7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #581: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Genevieve Irwin

h1 April 8th, 2018 by jules

Morning Ride
(Click to enlarge)


It’s not the first Sunday of the month, which is when I tend to feature student or newly-graduated illustrators, but sometimes I just like to break the rules.

Today, I’ve got the work of a newly-graduated illustrator to showcase, and I’m happy she’s visiting. Genevieve Irwin lives and works in New York and did her senior thesis with none other than Caldecott Medalist Brian Floca. She tells us below a bit about her work and, lucky for me and my blog readers, shares some art. I thank her for sharing. Let’s get right to it. …


* * *

Genevieve: I am an illustrator, based in Manhattan. I received my MFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts last spring and my BA in Comparative Literature and Visual Arts from Princeton University in 2012.


Tiger Tracks
(Click to enlarge)


As a child, I poured over the illustrations in books before I could read the accompanying words — content with the information my imagination filled in. I especially liked picture books based on the author’s childhood, such as Allen Say’s Tree of Cranes, which takes place in Japan. I was absorbed in the details of the boy’s life that were simultaneously relatable and different to my own, from the unusual shapes of the snacks he ate to his wooden bathtub that was tall enough to stand in.


Steam and Clouds
(Click to enlarge)


Crossing the Narmada
(Click to enlarge)


As I begin to write and illustrate my own stories, it is this same desire to experience the world through a different lens that drives me. I have found that one of the best ways to understand a subject is to have to describe it oneself. At the moment, I am particularly interested in stories involving animals. What better way to step out of one’s own shoes than getting to experience the world as an otter or an elephant? I love the research that goes into recreating an animal’s world. I had the great pleasure of working with Brian Floca on my senior thesis project, a children’s book based on the true story of an orphaned Siberian tiger. Brian’s enthusiasm for distilling factual information into an emotive narrative was contagious.



I also love drawing on location as a way of stumbling across a story. The necessity of working quickly to capture a changing scene has helped me develop a visual language that prioritizes light and gesture. My goal is to bring the energy of my sketchbook to more referenced and crafted work.


Drawing Cart at the Central Park Zoo


Currently, my favorite combination of mediums is walnut ink and watercolor. The walnut ink and a dip pen allow me to create a fluid and dynamic line, while the watercolor is conducive to a fresh sense of light and color.


Call of the Forest
(walnut ink and watercolor)


All artwork used by permission of Genevieve Irwin.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) Genevieve’s artwork is my first kick. Beautiful.

2) A visit from out-of-town friends this week.

3) Convincing them to read Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (who will be in Nashville this week, and I sure do hope I can see him speak).

4) Call Me By Your Name.

5) The still-chilly weather in April is a good excuse for continued hot chocolate.

6) The new playlist I made. (I should have been working that afternoon, but it’s a damn good playlist.)

7) If one of your children is going to have to get her first set of stitches (and that daughter is terrified of blood), at least just one stitch was necessary.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

5 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #581: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Genevieve Irwin”

  1. Hi Imps! Hello Genevieve! Great tiger. 🙂

    Jules: Sending healing thoughts to her. Do you set your songs in a particular order, or do you prefer shuffle?

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Simplicity
    2) Synchronicity
    3) Tenacity
    4) Reciprocity
    5) Electricity
    6) Specificity
    7) Complexity

  2. Oh what gorgeous, luminescent work by Genevieve! I love the “Call of the Forest.”
    Jules, hope said daughter is on the mend. Lucky you, Jason Reynolds? Woot!
    LW: Good morning! I love 1 and 2.
    My kicks:
    1. This Sunday morning space! I missed you all last week. I was in Idaho.
    2. Waking up and finding out Check It Out(school blog) is featured as an example of student poetry for mentoring at Reflect and Refine.
    3. Seeing a friend and going to a winery.
    4. A good stormy weekend.
    5. Time to write.
    6. A rainbow yesterday.
    7. Gathering books for students.
    Have a great week.

  3. 1. Monument Valley
    2. Monument Valley
    3. Monument Valley
    4. Monument Valley
    5. Monument Valley
    6. Monument Valley
    7. Monument Valley

    Am I allowed to do that? We just got back from a Spring Break road trip through the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Bryce and Zion. It was such an incredible trip, I am incredibly thankful for our National Parks.

    At Monument Valley I was thinking about how landscapes shape their artists as much as artists shape their landscapes (specifically about George Herriman and Krazy Kat but also a little about you-know-who). Every stop was beautiful (insanely, incredibly beautiful) but my heart really went to Monument Valley.

  4. Oh, that illustration of the elephant swimming immediately reminded me of The Fall. I seriously love that tiger cub too.

    Jules – hooray for visits from out of town friends & hot chocolate. Sending thoughts for speedy healing. Call Me By Your Name is on my list to see.

    LW – love all of your alliterative kicks this week, especially how they travel from Simplicity to Complexity.

    Jone – yay for winery visits & stormy weekends.

    Jerrold – what a wonderful spring break trip.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Beat my writers block on a work project.
    2) Finished watching “Wild Wild Country” on Netflix. Fascinating chapter in the history of Oregon.
    3) Daisy got her staples out & her toe is all healed up. Seriously love my vet & the whole staff, they take such good care of Daisy.
    4) All the bulbs sprouting & starting to bloom in my garden.
    5) Rainy and windy weekend at the Oregon coast.
    6) A great result for a client.
    7) Productive work week.

    Have a wonderful week Imps!

  5. LW: I love it when your kicks are first (no pressure!), because they kick things off in a spare, evocative way. … To answer your question, if I’ve put care and thought into a playlist, I definitely want to hear them in a certain order. But, after a while when it gets old, shuffle. Definitely.

    Jone: Welcome back! Congrats on kick #2!

    Jerrold: I love it. I want to go there one day. So glad you had a good week.

    Rachel: I’ll take any and all free advice on beating writer’s block, sigh. … Quick healing to Daisy, and I’m glad the vet staff takes such good care of her.

    Have a good week, everyone!

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