Píccolo Field Trip Day 3: Gant Powell and Sam Kalda studios



Hey every­one! I sort of fell off the post­ing wagon last week. Lisa and I were busy in New York and suf­fered inter­net issues, so my post­ing of our trip got delayed. You can always read a more detailed report on our Píc­colo blog, but I wanted to share some of my expe­ri­ence and the images with you on here.

I’m back in Bal­ti­more now, and would like to thank all of the awe­some illus­tra­tors and cre­ative peo­ple that let Lisa visit your stu­dio and homes. We had a great time meet­ing peo­ple and can’t wait to return!


I know Gant Pow­ell from MICA, where we both received our under­grad­u­ate degrees in Illus­tra­tion. In 2009, he moved to New York to pur­sue his MFA in Illus­tra­tion as Visual Essay from SVA. Now, Gant is a free­lance illus­tra­tor who has his stu­dio in his home in Brooklyn.

Gant used to do a lot more work on his com­puter, but since grad­u­ate school, his way of work­ing has changed. He likes the per­ma­nence and restric­tions that come from work­ing entirely ana­log. He is forced to make deci­sions, whereas in pro­grams like Pho­to­shop, you could be for­ever tweak­ing colors.

While he works in water­col­ors, gouache, pens, and pen­cils, he also works in series, and he’s inter­ested in chil­dren books, work­ing on one right now.

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Some of Gant’s work. Check out more on his web­site!

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Later that day, we ven­tured to another neigh­bor­hood in Brook­lyn, where we saw the home stu­dio of Sam Kalda. I’ve fea­tured the work of Sam on Brown Paper Bag before — he works on por­traits (great at like­nesses) as well as edi­to­r­ial illus­tra­tion. Even­tu­ally, he said that he’d like to ven­ture more into book illus­tra­tion, and plans to gear his MFA Illus­tra­tion work at FIT towards this.

Sam went to col­lege to be a painter, but switched gears after­wards to become an illus­tra­tor. His apart­ment is full of good art and small objects, some of which he high­lights in his Splen­did Object series (pic­tured below). In this series, he worked in gouache with­out the use of dig­i­tal tools. This is atyp­i­cal of how he nor­mally works, which is a com­bi­na­tion of dig­i­tal work and hand ren­dered drawings.









Some of Sam’s work. Check out his web­site, too!

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