illustration

Thursday Spotlight: Tony Wolf’s “Greenpoint of View” Reexamines and Celebrates Neighborhood

An illustration by Tony Wolf

History books should be written as comics. In his 20+ years in Greenpoint, illustrator Tony Wolf witnessed a multitude of changes in the neighborhood, whimsically capturing the effects of gentrification and hipsterdom in his cartoon serials. But even as Tony traced the evolution in the neighborhood, one thing remains constant: his unflappable wonder for Greenpoint, and the unbreakable sense of community that connects its residents. Through his Greenpoint of View comics, he elevates a lazy stroll through McCarren Park into something majestic, and documents the dawn of a new era via the arrival of Enid’s.

Outside of his Greenpoint of View passion project, Tony is also a voice-over actor, performer, and freelance cartoonist with bylines in The New York TimesNow, even as Tony has relocated (he’s moved all the way to Hoboken, but he’s a truer Greenpointer than most at heart), he still aims to continue his Greenpoint of View series — be on the lookout for more soon! Below, we discuss what bars should be revived, his favorite restaurants, and how he made friends on — you guessed it — the G Train.  Continue reading

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Must Do: Hit Up The Cooler Gallery Art Market This Weekend at A/D/O! (12/2–12/3)

A/D/O Cooler Gallery Market

This weekend Saturday 12/2 & Sunday 12/3, A/D/O (29 Norman Ave) will be playing host to an uber cool art book fair and holiday popup curated by Cooler Gallery. The Cooler Gallery Super Market will feature unique designs and goods for sale and installations by local galleries, publishers, artists and designers. Some of the vendors include Draw Down BooksLikeminded ObjectsLadies and GentlemenJordan Johnson, Dusen Dusen, Caroline Z HurleyTetraKelli AndersonHuy Bui and Justin Donnely. Illustrator Jon Burgerman will host a drop-in, freeform and drawing workshop adorably entitled Doodle School. And at night, expect live music from the likes of Absolutely Yours, Chad Phillips, and Lillet Blanc. If you’ve got art lovers on your holiday gift list, don’t miss this popup!
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Julia Wertz’s Triumphant Illustrated History of New York City

Full disclosure—I have been a fan of Julia Wertz‘s amazing graphic work long before the publication of her recent smash hit entitled Tenements, Towers and Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City, so let’s forget objectivity. I discovered Julia’s prodigious talent through her work in the New Yorker. Although I have never met Julia we have exchanged emails and we are kindred spirits, bonded by our mutual love for New York City and its rich past.

Perhaps the biggest gulf separating us as writers is Julia’s prodigious talent as an illustrator, which makes her book such a joy to read from beginning to end. (My drawings make my students either laugh in ridicule or cringe.) It is not just how she sketches, but what she draws that makes her book so close to my heart. She has done excellent renderings of many of the quirky places in New York that I love and teaches me things about those places I never knew. Continue reading

Category: (Not)Forgotten Greenpoint, Art/Music, Culture, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , | 0 Comments

A Talk With Farmer, Bird Maven, & Wildlife Illustrator Annie Novak at Kingsland Wildflowers, + Rooftop Tour and Bird Beer! (10/11)

Annie Novak's avian illustrations
Annie Novak’s avian illustrations

We’ve written about Greenpointer, rooftop gardener and farming renaissance woman Annie Novak before—she heads up the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm (44 Eagle St), founded Growing Chefs, is manager of the Edible Academy at the New York Botanical Garden, and she literally wrote the book on how to turn your urban rooftop into a farm or garden. What you probably don’t know is that she’s also a wildlife and nature illustrator, with a new book coming out on bird migration. This Wednesday Oct 11th from 6-8pm at Kingsland Wildflowers (520 Kingsland Ave) you can see her give a lecture on her latest research and slideshow of her illustrations. The event kicks off at 6pm with a walking tour of Kingsland Wildflowers’ green roof and a cocktail hour, with the Safe Flight IPA” featured beer—a collaboration by local brewers KCBC & NYC Audubon to raise awareness of annual bird collisions.

The event is part of Kingsland Wildflowers’ monthly artist lecture series, featuring local Greenpoint artists who have created environmentally-focused bodies of work. Once a month various artists will speak at Kingsland Wildflowers about their process, inspiration, and ideas behind their unique take on the world around us and the habitat in which we coexist.

More info and RSVP Continue reading

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Pete’s Mini Zine Fest is Back July 8th!

Pete's Mini Zine FestThe next installment of Pete’s Mini Zine Fest is coming up this July 8th! This zine-fest-in-a-bar has been going strong for seven years. Come on down to Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St), drink some booze, meet the talented lineup, and read some zines!
As always, admission is FREE.

More info on Facebook
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Thursday Spotlight: Illustrator Jen Keenan

Jen Keenan - Greenpoint print
Jen Keenan – Greenpoint print

Greenpoint illustrator Jen Keenan’s work is both cheerful and comforting in its handcrafted imperfection. Inspired by vintage children’s books, animals, our awesome neighborhood, and more recently our country’s political climate, her work brings you into a world that radiates strength and positivity. Proceeds from prints on her site will be donated to help fund the NYC chapter of the post-inaugural Women’s March on Washington next weekend January 21st.

GP: What do you love most about Greenpoint?

Jen: “I really love the little historic blocks in Greenpoint. A lot of the neighbors sit out on their stoops in the summer, and we all stop and chat while the dogs briefly play. Every August there is a Calyer Street block party organized by some of the neighbors who grew up along Calyer. Everyone sets out tents and food and pitches in money for a food truck and waterslide /bouncy gym for the kids. It’s nice to have a bit of that quaint charm and friendly neighbor vibe. It makes you forget you live in such a big city.” Continue reading

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Greenpoint Diaries: “My Job At The Greenpoint Weekly Star”

Editor’s note: We’ve paired up a true story from Sara Jane Burman, an 80-year-old former resident of Greenpoint who grew up here, with local illustrator Aubrey Nolan.

Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
When I was a fourteen year old girl, I lived at 460 Graham Avenue, near what we used to called ” The Boulevard”. Now it is Meeker-Morgan.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
I loved to walk to the Greenpoint Public Library on Norman Avenue. I was another Francie Nolan, even before I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I spent hours in that magical place, and could not quite believe I could borrow those lovely books.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
I also liked to write.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
One day, I passed the Offices of the now defunct Greenpoint Weekly Star. We purchased it every week, and my mother liked to submit notices of school activities.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
She began when my tow headed twin brothers began First Grade in St. Cecilia’s School. There were three sets of twins who were in the First Grade, and Mom thought that was a newsworthy piece. So it was.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
I walked up to the Editor who was standing behind the front desk in their storefront office. My memory is hazy about what I said to him at first, but I remember clearly that he offered me a job writing for The Star. He told me I would be paid ten cents an inch for my writing.
I wrote a few pieces on local events. After I had submitted a few, the Editor asked if I would like to cover some evening meetings in Greenpoint. I knew my mother wouldn’t allow me to do this, so I politely declined, and offered my resignation. I asked for my salary. I was very surprised at how little it was.
Illustration by Aubrey Nolan
“You told me I would get ten cents an inch,” I complained.
“Yeah, Girlie. That’s right. Vertically, not horizontally!”
Category: (Not)Forgotten Greenpoint, Community, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thursday Spotlight: Josh Cochran

Photo source @joshcochran
Photo source @joshcochran

When he’s not working from his studio in Greenpoint, teaching at the School of Visual Arts, or filling in as art director for the New York Times Op-Ed page, Josh Cochran holds his annual Get Nude. Get Drawn exhibitions with fellow artist and friend Mike Perry. This year will be their fifth. The project consists of getting together some of Brooklyn’s most talented illustrators and dedicated day sessions of drawing nude models in their respective styles. The exhibition will show drawings made by the two originators themselves, along with artists Chrissy Angliker, Jon Burgerman, Mario Hugo, Julia Rothman, Edward Ubiera, and Joo Hee Yoon. Anticipating tonight’s show I asked Josh to share a few words about the playful collaboration and what it’s like to delve into the world of nude art.

Exhibition:
Thursday, January 28th
Tictail Market
90 Orchard St
7 – 11 pm

Photo source @joshcochran
Photo source @joshcochran

GP: Can you introduce yourself?
I’m an illustrator for magazines, newspapers and advertising. Sometimes I make murals as well.

GP: I hear you have a studio here at the Pencil Factory. What is your history with the space and what is a typical day in the studio like for you?
I’ve been here off and on for about seven years. It’s this big building with a bunch of other creative people working in various studios. Sort of feels like school, in a good way! Sometimes if I’m working on a project, it’s really nice to lean over and get an opinion of one of my studio mates. I come in around 10am and leave around dinnertime. I try to get my commissioned work out of the way so I have some time to work on personal projects. I try to work during daylight hours but of course if I have a deadline, this gets shifted around a little.

GP: How did the idea for this exhibition come along? How did you and Mike meet?
Mike and I met at the ADC Young Guns awards party. We were both getting an award, and just started talking. The idea for the project came about when we were both talking about how we wished we could draw nudes again but maybe approach it from a different perspective. In art school, drawing the nude was really academic and I wanted to find a fresh, spontaneous way to work. Drawing from normal, non-professional people really changes how you approach drawing. There is a certain amount of awkwardness and honesty that I hope to capture.

GP: Have you worked with any of tonight’s artists before?
I’ve worked with a couple of them before. Edward Ubiera and I did a mural project together last summer. Also I’ve done a few projects with Julia Rothman. This Brooklyn art world is pretty small actually.

Photo source @joshcochran
Photo source @joshcochran

GP: What other kinds of shows do you plan on putting
together in the future?

No immediate plans just yet. Though this is the 5th year of doing nudes and definitely planning on keeping this project going until we’re both very old. It’s been really interesting seeing how the project and work has evolved through the years.

GP: With these drawing sessions, what is the procedure like in order to get people the most comfortable?
We try to keep it as professional as possible. There is a changing area and we usually set up a bunch of props and lights that the models can interact with. Usually we try to chat a little bit with each model to see what kind of poses they want to do or what will make them feel more comfortable. I think one person this year drank half a can of beer, which seemed like it helped!

GP: What are you looking forward to the most with this exhibition?
I’m really looking forward to meeting some of the models. It’s been fascinating hearing the stories from people that have modeled for us. We’ve gotten people who’ve wanted to pose in order to get over a phobia of being naked in public, women who are about to have a baby, my studio mate who wants to embarrass me, etc. It’s always been sort of a crazy experience.

Photo source @joshcochran
Photo source @joshcochran

You can find more on Josh here.

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“What If Brooklyn Was a Cartoon Character?” Conversations with Daniella Urdinlaiz

Chainsaw by Daniella Urdinlaiz
“Chainsaw” by Daniella Urdinlaiz

Daniella Urdinlaiz is a Greenpoint-based artist specializing in illustration, animation, and design. From her drawing desk she’s created worlds that have traversed the internet realm onto films, websites, and blogs such as Thought Catalog, working as their primary visual artist.

“I’m drawn to people and things that are strange and bizarre to me,” she exclaimed as I stared at the rubbery octopus tentacle on our plate by the bar top of Alameda. Over shiso cocktails, the storyteller shared a bit of her own story, from her Catholic school upbringing in Miami to dreams of having her own cartoon show. Continue reading

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