Have you ever left a stack of business cards at an establishment? How about this, have you ever picked someone else’s card up?
I have a thing for scouring the back nooks at coffee shops for business cards, flyers, posters, free newsies and any other info I can gather about what’s going around town in the time it takes to get my drip. On one such coffee trip to Rooster Moon, they conveniently have their stash of cards from frequent and regular work-away-from-homers up front and center on the barista counter, I plucked a card for an illustrator. I have had the idea of writing a children’s book for some time, and even more so now that I am a mother, and thought it might be wise to collect a few contenders for the art illustration portion. This card was for Naomi Paskowitz. After a visit to her site, Drawnomi.com, I instantly was, well, drawn to her work! It was kismet that back in July, when I had started brain storming for what is now Haleeb & Honey, I found Naomi!
Naomi is the talented digital illustrator behind my logo, and my profile picture. I absolutely love discovering talent and Naomi definitely falls into that bucket. She JUST moved to Colorado from California not too long ago and every time I meet up with her, she is the sweetest, kindest, smiley-est things! I have to say, I was a little proud when I learned I had introduced her to City O’ City and Tattered Cover on Colfax, two great Denver places. I felt like a big sister sharing my favorite places with her. She will hate for me to say this probably, but if you have ever seen the movie Juno, then you know how adorable actress Ellen Page is. Well, pretty much Naomi is my very own EP. She reminds me SO much of her!
Here’s a little more about the up and coming illustrator. I am so thrilled to “unveil” her if you will and so honored to have worked with her from concept, to design to publication on the illustration for Haleeb & Honey. I HIGHLY recommend her. She’s fast, she responds to your texts and e-mails almost immediately and if she doesn’t she apologizes for her short delay. She can comprehend your feedback and comments, take it in and spit out something more focused and then eventually hits it on the nail within a deadline that…wait for it…she sets for herself!!! All in all, I met a friend first, who also happens to be a fantastic illustrator.
Naomi Paskowitz, 23
Laguna College of Art + Design, Laguna Beach, CA / Studied Illustration, received BFA
What is your favorite medium to work with?
Right now it’s digital, I mostly always draw and paint in Photoshop with a Wacom tablet. I find it easier because there are no irreversible mistakes I can make and things are already inside my computer so there’s no scanning or transferring process involved. I also just like pencil drawing in a small moleskine because then everything seems to look better when it’s done quickly and there’s no need for it. I only took one digital class in my four years at art school cause it was a pretty traditional place and the illustration department wasn’t really all that fond of digital art. I mostly learned from my close friends who were animators and game art majors and by constantly doing it in my free time.
How do you practice your art form?
I usually will just draw strangers in coffee shops or draw my friends or practice figure drawing.
(Naomi is also looking into taking live art drawing classes. So if you know of any…)
What are your favorite places to get inspired by art?
I haven’t really checked out much stuff in Denver yet, sadly. I’m still pretty new to the art scene here, but in California I loved the Getty Museum more than anything. Besides the tons of beautiful art, it’s on a mountain top above Los Angeles so it felt like you were exploring a marble palace in the sky. Anything on a mountain, I like.
Who or what would you say is you inspiration for your work?
I’d say other people’s art is my inspiration. I have way too many favorite artists of the past and present… Winsor McCay, Sam Bosma, Claire Wendling, JC Leyendecker, and Sterling Hundley are some of my all time favorite artists. Some illustrators I know personally and admire a lot are Ian Jacobson, Jamie Givens, and Julianna Beckert. There are so many talented people out there and I love when people do something that just sets your mind on fire and makes you want to go out and do wonderful things in the world.
If you could have a chance at illustrating any project or person, what/who might that be?
If I could illustrate anything, it would probably be for an album cover for some musician or comedian I like or a movie poster for some random animated short or something. I get really obsessed with other people’s forms of art that I just desperately want to be a part of it sometimes.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, hopefully working in some studio alongside other creative types doing something cool. (Haha). My short term goals are pretty broad cause I’d be happy doing just about anything as long as it involved coming up with new visual ideas and drawing. Someday I hope to illustrate and write my own short story though. That’d be the best.
Well, it would be the best for us to see it!
Image credit: Naomi Paskowitz Self Illustration