Friday, December 31, 2010

the last day of ornithoblogical (almost)!

A little over a year ago, I created a project for myself that I wasn’t certain I could finish. 366 birds later, today’s image marks the last posting of Ornithoblogical on a daily basis. At noon, resolution (seen here at left) will go live along with a heartfelt missive to fans.
It has been a great journey, and a lot of fun for me. Until further tweetings, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

365 write up

The birds of Ornithoblogical got a nice mention yesterday in the blogosphere. Artist Noah Scalin, creator of his own 365 project Skull-A-Day, and author of “365: A Daily Creative Journal” posted a nice selection of my bird images. You can see his blog, and explore other projects by people as crazy as me here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

not quite 12 days of christmas

Followers of Ornithoblogical may have noticed a theme developing in these last few weeks of December. I never realized how much great bird fodder could be found in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” However, since the official 12 days start on Christmas Day, and the daily aspect of Ornithoblogical ends on December 31st, I decided to include just a select few, scattered throughout the month. Pictured above is a subscriber favorite from last week, “Eleven Pipers Piping.” Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

a little process blogging...

With the latest Kiwi Magazine hitting newsstands this week, it seemed an ample time to describe a bit of my my illustration process for this issue’s essay piece:

In “My Special Boy,” a mother navigates a labyrinth of special needs education schools to help ease her socially-challenged son through nursery school. I was excited about the opportunity to illustrate this subject because it allowed me to explore a more serious tone in my drawing.


Primarily, the mother’s frustration lay in a system with limited resources that assumed the worst in her son. I submitted three sketches (two of which you see here). In the sketch on the right, the super-imposed words—those used to describe the boy—would loom ominously over an otherwise innocent looking child. Yet it seemed to me, the way to express the emotion of the piece was through gesture rather than expression. Luckily, the art director agreed, and we went with the idea on the left. Here is the finished piece—not far from the original sketch:

Monday, November 29, 2010

now available in ye olde etsy shoppe...

Just in time for Cyber Monday, I’ve added more prints to my Etsy shop. Newly available are Ornithoblogical favorites Flight, Jays Jaunt, Pluck, Birdcode, and Lift Off (right), along with my bestseller Mixer. These signed, high-quality, digital prints are ready for framing, and make great gifts. Click here for more.

Friday, November 26, 2010

a thanksgiving feast

There has been a virtual feast of Thanksgiving bird imagery over at Ornithoblogical this week, a few of which are pictured below. The convenience of a national holiday centered around a bird is certainly not lost on me. And I certainly will be giving thanks for all of the ornithological imagery opportunities that come with Christmas. Stay tuned as I wrap up my year-long marathon!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

some “designy” stuff (on wheels)

The resum├ęs of Vibrant Design principals Christopher Landy and Ellen Waggett—full of lighting and art direction assignments for TV shows and concerts—will make your head spin. These days, Ellen is the Production Designer for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” while Chris recently finished work on several episodes of “The Marriage Ref.” So it was a great pleasure to design the identity for Vibrant a few years back.

This year they’ve created, a leasing service for environmentally-friendly lighting equipment. Best of all, they acquired some wheels to make it mobile. Here is their “trucklette” in its nature environment of Dumbo, Brooklyn, sporting yet another one of my logos.

Monday, November 8, 2010—updated

As of this week, and after a few months of neglect, there are now several new (and new-ish) images up on my website. Incidentally, Mayor Bloomberg has officially proclaimed this “Illustration Week.” Thanks Mike!

Look for lots of work from the past few issues of Kiwi, along with some political concept pieces, and of course, birds like this guy at right, named “pluck” (a new favorite). Click on the children’s and editorial sections.

Monday, November 1, 2010

political punting...

Don’t jump into an empty cup! Vote on Nov. 2!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

not just for the birds...

By the look of this blog over the last month or so, you’d think all I’ve been up to was corralling a loony menagerie of birds. Today, I’m happy to share several recent projects that involved nary a winged creature.

My work for Kiwi Magazine continues. Pictured above is the essay piece for their October-November issue about an unreligious family who find value in saying grace, and below, two spots from their Cooking Class section which I turned into a cookie crust construction site. (Yes, the workers are building a pie crust out the pieces of their brethren.)

This month I designed my first app—a game developed by Little, Brown and Company to promote a young adult novel they will be publishing this winter. More details to come once the app is released.

I was also hired by my pals at Vibrant Design to create a logo for their new offshoot company,, promoting more environmentally-friendly, theatrical lighting equipment. I’m hoping to score some pretty photos of their shiny, black “trucklette” sporting both the GreenGripGear and Vibrant logos soon. As far as I recall, my work has never before appeared on a moving vehicle.

And last but not least, my newest client is Lake Isle Press, “Publishers of Books for Cooks.” They will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary at the Rubin Museum of Art here in New York City in November, so I was thrilled to be asked to illustrate and design their invitation to the big event, a detail of which is seen above.

That’s all for now. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ornithoblogical day 300: bird call for entries WINNERS!

Day 300 of Ornithoblogical is upon us! At noon EST today, the winners of the Bird Call for Entries were announced. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who participated.

Entries were received from four continents, and as you can see below, that global scope is reflected in the winners. It has been very inspiring to me, especially as I enter the latter part of this year-long, bird illustration marathon.

I’d especially like to thank my distinguished jury—Matteo Bologna, Alex Mathers, Martha Rago, Stephen Savage, and Larry Smith—without whom the Bird Call for Entries would have been as flightless as an emu.

Enjoy the rest of the year!

1ST PRIZE  Winner of a portfolio of ten signed, digital prints of her choice from Ornithoblogical.
“Re-tail Featherpy”—Elaine Hurford, Prince Albert, South Africa

5 RUNNERS UP  Winners of an official Ornithoblogical button.
“Sacs in the City”—Anne Louise Tate, Cleethorpes, England
“Tweet Street”—Richard Harrison, Montmirail, France
“Birds of a Ferragamo”—Monica Mayper, New York City, USA
“Carrier Pigeons”—Mark Rosenblum, Temple City, CA, USA
“Chickin’ Out the Competition”—Anne Louise Tate, Cleethorpes, England

Friday, October 15, 2010

the bird call for entries! (part 2)

With a flock of over seventy entries from four continents, the Bird Call for Entries is now in the hands of our distinguished jury. At noon EST on day 300, October 26th, 2010 the winners will be posted on Ornithoblogical.

Thank you to all who participated—it has been great fun for me to see what the subscribers and followers of the blog have come up with, and especially inspiring as we enter the latter part of the year, and the end of my birdie marathon. Good luck!

Friday, September 10, 2010

the bird call for entries!

In celebration of fast-approaching day 300 of my year-long daily bird illustration marathon, I’m holding a competition for the best title to accompany the image posted above.

Go to the contest page here to read about rules and what you can win.

MATTEO BOLOGNA is the founder and principal of Mucca Design, a multidisciplinary branding and design firm based in New York City. He is a board member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and is the treasurer of the Type Salons for the Type Directors Club.

ALEX MATHERS is an illustrator and designer based in London, and regular contributor to Design Taxi, the 99%, and Mashable. He is also the creator of the contemporary illustration blog Ape on the Moon and the Red Lemon Club, a blog about online promotional methods for creatives.

MARTHA RAGO is Associate Creative Director of HarperCollins Children’s Books where she oversees the development and design of picture books, including those in the Rayo and Katherine Tegen imprints, the estate programs of C. S. Lewis and Shel Silverstein, and the Balzer & Bray imprint. Prior to her position at HarperCollins, which Martha has held for seven years, she was the Creative Director at Henry Holt.

STEPHEN SAVAGE is the award-winning illustrator of the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Polar Bear Night and The Fathers Are Coming Home. His editorial work regularly appears in The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, and The New Republic among others. In 2008, he was the recipient of a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators.

LARRY SMITH is founder and editor of the personal storytelling community SMITH Magazine (, creators of the Six-Word Memoir project and bestselling book series. He is a contributing editor of ESPN the Magazine, former executive editor of Yahoo Internet Life,and has written for numerous publications including Men's Journal, The New York Times, Popular Science, and Salon.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

ornithoblogical news

The birds of Ornithoblogical are pleased to announce the publication of Ornithoblogical: Selections from the Showcase of 365 Birdies on My Brain. Featured in this 7" square paperback are 22 illustrations from the first part of this year (hence “volume one”) including such favorites as “Swami,” “Scribe,” and on the cover, “Dot the Chicken.” Take a look at a preview of the book by clicking here.

Also this week, birds-watchers have been flocking to the new Ornithoblogical Facebook page to share the love. If you are on Facebook, and would like to get highlights from the blog in your news feed, click here. Select the “Like” button next to the heading.

You can also subscribe to receive a bird each day by clicking the orange RSS feed button located on the upper left-hand corner of my bird blog home page.

I’ll be hatching more bird-related events in the coming weeks, including the “Bird Call for Entries,” a contest to celebrate the fast-approaching day 300 of this year-long project. And there will be prizes! Details coming soon...

Sunday, August 22, 2010 version 3.0 is live!

After a few fits and starts, I’ve finally completed the relaunch of my new html-based website. Earlier this year, I decided the time had come to let go of my old, animated flash site, to speed up the experience and make it readable for people with mobile devices.

The new site showcases my portfolio with cleaner navigation, and the help of thumbnails and slideshows.

Also featured, is a new books section (see below) which allows viewers to page through portions of my books and links to places where they can purchased.

If you miss the little animations, never fear. No doubt, I will be making more of those in the future. In case you’ve never seen one,  here’s a little something I made for National Pencil Day back in March.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

kiwi magazine - august/september 2010

The people at Kiwi, the magazine of organic parenting, have been keeping me busy with another back page essay piece (above), and five spots for their cooking section (below) in the latest issue. Their recipe for “chicken fingers minus the chicken” looks delicious. I had a great time working on these—it’s not often one gets to draw a block of tofu shimmying in a bowl of eggs, or wearing a winter coat.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

illustrationmundo editor's favorite

For a little over a year, I have posted to illustrationmundo, a great online resource for illustrators and art directors for all things illustration. The other day, I was selected as an “Editor’s Favorite” by the site’s creator, illustrator Nate Williams. Needless to say, as a huge fan of Nate’s, I’m very pleased. You can share the love by going to the IM home page here, scrolling down the right hand column until you see my “Henna” image under my name and clicking on the heart. There is an incredible wealth of talent to peruse on illustrationmundo, so be sure to take a look around the site. Thanks Nate!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

sva illustration as visual essay: “we tell stories”

Fresh off the dvd press is the new MFA Illustration as Visual Essay promotional video from the School of Visual Arts. Directed by Department Chair Marshall Arisman, “We Tell Stories” features several of the program’s past alumni. I am very proud to be among this illustrious (ha!) group which includes Nathan Fox, Yuko Shimizu, and Sam Weber.

I was also asked to design the new packaging, showcasing a gorgeous cover image by Steven Tabbutt, class of 2006. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

connecticut college magazine

Back in March, fellow Connecticut College alumna Arielle Shipper interviewed me for a profile in the current issue of CC Magazine. We met in the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel over tea (my suggestion, of course—very old school), while I reminisced about my experience at Conn and beyond. 

I’m not sure why there is no complete version of the magazine available online, but a few of the highlights are quotes from Marshall Arisman, chair of the MFA Illustration Department at the School of Visual Arts (my other alma mater), and one of my clients. 

“Among her assets,” Arisman says, “Anna is a born leader...My admiration for her is that she did this at a time when many people would worry about...where this would go. It's a success story.”

I'm still blushing...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

daniel cooney fine art | emerging artists auction: june 18th—july 8th

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Chelsea gallery owner Daniel Cooney, of Daniel Cooney Fine Art, to submit something for his “Emerging Artists Auction.” He chose “Moon Ice,” a piece I made last fall, shortly after NASA found evidence of ice deep in the craters of the moon.

Curated by Cooney, this online auction at iGavel, begins on Friday, June 18th and ends on Thursday, July 8th. All lots start at $200.

My one of a kind digital print of “Moon Ice” is signed, dated, and completely archival, thanks to my fellow freelancer-at-arms, the amazingly talented photographer and designer Symon Chow.

I celebrated my delivery of the piece this afternoon with a stop at nearby Billy’s Bakery to partake in one of their stellar red velvet cupcakes. Now that’s something that sends me to the moon!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

kiwi magazine - june/july 2010

Ever wondered how to corral a lime into submission? Hmmm....or maybe to instruct your child in the proper way to zest said lime? Well, look no further than the current issue of Kiwi Magazine (June/July 2010). Once again I’ve illustrated a series of spots for their “Cooking Class” section, in addition to the image for their back page essay (detail seen below).

And this week, I’m working on pieces for August/September, so it’s feeling a bit like fall here at these days. Published by the May Media Group, Kiwi can be found at Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, and Borders.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

ripple blog

Occasionally, I participate in IllustrationFriday, a website where illustrators share images on a given topic. This week is very special—we are doing our part to raise money to benefit wildlife effected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Ripple Blog was created by illustrator Kelly Light, as a place where artists can post images on the subject for sale as 2.5" x 3.5" “sketchcards.” Here’s what she says...

“[The sketchcards] will be made available for a small donation of $10.00 to either  The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies or The International Bird Rescue Research Center. I have no affiliation with them. Every penny will go. When the cards sell, We ask for a donation confirmation and [artists] will be asked to sign the back with a thank you...If we all do small acts together—we can cause a ripple—and it can grow. We can DO SOMETHING. Thank you, thank you for checking this out and thinking about it.”

I’m contributing one of my illustrations from “Ornithoblogical,” (titled, “Tastes Like Chicken”) that I posted the day before learning about Ripple.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

think faest!

There’s more crowing going on amongst the birds at Ornithoblogical with their mention on the uber-hip Faesthetic blog yesterday. The nod comes from Dustin Hostetler curator/editor/ publisher of Faesthetic, “one of the best Art zines in the universe.” Just sayin’...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

my etsy shop is open for business

I’ve finally set up an Etsy Shop, where my etchings, aquatints, digital prints, and other handmade items are  available for purchase. And I’m adding more stuff each day. If there is a particular image you don’t see there—say your favorite bird from Ornithoblogical—just send me an email, and I’ll be sure to post it for you.

Saturday, May 29, 2010 version 3.0—under construction!

After months of planning, is officially under reconstruction! During this time of transition, you can see virtually all of my work by going to, and clicking on the links to various portfolio sites and blogs. For those of you who just can do without your dose of the sandwich—and have flash player capabilities—click on the lunch lying on the lower right of the home page. Or click HERE.

Sunday, May 23, 2010 by khoi vinh

The birds at Ornithoblogical are all a-flutter with their write up on yesterday, May 22nd. Subtraction is the blog of Design Director Khoi Vinh. Here’s a direct quote from the three-star rating:

“Every day this year, illustrator Anna Raff is posting a completely charming illustration of a bird to this blog. It’s 22 May already, so there a 144 drawings for you to peruse right now.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

featured on pikaland

Here’s a big shout out to one of my favorite blogs, Pikaland for featuring me and my bird blog, Ornithoblogical in a posting today!

In the words of editor/curator Amy Ng, “Pikaland is a blog about living the illustrated life.” If you’ve never visited it before, check it out. I’m thrilled to be in such great company!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 portfolio

As part of my Portfolio Honor Award at SCBWI earlier this year, I won an online portfolio at, a source for publishers, authors, and art directors seeking children’s book illustrators.

Images are big and splashy, which is always good, and they have big online presence in the world of children’s publishing. Here’s a little preview of what you’ll see on my page. Click here and enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

kiwi magazine - april/may 2010

Next time you’re in Whole Foods or Barnes & Noble, check out the current issue of Kiwi Magazine. In addition to the illustration for the back page essay, I did another series of spots for their “cooking class” section. This month, they’re teaching kids how to roll out pizza dough.

And just a few moments ago, I finished the cooking spots for their next issue—but more on that in a later posting.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

mocca art festival 2010 - one more thing...

Need a dose of reanimation? Searching for new ways to enliven your daily routine? This could be the answer to all your anthropomorphizing needs! With a pair of handmade “Gazers” you can bring all the inanimate objects in your home to life! Available at the MoCCA Art Festival (table #G13).

MoCCA Arts Festival
Saturday, April 10th and Sunday, April 11th, 11 AM—6 PM
69th Regiment Armory at Lexington and 26th St.

ornithoblogical: day 100 and counting

Speaking of Ornithoblogical, today marks the 100th day of my year-long, daily bird blog! You can see today’s posting, and catch up on any you’ve missed thus far by clicking here.