As the Creative Director of Character Design at Sesame Workshop, Mitchell carries on the work of the man who inspired him since age six, Jim Henson. Mitchell works with Muppet creation and design for Sesame Street, where he created Kami, the first HIV-positive Muppet and Julia, the first Muppet on the autism spectrum. Mitchell currently serves on the Board of Norman Rockwell Museum.
A legend of the sword-and-sorcery genre, Boris Vallejo was born in Lima, Peru on January 8, 1941. After receiving formal art training in his home country, Vallejo immigrated to the United States in 1964. Over the last fifty years, he has painted nearly every major fantasy figure: Tarzan, John Carter, Conan the Barbarian, and many more. However, his most-viewed work may be the illustrated film poster for National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), in which Vallejo parodies his own barbarian-themed work.
One of today’s great fantasy illustrators, Julie Bell dabbled in children’s book illustration before pursuing a career in bodybuilding, becoming a nationally ranked competitor. In 1989, she began modeling for well-known fantasy artist Boris Vallejo and was inspired to return to illustration. Her work appeared on the cover of Heavy Metal magazine in 1992. Since then, Bell has created advertisements for several companies and found work in the comic book industry, where she became the first woman to illustrate Conan the Barbarian for Marvel Comics.
Bell and Vallejo married in 1994. They continue to inspire each other, often collaborating on paintings.
Welcome to The Illustrator’s Studio! My name is Jesse Kowalski, Curator of Exhibitions at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Each week, I speak with an artist, collector, or scholar on a number of topics related to their work and the field of illustration - from illuminated manuscripts to children's books, to role-playing and video games. Each discussion examines the vast history of the art form.
As the home of the American illustration, the Norman Rockwell Museum has a large collection of artworks by Rockwell and other artists, as well as Rockwell’s Stockbridge studio and archives. The museum highlights Norman Rockwell's rich legacy through exhibitions and programs related to illustration. The Museum’s Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies enhances scholarship relating to the field through fellowship opportunities, symposia, a growing illustration history website, and programs like this.