Our children’s illustration critique group has been convening since 2006.
We met in children’s book illustrator Sergio Ruzzier‘s continuing ed class at SVA. There were about ten of us in that class, with ideas for picture books about squirrels, hats, and grumpy old men. But a couple of months just weren’t enough. On the last day, we circulated a signup sheet, and our crit group was born.
Over the years, we’ve haunted the Donnell Library (RIP) children’s room, each other’s apartments, and lately the cafe S’nice in Park Slope. All that time, we never really had a name. But “team post-Sergio” and sometimes “post-surgery” snuck into our planners and emails. Sergio never knew…until now.
We’d like to thank our stubbled Italian fairy godfather for bringing us together. But we didn’t want to burden him with a blog named Post-Sergio, which is why we decided to christen ourselves Pen & Oink.
Ruthie studied creative writing in college and abroad in Urbino, Italy, which led her to Milan to teach English and paint for several years. Her first job after moving back to New York was at an independent children’s bookstore. There, the staff of fellow creatives and garden of books filled her with inspiration. She is now living in Brooklyn wishing she had a pet and talking to everyone else’s on the street. You can see more of her work at ruthielafond.com.
Robin is an illustrator and art director who specializes in designing and developing products for children and their parents. A former art director at the award-winning Martha Stewart Kids magazine, Robin has gone on to design a line of modern posters for children’s rooms and Paper Town Friends, an iPhone app for kids. Robin lives in Brooklyn with her husband and her daughter. You can see more of her work at robinrosenthal.com.
Liz is an illustrator and writer, and is a former children’s book reviewer for Junior Library Guild. After many years in Manhattan and one in Germany, she set up shop in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, where she shares a studio with Tilly the mullet dog. You can see her work at lizstarin.com.