Spotlight: The IlLUstrator

To all those Lawrentians seeking a place to get their art out into the world, the Lawrence IlLUstrator is the community for you! The IlLUstrator is a student-run art magazine — a zine if you will ­— compiled of comics and graphic narratives done by Lawrence students. Not only does the IlLustrator put out an issue every term, but they also collaborate with other organizations to put on gallery shows on campus like The Uncovered Art Show that took place last year. The club’s goal is to foster a creative environment amongst the stress of everyday school life where students can read graphic novels or make art in peace. They want art to be accessible to all and celebrated.

The IlLUstrator was revamped Fall Term of the 2018-2019 school year, and they have plans to expand their impact over the course of this year. Recently, they were at the Wellness Fair, where theyput on a group project. They asked people to draw what they were thankful for and then put it on a gratitude tree that the club had made. Next term, they plan to arrange a How To Make a Zine class for those interested in the creative process that goes into constructing a zine and want to try it out for themselves. 

The IlLUstrator team has really come together in the past year to form a solidified group. Senior Claire Zimmerman was working hard at the beginning of last year to run the club. She ran club meetings, posted advertising and planned IlLUstrator layouts, as well as printed and distributed finished products. It was a demanding leadership position, but as the year went on, the community started to grow and now there is a great foundation for the club. Sophomores Rita Murphy and Grace Stahl have made notable contributions to the IlLUstrator, and between the two of them and Zimmerman, they make up the three presidents.

The IlLUstrator is really about creating an art community that is playful and fun that takes a step back from the academic art world. As Stahl puts it, “We’re trying to create a community where we can be silly and talk about art, and how that type of art is just as important and impactful as art that is talked about in an academic setting — specifically comics and cartoons because those are often looked down on and thought to be stupid, but they actually have a ton of value.” The IlLUstrator rebukes academic and institutional ideas what “real” art is by including doodles and comics and insisting they are just as important as any other work, wielding a power that does not get the credit that it deserves. The Illustrator is trying to shine a light on works like this to show how important it is and get students’ work out into the world. 

After finished zines are printed, copies are distributed all over campus. They can be found in every dorm and academic building and in Warch Campus Center for those who are looking for a copy. Keep a lookout during the next few weeks for the Fall Term edition. 

If you want to secure a copy, you can always email theillustratorlu@gmail.com with your SPC. For those who are looking to submit work, the IlLUstrator takes submissions up until usually around the fifth week of every term, so while it is too late for this term, keep your eyes out this winter for their ads! Submissions should be sent to theillustratorlu@gmail.com.

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