Milestone: Luerzers’ 200

I am very happy to tell you that we got selected to be part of Luerzer’s Archive: 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide, a book published in Europe every two years and features work by some of today’s contemporary commercial illustrators. It is distributed in over 35 countries and was launched at this year’s Cannes Ad Fest. I am doubly proud that we, a duo with a small client base working out of a relatively unknown studio, both made it into the collection.

It is also a pleasure to see work by some of the artists that we admire, Sam Weber, Olaf Hayek, Edward Kinsella, Edel Rodriguez, Anita Kunz, to name a few. Our own extremely talented compatriot Mary Ann Licudine made the list too.

When we first started Happy Garaje, we knew little about the design and illustration business or even how we wanted to be perceived. What we were sure of was that we wanted to do something creative, something that would let us take photographs, draw, write and film all day while still being able to pay for food, clothing, shelter and movie tickets 🙂

sailaway-webI Wish I Could Sail Away by Johanna Velasco

trick-webTrick by Mark Joseph Deutsch

stack1Cover Illustration by Edel Rodriquez

Between then and today, we’ve found out that one of the most important things for somebody working in the creative field is to find a voice. A look and feel to be recognized by. And this is quite possibly what we’ve worked hardest to achieve (along with making clients happy). What we do now, in illustration in particular, are things that are a mix of J’s dreamy and moody paintings and my own scribble-like & warm colored drawings.


Mark & Joh for Happy Garaje

What we want to do in the coming months is to collaborate more, to find a unified voice and also to tell stories and make moving pictures. This means illustrated fiction, childrens’ stories, music videos and short cartoons. It’s been a good start for us so far. I hope we keep doing this for a very long time.

The Facts: 200 Best Illustrators 2009/2010 (lifted from the book)

  • Each illustrator invited to submit work had to be nominated by an art director working for an ad agency or by a publishing house. This is how 152 illustrators new to the series got their first chance to be in the volume.
  • There were a total of 4,716 submissions from 44 countries.
  • Where not recommended by a professional from advertising or magazine publishing, an illustrator’s work must have previously appeared on an Archive publication.
  • Only illustrations published within the past 18 months were eligible. Of all the submissions, a final 502 illustrations made it into the book.

There were two sets of book juries.

  • The preselection jury:
    1. Dr. Matthew Eve, post-doctoral research fellow in the Typography and Graphic Communications Department at the University of Reading
    2. Michael Weinszetti, Editor in chief of Luerzer’s Archive.
  • The main jury was made up of:
    1. Jason Brooks, one of the world’s top illustrators
    2. Takahiro Kanie, illustrator and President of the Japanese Society of Illustrators
    3. Menno Kluin, one-time Luerzer’s Archive Student of the Year, now a succesful art director who won several Cannes Lions for his former agency Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, and is currently with Y & R, New York
    4. Liz leavitt of New York-based artists’ agency Levine/Leavitt
    5. Anelle Miller, Executive Director of the Society of Illustrators, New York
    6. Anne Telford, Editor-at-large of Communication Arts Magazine

More information about the book.

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