1. ICON5 Opening Remarks

    ICON5 President Whitney Sherman
    Welcome to New York City! And to ICON5, the fifth Illustration Conference. Our theme, The Big Picture, is more than a slogan, it is the perspective through which we see our future – as thinkers and providers of creative content.

    The Big Picture is about celebrating creative freedom, making fresh alliances, — regenerating ourselves and provoking thought.

    The Big Picture is about what it means to be an illustrator, who we work for, — how we market ourselves and protect our authorship.

    The Big Picture is where we locate to create and with whom we choose to work.

    The Big Picture is about the creative currents and economic forces we face.

    The Big Picture also means mingling with a melting pot of attendees from around the globe.

    The poet Emma Lazarus wrote these words in 1883, “ …Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…". These words came to define the opportunity that awaited new immigrants arriving on these shores leaving the comfort of today for the promises of tomorrow.

    This idea parallels the story of illustrators today. Like the immigrants, we have to trust our instincts as they guide us toward our new lands of opportunities. We need to delight in the prospect of reinventing ourselves and take responsibility for charting this new course.

    How will we do this? By evolution or revolution?

    The shifting winds of the economy and technology brew over a changing political landscape. These things are out of our hands to control. But do we want to control them, OR do we want to respond to them, to use our natural abilities as artists to engage in what writers and psychologists are calling a new world in which "right brain" qualities of inventiveness, empathy, and meaning dominate.

    Imagine yourself boarding a strange vessel, you can take 7 tools or skills. What would you take? Some might say “my best images", or “my creative problem solving". Others may say my “willingness to do it wrong", or “ my life time of experience"…[except for that night in Hoboken].

    What would you take?

    Step back -- look at The Big Picture — and you see the agility and adaptability you have as an independent artist are perfect training for that trip. You realize that waiting for it to “happen" puts you at the back of the line, -- the bottom of the pile.

    In his book, A Whole New Mind, Why Right-Brainers will Rule the World, author Daniel Pink describes creative thinking as important in envisioning our new world and experiencing it too.

    Take this time during ICON5 to pack your bag to the future, for your trip on the open waters of the new illustration.

    Introducing Opening Keynote Speaker Stanley Hainsworth

    ICON5 President Whitney Sherman
    Our opening keynote speaker, Stanley Hainsworth is the former Creative Director of Nike, former Global Creative Director of Lego and creative mastermind of the Starbucks brand identity. Stanley recently left Starbucks to start his own company Tether where he pursues his love of all things hand-crafted.

    Our keynote speaker is generously supported by MICA and the iSpot. Please help me give a warm welcome to Stanley Hainsworth.

    Introducing Closing Keynote Speaker Kevin O'Callaghan

    ICON5 President Whitney Sherman
    Native New Yorker, Kevin O'Callaghan — a maverick hybrid of illustrator/product designer/educator and artist — is involved in bringing the biggest illustrated 3D extravaganzas to life. His recent projects have included exhibits at Grand Central Station and the Whitney Museum of Art. Kevin has been with the School of Visual Arts for the past 26 years, and Chairman of the 3D Design Program for the past 12 years.

    His work has been honored many times, including receiving the prestigious ADC Gold Cube Award. His "Art is...Healing" poster, a tribute to the heroes of 9/11 has been included in the Library of Congress. Kevin also received the distinguished teacher award at the NY Public Library. As a teacher, his exhibitions are acclaimed around the world. The exhibition Yugo Next was featured in over 400 news pieces around the world. The National Endowment of the Arts in Washington has called the exhibit "the greatest public art — ever!".

    In the past six months alone, Kevin has done the following with his students:

    Horsepower - an exhibition where he asked his students to imagine a world without oil. He gave out over 15 horse drawn vehicles that were beyond repair and asked them to redesign them in a satirical manner to fit into today's energy challenged world. The results were amazing and, of course, even included a horse-drawn NYC taxi cab. Horsepower exhibited in three different venues over a three month period.

    Earth Week on the Today Show - Kevin and his crew worked on a 20x30 foot ornate gold leaf frame every morning for a week on the Today Show. The project resulted in a mural made on air entirely out of the e-waste of over 10,000 cell phones and Blackberrys™.

    ICFF Trade Booth - Kevin and his students created a booth at the ICFF and took home 1st prize for "Best Booth" out of over 600 professional furniture companies from around the world.

    Shear Genius - His class created conceptual haircutters chairs for the TV program Shear Genius as well as a 50-foot salon in Times Square featuring them for a media event.

    Our closing keynote speaker is generously supported by the Directory of Illustration.

    The introduction film you are about to see was created lovingly by a former student, Ben Kim. I hope Kevin enjoys it - he's never seen it before! Please help me welcome Kevin O'Callaghan.

    ICON5 Closing Remarks

    ICON5 President Whitney Sherman
    How we doin' New York? ICON5 has been the most ambitious ICON ever. We have had four days of workshops, tours, sessions and lunches. We have discussed topics ranging from the hand-made to the highest levels of digital technology. We've come together, had social responses, gotten personal, made fire, heard tall tales, revisioned ourselves, thought about endless possibilities and gotten ready for self-defense!

    Additionally, we've had an opportunity to enlarge our perspectives, to get a global view. Included in our audience are attendees from around the world. Will you stand up as I call your country's name? Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, New Zealand and Sweden!

    There are also numerous attendees who have come to ALL of the conference. Would you all please stand for our recognition? I stand among them.

    It has been an honor for me to serve as the President of ICON5. It has been very hard, but rewarding work. I also want to honor the ICON5 Board members and others who made this conference possible: Ross MacDonald, Vice President; Isabelle Dervaux, Programming Chair; Jack Tom, Education Chair and Advocacy Co-Chair; Nancy Stahl, Treasurer; Martha Rich, Secretary; Fernanda Cohen and Julia Breckenreid, Events Co-Chairs; Von Glitschka, Technology Chair; Mark T Smith, Sponsorship Chair; Don Kilpatrick, Bookstore Coordinator. And all of our advisors: Rebecca Bradley, International Liaison, Allan Comport, Ann Field, Doug Fraser, Seymor Chwast, Christoph Niemann, Nicholas Blechman, and Steve Heller.

    Thank you all for coming. Please check our website for post-conference podcasts and other content. See you at 8pm at the Carnival Carioca. Music, food and drinks until 11pm!