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Magenta Manor: A Household of New Illustrators Talking Illustration

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Magenta Manor is an illustration podcast for up-and-coming illustrator graduates and students alike.

“The debut of our new podcast about illustration! The show will be composed of casual discussions of whatever happens to be on our mind as new illustrators.” (Magenta Manor 2013)

Hosted by Canadian based recent graduates Celia Krampien, Rachel Idzerda, Steven Hughes and Jori Bolton. They aim to provide invaluable advice and tips, as well as discussing their personal experiences transitioning from university to working professionally.

Krampien, Idzerda, Hughes and Bolton all graduated in 2012 after studying illustration together at the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, and now live together continuing to develop their careers in Illustration. They each work primarily within the editorial field of illustration, but have experience and understanding of other pathways and the field as a whole.

Starting at the end of January 2013, their initial podcasts were on the topics of realizing and defining personal styles, as well as preparing for the shift from completing coursework to preparing for professional industry work. They also talk about how their own personal styles have developed over the years and where they are at now, in regards to their unique illustrative style. The podcasts are provided in a casual conversational manner, giving very specific advice based on their personal experiences.

There more recent podcasts have been in the form of interviews with well established industry professionals such as Kelsey Heinrichs, Nimit Malavia, and Matt French. The interviews aim to get different perspectives on how one could go about pursuing and developing their own career in illustration, or a related field, and how to be successful in the industry.

What made you decide to start your own podcast and small illustration collective?

Jori: … it occurred to me that there wasn’t a beginner’s podcast after Thomas James’ Escape from Illustration Island ended. There wasn’t anything directed at people starting out, so I figured if we didn’t do it someone else would, and we had a pretty good set-up since we were all living together and were just starting our careers.

Do you know of any other existing podcasts, for illustration or similar professions?

Jori: All the other ones I know aren’t airing anymore: Big Illustration Party Time, Escape from Illustration Island, Art & Story,
Celia: Light Grey Art Labs has a podcast.
Jori: And Agency Access has a podcast. Plugging them again.

How has your podcast impacted your own careers in illustration?

Steven: The social aspect.
Rachel: … we feel more a part of the illustration community.
Rachel: Monetarily it hasn’t necessarily made huge difference, but we feel more a part of the community, and we haven’t been doing it for long enough to really know how it will affect us down the line. So far it’s been nice for the social aspect.
Jori: Basically it’s not bringing us jobs, but it’s good.

Have you, or would you, be interested in coming into contact with a similarly international collective of recent illustration graduates? What do you think the benefits could be by reaching out?

Steve: I think it would be just as fun as talking to anyone else in the community.
Jori: The benefits? Basically the same as our podcast. It’s cool to meet people and be part of the community.
Steven: Share our experiences.
Jori: Also, artistic influence. When you know someone personally you get a different view of their work…
Jori: Yeah, and I think that people I hang out with and know personally influence my work more than people who I only know of from seeing their work online.
Rachel: You see more of their process when you know them personally, and not just their drawing process, but their mental process.
Steven: Yeah, how they think. Being an illustrator, a lot of it is about the way you think and solve problems. Getting to know someone more is like getting to look under a veil.

Have you heard back from listeners or fans that have been inspired or interested in illustration since starting your podcast?

Rachel: … I don’t know that we’ve inspired anyone to start pursuing illustration, but we’ve heard from people who were already into illustration   and have told us they enjoyed the podcast. Which is very nice.
Steven: People who were already into illustration hear the podcast and are inspired by the people we interview and our experiences.
Celia: Yeah, I feel they’re probably more inspired by the people we interview than by us.

What are your near-future career goals? And how do you see your podcast fitting into your future careers?

Celia: I think a promotional tool, I guess.
Steven: A promotional tool not to art directors, but to other… to say “hey guys”–
Jori: A social promotional tool?
Steven: … networking for friends.
Rachel: What are our near-future career goals?
Jori: More clients. Dream clients. Check those of the list.
Steven: Become a better artist.
Jori: Yeah, become a better artist.
Jori: Become a decent artist.
Rachel: Learn to be an artist.
Steven: Work with more people. There’s a lot of people I still would really like to work with, and who have done work with illustrators I admire. I   feel like working with certain people would up your game a little bit.
Rachel: Maybe get to do some longer projects rather than just editorial stuff.
Celia: Get into different markets, like advertising or books.
Jori: Near-future, I’m still down with mostly short projects.
Steven: I’d be totally fine if I got a long project.
Rachel: I’d be okay with a longer project.
Jori: I really like short projects, for now.
Rachel: I don’t want to, in the near-future, move to all long projects, but I’d be good with doing one long one as well as short projects.
Steven: No, in terms of near-goals, if someone gave me a long-term project, I’d be stoked.
Jori: Okay, yeah, that’d be… I’ve got that one… I’d be down with it. Anyway…

The regular podcast can be found at magentamanor.com

See the work of the Magenta Manor Team: Rachel IdzerdaCelia Krampien Steven Hughes and Jori Bolton


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