"Courage" Artwork by Jody Hewgill
If you read Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly or The New York Times, you may have seen celebrity portraits and editorial works by Jody Hewgill, Assistant Professor of Illustration. Hewgill creates captivating illustrations and paintings for book publishers, advertising, murals, packaging, institutions and galleries.
Her practice reflects ageless human struggles within our contemporary lives, often playing with surrealism, symbolism and nods to 19th century figurative and botanical painting. She says she balances constructed compositions with intuition and serendipity.
“The invisible element that shapes my work is emotion, often expressed through my use of colour. The work keeps evolving. I’m a curious person, and I like being open to the possibilities of whatever inspiration the universe sends my way,” she says. “A major driving force in my practice is to visually express a sense of wonder and awe for the natural world, and to re-establish a connection. Inspiration comes from my travels, my avid interest in flora and fauna, and the natural surroundings of my summer painting studio in Northern Ontario.”
Hewgill is the recipient of major awards from American Illustration, Communication Arts, The Society of Publication Designers and the Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles, among others. She was featured in Taschen’s 100 Illustrators and her works are part of private and public collections around the world.
"Darwin" Artwork by Jody Hewgill
“As artists, one of our biggest nemeses is self-doubt. Receiving those first awards early in my career put some air under my wings, and being recognized by design industry peers gave me validation and confidence,” she says. “Being recognized in high-profile publications is one of the best ways to get images in front of a wider audience.”
This year she’s working on a personal series of new works for exhibition, and fielding illustration assignments she says are “too exciting to turn down,” including three illustrations for National Geographic (one of which is an anxious and depressed Charles Darwin), a portrait of musician Father John Misty in Rolling Stone and a painting that was made into limited edition prints for a NatureBridge environmental science education fundraiser.
"Go Deep" Artwork by Jody Hewgill
Hewgill, who studied Illustration at OCAD U herself while a student, decided to join the OCAD U faculty as a way to give back, and has found she enjoys and draws inspiration from teaching. “To see a student thrive is very rewarding,” she says, adding that her advice to young illustrators is to draw as much as possible, keep a process journal and look for inspiration outside of online sources. “Go to galleries and used bookstores, watch vintage films and documentaries, experience nature and explore and investigate as much as possible,” she says.
Find out more: jodyhewgill.com and jodyhewgillart.com and https://www.ai-ap.com/publications/article/16652/illustrator-profile-jody-hewgill-my-goal-is-to.html