The Light Grey Iceland Residency Program: Team Jörð (Earth) includes a diverse group of animators, visual development artists, children's book illustrators, background painters, designers, and more. The Team Jörð residents are from various cities around the United States, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and England.
Throughout the program, artists adventured through Northern Iceland, visiting some of the most active, geothermal, and remote locations. The day excursions include hikes around boiling mud pots, sleeping volcanoes, basalt caves, geothermal pools and more.
Read more about our 2018 artists-in-residence teams below:
TEAM MERLIN: Alessandra Fusi, Alexandria Neonakis, Asya Aizenstein, Emily Walus, Ilaria Urbinati, Kate Sheridan, Marko Manev, Natalie Dombois, Nick Comparone, Sam Guay, Steven Sugar, Victoria Skellan, Vivianne du Bois, Gaia Bordicchia, and Wendy Grieb.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Asya Eizenstein is an illustrator and visual developer, with an animation background, based in Tel Aviv. She creates characters and environment design for animation and editorial illustrations.
Her short animated film has won the first prize at the 2016 Miami MJF festival and keeps running at international film festivals since 2014. She is currently working on her solo illustration exhibition, to be display in Tel Aviv.
"I wish that we could learn, evolve and influence visually and conceptually through each other, while having travel adventures together."
Los Angeles, CA
Alexandria is a character concept artist in video games, currently working at Naughty Dog. She is also a children's book illustrator represented by the Bright agency. Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, she now lives in Los Angeles, California.
Her favorite subjects to paint are botanicals, minerals and the natural world. Most of her spare time is spent outdoors hiking, taking photos and exploring the beautiful natural landscapes of Southern California. if she's not doing that, she's most likely snuggled up with her 2 cats and fiance playing games or reading in their cozy home.
"As soon as I left Iceland last time, I knew I was going to have to come back. I had one of the most incredibly experiences of my life in 2016, I'm so ready to get back and spend hours exploring mossy rocks and epic rolling landscapes with the Light Grey team."
Light Grey Iceland Residency Alumna
Las Vegas, NV
Marko Manev is an illustrator, graphic designer and a conceptual mixed-media artist. He has a bachelor of fine arts degree and has worked as a graphic designer in advertising for a number of years. Currently he works as a freelance artist and specializes in digital illustration for film, TV shows, games and various pop culture properties. His clients include Marvel, Lucasfilm, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Wizards of the Coast, Wired Magazine, The New Yorker, Variety and many others.
"To connect with other creatives, explore and get inspired by the natural beauties of Iceland."
Natalie is an illustrator from Germany. She creates imaginative illustration, but also enjoys digging into animation.
She loves stories, science, traveling and coffee.
"I've always wanted to go to Iceland. The landscape is so impressive! It will be amazing to finally do this, with so many great artists."
Alessandra Fusi was born in Rome in 1984, where she attended the IED institute of Art and Design, graduating in illustration and multimedia animation in 2006, and she has since then worked as an illustrator of books for children and young adults, puzzle games and stationery products.
As a painter she has exhibited her work in various solo and collective art shows across Italy, Europe and the United States.Currently, she lives and works in Bologna, together with Edoardo and their beloved cats, Rino and Cooper.
She has a true passion for animation and loves all things illustration, so she’s always learning new things, as well as teaching them, through the courses and workshops that she organizes for her cultural association Imagoblu, based in Bologna.
She loves fairy tales, tea, music, swing dancing, and cats, of course.
Yorba Linda, CA
Wendy Grieb grew up milking cows and tossing hay on a farm in rural western Pennsylvania and has been drawing and telling stories for as long as she can remember. An award winning children’s book illustrator and storyboard artist, Wendy has worked for Walt Disney TV Animation, Nickelodeon, Sony, etc., has illustrated six books in the Monster and Me Series, and teaches animation at the college level.
Wendy lives in sunny southern California and enjoys fairy tales, reading, sewing, puppets, sculpting, and designing monsters.
"Adventure!! I am excited to experience the wilderness of Iceland and to meet new people with a love for art and nature!"
Los Angeles, CA
Emily is an illustrator and designer from New Jersey. She draws inspiration from nature, gardening, travel, microhistories, and fantasy novels.
Emily currently works in the animation industry and resides in Los Angeles.
""I'm looking forward to meeting and learning from other artists during the residency!
Steven Sugar is an illustrator and designer from Silver Spring, Maryland. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design (Illustration '12) he left for Burbank, California to work as Lead Background Designer on Cartoon Network's Steven Universe. On the side, Steven enjoys drawing knights and wizards and fantasy worlds, and helping out with small video games.
"I'm excited for cold weather and Icelandic breakfasts with new friends!
Ilaria urbinati is a freelance illustrator based in Turin, Italy. She has been working as an illustrator since 2007: she began her career as character designer and colorist for animation Tv series, then she started working as a freelance, exploring illustration for editorial projects, books, apps and advertising. She is also a passionate graphic novelist: sometimes she writes and illustrates her own project.
"I'm looking forward powerful artistic exchange ad discoveries of beauty and deepness. An experience out of my comfort zone."
Kate Sheridan is an illustrator and cartoonist living in Philadelphia with her cat, Bruce. She graduated from Pratt Institute in 2016 with a BFA in Communications Design and spent the last year as assistant to illustrator Rebecca Mock. These days she does freelance illustration and makes fantasy comics that involve a lot of girls with swords, magic, or both.
"I'm really excited to draw and explore such a different landscape from what I'm used to. I'm also a hobbyist bird watcher and seeing and drawing puffins is something that's been on my list for a long time! Having the opportunity to work with and learn from such a skilled group of artists at the same time is incredible. I can’t wait! "
Victoria Skellan is a freelance illustrator currently living outside of Manchester in the UK. She was raised in a sleepy little village in Cheshire and spent a childhood wandering around the surrounding countryside. She later moved to Scotland where she received a BA in illustration and an appreciation for the Scottish weather from the University of Dundee, before heading back to the North West to complete an MA in Illustration at the Manchester School of art. Victoria loves folklore, myths, plants, fashion and old scientific illustrations.
"Exploring the amazing Icelandic landscape and learning local folktales and legends"
Sam Guay is an illustrator primarily focused on personal works exploring lucid dreams, sensory deprivation, and unseen emotional worlds. She’s currently working to finish the Blood Moon Tarot, a full tarot deck, in early 2018.
Sam lives and works in the woods of New Hampshire. Her work has been included in publications such as Nightmare Magazine, Spectrum, and ImagineFX.
"I'm looking forward to the exchange of experiences, knowledge, and unique viewpoints between the artists on my team, as well as the unexpected discoveries that often accompany that exchange."
Vivianne du Bois
Huizen, the Netherlands
Vivianne du Bois lives and works in The Netherlands. She studied 2D Animation at the University of the Arts Utrecht and graduated with a Bachelor of Design. She currently works as animator on a children's show and as a freelance illustrator on various projects. When she is not working she is probably playing video games or catching up with friends.
"I'm looking forward to meeting new people with the same artistic passion as me and exploring the wild landscapes Iceland has to offer together."
Based out of New England, artist Nick Comparone's work is composed of hand drawn and cut stencils, spray paints, and collage. Joining the latest troupe of pop culture inspired artists, he explores the have-it-your-way philosophy of consumerism through the variations on a theme afforded by the stencil medium. Showing work in galleries from Los Angeles to New York City, Nick has worked with properties from Marvel, Fox, Star Wars, Cartoon Network and more.
"The beautiful landscape of Iceland, combined with the inspired minds of like creatives, is no doubt an experience not to be missed!"
Gaia is a freelance illustrator based in northern Italy. After graduating from IED Institute of Art and Design in 1996 she worked as a wildlife artist for magazines and field guides. In 1998, she was selected for the Illustrators Exhibition at Bologna Children’s Book Fair and has illustrated numerous kidlit books in Italy and France ever since. From 2013 to 2017 she worked alongside the Flying Eye Books team on The Amazing Animal Atlas and she’s now developing a new portfolio of wildlife art.
Forever divided between the fantastic storytelling of children’s fiction and the beauty of the natural world, she will be looking forward to explore Iceland with other creatives from around the world.