Q+A with Scratchboard Illustrator Bri Hermanson
An ICON veteran talks about the beauty of alphabetical order, making friends and learning stuff.
Mark Kaufman: You’re an ICON Conference veteran right?
Bri Hermanson: Yes, I’ve attended several times. I made it to ICON 3, 5, and 6.
MK: What keeps bringing you back?
BH: Since illustration can be so solitary, I wanted to feel more connected to the illustration world. ICON definitely exceeded my expectations — it fosters a really special kind of community.
MK: Well I gotta ask, are you coming to Portland for ICON8?
BH: I signed up on the first day!
MK: Well that’s music to my ears. Favorite ICON memory?
BH: It was fun to have a table at the NY Roadshow next to John Hendrix, one of my favorite illustrators. Thanks, alphabetical order.
MK: What was something you learned at the conferences you’ve been to? What do you take back with you after all these whirlwind weekends.
BH: Copyright specifics, business insights, and online marketing strategies.
MK: Again, that’s what I like to hear! Learning stuff. Other than tangible things you can use for your career, have you made any memorable friends or contacts?
BH: I’ve met so many great folks at ICON, but a special shout out must go to Kim Rosen. You don’t go into a conference thinking you’ll meet someone who will become one of your closest friends, but ICON is special.
MK: What is the most surprising thing about ICON?
BH: That ICON has something for everyone — from the world’s most well-known illustrators to undergrad students. In fact, the first time I attended ICON I was a student.
MK: Have any creative projects or ideas transpired from attending?
BH: Yes, Kim and I started a little illustration collaboration website, illaborate.com
MK: We have people in many different creative arenas either attend or speak at ICON, what can you tell someone who is not an illustrator to convince them to come to Portland?
BH: The sessions are really informative and have an openness that applies to many creative pursuits. And if it’s not your jam, wait for the bar to open.
MK: Yes, the bar. I have had many great conversations with people from all over the world at the bar. Do you attend other industry conferences, how does ICON compare?
BH: How could anything else compare?!
MK: Since you are coming back for a 4th time, what are you looking forward to most at ICON8?
BH: Reconnecting with old pals, meeting new ones, learning a thing or two, and seeing a little bit of Portland.
MK: Well that’s good enough for me. See you in July. I can’t wait. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.
BH: Thank you. So excited.