Category Archives: Faculty

Professor Tuomas Korpijaakko at the New York Art Book Fair

Professor Tuomas Korpijaakko (Publication Design) will be joining Booth N37 on Saturday and Sunday for the release of F Magazine, Issue 7: Paranoia. 

F is a periodic print-only publication that began as a magazine about a magazine, but is increasingly an actual magazine. 

F issue 7: PARANOIA out Sep/Oct 2018
Editor-in-chief: Adam Marnie
Art Director: Tuomas Korpijaakko

Printed Matter, Inc. presents THE NY ART BOOK FAIR
September 21-23, 2018
Preview: Thursday, September 20, 6-9pm

Free entrance


Preview Thursday, September 20, 6-9pm (Ticketed)

Friday, September  21, 1-7pm

Saturday, September 22, 11am-9pm

Sunday, September 23, 11am-7pm

MoMA PS1 is located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue on 46th Avenue, Long Island City, NY.

QC Illustration Faculty Publish New Books and Win Awards

Students in the QC Design BFA program can pursue a concentration in Illustration and Animation. Here’s what some of the illustrators on faculty have been up to in the past year:

Cecilia Ruiz

In the summer of 2018, Professor Ruiz’s picture book, A Gift from Abuela, was published by Candlewick Press.

In her first book for children, Cecilia Ruiz illuminates how things can change — and the importance of holding on to our dearest relationships when they do.

The first time Abuela holds Nina, her heart overflows with tenderness. And as Nina grows up, she and Abuela spend plenty of time together. Abuela can’t help thinking how much she’d like to give Nina a very special treat, so she saves a little bit of her money every week — a few pesos here, a few pesos there. When the world turns upside down, Abuela’s dream of a surprise for Nina seems impossible. Luckily, time spent together — and the love Abuela and Nina have for each other — could turn out to be the very best gift of all. With a soft and subtle hand, author-illustrator Cecilia Ruiz draws from her own history to share a deeply personal tale about remembering what’s most important when life starts to get in the way.

Social media links:  Instagram @cecifonik Twitter @cecifonik

Elizabeth Sayles

This June was a busy month for Professor Sayles. In addition to being a visiting lecturer at the Blanton Museum, University of Texas at Austin, (speaking about Ellsworth Kelly and the Ghost Army of WWII), her newest picture book, Americans, was published by Simon & Schuster.  Over the past year and a half, many of her students at QC  witnessed the book’s creation and learned how how a picture book is developed. The art was painted traditionally with acrylics and pencils, but also involved Adobe Photoshop when working out the layout, and for preparing the final files to send to the publisher.  The book is a timely reminder of the values and history of our country and its people.

This October some of the artwork from the book will be in the exhibit:  A Children’s America at the Rockland Center for the Arts, West Nyack, NY.

Social media links: Instagram: ElizabethSayles

Ryan Hartley Smith

In the past year, Professor Smith was awarded a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators for his work for the National YoungArts Foundation. He created a series of large-scale prints for the Delaware Art Museum orientation hall to welcome visitors to this leading museum of American illustration. He collaborated with QC Design colleague Susan Shaw on a guidebook to understand the NYC capital budget process, commissioned by the city’s Independent Budget Office. In July, Professor Smith presented a paper titled Grappling with Representation in the Age of the Comments Section at the ICON10 Illustration Conference in Detroit.

Professor Smith created posters and animated backdrops for theater director Yara Travieso for shows at Joe’s Pub and the National YoungArts Foundation. Professor Smith’s collaborative poster with dancer Jerron Herman was displayed at the Museum of Arts and Design, and is currently installed in an NYC Dept. of Transportation streetscape exhibition on 125th Street in Harlem.

Currently, Professor Smith is working with the Center for Urban Pedagogy, the Center for Court Innovation, and Safe Horizon to create a series of illustrated books and pocket guides to help youth between the ages of 2 to 18 navigate the court system as a witness or victim.

Social Media: Instagram: @rhartleysmith

Daniel Zender

This year, Professor Zender has been trying to spend more time in his studio, where he works on paintings, prints and sculpture. In May he had a show of block prints at Desert Island in Williamsburg, and is currently working on a set of large mixed media paintings. Professor Zender has also been making illustration work for a variety of new clients, including VICE, Wired, and Google. In January he was awarded a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators for his work for Nike.

Social Media: Insta:

New Course Just Added for Spring 2017: ARTS370 Typeface Design


This course is for anyone who has always wanted to design his or her own typeface, but is unsure where to start. Or for those who just love type, and wish they knew more about how it works. The participants will engage with the fundamental methods, tools and principles involved in the making of a digital typeface.

The course will take the participants from basic sketching through hand-drawn type to the digitization of their own, original letterforms. Working with each student step by step through the process of creating a working typeface of their very own, this course will provide a fundamental understanding of how typefaces work both technically and aesthetically, and experience in making them.

ARTS370 (56805)

Prerequisite: ARTS242 Typography 1

Instructor: Thomas Jockin

Day/time: Sundays 1:00pm – 4:50pm

New Elective Course: ARTS-250 Design Thinking – Spring 2017


Learn to think and make strategically. Apply your design skills in ways that are truly innovative.

Students interested in creative direction, social innovation, tech entrepreneurship, and solving the world’s big, important problems are encouraged to enroll.

Design Thinking
Wednesdays, 8:10am-12pm in Klapper 107
Fall 2016
Professor Andrew DeRosa

Course Description
This course will explore a variety of research, strategy, and design methods used by industry leaders to create innovative design solutions. Students will use these methods to create their own fully-formed brands to launch new products, services, and experiences based on real insights.

Pre-req: ARTS 241 or consent of instructor:


Aaron Krach’s Book Launch/Event at Printed Matter


Mies [Muse]

A tribute to Mies van der Rohe with new books by Aaron Krach and Philip Tomaru
April 16, 2016, 5 -7 PM
Printed Matter

On the occasion of Mies van der Rohe’s 130th birthday, Aaron Krach and Philip Tomaru present three new publications that reckon with the architect’s place in history, popular culture, and the modernist canon. Cake will be served. It wouldn’t be a birthday party without it.

Krach’s new book, Dark Pools (Almost Everything) is a shadow of Mies van der Rohe Furniture and Drawings, the catalog for a 1977 exhibition at MoMA dedicated to the architect’s furniture. Massimo Vignelli designed the slender paperback with brutal simplicity. “I found a dog-eared copy and lingered over its beauty,” Krach explains. “But I could not shake a sense of dread. Something dark lurked between the pages. The utopia imagined by Mies and Vignelli never arrived. Machine production rendered craftsman irrelevant. Minimal forms did not improve daily life. Innovative designs became ordinary, now filling bank lobbies and corporate boardrooms. Dark Pools inverts the original. Black is white. Shiny is matte. The cover is screen-printed by hand instead of machine-printed. The book is still elegant and stark, but the darkness is clear. Much is obscured and yet more, perhaps, is revealed.

Tomaru releases two new publications. BLINDS and WALLS are the first and second volumes in a three-part series, concluding with WINDOWS. The photographic-based series explores issues related to public-private space, transparency, and cognitive-affective processes as Tomaru negotiates the messy terrain of the modernist architecture program inter-mingled with his own lived-experience in one of Mies van der Rohe’s last residential buildings. Each book in the series is published using a different method, including risography, photocopy, and offset.

Dark Pools is available here


Aaron Krach is an artist based in NYC. Recently, he has worked with people, books, rocks, text, vodka, Purell, and a taxidermy goat to make books, sculptures, prints, and installations.

Philip Tomaru lives and works in New York and Baltimore.


QC Student Show Volunteer Opportunities

Design by Alice Lee

Poster Design by Alice Lee

Hello QC Design Community!

Mark your calendars, because the annual student exhibition is fast approaching. The exhibit runs from February 8th-18th. Please join us on Wednesday, February 10th, from 5-7pm for an opening reception in the Klapper Hall Student Gallery, located on the 4th floor.

We are also looking for volunteers to help curate and hang the exhibition, as well as volunteers to sit in the space during the course of the show- so that we can keep it open to the public as much as possible. If you are interested, please contact Professor Smith at

Design and Tech Events (Week of Sept. 21st)

Razorfish Global Tech Summit (Sept. 22nd)
Professor Danne Woo will be demoing his data visualization software, Datavisual, next Tuesday, September 22nd at the Razorfish Global Tech Summit.

NYC Media Lab Summit (Sept. 25th)
Professor Andrew DeRosa and Professor Woo will both be demoing next Friday, September 25th, at the NYC Media Lab Summit. Professor DeRosa will be talking about his Speculative Design class and Professor Woo will also be demoing student work from his Creative Coding class.

Both of these events are great to attend to learn more about design, technology and to potentially find jobs and internships through networking. The Razorfish Summit is free to register and the NYC Media Lab Summit is only $15 for students to register.

If you do happen to attend either one of these events, make sure to stop by and say hello to Professor Woo and Professor DeRosa.

Professor Zender awarded ADC Young Guns 2015!

© Daniel Zender, 2015

© Daniel Zender, 2015

Congratulations to Professor Daniel Zender, winner of the ADC Young Guns 2015 award!

The Art Directors Club (ADC), hosts this annual global competition to celebrate outstanding creatives under the age of 30. Announcing this years recipients, Nicole Jacek, Chair of the Young Guns 13 Committee  commented “Young Guns is not about meeting a quota of winners, but awarding individuals that we unanimously agreed would be the next generation of cultural changing creatives.”

Professor Zender teaches Illustration, Design Foundations and Photoshop at Queens College, CUNY.

Interview with Andrés Vera Martínez

© Andrés Vera Martínez

© Andrés Vera Martínez

Andrés Vera Martínez is a graphic novelist, illustrator and teacher. In this interview, Professor Martínez shares a little bit about his life, projects and his passion for comics. At Queens College, Professor Martínez teaches Graphic Novel 1, Graphic Novel 2 & Graphic Novel 3 (summer session 1 and Fall 2014) and Illustration 1, 2 & 3 (summer session 1 and Fall 2014.

KW: Tell us a little bit about your background?

AVM: I was born in a small west Texas oil boomtown that has since gone by the wayside. My family moved to the capitol, Austin, when I was a baby and I grew up there with my older sister. My grandparents lived next to us. We made our home in some beat up rental houses on the outskirts of a middle class neighborhood. We were very poor and had been for many generations. Our family has roots in old Texas, a mix of European Spanish and Native American ancestry. We are distinctly Texans or as the history books call us, “Tejanos”.

I grew up speaking Spanglish with my devout Catholic Native American grandma. My favorite food was refried bean tacos with a healthy dose of American cheese. What I looked forward to most after school was drawing and watching Super-Friends and Warner Brothers cartoons.

© Andrés Vera Martínez

© Andrés Vera Martínez

KW: Why Comics?

AM: When I was a kid comics were an inexpensive form of entertainment. My youngest uncle, who lived next door with my grandparents, collected comics, particularly Marvel Super Hero Comics. He also liked to draw. He was pretty good at copying art from his favorite Marvel illustrators. I was mesmerized at a very early age by his talent. He would often give me his drawings of Spider-Man, Thor and other characters. I really got into drawing because of him —and of course the encouragement of my mom, who would praise my drawings at every opportunity.

I continued to draw superheroes and started collecting comics.. I soon became just as interested in the stories as the art. In the mid 80’s to early 90’s, superhero comics were at an all time high in quality and popularity with classics like, Daredevil and The Dark Night Returns, The Watchmen, as well as the Uncanny X-men. These stories are now very influential in the making of today’s popular super-hero movies.


I stopped reading and drawing super-heroes when I reached my teens. It just wasn’t “cool” at that point and other things became more interesting. However, I continued to draw and eventually this practice, which I got pretty good at, lead me to college and then much later graduate school where I re-discovered my love for the comics art form. I would occasionally buy a comic here and there during my 20’s just to “check in” on my old hobby and I began to find other genres in comics that spoke to me more than my childhood superheroes. As a graduate student (MFA, Illustration as Visual Essay, SVA), I began to think about a career in Illustration and realized that making comics was not only possible, but held the greatest appeal for me. It’s as if I had been programmed from an early age to see art sequentially. I spent my time in school to learn everything I could about making comics and was fortunate to have had some very good teachers.

KW: How were you able to turn your passion into a career?

AVM: There was a boom in the comic market around 2006. Traditional book publishers were jumping on the bandwagon to produce graphic novels. So the volume of funded projects was pretty high at the time. I was finishing graduate school and one of the first jobs I landed was to illustrate a graphic novel about Babe Ruth for Simon & Schuster. It was a ridiculous attempt by the publisher to reach a certain demographic of young readers. I had zero interest in the character and story and I couldn’t see how an eight year-old boy would either—however, I loved doing the job and making comics for money. I especially liked the research and process of completing a very long project. After the book was complete I decided that comics were the best way I could express myself and I started to look for projects that would use comics to share stories that were meaningful for me.

It was a good start to a career but I soon realized being a freelance cartoonist wasn’t enough to sustain a stable career, so I sought out other illustration work from magazine and newspaper publishers as well as doing storyboards for ad agencies. After all I had a family at this point and we needed a steady flow of income. Learning how to tell a story properly through comics really prepared me for all kinds of work as an illustrator.

© Andrés Vera Martínez

© Andrés Vera Martínez

© Andrés Vera Martínez

© Andrés Vera Martínez


©Andrés Vera Martínez

©Andrés Vera Martínez

KW: Little White Duck is collaboration between you and your wife, Na Liu, and has been highly praised by NPR & the New York Times. How did this collaboration start and do you envision future collaborations?

© Andrés Vera Martínez

© Andrés Vera Martínez

AVM: It had been a year since I had finished the Babe Ruth book and I had taken many other commercial illustration jobs for magazines and even a TV show. I thought it was a good time to propose my own project to publishers for another graphic novel. I thought about what meant most to me and what I wanted to talk about. I came to the idea about getting my wife’s childhood stories out into the world. Na grew up in a very interesting time in China that not many people in western countries know about and making Little White Duck was an attempt to share all the great stories she had been telling me since we met. Na was reluctant at first but after some convincing she warmed up to the idea. Initially, my intention was not to make a children’s book—but since all the stories where of Na’s childhood memories it was easy to approach the book from her point of view as a 4-9 year old child. The publisher liked the idea and realized there was a potential audience for the project in schools and libraries. Well, librarians liked it so much they began to blog about it and soon the New York Times reviewed it and NPR featured the book in their program.

Little White Duck connected with more people than we expected and we are very happy about that. Here’s a link to nice interview where we both talk about our process of making the book. 

My wife and co-author, Na, has been working training for the past five years to be a physician and just recently completed a three-year residency in Staten Island We’ve talked about collaborating on another book about her experience as a resident and the healthcare system in this country.

KW: What projects are you working on now?

AVM: My family goes way back in Texas, longer than most people in the state, at least six generations. A lot has changed in that time and I am very interested in the history. I’ve been working on a graphic novel idea for a few years to tell this story. I finally got it together and pitched it to publishers. Abrams Comicart will publish my book in the fall of 2016. I will start working on it this month. The working title is Espiritu, Texas 1887 -2015.

© Andrés Vera Martínez

© Andrés Vera Martínez

Espirtitu, Texas will not only explore my cultural heritage and history, it will talk about the strength in family, overcoming poverty, and how knowledge can help someone survive when all odds are against them and also protect them going forward. The story will be told as mythology with it’s share of devils, demons and heroes and will draw to a close more in reality, mirroring a generational struggle of fighting to escape the shadows and downtrodden fringes of society.

© Andrés Vera Martínez

© Andrés Vera Martínez

KW: Do you have any desire to create animations?

AVM: I have no desire to animate my drawings myself, making comics is already a very laborious challenge. To animate a story properly, I feel you would need a team of people. I would like it someday if a group of animators were interested enough in my work to make a film, and I’d love to contribute with the design and direction, but animating frames would be a bit to much for me considering that my focus is on making comics right now.

KW: What’s currently on your reading list?

AVM: I’m currently reading: The Son, Phillip Meyer
I’ve purchased or borrowed these books and plan on reading them soon:
The Incall, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius
Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century, Michio Kaku

I’m reading these books with my daughter:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
Mary Poppins, P. L. Travers

KW: If you were to create a summer reading list for a novice to comics, what would make the top ten choices of the list?

AVM: —Just ten?! How about 12?
Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud
Maus, Art Spieglmen
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
Batman Year One, Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, Chris Ware
Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, Mike Mignola
Bone, Jeff Smith
Smile, Raina Telgemeier
Criminal, Ed Brubaker nd Sean Phillips
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson
Asterios Polyp, David Mazzucchelli
Love and Rockets, Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez

KW: What was the best exhibit you’ve seen in the last year?

AVM: I don’t get out as much as I used to but I liked Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

KW: What skills are needed to become successful in the field? What advice do you have for students on how to break into the field?

AVM: I think talent can only get you so far and doesn’t necessarily translate to a sustained career in the arts. Skills can be learned and practiced by anyone but what sets someone apart is falling in love with the process of getting better at your craft day-by-day, year-by-year. This leads you to seek out friendships with like-minded people who are just as passionate about art as you are. This network of friends, with time, will eventually gain positions to help you find work and vice-versa. To put it simply—be passionate about what you do, it becomes infectious to others around you. Be friendly and easy to work with. Eventually, if you stay persistent and stubborn you will earn a living making art–without out considering other options. It will happen. Last but not least, find a partner who believes in you and loves what you do. They may not be artists themselves but if they appreciate what you do they can help you on your journey to stay productive and happy.

KW: What was the most valuable advice you ever received?

AVM: My wife and I left stable jobs, and a very comfortable city for me to attend grad school in New York. My wife saw that I was happiest when I made art and shared it with others. We gambled that the illustration graduate program at SVA was going to give me the best chance to have a career in illustration. It was a major gamble; basically only four out of twenty students from each graduating class went on to have a sustainable career. I’d have to be one of the four to make it worth the time and money we would spend on our move and tuition. On top of those odds, in my second year we decided to have a baby, because we wanted children in our future and time was not on our side.

So I went looking for advice from artists/teachers who made a living with children in tow. In David Sandlin, my thesis coordinator, I found a versatile artist/teacher who was also a family man. He gave lots of insightful advice and guidance. The one thing he said that has stuck with me was the recommendation to not get a full-time job that was not related to art after graduating. He said if I couldn’t make ends meet with freelance work then supplement it with a part-time job that was related to the field of illustration, even if it was a book store or art supply shop. David said that I needed at least five years to get my freelance business going and then things would stabilize. I took his advice and it held true. I was inspired so much by David that I decided to become a college teacher myself. I’ve worked very hard to get this point in my career and now have the opportunity to play a part in guiding my own students in pursuing their dreams.


AVM: Andrés Vera Martínez
KW: Kathryn Weinstein, Associate Professor of Graphic Design, Queens College, CUNY