Recent NIU graduate Blanca Rosa Jimenez (Blanca Rosa), who received her B.F.A. degree with an emphasis in 2-D studio illustration in Dec. 2016, cum laude, was surprised to learn that her artwork was accepted into the annual Society of Illustrators Student Competition Exhibit. The exhibit features the works of over two hundred top college-level illustration students chosen from more than 8,700 entries submitted by professors of college-level students nationwide. The opening reception was held on Friday, May 12, at the Society of Illustrators Museum in New York, N.Y.
A jury of professional peers including illustrators and art directors chose the most outstanding works created throughout the year. Pieces were accepted based on the quality of technique, concept and skill of medium used.
“I was very surprised and delighted to hear that my piece was chosen to be a part of the Society of Illustrators Student Competition Exhibit! I did not even know that my art was entered into the competition, but yes, “The Veldt” is the piece that got in. It is a book cover I created for a short story, of the same name, by Ray Bradbury. The story is about some spoiled kids, their parents and a virtual reality room. It is a great (and creepy) science fiction story, one of my favorites,” says Rosa.
NIU illustration Professor Todd Buck submitted Rosa’s work into the student exhibit and is delighted with her accomplishment.
“Blanca consistently came up with very original and creative imagery for projects, visually expressing complex ideas in unique and engaging ways. We are happy the Society of Illustrators has recognized her work as extraordinary. This is not an easy show to get into, as entries come from top art and design schools across the country,” he said.
Rosa received her A.A. degree from Elgin Community College and transferred to NIU. She says, “I transferred to NIU because it was exactly the type of illustration program I was looking for. There is freedom in the techniques, medium, and subject matter but an intense focus on conceptualizing and communicating. The fact that NIU is a public university and close to home just happened to be an extra benefit,” she explained.
The NIU illustration emphasis uses a combination of traditional and digital techniques.
“During my time at NIU, with the help of my professors, I was able to experiment with many different mediums and techniques and figure out what works for me. I like the feel of drawing and painting on paper by hand, but I also like the ease of coloring and adding textures with Adobe Photoshop, so I use both traditional and digital techniques.
“It is such an honor to have my illustration chosen to be a part of the Society of Illustrator’s Student Scholarship Competition Exhibit,” said Rosa. “I know that being a creative isn’t a walk in the park, and I still have quite a way to go, but being recognized by the Society of Illustrators is validating and tells me that I’m heading in the right direction.”