from here to there


i'm incredibly excited to share with you some illustrations that i've recently had published in the 'dossier' section of Boris Akunin's new novel, Sister Pelagia and the Red Cockerel.  for those who are interested, the basic gist of the story is that Pelagia, a nun with a strange and uncanny affinity for sleuthing, travels throughout Russia and into Israel in search of the person responsible for murdering a man called Manuila who is believed to be a prophet, and emerges not only with a culprit but with a clue to the earth's greatest secret.  as far as russian murder mystery novels go, it's actually not a bad read!


to emphasize Pelagia's journey throughout the story, i worked with the editor to illustrate several maps outlining the major stopping points in both Russia and Israel.  all of the drawings are hand drawn and hand lettered, and i had such a wonderful time completing them.  let me know what you think, and hopefully i'll have the opportunity to work on some more projects like this soon!


mmmm september

copyright jillian schiavi 2009 it's been a bit of a long hiatus, and a bit of a whirlwind end-of-summer for me.  from trips home to massachusetts, to a gorgeous and adventurous week in san francisco for the outside lands music festival, to visiting philadelphia and celebrating the start of 'fall' with friends and cocktails, i feel like august existed as part of a month-long dream, from which i just woke up, and it's suddenly the middle of september.

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

i absolutely love this time of year.  when i was younger (who am i kidding, if i had reason to do it now, i would), i used to go crazy for school supplies.  color coordinated binders, folders, notebooks (3-subject, college-ruled, 5 star), mechanical pencils, black (never blue) ink pens, the list goes on.  there's something refreshing, settling and exciting all at the same time about starting a new school year, and i've recently felt myself missing that sensation.  maybe i should have taken my father's teasing about becoming a teacher more seriously... really though, i think this itch means that it's about time i went back to graduate school.

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

i've always felt that if i was going to invest more time (and more time spent paying back more loans) into another degree, it would be for something i'm really passionate about.  something that i may not have looked at as a 'serious' point of study, perhaps because it's not regarded as particularly practical or career-oriented.  something that i've always loved to do, that i keep coming back to subconsiously; something that i've continually tried to integrate into various areas of my life.  now, there are 3 things that fit that description: performance (acting), writing and illustration.  if i could find a way to include all three into my graduate studies (and post-graduate career path), i would be ecstatic.  if it was possible to include two of the three, i would be thrilled.  if i could only focus on one, i would be immensely happy. 

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

whatever i'm able to find (and this is if i even get accepted to program), i know that fine art and illustration will be the main emphasis.  i'm still putting my portfolio together, and these are a few pieces that i'll be including for admission.  any feedback or suggestions would be more than welcome, and thank you for coming along with me on this (slightly trepidatious) journey!

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

sundays and sundaes

it's been the most beautiful weekend in new york.  i swear i caught a gust of autumn yesterday afternoon as i was walking towards the train to head uptown for a 'speak easy' themed party at a friend's apartment. autumn.  my eyes close and the corners of my mouth start to rise at the thought of crisp breezes and falling leaves; weather that's perfect enough to warrant just a sweater and a pair of jeans, curling up on a blanket in the park with a book and long sleeves that reach just down past your fingertips to prevent them from a chill.  hot chai.  apple crisp.  thanksgiving. i'm getting ahead of myself here, i know.

now we're in the back half of summer - august, usually the most abrasive of months in regards to heat, humidity, utter agony in an apartment that functions without air conditioning.  but surprisingly, and thankfully, this august has started off quite mild, with days like yesterday and today, sunny yet not overwhelmingly hot.  i'm dreading tomorrow, not just because it's another monday where 8 hours are spent tucked in an office and devoid of any real contact with the outdoors, but because i'm afraid this weather will forget itself as soon as the 'real world' calls us all back.  i certainly hope it doesn't.

one thing that this gorgeous weekend has provided (besides that sudden and elongated autumnal sensation) is a wonderful sense of inspiration.  i now know how to fill my very good friend andra's page for the sketchbook project: maps.  she's the most world and travel savvy person i know, so what better way to depict her than through a display of (most of) the places she's visited throughout the world.  here's the rough beginning.  i'm thinking of adding color - making it look a bit antiquated, like the maps of yore:


copyright jillian schiavi 2009


let me know what you think (and i apologize for the poor photo quality - these are all taken with my phone as a new camera is still a bit of a way's away), and have a lovely sunday night.