The Light Grey Residency Program: Team Puffin included a diverse team of concept artists, photographers, illustrators, and fine artists from different areas of the globe. The Team Puffin residents hail from the United States, England, Canada, the Netherlands,and Australia.
Throughout the program, the artists will travel through Northern Iceland visiting some of the most active, geothermal, and remote locations. Our day excursions include hikes around boiling mud pots, sleeping volcanoes, basalt caves, geothermal pools and more. Equipped with our sketchbooks, cameras, and hiking gear, we set out on an adventure of a lifetime to explore, document, collaborate.
Read more about our 2017 artists-in-residence teams below.
TEAM PUFFIN: Amei Zhao, Daria Theodora, Grace Anello, Iris Compiet, Jia Sung, Joe Lillington, Justin Urich Tan, Lucy Bellwood, Pierre-Antoine Moelo, Bobby Rogers, Stephanie Laberis, and Victoria Ying
San Diego, CA
Grace is a graphic designer from Southern California. She graduated from college with a degree in European History and later went on to study Graphic Design. She is passionate about the places where design and history cross paths.
"I am looking forward to having an amazing adventure, learning from other artists, and being in a place I've always desired to go. I am extremely excited to see the historical lands of the Vikings as well as seeing the amazing geological sites Iceland has to offer, hopefully the combination will influence my future artistic endeavors."
Pierre-Antoine is a visual development artist born in Paris and currently living in Montreal, Canada. After working a couple of years in the video game industry for clients such as Ubisoft, he decided to set sails from France to Canada in 2012 to fulfill one of his dreams : working for animated feature films.
Since then he created environments, props and a few characters for ReelFX , Cinesite and L'atelier Animation as a freelancer. When not painting illustrations for movies, he is busy traveling the world to ignite his sense of wonder and kickstart his imagination with always a sketchbook and a few brushes in his backpack. He self published two illustrated books, and is currently working on two exciting new book projects.
"I'm looking forward sharing an amazing artistic journey with talented new friends, and trying to transfer the magic of breathtaking landscapes into the pages of my sketchbooks."
Justin Urich Tan
Justin is a self-taught photographer and a writer by trade. He has a background in Journalism, Humanities, and, for reasons even he can't explain, Economics. Growing up both in the Pacific Northwest and in the Pacific Islands, Justin takes his stubborn curiosity for the world and its inhabitants with him wherever he goes. In fact, it's his reverence for nature and his love for people—their cultures, histories, and stories—that compel him to explore and share things in his own little ways, with the help of images and words, of course. He plans to publish a book someday—a book on what, who knows...
"Apart from being inspired creatively by the remoteness, scale, and majesty of Iceland's landscapes, I'm also looking forward to collaborating in some capacity with other artists of differing backgrounds. Being able to explore other mediums and learning a thing or two about their respective processes is something that I hope will inspire me in new ways, with my own craft. I'd also like to be able to lick an iceberg or two while I'm there."
Los Angeles, CA
Victoria is an illustrator and storyteller with a backgroun in Animation. She grew up in Southern California with the sun and surf. She started her career in the arts by falling in love with comic books, this eventually turned into a career working in Animation. She loves Japanese Curry, putting things in her shopping cart online and taking them out again and hanging out with her one eared cat. Her film credits include Tangled, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen, Paperman, Big Hero 6, and Moana
"I'm looking forward to spending time with creative and motivated people. I love to be around positive energy and doing it Iceland is just the frosting on the cake! "
Lucy Bellwood is a tall ship sailor-turned-cartoonist based in Portland, Oregon. She is the creator of Baggywrinkles, an autobiographical, educational graphic novel about maritime history and her life at sea. Lucy's travelogue adventure comics have taken her whitewater rafting through the Grand Canyon, into the depths of sensory deprivation tanks, and out to sea on the last wooden whaling ship in the world. She is a ongoing artist for the all-ages fantasy series Cartozia Tales and contributes comics journalism to The Nib.
"The eccentric career I've crafted for myself over the last few years runs best on exposure to unusual environments. Iceland's landscape seems so diverse and alien a place that I can't help but get excited about what I'll be able to bring back from my time there—not to mention the many exciting mosses I'll get to rub on my face. I'm also keen to pick up new perspectives and practices from my fellow cohort members."
Amei Zhao currently works in visual development and design for Animation. Her primary focus is colors and light, drawing influence from her childhood growing up in a small town in Australia. She graduated with a PhD in Pathology, but has since moved on to a life working as a freelance artist. Clients include Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, Dark Horse, Vertigo, Titmouse and others. She spends her spare time pursuing astrophotography, diving and creating her personal work, 'Nameless and the Scientist'
"I'm incredibly excited at the unique opportunity of exploring the landscapes on the other side of the world and sharing that experience with other artists of wonderfully diverse backgrounds."
Bay Area, California
Stephanie is a character designer and children's book illustrator, with equal passion for feature animation and children's illustration. A New England transplant and RISD grad (BFA '04 Illustration) now living in Northern California, she has enjoyed working with Hasbro, Google, Microsoft, Nickelodeon, Disney Jr. and various feature film studios throughout her career. Her current projects include visual development for the upcoming animated feature Blazing Samurai and several Little Golden Books and various picture books, primarily focusing on her favorite subject matter: adorably weird animals! When she's not behind the Cintiq, you can find her volunteering at her local wildlife hospital, spending time with her pets of the feline and rodent persuasion, and keeping her video game skills on the Wii-U.
"The memories and the stories that will spring from such an adventure! Some folks prefer to save up for expensive toys, but I love to spend my resources on new experiences. "
Iris Compiet is an artist and Illustrator living and working in the Netherlands. She enjoys working on projects ranging from picture books to gallery art and even sculpting her own frames. Creating a ‘sense of wonder’ is at the core of her work. Both in commissioned work as in non-commissioned work, storytelling is an essential part. As an artist she strives to lure in the spectator, to make them feel a connection to the work and open a gateway to their imagination to ignite it even further. As a medium she favors the traditional kind, depending on the story that needs to be told she will choose a medium that translates best. Drawing her inspiration from European folklore, mythology, fairytales, ghost stories and anything from tombstones, Victorian photography to popular movies and music.
"The best thing of being an artist is knowing you never fully understand everything and knowledge is gained by listening and learning from others. I'm looking forward to grow as an artist even further and help others in my turn."
Joe Lillington is an illustrator from the UK. He is inspired by the landscape and by stories. His work often includes non-fiction elements with a focus on history. He has recently published two picture books with Flying Eye books.
"Exploring and being inspired the landscape, and meeting and learning from all the amazing other people on the trip!"
Daria Theodora is a semi-hermit illustrator/artist residing in the suburban jungle just outside Boston. Her works have recently been featured in Illustration Age, ImagineFX, and Illustration West 54. She currently is focusing on making more appealing visuals for both commercial works and galleries.
"In my hectic daily life, I seldom get a chance to focus only on drawing/painting. Meeting friends and other artists is often put in the back burner due to work and family obligations. During this residency, I hope to know my fellow residents better, to learn from their creative minds, and basically to draw to my heart's content without any worry."
Jia Sung is a painter and illustrator, born in Minnesota, bred in Singapore, now based in Brooklyn. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators NY and the Society of Illustrators LA. Some of her past clients include Penny Magazine, Narratively, Huffington Post, WILD MAGAZINE, and Nautilus Magazine among others.
Bobby Rogers is a Visual Artist currently located in Minneapolis, MN. His work has been featured by 3M, Target, Racked Magazine, Vulkan Magazine, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the American Swedish Institute.
"Well there are two main reasons why I am interested in this residency. First, I love nature and specifically mountains. I’ve never truly experience nature and all it’s glory and I believe Iceland would be the perfect place to begin this journey of exploration. My surroundings have a huge influence on the way I create. I look to earth and it’s energy as a force of guidance when I’m creating and often find my best ideas come when I give myself space to experience my surrounding with most of, if not all my senses. Second, joining this residency will be the first time I’ve ever traveled outside of the US. Being engulfed in nature on my first trip abroad with a group of creatives equally as passionate about their work sounds too good to be true. I’m pumped!"