CSUF Illustration & Star Wars


Professor Cliff Cramp and adjunct Professor Cheryl Savala, both CSUF illustration alumni, team up to produce the package art for Star Wars; The Complete Saga on Blu Ray. Check out Professor Cramp's press release here and Cheryl Savala's press release here. Cheryl and Cliff were in the illustration graduate program together in the early 90's. Congrats to both of them.

Jason Romeo Lecuyer Sheds Darkness on Grimm Fairy Tales


The mood in Jason Romeo Lecuyer's MFA show in Illustration takes visitors to an intriguing and slightly dark world. With many small paintings and illustrations adorning the walls, the intimate gallery space has taken on the feel of a private library, complete with sofas and a fireplace with burning logs (all safe, in plastic, Hollywood style!). Lecuyer's art carries a goth edge, supported by spare, but precise line work, and Spartan color harmonies. While the style evokes the comics of Mike Mignola, the substance and spirit takes viewers back to the universe of harsh consequences of the Grimm fairy tales. Lecuyer's superb MFA show is a deep experience and a bright marker of his promising career. (Check out the write-up and photos from the O.C. Art Blog)

Help Japan with Fullerton Art Alumni


Heisuke Kitazawa (a.k.a PCP) and Martin Hsu, two graduates from the Visual Arts Department, have launched mini-campaigns to help victims of the triple tragedy (quake, tsunami, nuclear disaster) that has recently plagued Japan. Kitazawa, who lives in Tokyo, informs us that he is OK: "[we] were safe from the huge earthquake and nuclear radiation that has hit Japan. though there's still a shortage of electricity (no electricity for 6 hours everyday until end of April), water and food even here in Tokyo, we are managing (or at least trying) to get back to our daily life." However, his close friends,Hiroshi and Miki Kobayashi and their two children (4 year old Soua and 7 month old Seina) who live in Miyagi, a city nearly completely destroyed, stay and sleep in an evacuation facility. They are very concerned about some of their own friends and relatives. They don't know of the fate of their home either. They are not allowed to go into the city and are very worried. So Kitazawa has set up a Paypal donation link on his website where you can go to help the Kobayashi family.

On his end, Martin Hsu is also raising funds for the Japanese tragedy victims by using all the proceeds of his art sales to go to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake Relief. Click to shop from his art products and help him help a great cause.

Lauren Gallegos Opens Her First Solo Illustration Show


Lauren Gallegos, who graduated with a BFA in Illustration, is announcing her first solo art show, "Digging for Aesthetics." Her art will appear in the Chapman Atrium in the Titan Student Union at Cal State Fullerton. The opening will take place from 12:30 to 4:30pm on Sunday January 23rd, and Gallegos will be there to meet visitors and to sell some of her artworks. The gorgeous announcements reflect the high quality picture book art that Gallegos has kept on producing since she graduated. She's finishing art for a book titled The Mahogany Door. Many of her illustrations depict cute and funny animals as heroes, and this show seems to have more of these humorous and poetic depictions.

Daily Titan Interviews CSUF Graphic Novel Artists


The Daily Titan reported on the success of more than 30 Cal State Fullerton art students, who joined forces to create the university's first graphic novel, Herakles: Myth, Monsters, & Inner Demons. Several contributers interviewed for the article describe the joys and challenges of such an ambitious group project. "In the coming months, this graphic novel should be available online, and possibly even as an iPhone app," says Christian Hill, the professor who teaches the Sequential Art class where students work on these projects. Two more student books are in the works: a graphic novel anthology of Aesop's fables set in the American Far West and an children's alphabet picture book of made-up excuses to stay home from school.

Dreams Come True Behind the Scenes of Disney's Tangled


In Spring 2005, Miyuki Kanno, a Japanese student who had come to study at Cal State Fullerton because of the reputation of the animation program, sat in a video conference facing Disney legend, Glen Keane. Kanno was a big fan of Keane. She had grown up watching cartoons he animated. In 1989, Keane had designed and animated Ariel in The Little Mermaid, and in the following years, he worked on Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, and Tarzan. That Spring day, during the interactive broadcast, the Disney animator praised Kanno's student pencil test and encouraged her to pursue her dreams. About two years ago, Kanno became a Disney feature animator herself. Since, she has worked on The Princess and the Frog, and recently, on Tangled. In one of those great twists of fate, Kanno got to work under the supervision of her childhood inspiration, Glen Keane. In addition to Kanno, other Cal State Fullerton grads lent their talents in the production of Tangled, Disney's funny, lively, and touching retelling of Rapunzel. Animator Wayne Unten learned 3D at Fullerton when the 3D animation courses had just begun, and his work at Disney includes Meet the Robinson, Bolt (as supervising animator) and Tangled. Finally, LaTasha Tobias, who studied in both the Visual Arts and Theater departments served as lighting artist on Tangled. Congrats to our great artists! And if you haven't seen Tangled, hurry and do it!

Professor Cramp Interviewed by Pop Dose


Professor Cliff Cramp was recently interview by Pop Dose regarding his work on the Plain White T's new CD Wonders of The Younger.

Have you ever wondered what inspired the images on your favorite album covers? With Uncovered, we discuss the stories behind the artwork with the people who made them. This week, we talk with Cliff Cramp, the artist responsible for the cover of the new Plain White T’s album, The Wonders of the Younger.

Read the entire interview here.

Students, Alums, and Faculty Stand Out at Illustrator's Day


Graduate student, Wendy Grieb, and Professor Cliff Cramp each won awards in the last Illustrator's Day organized by the So Cal chapter of the SCBWI. Grieb's portfolio of children's book illustrations brought her the People's Choice award (tied with Christina Forshay) and Cramp's illustration on the theme of rain earned him a runner-up award. The event, organized by gentlemanly and tireless illustrator Ken Min with the help of many volunteers, including Cal State Fullerton grad student Katy Betz, brought together the largest contingent of Cal State Fullerton students, alum, and faculty. More than a dozen Titans listened to presentations by illustrators Dan Santat and Brian Floca, editor Abigail Simoun, and agent Jennifer Rofé. Students got to learn from publishing veterans, look at other illustrators' portfolios, and network with local and national professionals. The delightful Rita Crayon chronicled that day with a blog post and Flickr photos, and the latest issue of Kite Tales (Winter 2011) recaps the day with notes and more photos.

Photo credit: Rita Crayon Huang, Copyright © 2010 (Thanks Rita!)

Raina Telgemeier Reveals Insight About Being a Comic Artist


Last October, cartoonist Raina Telgemeier enlightened Cal State Fullerton art students about the paths to becoming and the realities of being a professional graphic novel artist. She spoke of her early influences (Mickey, the Smurfs, The Secret of Nimh), and in particular the comics that inspired her (Calvin and Hobbes, For Better or For Worse, Foxtrot). Growing up in a family that read a lot of comics, she also discovered Linda Barry's comics, and later manga. As she pursued her education at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Optic Nerve and Bone in particular confirmed her decision to strive to become a professional comic artist. She started doing minicomics, with stories rarely exceeding eight pages. At the end of that phase, she had create seven issues and sold or distributed 6,000 copies to friends and family as well as at conventions. At one such event, she met Dave Saylor, the Art Director at Scholastic, who invited her to work for the new graphic novel imprint, Graphix. This led to Telgemeier adapting four volumes of the Baby-Sitters Club. Her latest graphic novel, Smile, has received plenty of accolades. Telgemeier also discussed her process, which starts with traditional tools (blue and graphite pencils on 11x14" Bristol sheets, followed by her inking with a Winsor and Newton series 7 #2 size brush and a Faber Castel pen for details). After scanning the pages, she retouches the final art in Photoshop. She generally prefers to handletter her comics (as she did for Smile), but Scholastic commissioned a font based on her handwriting for the text in Baby-Sitters Club. Asked about how her classes at SVA prepared her for her career, she emphasized the importance of figure drawing, but said most art schools should spend more time preparing students for the business side of art. She also explained how getting an agent helped her with the business dimension of her career. At the end of the presentation, Telgemeier signed books and showed some of her original. The event happened thanks to the hard work and funding of the Pencil Mileage Club, AICC, and the Arts Department. Telgemeier has put photos of her Cal State Fullerton visit on her blog.

Prof. Cramp featured in Inside CSUF


Creating Musical Art
Artist Creates Cover to Represent Band's Latest Album

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an illustration used for the cover of an album surely must say that and more.

And musicians, as artists themselves, know that the artwork must represent the band as well as the music.

So when Plain White T’s was creating their latest album, they spent time thinking of what they wanted to say and how they wanted it recreated on the CD cover. They even drafted a rough sketch while on a plane flight that their record label, Hollywood Records, used when contacting Cliff Cramp, professor of art, about bringing the band’s vision to life.

The result will be seen when the Grammy Award-nominated band releases its latest album, “Wonders of the Younger,” Dec. 8. Not only is Cramp’s work on the cover, it is used for the album booklet boxed with the CD.

“The communication was excellent between all those involved,” said Cramp, a Cal State Fullerton alumnus with a BFA and MFA in illustration. “That, and the theme, made this a really fun project to work on.”

More here

MFA alumna Barbara Kolberg Publishes First Children's Book


Barbara Kolberg's first children's book, Wish Stealer: a Dangerously Uncommon Tale, is available for sale on This book marks the culmination of much of her work in the MFA in Illustration. The Midwest Book Review describes Wish Stealer as a "an imaginatively illustrated chapter book for young readers ages 7-10" and "masterful in impact and tone, funny, and scary too."


Graduate student Kim Dwinell will be featured at the Huntington Beach Art Walk this Wednesday evening (Oct 20) from 6:00 - 9:00 PM. Come out and support her and see her latest illustrations.

Illustration Major Alina Wilson Competes on CBS's Survivor


Alina Wilson, a contestant on Survivor: Nicaragua may look familiar to Cal State Fullerton art students. That's because she's completing a BFA in Illustration. She spent the summer away filming this season's episodes. For the next few weeks, you can follow her adventures Wednesdays on CBS at 8pm, or learn more about her experiences on the set from an article from her home paper, the Downey Patriot.

Three CSUF Art Students Win PhotoshopWorld Scholarships


Undergraduates Shuko Yoshitake, Melissa Santa Maria, and Gayle Warfield have won scholarships to attend the PhotoshopWorld Conference and Expo in Las Vegas (September 1-3, 2010). They competed with students from all around the world for only 25 scholarships. This year's PhotoshopWorld introduced sessions on Photoshop CS5. The attendees also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Photoshop, and they had a chance to revisit how this software has revolutionized our society at the Adobe booth with a line-up of Mac computers, starting with the original Apple Macintosh, playing every version of the software. One of the attendees, who made his first appearance at this PhotoshopWorld, was Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe Systems Inc.

Illustration and graphic design major Santa Maria said that she was "both thrilled and honored to be selected for the Photoshop World scholarship. I had never been to a design conference; as soon as I heard about PhotoshopWorld, I knew it was something I wanted to see." Yoshitake, a Japanese student studying graphic design, commented, "all the classes were amazing, and the scale of this event was beyond my expectations." After three day's worth of morning-to-evening instruction, Warfield, another graphic design major, said "PhotoshopWorld was exhausting, but a great learning experience! I loved the opportunity and would definitely go again. I feel like I have gained a lot of knowledge that I can apply to a range of different explorations in art." This year, Associate Professor of Illustration, Christian Hill, attended too.

In 2009, two Illustration graduate students, Quentin Bauer and Matiporn "May" Thamtarana, were the first Titans to receive this scholarship.

(Pictured from left to right: Shuko Yoshitake, Melissa Santa Maria, Gayle Warfield)

Steampunked at PAS Gallery


Professor Cliff Cramp's Steampunk work will be featured at PAS Gallery's Anniversary show in October. Reception, Oct 1 in Fullerton, CA. 6:00 - 10:00 PM.

Facebook link here

PAS Gallery Website

223 W. Santa Fe Ave.
Fullerton, CA, 92832

Prof. Cramp's Cover Art for Plain White T's


Hollywood Records has made public the cover art for the Plain White T's next album, Wonders of the Younger. Professor Cliff Cramp was approached to do the cover after the band had seen his illustration work. Cramp not only produced the cover art, but he did the interior art for the booklet as well. The release date for the new album is October 18th.

Erik Benson Exhibits at Meltdown Comics


From August 25th to 29th, illustration graduate student, Erik Benson, held his Master's of Art show at one of the best-known landmarks in the world of comics in Los Angeles: Meltdown Comics on Sunset Blvd. The majority of his art on display included comics pages from a storyline he is developing about mythical monsters during World War II. In addition, Benson included a small sample of originals he inked a few years ago for Marvel series, such as the Fantastic Four and Bishop. The day after Benson's show opening at Meltdown's, in the very gallery filled with his art, this high-profile venue hosted a rock concert by Anamanaguchi, the band composing the music for the video game of the recently released Scott Pilgrim movie. Check out the videos of the band rocking with Benson's artwork in the background. Rock on, Erik!

In Memoriam: Patrick Merrill


The Visual Arts department mourns the passing of their friend and fellow-alum, Patrick Merrill. Patrick, the husband of our colleague, Debra Winters, supported the arts in many functions. As a curator for the W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery at Cal Poly Pomona, he introduced many young talents to the public. As a master printmaker (who received his MFA in Printmaking at Cal State Fullerton), he often served as the "printing hand" of famous artists who enrolled his technical expertise to convert their art into prints. A retrospective exhibit of his art will take place at the Begovich Gallery at Cal State Fullerton from Oct. 30 to Dec. 9. Through it, students and visitors will discover what his friends knew: his passion. He was passionate about helping, passionate about issues, passionate about art and print-making. We will miss him. Patrick, thanks for all you've given us.

Professor Cramp and Mihaylo Hall


Professor Cliff Cramp was commissioned to do the painting of Mihaylo Hall for the building donor. Oil on canvas.

CD Cover Art


Professor Cliff Cramp signs on with a major record label to do the CD cover art for a Grammy nominated band. The release date is later this year. More details to come once specifics can be released.

Print Magazine Interviews Cal State Fullerton Illustrators


The main controversy at the illustration conference ICON6 centered around the likelihood of new media tools, like the iPad, leading more illustrators to introduce motion and even animation in their art. Some attendees argued against having yet to learn a new skill, while others embraced the growth of possibilities these changes heralded. Michael Dooley, reporting for the Print Magazine blog, invited reactions, and two members of Cal State Fullerton art department expressed their views. Graduate student, Katy Betz, highlighted the trendy, yet possibly less precise renaming of "illustrators" as "visual artists" that some speakers at the keynote suggested. Professor Cliff Cramp gave a thoughtful "big picture" answer of how all the new technologies, such as the web, have expanded our realm of artistic and commercial possibilities, and ultimately give the artist more freedom.

Cal State Fullerton Descends on ICON6


Last week, a small army of Cal State Fullerton students and professors attended ICON6, the Illustration Conference. Held in Pasadena during four days of non-stop activities, Titans got to hear some “big names” of illustration, such as Kadir Nelson, Yuko Shimizu, Gary Taxali, Fernanda Cohen, Tim Biskup, John Hendrix, Istvan Banyai, and Thomas Blackshear, as well as some important “behind-the-scenes” players such as David Saylor (Art Director, Scholastic), Karen Altieri (Production Designer, How to Train Your Dragon), Wyatt Mitchell (Design Director, Wired), and Kelly Doe (Art Director, New York Times). Cal State Fullerton illustrators shone in the Illustration West 48 exhibit as well as in the Gallery Nucleus show, "A Labor of Line." Both exhibits took place in the context of ICON6.

Congrats to Our Grads!


Another academic year has ended, and with it, it's sad to see our many talented young artists leave our grounds. Still, we, the faculty, have had the good fortune of working with such fine folks.

Here's the list of our most recent grads: Brigham Allebes (MFA), Erik Benson (MA), Angela Beas, Mallory Carlson (Cum Laude), Gustavo Cuevas, Niel Culliney, Lindsey Deets (Summa Cum Laude), Ben DeLeon, Asa Enoch (MA), Mikaela Espino (Cum Laude), Stephanie Gonzaga, Lance Gorji, Nydia Hernandez, Laura Hoffman (Magna Cum Laude), Yuzi Huang, Pin Pin Kao, Andrew Kim, Andy Lam, Carrie Liao, Eloisa Lopez, Owen Nelson (Cum Laude), Diane Nguyen, Ryan Oliver, Ryohko Otsuka, Chris Paseman, Doug Perez, Kevin Pham, Veronica Rider, Annie Ruygt (Summa Cum Laude), Joe Saenz, Diane Schulz (Summa Cum Laude & President’s Scholar), Marian Tavarro (Cum Laude), Brendan Waegner, Brittany Wiemer, Kelly Wilson. We'll miss you! Stay in touch, and create great art and touch people's hearts!

P.S.: if we omitted any Illustration graduates (who ended their studies between Dec. 2009 and Aug. 2010), please let us know so we can honor you too!

Professor Cramp Signs on for Three Board Games


Professor Cliff Cramp signs on to do three board games for Flaster Venture LLC. One of them will be a World War Two game while the other two will have Old Testament themes. The games are by creator by Dan Siskin who also created "The Pirate King", which Cliff Cramp also did the artwork for. The three new games will make five in total that the two have teamed up on. The games should be available during the Holiday season.

Mike Mignola to Appear at Golden Apple this Saturday


This Saturday, famed creator of Hellboy, Mike Mignola will meet fans and customers at one of L.A.'s oldest and greatest comics book shop, The Golden Apple. The event starts at 1pm. The Golden Apple is on 7018 Melrose Avenue.

CSUF Students Win 5 out of 6 Key Art Awards


Cal State Fullerton students won five of the six top awards in the 9th Key Art Awards Student Competition. Key art consists of all the promotional art, such as billboards, trailers, DVD packaging, that studios and agencies create to promote movies. This year, Professor Cheryl Savala-Lalicker’s students received seven out of the 12 nominations in the poster category and Professor Christian Hill’s students received six out of the 9 nominations in the trailer category. Since the inception of this student competition, no other art school in the country has had more year-after-year distinctions. This year’s poster winners are: Diane Nguyen (1st), Nicole Beesley (2nd), and Yu-Ting Huang (3rd). The trailer winners are: Glynis Brown (2nd) and Jan Injarusorn (3rd). First place poster winner, Nguyen, also made the cut in another contest this year, as a semi-finalist in Disney's ImagiNations competition. The Key Art Awards announcement event and gallery display of entries took place last Thursday May 8, at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. FIDM, in collaboration with Jeff Bacon, the founder of this competition, hosted a very informative panel of speakers from Disney Interactive Media Group, Focus Features, Bemis Balkind, and Menagerie Creative. The main Key Art Awards ceremony will take place June 11, in downtown Los Angeles.

Muckenthaler Concours Show May 2010


Fifteen automotive illustrations by Professor Cliff Cramp will be featured at the Muckentahler during the month of May. The Opening reception is Thursday May 13th from 6:00 - 8:00 PM. The work will also be on display during the Annual Muckenthaler Concours Car Show on Sunday May 16th. His 1962 classic Mini Cooper will be in attendance for the Councours Show.

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Cliff Cramp Featured at HB Concours

Professor Cliff Cramp was selected to produce the Huntington Beach Concours 25th Anniversary Show poster this year. The HB Concours is one of the longest running concours car shows in southern California. The Concours show is Sunday June 6th at the Huntington Beach Central Park (7111 Talbert Ave. - Huntington Beach, CA)

CSI Miami, Greg Swearingen, and Doug TenNapel in One Week


We had a lot of big time visitors last week: illustrator Greg Swearingen, cartoon creator Doug TenNapel, and the crew of CSI Miami. Greg Swearingen came to the History of American Illustration class to discuss his journey into becoming a pro and some of his technical processes. Doug TenNapel presented principles in storytelling and character development. Last, for more than two days, we all bumped into Horatio (David Caruso), Frank (Rex Linn), and (pretend) dead people while the CSI Miami crew filmed one of the last shows of the season. Look for a “Miami Dade U” stone marker in upcoming episodes, and you’ll know you’re seeing the Cal State Fullerton campus (yes, miles away from Miami, Florida)! What a fun campus!!

Painting World War II: California Style Watercolor Artists


The Oceanside Museum of Art presents an exhibit that examines for the first time the paintings of WWII scenes from California Style watercolor artists. In "Painting World War II," visitors can see more than 60 artistic depictions of the lives of U.S. soldiers at home and overseas, by such artists as Arthur Beaumont, Rex Brandt, Hardie Gramatky, Dong Kingman, Barse Miller, Phil Paradise, Charles Payzant, Ed Reep, Millard Sheets, and Milford Zornes. A very festive preview reception, with food, swing music, and period dance will take place on Saturday, April 17, at 5 PM ($10). This exhibit runs from April 18 through October 3, 2010.
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