In July, 2015, The Light Grey Residency Program welcomed a diverse group of animators, art directors, illustrators, cartoonists and book makers and from different areas of the United States, Canada, France and the United Kingdom. During the residency, we traveled through Southern Iceland to visit some of the most secluded, wild, and sublime locations in the world. Our day excursions included trips to some of the creaking glacial feet, boiling mud pots, hidden waterfalls, haunted hillsides, sleeping volcanos, basalt caves, and more. Equipped with our sketchbooks, cameras, and hiking gear, we set out on an adventure of a lifetime to explore, document, collaborate- creating an atmosphere of learning, open exchange, and dialogue.
Read more about our 2015 artists in residence below, or find our more information about the details of the Iceland Residency Program here.
TEAM LICHEN: Lynn Wang, Ed Skudder, Leigh Luna, Evan Palmer, Nicolas Delort, Lee Crutchley, Matt Forsythe, Bridget Underwood, Meera Lee Patel, Ana Benaroya, Joy Ang, and Kate O'Hara.
The Light Grey Art Lab Iceland Residency 2015 is sponsored by Nature's Bakery
Lynn Wang is a director, animator, and designer living in Los Angeles. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a BFA with concentrations in New Media. Since graduating, she has had the opportunity to work on commercials, television, web animation, and music videos with studios such as Walt Disney Television Animation, Mondo Media, Fox, MTV, and many more. Lynn is also the co-creator of the web series DOGSNACK and short film Solstice. She is currently a creative director of animation for Goldieblox.
"I am looking forward to spending time and learning about other artists in their fields of expertise, and to gather inspiration for future projects. You can't create and grow without expanding your own personal experiences!"
Nicolas Delort is a Canadian and French Illustrator, living and working in the rainy suburbs of Paris, France for the past three years. He mostly works in scratchboard, drawing influence from a variety of sources, from romantic art of the 19th century to horror manga or Russian post-romantic composers. Clients include Blizzard Entertainment, Quirk Books, Tor.com, Solaris Books, Penguin Books, Mondo, Black Dragon Press, Simon & Schuster, and Dark Hall Mansion among others. Nicolas also holds a gold award from Spectrum and two gold awards from the Society of Illustrators in New York, and has been featured on Juxtapoz, Super Sonic Electric, and This is Colossal.
"As a freelancer, it's easy to get caught up in one's own work, neglect interactions with other artists and stay in our own comfortable bubble of acquaintances. I'm looking forward to meeting artists from other walks of life and exchanging personal experience about our field, from our own unique perspective, and hopefully it will kick me out of my comfort zone a little. I will do my best to share as much as I can about how I approach the creative process and how I handle the business side of the job. "
Kate O'Hara is a freelance illustrator currently living in Reno, Nevada and originally from Vancouver, Canada. She recently graduated from the University of Arts in Philadelphia with a BFA in illustration and typography. She enjoys making illustrations that draw people in through their nostalgic mood-- pieces that are both whimsical and haunting. Nature is very important to her work and life; she often uses interactions between plants, animals, and their environment as concepts to illustrate human behavior.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing the diverse landscape of Iceland and hopefully some of their wildlife too. Also, I'm excited to get to know all the artists and be a part of an art community again.
Ed Skudder is a writer, director, and animator living in Los Angeles, CA. After over 14 years in the industry, his projects include music videos, commercials, television, animation, and more for clients such as Disney TV, Nickelodeon, Lionsgate, Jim Henson, and many others. He is the creator of the 5-season hit web series Dick Figures and co-wrote-and-directed Dick Figures the Movie. He is also the co-creator of the web series DOGSNACK and the short film Solstice. He is currently a creative director of animation with the company Goldieblox.
"It's easy to drop anchor in one place where you quickly assume that all the inspiration you will ever need will be right there. But the world's always bigger than you think, and remembering this is such an important part of growth and discovery as an artist and a person. I am looking forward to exploring a new environment with new people and getting to be a part of their experience as well."
Matt Forsythe is a book maker, illustrator, cartoonist, and traveler, living and working in Toronto, Canada. For the past two years, he has been the lead designer on Adventure Time for Cartoon Network. Matt has also published a book through Simon and Schuster and worked on projects for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Nickelodeon, and others.
"I am looking forward to seeing icebergs, puffins, and nothern lights?! I'm looking forward to having my face melted off by all of the beautiful work and ideas!"
Meera Lee Patel
Meera Lee Patel is a self-taught artist raised by the New Jersey shore, where she swam in the bright waters and climbed cherry blossom trees until she grew old enough to draw them. Her illustrations are inspired by the magical mysteries of nature, the quiet stories that lace through everyday life and the bold colors of native India.
In addition to illustration, she produces a line of textiles and stationary products that are found in retailers and independent boutiques across the world, including Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. Her first book Daily Zen was released by Ulysses Press in October 2014. Her second book EVERYONE ELSE IS TAKEN, will be published in September 2015 by Perigee (Penguin USA).
"As a self-taught artist, I'm incredibly excited to spend time learning and collaborating with a diverse group of talented creatives. I'm looking forward to exploring the amazing Iceland terrain and letting it take my work where it will. My work has always been influenced by my environment and nature, and I know this experience will infuse it with new spirits and feelings. This residency will permanently alter the perspective I have on my own life and creative work, and I can't wait to see the shifts as they begin to take place."
Evan Palmer is an illustrator and cartoonist living in Minneapolis, MN. By day he is a web and animation producer at PUNY while by night he is a freelance illustrator, storyboard and concept artist, and self publishes his own comics about robots, wizards, and cooking. He has worked on such titles as Yo Gabba Gabba!, Scott Pilgrim, Vertigo's Fables and for clients such as Cartoon Network and BOOM! Studios
"An opportunity to be a part of a community of people who mostly hide away alone to to do their work is a rare one and can't be passed up. Add to that the exotic isolation and this could be a memorable and invaluable trip."
Joy Ang is an illustrator and cartoonist living in Edmonton, Alberta. She grew up in Calgary, Alberta and graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2007. She started her professional career with Udon Comics, and started working in the gaming industry on BioWare. She went on to do full-time freelance work, co-creating, and publishing two volumes of The Anthology Project: a collection of short comics by various talented artists.
"For a long time, Iceland has been at the top of my list of countries to visit. When I heard about Light Grey Art Lab doing a second residency, I immediately jumped at the chance to join. I can't think of a better way to explore this beautiful place, than go with 13 other artists where we can create art, learn from each other, and enjoy everything Iceland has to offer. I'm especially looking forward to the workshops that all of the artists will be presenting and to soak in what everyone will bring to the table."
Bridget Underwood is an animator and illustrator from the Pacific Northwest. She’s worked as a games animator on the Halo franchise, a traditional character animator with Titmouse, and a comics illustrator with Boom! Studios. Though she’s lived in places from Savannah to Seattle to Portland to France, she always feels at home where there are friends to sketch with, books to read, and rocks to climb.
"Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, I've always loved experiencing the vast, other-worldliness of natural landscapes, and the feeling of being transported to another place and time when out in a misty forest or surrounded by mountains. Iceland has always been pictured to me as one of the strangest and loveliest of such places, and I'm really excited to have a chance to explore and be inspired by it alongside a group of wonderful artists!"
Ana Benaroya is an artist and illustrator living and working out of Jersey City, NJ. She loves bright colors, muscular men and women, coffee, and hot sauce. In 2008, she graduated form Maryland Institute College of Art with a degree in Illustration and Art History, and in 2014, graduated from Cooper Union with a certificate in Typeface Design. Ana's work has been honored by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, and the PRINT Regional Design Annual. Some of her clients include Lincoln Center, The New York Times, Nickelodeon, National Geographic, Phish, Thames & Hudson, and Ralph Lauren.
"I am really looking forward to exploring an unknown country with a community of artists. I hope to learn new creative practices and ways of thinking and seeing- both from the environment of Iceland and from my fellow artists. it's easy to get comfortable in your daily routines, so I hope this residency will shake things up for me. I believe that traveling is the only was to get perspective on all things going on in your life- so to travel with artists, which is something I have never done before, will be even more eye-opening."
Lee Crutchley is a freelance artist and author from a small town in England. He is interesting in making work that has a meaning, message, or purpose- rarely creating something just to look good. His first book, Quoteskine Vol. 1 was published in 2010- which was an analogue of his daily drawing blog. His second book, The Art of Getting Started, was published by Penguin USA in 2013. It's an interactive workbook to help people beat perfectionism and procrastination. He is currently finished this third book, How To Be Happy (Or At Least Less Sad), and again to be published by Penguin USA in 2015.
Leigh Luna is an illustrator comic artist originally from the sand-covered hills of New Mexico. Leigh is currently working on a children's comic called Clementine Fox, which is being published by Andrews McMeel on GoComics. She also has done work for BOOM Studios on the Adventure Time Comics and illustrations for Paper Darts Magazine.
"I am incredibly honored and excited to get to be a part of this experience. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and learning as much as possible!"