Edel Rodriguez
September 2007
Radiohead: Record companies, who needs them?
Sometimes I mess around with digital stuff. This is what happens.
Radiohead announced today that they have a new album.  They're selling the CD themselves and letting you pay what you want for downloads.  I'm a fan of their music but, free art?  Is this a good thing in the long run?

Article on

Radiohead "Rainbows" website for ordering
Work in a show in Brooklyn
"La Gallina", 30" x 40", Acrylic and polymer paint on canvas.
This is a recent painting that will be in a show at PEP gallery in Brooklyn.  The opening is on Friday, Oct. 5th 6-8pm.  If you're in the area, please drop by. 
Gallery information and a list of the artists in the show are below.  Thanks to Jashar Awan for putting the show together.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's work.
Book Review art
This is a new image for the NY Times Book Review.  The non fiction book that is reviewed is "The Art of Political Murder" by Francisco Goldman.  The subject is the murder of Guatemala City's Catholic bishop.

Here is the NY Times Book Review
, the artwork is on their website as well.

From Publisher's Weekly:  Novelist Goldman (The Divine Husband, etc.) pursues in his first nonfiction book the infamous murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi, the Guatemalan human rights leader murdered after the release of his multivolume report on the genocidal terror campaign led by the army in the 1980s and '90s, in which 200,000 people disappeared or were killed. The book, which began as a New Yorker piece, casts light into the darkest corners of this tortuous case, the U.S.-supported war in Central America and the continuing legacy of violence and corruption.
And these are the sketches I sent in.
Auction to benefit Behind the Book
A few months ago I posted some photos from a school visit in Brooklyn through a group called Behind the Book.  You can read that story here.
Behind the Book is having a silent auction at the Society of Illustrators at the end of October to benefit their work with students in NYC public schools.   The image at right is a rough color sketch of the art I'm contributing.  The organization is looking for illustrators to donate work which will be put up for auction at the Society of Illustrators next month.  The images will also be printed and laminated as bookmarks for use by children in NYC public shools.  If you'd like to contribute a piece of art, please read the information letter below.  Thanks.
Dear Illustrators:

Behind the Book is pleased to announce our fall 2007 benefit to be held at The Society of Illustrators on Monday, October 22, at 6:00pm. We have specifically timed our event so that attendees can tour The Society's 27th annual exhibition: “The Original Art 2007,” which celebrates the fine art of children's book illustration.

Behind the Book's mission is to excite children and young adults about reading. Working with low-income students in New York City K-12 public schools, we bring authors and their books into individual classrooms to build literacy skills and a new generation of book readers. We do this by working closely with teachers to select authors and illustrators whose work will both resonate with students and match their capabilities, as well as meet curriculum needs. For example, young students participate in art-and-writing workshops involving one to two authors and illustrators meeting with students four to six times; students create original work like illustrated books, graphic novels, and newspapers. In addition, every book students read in our program is theirs to keep; for younger children, it is often their very first book.

As our work with children celebrates how visual images bring the written word to life, we are planning a silent auction that showcases the fine art of illustration in the form of bookmarks. We hope that you will contribute by creating a bookmark for auction. Its shape, size, content, and design is yours to interpret. Existing signed artwork is also welcome.

Artwork/bookmarks need to be completed and delivered to Behind the Book by October 6. Please forward all inquiries and intention to contribute a piece of art to Jo Umans, Executive Director of Behind the Book, at

Please send the bookmarks to:

Jo Umans
Behind the Book
145 West 96th Street, Suite 1E
New York, NY 10025

Illustrators who have agreed to contribute bookmarks include Brian Selznick, Colin Bootman, Brian Pinkney, Mo Willems, Marc Tauss, Edel Rodriguez, and Marthe Jocelyn. We hope that you will consider contributing your time and talent as well. The funds raised through the silent auction will go directly to Behind the Book programs in NYC public schools.

When 60% of students in grades 3-8 read below grade level, a literacy organization like Behind the Book speaks directly to a basic need to get kids excited about reading.
To make reading something more than schoolwork - to make reading something kids want to do. Behind the Book does exactly that by creatively engaging students with the written word. Your participation in our fall benefit would help us succeed in bringing our programs into more classrooms, and putting more books like yours into students' hands.

Jeff Stockwell and Ruth Ades
Co-Chairs, Fall 2007 Benefit Committee
AIGA Books Show
There's a good show at AIGA in NYC that just opened today, check it out if you have some time.  There are a lot of great books and book packaging to go through.  The books are on long tables with printed forks and knives on either side to encourage one to dig in.  Drawger's own Ad Macauley had one of his kids' books chosen for the show.  Nice work Ad!

AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers
“AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers” features the 2007 juried selection of the best-designed books and book covers published in 2006. The exhibition was designed by Pure+Applied, New York. 

164 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Adam's book, "Oh No, Not Ghosts!"
The School Teacher
This is my new image for the monthly Playboy gig.  She teaches Latin.  The guy in the story walks in to pick up his kids from school and falls for her.  Leo mentioned that my last monthly image could have used more narrative so I added some details here that may allow someone to create a story—Naughty chalk.
Rodriguez VS. Staake
Place your bets!
For the last several weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about New York City.  Earlier in the Summer, I was asked to create the poster for the next illustration conference, ICON, which will take place next July in NYC.  I was honored to have been chosen for the task, and, to tell you the truth, a bit scared.  What would I do for a poster that goes out to thousands of my peers? One thing I knew was that I really wanted to include the people of this city in some way. 

I remember after 9/11 wondering whether NYC would ever be the same again.  The theater district, an area which I walk through daily,  was utterly quiet, and productions were shutting down.  Shops, restaurants, and galleries were closing.  Many illustrators were not getting much work and some magazines began to shut down.  For months, people discussed leaving the city, moving away, and changing their lives.
Time passed, and New York City is better than ever.  Artists are showing work everywhere, galleries opened up in places we never imagined, and the theater district is humming along as before.

While preparing for the ICON poster, I’ve been going around the city drawing and taking photographs of the people.  As I started looking carefully through the photographs recently, I again realized just how cool this city is.  So many unique personalities and characters.  White, African American, Hispanic, Asian, young , old—all in a hurry to get somewhere fast.  It’s something I’ve always known, but only when I really start looking closely, do I see how special this city is. 

Here’s to New York City, September 2007.
Here are a couple of paintings I did today.  I usually paint without planning ahead or sketching and like to see where things go.  The problem with paintings for me is deciding when to stop.  I tend to have something I like, and then paint on it some more, then I paint over the whole thing in one color and start again.  Sometimes there are 10 different paintings underneath the final image.  I like the process of painting and seeing what happens next. 

'Pigtails' above, and 'Pink Skull' below, 30" x 40", Acrylic on canvas.  Finished (maybe)
Friday Night Music Video
Leo sent me this video by a band from Uruguay called 'Cuarteto de Nos'. I'm a big fan of typography and love seeing how type can be animated and combined with illustration. You might like this video too, check it out, the song is in Spanish but everybody speaks Spanish nowadays, right?
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