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"The Big Beginning"

Annamarie Hope is an American illustrator and natural dyer, born out of the forests of Vermont, taught in New York City and now residing in Melbourne, Australia. After graduating from Parsons the New School for Design, studying primarily studying science at Eugene Lang + illustration at Parsons, her passions have guided her to the northern hill tribes of Thailand, where she calls a tiny cloud-encased mountain her space of practice. Annamarie's cross disciplinary passions inform her designs with a wide spread of tactics; from naturally dyeing textiles with insects and minerals, to plexi-glass dyeing & scientific infographics. Her vision is to share the spirit of the craft through the evidence of the hand of the maker.

Lia Marcoux is a Somerville, MA-based illustrator and part-time art educator. She usually paints with watercolor, but enjoys trying new media. She loves storytelling and particularly likes depicting quiet moments between characters. She's inspired by her students and their ability to blend reality and fantasy into something which can be better than both!

While my main focus is as a sci-fi/fantasy cartoonist, I’ve always drawn inspiration from the natural world, particularly the ocean. At the end of the day, nothing is stranger than the things found in real life. Like the extinct Opabinia Regalis, which had five eyes and a grabby claw in front of its mouth! You can’t make this stuff up. Nature is the best designer and artist I know, and I’m glad for the ongoing chance to share her works with you, via my own.
Fiona Stolorz likes to make art that reflects her interests in nature and the human form. After having explored various areas within fine arts, she has recently branched out and discovered a love for industrial design and wishes to further pursue this realm of design. She hopes to find a happy balance between the two art forms.
I have been painfully shy and stuck inside myself for a long time, so it doesn't make very much sense, but I have come to realize lately that I find myself most creative and inspired when working with others. I love seeing the result of multiple minds coming together to create something that no one could have expected from the start. I love being surprised by outcomes. I think I learned this about myself from playing a lot of Exquisite Corpse variations with my friends, writing stories together and making paintings on the same canvas. I feel that my creative flow has always been the strongest when my ideas were influencing and being influenced by others' ideas, even though I've spent a lot more time working alone.
Dianna Xu is an illustrator and designer from Los Angeles, California. She is inspired by what she sees around her every day, especially during spring and summer months when colors are most vibrant. Her favorite tool is a 0.5mm black ink pen because it's smear-free and easy to carry. She is most creative after long periods of thinking and wandering.
Christopher Lucero is a New York City born and based illustrator, comic artist, print maker, and freelancer. Taking inspiration from creatures, myth, fiction, animation, and games, he creates worlds and characters that combines epic adventures and fantasy with weird humor. His works have been exhibited in venues such as MoCCA Festival and the NYCxDesign - Industry City Show.
Warmth of sunlight, breeze after a rainstorm, sparkling green of spring leaves, and many other everyday moments are main inspirations of my art. I try to illustrate my emotions and dreams. If my illustrations bring back your nostalgic memories and senses, it would be the greatest honor I could get with my work. I wish my audience to find themselves in my illustrations, carry a small part of me in their minds.
Since little, Yuko has always enjoyed creating pictures and stories. People, places, and unexpected happenings in life often inspire her to ruminate on various topics and apply them to her image-making. Though naturally shy, she enjoys getting to know people personally and understanding their narratives. She finds people-watching and people-reading especially fascinating.  Existing stories and philosophies also add to her knowledge and creativity.  From meaty 18th century Elizabethan monologues to contemporary collegiate slam poetry, Yuko likes finding new material and mediums that people express themselves.  All of these factors combined, this type of "researching" has fed her creativity and illustration work and she will always continue to search for more inspiration in various other platforms.
Laura Ketcham is a digital and traditional illustrator from South Carolina, currently living and working in Baltimore. She has an avid interest in the eerie, the swampy, and anything with a riot of color. Lots of things inspire her, including vintage photographs, the imagery of dreams, and anything that touches on magical realism. Right now she likes reading books about the sea.
As an undergraduate at Maryland Institute College of Art, I am currently majoring in illustration and concentrating in animation. When I am creating a new piece, I enjoy the process of researching and figuring out new ways to portray a concept. Usually, I draw my inspiration from my environment, especially in nature. It is easy to step outside, take a walk, and come back refreshed and eager to produce more art. I also read a lot to inform the pieces that I make. In general, I try to keep my mind and body active so that my imagination has enough fuel to run on its own. As a result, my work narratively ranges from the ordinary to the fantastical. Here are some of the few things I like to draw: trees, desserts, undiscovered magical beasts, and underwater dwellings. 
Allen Hiu hails from Orlando, Florida and studied illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, where he is currently resides. He loves the narrative power that illustration can have, and enjoys creating eccentric snapshots with a dark spin. For this piece, he tried to bring to life the high-browed, raucous merrymaking of a Victorian banquet by inserting as many different "conversations" into the scene as possible. When not drawing, Allen enjoys steamy bowls of noodles and petting hedgehogs.
Natasha Tara Petrović is an Illustrator and Sequential Artist currently living Baltimore, MD. She graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a degree in Illustration. She likes drinking tea and drawing creepy things that are also really cute. She has asymmetrical hair and is as spooky as 1,000 Dead Draculas.
I don't really have any sort of deep meaning behind making my art. I make art because I want to and because it's fun. I also like being an illustrator because there's no right way to be one. There are countless styles and subject matters that illustrators tackle and no two are exactly alike, and that variety between people is also an inspiration to me. Another reason I like illustrating in particular is because I can create anything I want to. When I was younger, I originally wanted to be a photographer, but then as time passed by I thought, where's the fun in taking photos of things that already exist? Why not create things that don't exist? That is my main reason for being an illustrator, and particularly why I enjoy drawing fantasy, science fiction, and horror subject matter so much. With my skills I can make whole worlds, characters, and scenes to breathe life into. I can tell an entire story from just one picture, or several if the need arises. Sure there are some times where my art does have a statement, but what I create focuses more on telling a story or provoking a feeling or sense of wonder if anything. If I had to give my art a statement, it would be that I make art because it's enjoyable, and with illustration, I can create anything.
Amanda Chung is a New York based Illustrator who likes to take walks with her grandmother to look for everyday objects and happenings around the city for inspiration. She is also a big fan of tabletop games, pot lucks, and gifs. Through her quirky illustrations she tries to invoke a sense of wonder.
I have been an artist and illustrator for over 30 years.  I find my inspiration in the color of a sunrise, the song of a bird, or the unguarded moment of a untamed animal.  I find myself most creative when sitting alone with just a sketchbook and a pen.  I spend my spare time at my home in the country, with a menagerie of cats and dogs, my wife and some days spent with the laughter of grandchildren.
Ryan D. Beckwith is an illustrator, designer and concept artist based in New York. He typically works in the fields of commercial advertising and entertainment, however, he finds himself frequently contemplating the 19th century train station as well as space-faring infants, bacon rollercoasters and somnambulist pastry chefs. To achieve best results, color his drawing with harpsichord concertos, fried eggs and flat champagne. 
As a professional art educator, a lot of my inspiration and artistic energy comes from the work that I do with children.  I teach at a public elementary school that uses arts integration as a powerful tool to enhance student learning in every content area.  I am inspired as student artworks become more meaningful as content from other disciplines are studied and incorporated into the creative process.  I really enjoy nature and outdoor activities, and I love to create paintings and drawings that relate to places that I have traveled.  I show my students this work hoping to inspire them in their own art-making.
Maryland born, Florida raised, Cait has always loved the environments around her. Whether the Catskills or the Gulf of Mexico, she finds inspiration in the flora and fauna. Raised in a crazy family of theater people, she knew from a very small age that drawing was something she was meant to do. Cait studied Illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and now resides in Baltimore. She spends most of her time drawing, building costumes, conquering video games, and dragging string around for her cats.  
Light, color, whimsy and wonder. They underlie who I am. They define my artistic voice. And they influence how I tell a visual story. A passion to create and the luck of innate talent allows me to accomplish anything. With them, my artistic expansion is limitless.