In NYC for American Illustration 33

Added on by Doug Dowd.

I have been entering the annual competition in American Illustration for years. A zillion people enter, a tiny set gets in, and established folks are often repeats. Slipping through those cracks is a challenge. I bet I've entered that competition ten times without success. But woo hoo this year I finally got in! 

D.B. Dowd, Pancake Girl with Library Figures, Shanghai, from "The Five Pagodas," Spartan Holiday No. 2, 2013.

D.B. Dowd, Pancake Girl with Library Figures, Shanghai, from "The Five Pagodas," Spartan Holiday No. 2, 2013.

Since I began to re-conceive of myself as an illustrator about a dozen years ago, I have struggled to find a way to exist in that world. Probably the key insight–-acceptance of which was staved off by too many years--is that rather than being an artist who writes, I'm a writer who draws and paints. Ding!

D.B. Dowd, Wraparound Cover Spread from "The Five Pagodas," Spartan Holiday No. 2, 2013. The hand-lettered caption Only to wanderers can come ever new the shock of beauty is from a poem from Du Shenyan (born 646 CE)

D.B. Dowd, Wraparound Cover Spread from "The Five Pagodas," Spartan Holiday No. 2, 2013. The hand-lettered caption Only to wanderers can come ever new the shock of beauty is from a poem from Du Shenyan (born 646 CE)

It comes as no surprise to me, then when I finally cracked the lineup in American Illustration it was with my own content: two spreads from Spartan Holiday No. 2. (I also credit my friend and collaborator, graphic designer Scott Gericke for his tremendous work on the Spartan Holiday series.) American Illustration has long been recognized as the annual with a finger on the pulse of change. I am happy and grateful. And looking forward to tonight's party...