Edel Rodriguez
Enter the American Illustration Pageant
 A while back all of us at Drawger discussed the pros and cons of competitions.  I was trying to figure out what to put up here and remembered that someone on that thread mentioned illustration competitions were just beauty pageants.  I took this photograph of a billboard in Times Square, so there you go.

Anyways, I've been asked by Donald Trump to be a judge for the American Illustration Competition this year.  I'm very honored to be amongst the jury, all wonderful members of our community.  I'm looking forward to meeting all of them and spending a couple of days together lounging around at the Soho House in the Meatpacking district in the middle of March. Sounds swanky, if it were not for the thousands of entries we will be painstakinly going through.  American Illustration seems to have mostly gone digital now.  The entries are a breeze to submit online so I encourage everyone to enter their work.

I've always thought of competitions as a wonderful opportunity for young talent, especially students, to get exposure alongside some of the industry's legends.  So get on over to the American Illustration website by March 9th and enter your work, I'm really looking forward to seeing it all.  Thanks!
AI26 Jury

J.J. Sedelmaier, President, J.J. Sedelmaier Productions, Jury Chair
J. J. Sedelmaier, president of J. J. Sedelmaier Productions, Inc., is responsible for many of the most talked about animated projects of the past 15 years. The launch season of MTV’s “Beavis and Butt-Head”, SNL’s “Saturday TV Funhouse” series (“The Ambiguously Gay Duo”, “X-Presidents”, etc.), the pilot for Cartoon Network/Adult Swim’s “Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law”, and over 400 TV commercials and design projects. He is a popular speaker on the art of animation and frequently contributes to published works on animation and design.

SooJin Buzelli, Creative Director, Asset International
SooJin Buzelli is the Creative Director at Asset International. Asset International publishes PLANSPONSOR, PLANADVISER, and Global Custodian magazines.
SooJin has been art directing and designing magazines for more than 10 years since graduating from Rhode Island School of Design with an Illustration BFA. She lives in East Village with her husband Chris and their puppy Sota.

John Colquhoun, Creative Director, The Kaplan Thaler Group
John Colquhoun is an award-winning Art Director and illustrator currently working as a Creative Director at The Kaplan Thaler Group on the Outback Steakhouse, Aflac and US Bank accounts. He has previously worked at FCB, BBDO, Ogilvy & Mather and Cliff Freeman and Partners on accounts including Little Caesar's Pizza, American Express, Philips Lighting, Planters, HBO and the US Navy among others. Throughout his career, John's work as an illustrator has contributed to many client accounts as well as a variety of freelance and animation assignments. A full account of John's advertising and little league awards can be obtained by contacting his parents at their home on Long Island, where they maintain a small shrine.

Arem Duplessis, Art Director, The New York Times Magazine
Arem Duplessis, is the art director of the New York Times magazine. He has held design director and art director positions at various titles including Spin, GQ and Blaze magazines. He has received awards from organizations such as the Society of Publication Designers (SPD), Communication Arts, The Art Directors Club, The Type Directors Club, The AIGA, Print, American Photography, American Illustration, and PDN. He was nominated for a National Magazine Award in Design from the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2004 for work done while working for Spin Magazine. He has judged and captained competitions for The Art Directors Club, Applied Arts, The Advertising and Design Club of Canada and The Society of Publication Designers (SPD) where he also serves as a board member. Arem resides in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Wendi, and two children, Remmi and Luke.

Marie Hyon, co founder and Creative Director, PSYOP
Marie Hyon, is one of 5 co-founders and creative directors of PSYOP, an agency founded in 2000 to provide visual solutions in motion for the advertising and marketing, video gaming, broadcast and music video industries. Their moto is Persuade, Change & Influence. Clients include Adidas, Coca-Cola, ESPN, Nike, Starbucks and VH1. She studied illustration at Parsons School of Design in New York City. She began her career by working for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite and TV Land as an art director/designer for the on-air and off-air design department where she spent 5 years designing for all 3 brands.
Now she lives and works in the Lower East Side of NYC and finds her neighborhood and the people very inspiring.

Dan Nadel, Owner, PictureBox, Inc.
Dan Nadel is the owner of PictureBox, Inc. (, a Grammy Award-winning New York-based packaging and publishing company. As a publisher, Dan has produced books by artists including Wilco, Paper Rad, Julie Doucet, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and many others. He is also the editor of The Ganzfeld (, an annual book of visual culture. He has published essays and criticism in publications including The Washington Post, Print, Eye, and The Economist. He is the author of “Art Out of Time: Unknown Comic Visionaries 1900–1969” and is an assistant professor of illustration at Parsons School of Design.


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