Another ILW 55 Judge is Interviewed: Martin Gee, Sr. Art Director TIME

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Illustration West 55 Show Chair Steve “Primary” Hughes interviews another one of our 7 judges for our competition – early bird deadline is September 30!

Martin Gee is a Senior Art Director at TIME, freelance illustrator and cat whisperer. His path of destruction includes The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and House of Blues. His work has been published in Entertainment Weekly, Variety, Popular Mechanics and The Washington Post. He has won an Emmy, awards from a few acronyms (SOI, SPD and SND) and a fondue set for presentation karaoke / improv. He enjoys everything Star Wars, building Lego robots and living the dream.

Steve: As someone on both sides of the industry, both commissioning and creating illustration, what’s your outlook on the field?

Martin: There’s so much ridiculously good work being done by illustrators and designers out there, I just wish the demand was as great to hire everyone.

Steve: What challenges does an art director face behind the scenes?

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Martin: The biggest challenge is fighting (aka collaborating) for what you want and think is best. While the art department wants more dynamic design or use of illustration, editors want to tone things down or publish more words. We all ultimately want to make the best magazine possible. Everyone here is so smart and really care. Please know we’re fighting for illustrators before, during and after every project. =)

Steve: What do enjoy, or dislike, the most about working in the editorial design/illustration market?

Martin: I love the pace. I’d rather have two days instead of two weeks. It fits my personality of only dealing with what’s in front of me and not looking into the long term.

Steve: What keeps you excited or entertained outside of the studio? Does that feedback into your work in any particular way?

Martin: Embarrassingly, I have to say making Lego robots / mechs. It exercises a different part of my brain while using my hands and not staring at a screen. It was a revelation when my wife told me I build / block in my vector art and Lego the same way.

Steve: Who shot first, Han or Greedo?

Martin: Why is this even a question?!

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