Sophie Blackall Illustration

Drawings and Snippets and Breaking News, (but more snippets than breaking news).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Just in time for the holidays, my father told me a story about Christmas in France in a sleeping bag. It's over here.
Wherever you are in the world, however you celebrate, I wish you all a very happy and peaceful time.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

McNally Jackson Holiday Window

I really like glitter. It's not even a guilty pleasure, I have no guilt where glitter is concerned. I also love a Northern Hemisphere glittery, snowy Christmas, (much as I miss the beach and bush and frangipani and mangoes of an Australian Christmas). Doing a store window display was a childhood fantasy come true and I thank McNally Jackson for letting me loose behind their glass. It's a celebration of the most recent Ivy and Bean book, of books in general, of the holiday season in New York and of glitter. I even snuck Ahab in there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Free and Open to the Public!

This Thursday, November 15, from 6:30 - 8:30pm, I will be speaking at FIT in NYC. (I probably won't be speaking that whole time. I'll make you do some of the talking too. If you come.)

This is a reprise of the (sold out! – except it was free) presentation I gave at the Met earlier in the year. With a few twists and addenda and flights of fancy. And I can't guarantee refreshments, 
although we can live in hope. 
Please come.

Thursday, November 15, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Fred D. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, Room D211
Seventh Avenue at 27th Street

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Here You Go!

Thank you all for your kind emails and comments about the whales. Since then a hurricane has come and gone in my neck of the coast, leaving thousands of people sifting through sludge, and relying on bottled water and huddling under borrowed blankets. A week later this usually resilient city is still reeling.
I have just made an edition of 50 numbered, signed prints of the 50 whales, ships and icebergs for sale in my Etsy shop. 50% of the proceeds of each print will go directly to hurricane relief through the American Red Cross.
Prints are 14" x 22" on Arches aquarelle archival paper, and are a steal at $100! Print number 1 will be auctioned at the Housing Works Bookstore as part of their Moby Dick marathon next weekend. More on that later.
And thank you!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Whales and Ships and Icebergs

Sometimes when you have multiple, simultaneous deadlines looming, when you feel like you're just not making any visible, satisfying progress anywhere, it's necessary to push all those projects to one side and throw yourself into an extra-curricular exercise. In this case, because I was having trouble finishing a single painting, I decided to make 50 paintings. Possibly in honor of Moby Dick's birthday. I'm thinking I might make them into teatowels, or wrapping paper.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Just a quick note to say I will be speaking today on a panel at the 92StY in NYC as part of the Social Good Summit.

"Held during UN Week, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders to discuss a big idea: the power of innovative thinking and technology to solve our greatest challenges. This September, we want YOU to join the conversation with leaders and citizens from around the globe. The most innovative technologists, influential minds and passionate activists will come together with one shared goal: to unlock the potential of new media and technology to make the world a better place, and then to translate that potential into action."

All sorts of creative thinkers will be speaking over the next three days, and I'm very excited to be part of it. Events will be streamed live here, and you can find out more about it here.

And then tomorrow, Sunday September 23rd, I will be at the 92StY Street Fair. I will have the posters from the measles project on display and will be doing a bit of drawing with whoever stops by and hopefully that will be you. And people have asked if I'll sign their subway posters and I say YES!, I'll sign your elbow if you like, and if you donate $1 to immunize a child against measles I'll sign your other elbow too!

Hope to see you there! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Launch of the Measles Exhibit in DC Today

In some parts of Africa, families don't name their children until the threat of measles has passed. The project, Let Every Child Have a Name is being launched in Washington DC today at a Measles and Rubella Initiative Partnership meeting at the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross. The exhibition will include illustrations based on my trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where I met families and communities devastated by measles. It can be seen online by visiting the Measles and Rubella Initiative, or by clicking on the image above.
The posters are designed by my friend Sara Gillingham, the multi-talented illustrator and designer, (also the design dynamo behind Ivy and Bean).
None of this would have been possible without the creative, innovative, passionate and untiring Christine McNab, the force behind the Measles and Rubella Initiative.
As I said in my previous post, I've been working on these illustrations most of the Summer and have the dark circles under my eyes and the callouses on my fingers to prove it. I am crossing my callousy fingers and hoping that these posters do their job; that people see them and learn about the story of measles, and even more importantly how simple it is to protect children against the disease, and how we can help save one child with one dollar. Or, you know, three children with three dollars. And how, collectively, we are really in sight of an end to measles worldwide, if we can get it together. The posters will show you how. And you can donate here! Hooray!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Measles Project

I have been working all Summer on a project for the Measles and Rubella Initiative; a series of illustrations based on my trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier in the year. The illustrations are for posters which will hopefully help the movement to eliminate measles worldwide by 2020. It has been wonderful working on these paintings and rather strange to emerge back in the world... my head has been filled with the Congo for months, with images of mothers and babies waiting in long, snaking lines outside tiny huts where health workers vaccinate one child at a time. Images of long, hollowed out canoes delivering the vaccine up the river to remote villages. Images of children holding up their purple-dyed pinky fingers to show they've been vaccinated and are safe from measles.
The project will be launched next week at the Red Cross headquarters in Washington DC. After which I look forward to sharing it all with you.

Saturday, July 7, 2012