15 Artists Under 30: Siobhaán Gallagher
Deadline for entry: November 20, 2017
This is the third year we’ve run our New Visual Artists: 15 under 30 issue. What was once a highly edited list of 20 of the best and brightest young designers is now a deeper exploration of 15 of the most original talents working in visual communications today.
This issue of Print comes at an interesting time. This new group of designers, while undeniably adroit, is part of a generation fully proficient in the art of self-promotion in a digital age. Getting the word out about one’s work is now de rigueur. But at a time when new work is relentlessly blasted out on platforms where seemingly everyone in the room is shouting, is it really possible to break through the volume of voices all vying to captivate and capture attention? Moreover, in the Insta-culture of the early 21st century, how does one navigate through the metadata to find the meteoric? As in years past, that’s exactly what we’ve sought to do here. We’ve gone in quest of craft and cunning ideas and ideals. We’ve looked for substance and style and star-power. The list of Print’s New Visual Artists has become a who’s who of the industry’s leaders, and includes Scott Dadich, Eddie Opara, Alan Dye, Jessica Walsh, Jessica Hische, Frank Chimero and, more recently, Zipeng Zhu, Joe Hollier and Joey Cofone. This year’s 15 New Visual Artists are bold in name and in voice, and are bravely making new work in a new world.
“I illustrated the silhouettes of 15 artists in different studio and home environments, working and interacting with their projects in different ways.”
Meet New Visual Artist Siobhán Gallagher
From: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Current city: Ridgewood, NY.
Education: Nova Scotia College of Art & Design; bachelor of design.
Earliest creative memory: Drawing outfits for bear ballerinas (my mom drew the bears, then I gave them tutus and crowns).
Path that led you to design: I think it started when, as a kid, I was allowed to cover my bedroom walls with magazine clippings, drawings, photos and poems, which led to my interest in layout and book design, which led to being my high school yearbook editor, which led me to study design in art school.
Current place of work: Abrams Books by day, my couch by night.
Career thus far, in a nutshell: After art school, I interned for a summer at Penguin Young Readers, and soon after got a job there as junior designer. When I started, I was depressed and felt frustrated/stifled creatively and had a need to work on more outside of my office job, so I spent evenings and weekends drawing for fun. Drawing became a way to kind of work through anxiety, depression and heartache, so this continued into more personal projects and self-published zines, which is how my creative director at Abrams found me (at a comic festival).
The key to good design: Being as clear and concise as possible without being boring.
Motto/design philosophy: If you’re going to show it, don’t say it, and if you’re going to say it, don’t show it.
Work of which you’re most proud: I’m most proud of my new book, In a Daze Work, which came out in July from TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It is an illustrated choose-your-own-adventure book for adults that goes through the span of an average day, and focuses on the humor in the little things in life (often through observational illustrated puns). Since this was my first book, I really tried to make the most of each page and experimented with methods of visualizing a narrative. I wrote, designed and illustrated the whole thing, so this is the most “me” project I’ve ever done. Working on this, it felt like I collected every mundane thing I experience in a day, what my thoughts are during those moments, and put it all together to share with the world, like, Here’s how my mind works—does it make sense to you? This is how I am—maybe this is like you, too? It feels very satisfying to pull from my own life and illustrate memories in a way others can relate to and find funny. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I’m not alone and others are dealing with the same things I am.
Biggest influence: Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
How you would classify your style: Cartoonish visual wordplay.
Design hero: Jim Tierney.
Favorite artist: Steve Powers.
What defines you: Sometimes I feel defined by whatever drawing I worked on last, but what probably defines me is what I do when no one’s looking.
Cause that means the most to you: Women’s rights, which as a kid I thought had pretty much been achieved, but as an adult I’m disappointed how often I’m reminded of the amount of progress yet to be made.
Biggest fear: Forgetting.
What you want to accomplish before all is said and done: I want to do good and do it well.
Your idea of happiness: An ice coffee in my hand and my boyfriend, John, by my side.
The future of design is: Hmm, let me Google that.