E Minor" website. In case you aren't familiar with them, here's how they describe themselves:

"Lost At E Minor is an online publication of inspiring art, illustration, photography, music, fashion, film, and more, featuring our latest discoveries in the ever-changing world of contemporary pop culture."

Ilana Kohn wrote the nicest things about me:

"Walking into the SVA Illustration Graduate show a few months back, the work of Anna Raff was one of the first things to catch my eye. A huge wall was decked out with the most impossibly charming watercolor creatures of every shape, size and color. Pink nosed mice stealing away with cheese, smiling alligators toting purses."

Not a bad way to start my day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

darwinian democracy: survival of the loudest

I don't know about you, but I've been extremely disturbed by the health reform shout-downs at town hall meetings by right-wingers around the country in recent days. Whoever has the bigger megaphone seems to be getting all the attention.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

extreme secrecy

Shhh...This fall, my work will be featured on one of those home makeover TV shows. I spent the better part of last week on this pro bono project, creating a mural image, and a bunch of animal faces (seen here) that will be in a child's room. Photos of the room and the actual air date are still to come. But when you watch it, don't blink. Not being that familiar with the show, I hear that they don't linger too much in the kids' rooms. All for a good cause— well—causes: theirs and mine. Here's hoping the schmaltz factor is minimal.

Friday, July 17, 2009

transatlantic design

Yesterday, I spent part of a very summery afternoon with two students from the University of Brighton, UK, (Millie Davies and Bronwyn Opland, above) who are here in New York for a month-long research project. Along with two colleagues, they are conducting interviews with American designers, illustrators, art directors, teachers and students comparing our two design education systems, and how they effect designers in their careers. I look forward to seeing their project progress. Ultimately, they would like to publish their findings in a book. You can read more about it on the Transatlantic Design website.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

artafacta: kemasutra

I'll leave it to you to figure out what this month's word means. Well...I wasn't going to draw people; my mother reads this blog! Proceed at your own risk to the Artafacta site.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

artafacta: juegoista

Here’s my submission for this month’s Artafacta online fanzine. “J” is for “juegoista.” If it were really a word, it would mean “game egoist.” To see the complete issue, go to the Artafacta website.

Monday, June 8, 2009

book-by-its-cover @ the mocca festival

I’m blushing! One of my favorite blogs featured my MoCCA table today. If you've never seen, you're in for a real treat. It's a great place for people who love gorgeous books, typography, design, and illustration to lose several hours perusing it's pages. Thanks to my pal Rachel Allison (illustrator extraordinaire) for introducing me to it over a year ago, and for alerting me to today's posting! Having my work photographed on the same page as Seth (one of my idols) and Tom Gauld (Tom Gauld!) is a great thrill!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

MoCCA offerings - 2009

Here’s a sampling of my offerings at MoCCA this weekend. 
Come see me at table #403!

The MoCCA Festival is this Saturday and Sunday, 
at the Armory at Lexington Avenue and 25th Street. 
11AM to 6PM both days.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

my MoCCA sandwich factory

The other day I turned my kitchen into a silkscreen studio/sandwich factory in preparation for the MoCCA festival this weekend. Just to clarify my earlier posting, the sandwiches I'm offering aren't edible, but hopefully they will be a feast for the eyes. (Okay, maybe that was a little much, but I've been on my feet for two days squeegeeing ink.)

See my previous blog entry for details about MoCCA, such as location and times. Oh, and I'm at table #403.

If you look at the second photograph carefully, you'll notice how flippant I've become about my work as it appears in print...a happy accident really. Don't they look like they're debating about lunch at the sandwich shop?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

MoCCA festival - June 6th & 7th - table #403

Next weekend, June 6th and 7th, I am participating in the 2009 MoCCA Festival at the 69th Regiment Armory at Lexington Avenue and 25th Street in New York City. 

You can find me at a table with two other SVA graduates, the fabulous Sophia Wiedeman and the always inspiring Dunja Jankovic. And I'm looking forward to meeting Maria Sputnik, who will be with us too. All these MoCCA-chicas have much more comic book experience than I, and yet they are kind enough to allow me to play along. 

I will be selling signed copies of my books Alphabetic Ballyhoos and The R. U. Fauna Department Store Catalog, along with other wares, such as original art, hand-bound stationery, gift tags, t-shirts, and sandwiches (yes, sandwiches), and I'll throw in some free stuff. I hope to see you there!

If you've never been to the MoCCA Festival, it's a great way to see what's happening in the world of comics and graphic novels. All of the major publishers (Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly, etc.) are there, beside a stunning array of independent, international comic book artists. It's also a great fundraiser for MoCCA, a tiny museum with a big purpose, on lower Broadway. 

The festival will be open to the public from 11:00am to 6:00pm Saturday, June 6th and Sunday, June 7th
General admission is $10/day or $15/weekend but is only $10/weekend for MoCCA members. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

artafacta: ideovigilancia

This month, I was invited to submit a piece for an online fanzine called "Artafacta." The creators, a group of Spanish illustrators and designers, take two words and smash them together to create a third word, the theme of which participants are asked to illustrate. This month's word was "ideovigilancia." Check out the link below to see the other submissions and just in case you can't figure out the translation yourself, the imagery will certainly help. The page preceding mine features the work of my classmate at SVA, the extremely talented André da Loba. Stayed tuned for next month; they're working their way through the alphabet, so "J" is next.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

the thesis show-the r. u. fauna department store

The Thesis Show reception was a great success Tuesday night. Over 750 people visited the Visual Arts Gallery on West 26th Street to see the SVA MFA Illustration and MFA Design installations. Above are a few images from my part of the show, The R. U. Fauna Department Store, at a quieter moment this weekend with my nephews. (That's Will reading the "Formal Wear" section of the catalog.)

The R. U. Fauna story began deep in the rainforest, where founder Rufus Ulysses Fauna, billionaire, adventurer, naturalist, and lifelong clotheshorse enjoyed his first vacation. Never before had he witnessed such diversity and ingenuity outside of the retail world, and he knew bringing it home would set his chain of dry goods stores apart from the competition. For the rest of his life, R. U. continued his travels, hiring the mammals, reptiles, crustaceans, and domesticated creatures he encountered along the way. The exhibition documents the unique history of the R. U Fauna Department Store, featuring a merchandise catalog, employee portraits, and a display of befanged gift boxes.

The Thesis Show is up through Saturday, May 16th, at the Visual Arts Gallery, 601 W. 26th, 15th floor. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10AM to 6PM.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

the art directors club

This week I was invited to participate in a portfolio review day at the Art Directors Club in New York City. Over 100 recent graduates were showing their wares. Chaired by Matteo Bologna (of Mucca Design) and Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich (author of “Bembo's Zoo”), participants met a wide variety of art directors, ad agency representatives and publishers. Here’s my set up...with me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

the thesis show reception—may 5th, 6 to 8pm

Reception: May 5th / Exhibition: May 1st—16th

“The Thesis Show,” the culmination of my two years at the School of Visual Arts, officially opens to the public on May 1st, but you may attend the opening reception on the evening of Tuesday, May 5th, from 6 to 8 PM. There you can meet me, see some art, a gorgeous view of the Hudson River, and have a glass of (bad) wine. The Visual Arts Gallery is located at 601 West 26th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues, on the 15th floor. If you can't make it then, the show is open through May 16th. Regular gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, 10AM—6PM. 

Friday, April 3, 2009

the washington post - real estate section

This week I was hired by The Washington Post to do the illustration for their lead story in this weekend's Real Estate section. The story deals with the difficulty first time home buyers are experiencing securing loans in the current economic climate. As a result, many people are turning to their families for help. (Yes, I do have some personal experience in this area. ;>) The online version has a rather bizarre crop, so I'm hoping the print version shows the whole image, seen here. The shoes make the men...and least I think so.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

how do you get on a carnegie hall playbill cover? - part 2

Patience, patience, patience. It looks a little more like Christmas than Spring, but here it is, finally. Last summer, one of my pieces was chosen to don the March 2009 Carnegie Hall Playbill covers. While I am disappointed with the choice of background colors, it's still flattering to know that each night for a month, 7000 music lovers are holding a piece of my art in their hands. And there's a very nice credit inside next to a thumbnail of the uncropped piece.