The Light Grey Iceland Residency Program: Team Vatn includes a diverse group of creatives with background in illustration, branding, motion graphics, storyboarding, fine arts, photography and more. Team Vatn residents hail from various areas of the United States, Canada, England and Germany.
Throughout the program, artists will travel through the Southwest coast of Iceland exploring the lush vegetation, basalt formations and coastal mountains. Artists will hike along waterfalls, sketch sea trolls, wander shipwrecked beaches, visit glaciers, and hidden caves. Equipped with sketchbooks and cameras, Team Vatn (Team Water) will collect, share, and learn from the environment and one another.
Read more about our 2018 artists-in-residence teams below:
TEAM VATN: Alanna Stapleton, Al Polston, Ashley Mackenzie, Austin Breed, Bina Santos, Danette Beatty, Devon Berquist, Genevieve Santos, Gonçalo Marques Nobre, Jay John Purugganan, Kennedy Tarrell, Louie Zong, and Patrícia Mafra
Austin Breed is a graphic designer and illustrator currently living in Washington, DC. As the Creative Director for Peer Insight, Austin helps rapidly build prototypes and communicate concepts for clients like AARP, Capital One, a major athletics apparel company, and more. He has also lent his hand to DC's creative community by creating illustrations for DC Zinefest and AIGA DC Design Week. He has also drawn comics for IDW and Boom! Studios.
As a Kansas City native, Austin takes his coffee and BBQ seriously. He loves biking to work, roleplaying games, and reading short fiction.
"I'm excited to explore the beautiful landscape while being surrounded by other creatives... and to hopefully see a troll."
Alanna is an illustrator, embroidery artist, and semi-professional breakfast enthusiast. Her work explores personal narratives and the role of women in society through the subversion of traditionally feminine craft, narrative storytelling, and a little bit of humor. Currently located in Minneapolis, Alanna is an MFA candidate at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Alanna’s illustrations have been recognized by the Society of Illustrators NY and been exhibited across the Midwest. When not in the studio, Alanna can probably be found sitting in coffee shops, quoting Parks and Recreation, listening to podcasts, thinking about horses, and finding a way to travel and draw forever.
"In addition to being in awe of the vast and varied landscape of Iceland, I am really looking forward to learning all kinds of practical and weird and poignant and wonderful things from other creatives through the many conversations of art and life we’re bound to have."
Dawson City, Yukon
Devon Berquist is a photographer and visual artist from Canada’s north, the Yukon Territory. After a foundation year program at the Klondike Institute of Arts & Culture School of Visual Arts in Dawson City, YT, she relocated to Canada’s eastern coast to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax, NS. In her final year, she was awarded the Roloff Beny Scholarship by the university allowing her to pursue an extensive self-directed photography project in Iceland in 2016.
Since then, she has been keeping busy freelancing and developing her artistic practice as a participant in both the Canadian Wilderness Artist Residency, a 735 km canoe expedition up the Yukon River, and the first-ever Arctic Circle Artist Retreat located in Eagle Plains, a small outpost situated on the Arctic Circle in northern Canada. When she doesn’t have a camera in hand, she can be found nurturing her interests in screen-printing, illustration, and filmmaking.
"I am looking forward to learning, collaborating, and skill-sharing with other inspiring and creative individuals from across the globe!"
Gonçalo Marques Nobre
Gonçalo Nobre is an Animator and Designer. Born in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal, when the Berlin wall started to crack. The world turned into a place where digital tools became accessible and “moving images” started to proliferate all around us. Attending to his own dreams and also this contemporary need, he graduated in Audiovisual & Multimedia and started pursuing a career in the field. He is now living in Berlin and working as a freelancer.
"I am looking forward to visit some of the amazing Icelandic landscape, know more about its culture and histories and exchange experiences with other creatives. Also I am developing an idea for a graphic novel, taking place in Iceland. This will be ideal!"
Bina Santos is an Art Director and artist based in New York with roots in California. She works in the realm of creative advertising and social media, and is a paper artist and general maker of things. Balancing work for clients such as Disney and Warner Bros. by day, and her own personal work by night, she fills her time with a variety of creative projects ranging from event and experiential design, photography, graphic design, and, her personal favorite, paper cutouts. She has wanderlust deep in her bones and loves to travel near and far, always looking for something new and different, and for delicious food.
"I'm looking forward to meeting my fellow residents and finding inspiration and new creative perspectives! And of course I'm also excited to discover and ramble through the unique and beautiful landscape of Iceland!"
Los Angeles, CA
Louie Zong is an animator and musician, currently storyboarding on We Bare Bears at Cartoon Network. A graduate of Tufts University in civil engineering, Louie now resides in LA, where, if not drawing, he is likely writing music, hiking, or appreciating clouds and sunsets.
"The landscape and the people - nothing energizes and inspires me more than being in nature, and the opportunity to explore the wondrous vistas of Iceland with a crew of similarly-minded creative folk is extremely exciting!"
Danette is a 3D artist originally from Texas. She currently works at Ustwo Games in London, most recently as a level artist on Monument Valley 2. While she mainly makes 3D characters in her free time, she also enjoys making doodles, comics, animations and tutorials.
"I am looking forward to being surrounded by amazingly talented artists to learn from and the stunning landscape of Iceland!"
Patrícia Alexandra Azenha Mafra
Patrícia is a Portuguese illustrator, now based in Berlin.
She's also a cat lover, cheese addict and house of Gryffindor forever. As a kid, Patrícia used to say that she would grow up to be a painter or a gym teacher and now she's happy to say that she can do at least one of these jobs for a living. From digital to print, she likes to work around color and simple shapes, challenge herself and bring something new to each project.
"Iceland has been on my wish list for some years and so has this residency. It’s perfect balance of adventure, learning and creativity. I’m eager to be inspired by nature, people and cultural environment."
Kansas City, MO
Alison Polston is a midwestern Illustrator creating watercolor narratives of rascally (somewhat murderous) animals wearing human clothes. She takes inspiration from nature's calm and beautiful loneliness, religious themes, animal behaviors, and the intrusive thoughts that come with loss and anger.
In her spare time she likes to hike, cook on cast iron, collect animal fur and bones, and commune with her cat and dog.
"Experiencing such amazing nature with the conscious mindset of growth, sharing, and learning from other artists. Also moss."
San Jose, CA
Genevieve Santos is an illustrator born, raised and living in San Jose, and sole proprietor of a small stationery company, Le Petit Elefant. Wanderlust got the best of her so she's traveled to 31 countries before turning 30, sometimes backpacking, sometimes by camper van, sometimes on her own, but always with a sketchbook. Her love for animation started at a young age, and is what drives her to draw the slightest observations. She also has an insatiable weakness for ice cream.
"I love the idea of being around artists from all over the world, secluded and, together, seeking adventure, inspiration, and collaboration."
Jay John Purugganan
Born in the Philippines and moved to the United States at the age of five, Jay grew up in a cozy suburb of Boston. Growing up, he wanted to do something amazing. He had a dream of being a doctor, but as he grew older to his dismay, his interest waned and the sight of blood made him nauseous. So what could he do? After occasionally seeing a 3D CGI cartoon called ReBoot on Saturday/Sunday mornings, he knew he wanted to do something similar and make cool things. He enrolled and got accepted to the Savannah College of Art and Design graduating four years later with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
After graduating, he worked in Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, and now Nashville where he temporarily resides. For the pass ten plus years, he has worked in television as a motion designer for The Oprah Winfrey Show, Big Ten Network, The Steve Harvey Show and Pickler & Ben. While at The Steve Harvey Show, Jay has helped the show win two Daytime Emmy Awards in their second and third season.
In his spare time, Jay loves to travel to foreign countries and takes photos of his new surroundings. He loves exploring and experiencing the people, the food, and the culture.
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Ashley Mackenzie is a freelance illustrator based out of Edmonton, Alberta. She has an interest in creating thoughtful conceptual images and finding new ways to navigate ideas visually. Some of her past clients include the New York Times, Scientific American, The Atlantic and Tor. When not drawing she can be found reading, playing video games or thinking about her next project.
"I'm looking forward to exploring an entirely new landscape and sharing the experience with other creatives while learning about everyone's different ideas and practices!"
Los Angeles, CA
Kennedy Tarrell is a story artist and illustrator living in Los Angeles, California. Originally from Nebraska, she works at DreamWorks Animation Television as a storyboard artist on Spirit Riding Free, a Netflix original series. Past companies include Film Roman (Production Intern on The Simpsons, Season 25), and DreamWorks Feature (Research Intern, 2014.) Aside from her work in animation, she is a comic artist and illustrator, with a special interest in historical fiction. Her work can be found in the upcoming comic anthology, Comics For Choice. She draws inspiration from nature, early American plains authors, American folklore, fashion, and dance.
"I’m looking forward to unplugging and engaging with nature in a way that I don’t normally get to, and spending time researching, thinking, or just sitting and contemplating the view. I also can’t wait to take the workshops from each of my amazing teammates."