Illustration students win big

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 11:15am

3x3 Magazine has awarded gold, silver and bronze awards to OCAD University Illustration students! Additionally, 6 other OCADU pieces were awarded honourable mention or merit. All will be published in 3x3’s No. 15 Annual.


Two illustrations from OCAD U students were also selected for Creative Quarterly 52. This brings our current tally of 2017/18 student awards to a record 54!


Lily Snowden-Fine (3rd yr)

GOLD Couple in a Hotel Lobby 

BRONZE Race to the Train 



Mia November (2nd yr)

SILVER Summer 1959 


Toko Hosoya (2nd yr)

HONORABLE MENTION Honne (image above)


Lisa Kim (2nd yr)

MERIT Pisces

MERIT Shoe Laces


Jisu Lee (4th yr)

MERIT Relativity


Adam de Souza (4th yr)

MERIT  Black Friday Super Sale


And congratulations to our Creative Quarterly winners, Hannah Kim (3rd yr) and Jinke Wang (4th yr)!


3x3 is the first publication devoted entirely to the art of contemporary illustration. Published in the United States and distributed worldwide, its sole interest is in sharing what’s shaping international illustration. Creative Quarterly is an international journal focussing on promoting the work of the creative community.

Toko Hosoya (2nd yr) - Honourable Mention - "Honne"

Creative Quarterly 52: Winners

Doug Panton
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 10:45am

Creative Quarterly is pleased to announce the winners of CFE 52. All winners will be exhibited in Creative Quarterly, on the newsstand Spring 2019. The winners and runner-ups work will be posted on our Online Gallery in Spring 2019.



Creative Quarterly 52, New York


Results from several industry competitions have just been announced!

Photo by Aliya Ghare
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 2:00pm



Congratulations to 4th year students Aliya Ghare (see above image), Jinke Wang, Francesca Chan, and 3rd year student, Lily Snowden-Fine, all of whom have work chosen to appear online as part of The American Illustration archive at

Their illustrations were among 315 images chosen from over 8,000 submitted worldwide. This year’s distinguished jury included: Damien Correll, Google; Jim Datz, The New York Times Op-Ed; Phoebe Flynn Rich, Rachel Ray Everyday; Alison Forner, Simon and Schuster; Na Kim, Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Michael Mrak, Scientific American; and Ivylise Simones, WIRED.




Toko Hosoya, 2nd yr student, was awarded The Society of Illustrators 60 (Professional show), GOLD AWARD, for the Uncommissioned category. Toko also had work chosen for the 2018 Student Scholarship Exhibition. Lily Snowden-Fine was awarded for 2 pieces and is the recipient of the Nancy Lee Rhodes Roberts Scholarship Award which comes with a $5,000.00 cash prize. Exhibiting this May in New York’s Museum of American Illustration with Toko and Lily, will be 4th yr students Adam De Souza and Jisu Lee, 3rd yr student Eryn Lougheed Crowell, and 2nd yr student Mia November. 


The winning images were selected from 8,700 entries submitted by American and Canadian universities. A jury of professional peers, including illustrators and art directors chose the most outstanding works created in 2017-18.





Andrew Watch, ILLU 2017, won the BRONZE AWARD and a Merit. Varvara Nedilska, 3rd yr student, won a Distinguished Merit and 2 Honorable Merits. Adam de Souza was awarded a Distinguished Merit and multiple Honorable Mentions. Aliya Ghare, Cindy Lee, Cameron Miller, Ann Sheng, Lily Snowden-Fine were awarded Merits. Varvara Nedilska and Cindy Lee, ILLU 2017, both won multiple Honorable Mentions, while Jisu Lee and ILLU 2017 graduates Christopher Dupon-Martinez, Anna Kwan and Adam Marin were awarded individual Honorable Mentions. 


3x3 is the first publication devoted entirely to the art of contemporary illustration. Published in the United States and distributed worldwide, its sole interest is in sharing what’s shaping international illustration.





Francesca Chan and Jenn Woodall, 4th yr students, were runners up for CQ51. Sarah Mason, 4th yr, was a winner and runner up, while Olivia Di Gregorio, 3rd yr, and Cameron Miller, ILLU 2017, were runners up for CQ50. Erin McCluskey, ILLU 2017, was a runner up for CQ49. And Janine Kwok (4th yr) and Chris Tu, 3rd yr, were runners up for CQ48.


Creative Quarterly is an international journal focussing on promoting the work of the creative community.




Varvara Nedilska and Eryn Lougheed Crowell won student awards for 2017. Winners for 2018 will be announced in the summer.

Applied Arts has been published in Canada since 1986 to a readership of 46,000 creative and marketing professionals.




Faculty of Design mural project

Mural of bright shapes with sign reading Faculty of Design
Friday, March 9, 2018 - 4:15pm

When you step off the elevator on the ninth floor of 230 Richmond St. W., your field of vision is filled with the vibrant colours of a mural that leads to the Faculty of Design offices.

Designed by alumnus and sessional instructor Adrian Forrow, the mural is the result of a project led by Jody Hewgill, Assistant Professor in the Illustration program.

The project began with a presentation of several OCADU alumni illustrators and recent graduates’ work. Forrow was chosen for his colourful bold imagery and his compelling design aesthetic.

"I wanted to work with dynamic and playful proportions that created a strong image flow within the breaks in the mural walls and corners,” said Forrow. “The initial sketching on the wall was probably the more challenging part. Due to the dimensions of the space I was unable to use a projector for the majority of the mural. I relied on detailed measurements that I had to take in a computer program to relay the measurement to the wall and build the image in a connect-the-dot style of sketching.”

Hewgill recruited three current Illustration students to apprentice with Forrow and help execute the mural. Through a workshop framework, students learned mural techniques such as taping and frisketing, and how to translate an illustration to mural scale.

The conceptualization, sketching, rendering and approval of the initial image took approximately two weeks to complete, the mural itself took five days to paint.

The signage was designed by Hewgill. The letters were cut on the CNC mill by Darrell Currington, then sanded, painted and assembled by Industrial Design student monitor Shayn Martens.



Three people painting the mural
Six people standing in front of the mural

Faculty Of Design New Office Mural

Faculty of Design Mural illustrators, students
Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 11:00am

The Faculty of Design Office is proud to show off the new mural on the outside walls of 230 Richmond Street, 9th Floor. Thank you to Ilustration Chair Paul Dallas, Assistant Professor Jody Hewgil and Instructor Adrian Forrow as well as, illustration students: Ene Agi; Sarah Mason; Lily Snowden-Fine. Making the new FoD sign was Shayn Martens from our Industrial Design Program.




Political cartoonist Barry Blitt returns to OCAD U

Cartoon of President Trump on a tiny car ride
Friday, March 2, 2018

Wearing his signature green fedora, illustrator Barry Blitt spoke to a packed auditorium of guests, students and faculty at the President’s Speakers Series talk on February 28.

The semi-autobiographical presentation included more than seventy images, capturing his process and evolution as an illustrator, and the challenges of working on breaking news stories for national publications.

Especially well-known for his covers of the New Yorker, Blitt’s style is instantly recognizable; a loose, pen and watercolour technique that would be as well-suited for 1928 as for 2018. President Trump has been a frequent subject for the past several years, someone Blitt considers a gift to satirists.

The humourous, self-deprecating talk concluded with a Q&A session with the audience. Students from the Illustration program quizzed him on how to start a career in the field, and others inquired about how he tackles difficult political subjects. The questions continued well past the allotted time, so Blitt returned the following day to speak with Illustration students.

Barry Blitt graduated from OCA in 1982, moving to the US a few years later. He has since become a US citizen and lives in Connecticut. 




A Sketchbook Overview

Backyard Sketch by Sam Bertram
Classic Florals by Sam Bertram
Lazy Unicorn by Sam Bertram

So what do you include in your sketchbook if you aren't drawing from the infinite lists found online? Everything is the short answer. As an illustrator your interests need to expand past visual art, artists and designers. You need to be a collector of information and things. This means you must be interested in everything from politics to the environment, to pop culture, and even historical facts. Becoming a curator of information, will help you in creating those sketches. Be sure to be observing the world around you. Go to your local coffee shop, train station, or mall and draw. Draw the elderly man drinking a coffee, the tourists waiting for their 3 o'clock train, or the children running through the mall food court. All of these things show that you are observing and taking in the information surrounding you. It is this information which will allow you to convey the solutions to the problems proposed to you from potential clients. 

Don’t forget, as an illustrator you are essentially a problem solver, an image maker and a designer. Your goal is to help your prospective client navigate their current problem, while producing a clear solution, using the imagery you create as the key communication tool. Whether this is through traditional mediums, such as oil paintings, or digital mediums using Photoshop or Illustrator your imagery must start with a rough piece. This is one of the reasons a sketchbook is so important. You're work will evolve and change as you weed out the less relevant concepts for your final illustrations. This is where your sketchbook will be used as a form of process or idea book. Whether it be rough sketches, composition drawings, or colour roughs, your sketchbook is where all of these ideas should start to take form. Showing this process in your sketchbook, gives those viewing it a look into your creative process, which is what universities such as OCAD U are looking for.

Finally, remember to use your sketchbook to explore and have fun. Although your expected to be using your sketchbook for rough work and concepts, you should also be using your sketchbook as an outlet to explore new mediums, express silly ideas, and draw what you are interested in. A sketchbook can be an expression of yourself, where all ideas, good or bad begin. Don’t be afraid to use a strange new color palette on a silly doodle of a unicorn riding a dragon. Or to make a tape drawing out of the new colored tape you found in the crafts isle of the art store. Make sure you enjoy the time you spend in your sketchbook. Schools, like OCAD University are looking to the sketchbook to see your thought process, and your experimentation. They want to see someone who is constantly observing and consistently creating.

Use your sketchbook as a tool to create, to observe, to retain information, and to experiment with new techniques, tools, and to express yourself and your works. Using some of these will create an excellent example of your work and yourself as a creator.

Samantha Bertram
Standard Template

OCAD U Illustration student in the New York Times

lily snowden-fine
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lily Snowden-Fine is an OCAD U 3rd year illustration student from Vancouver, BC. Alongside illustration she also loves ceramics, jewellery and painting. You can find this work on her site


The Illustrative Wit of Barry Blitt

Left -Donald Trump riding in a children's grocery store ride; Right - Person being pulled off an airplane
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 7:00pm

Join us at OCAD University for a timely and entertaining lecture by illustrator and OCAD U alumnus Barry Blitt.

Blitt has created more than 80 covers for The New Yorker magazine, as well as numerous other illustrations for the publication. His work has also appeared in Vanity Fair, Time, Rolling Stone, and The Atlantic. Blitt has been honoured with exhibitions and awards from the Society of Illustrators, Print, and American Illustration, and is a member of the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame.

This President's Speaker Series talk is sponsored by the late Honey and Barry Sherman.

Please arrive early as seating will be limited.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street Auditorium
Free (come early, seating is limited)

Illustration work on display on the 6th Floor

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 7:00am to Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 12:00pm

A showcase of third year illustration student work is currently on display on the 6th floor, 100 McCaul. 

The effective communication of a client’s objectives reconciled with the creative expression of the illustrator is explored through a variety of assignments in Illustration 3 and Illustration 4.

The work displayed is in response to two assignment briefs; a gig poster for a chosen musician or band, and a book cover and frontispiece from a selected list of novels.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul, Sharp Centre, 6th Floor