July 13–14, 2012 | New York City | Sponsored by 3x3 Magazine

A conference for illustrators by illustrators

Learn what it’s like out in the real world from some of the world’s most respected young illustrators. Join us in an intense two-day event that will explore the ins-and-outs of promotion, provide self-defense tips on how to protect your work, give you direction on building a stronger web presence and share with you the three things every successful illustrator knows as well as the do’s and don’ts of being a young illustrator.

In addition to our breakout sessions and lectures we offer studio tours, a complimentary portfolio review as well printed materials from all our lectures.

We’ll encourage you to interact with our speakers and ask questions before, during and after the conference. And you’ll get to socialize over lunch and our receptions.

Everyone starts where you are today but by attending this conference you’ll have a better understanding of what it takes to be successful.

A message from Charles Hively, Founder, 3x3 Magazine

What I’ve discovered is that successful illustrators are all very astute business people as well as being talented artists. That’s why I wanted to put together this conference. And while there are plenty of successful illustrators to choose from it wasn’1t too long ago that our presenters were where you are now. You’ll benefit from their experiences to help you avoid some of the pitfalls of starting your career as an illustrator. That’s good for your career. And ultimately that’s good for the industry.

As it’s our third annual conference we continue to make improvements. First we’ve added a day to visit artist’s studios and a chance to sit in on the Society of Illustrator’s Sketch Night. We’ve added smaller breakout sessions that balance our full-day lecture series. We’ll make our lectures shorter leaving more time for questions. And we’ve still managed to keep the costs reasonable, conferences like this can cost twice as much or more but our goal is to make this information accessible to the most people we can. I hope you can join us this year.


To read about our speakers, click below

Marcos Chin illustrator

Marcos ChinMarcos Chin graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. Since then his work has appeared on book covers, advertisements, fashion catalogues, magazines and CD covers. He has received a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles and has received recognition from the Society of Illustrators, Applied Arts, Communication Arts, 3x3 Magazine and American Illustration. Marcos has given lectures throughout the US and Canada and currently teaches fashion illustration at the School of Visual Arts. www.marcoschin.com

Charles Hively publisher/design director

Charles HivelyCharles Hively graduated with a bachelors of fine arts from the University of Texas at Austin and pursued an illustration career. He then turned to advertising and design, founding two advertising agencies and a graphic design studio. He has also worked in major advertising agencies as a creative director and his work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, The One Show, The American Marketing Association for effective advertising and marketing as well as awards from Graphis, Communication Arts, Print, HOW and AIGA where his work is included in their national design archives. The former co-publisher of Graphis is now publisher and design director of 3x3 Magazine and Creative Quarterly. He is an invited speaker at colleges and art schools around the globe. www.3x3mag.com

Paul Hoppe illustrator/author

Paul HoppePaul Hoppe studied graphic design and fine arts at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences after internships in Stuttgart and London he worked on a variety of animation and advertising projects before returning to Pfrozheim to teach. He was awarded a DAAD scholarship to the MFA program at the School of Visual Arts and currently works as an illustrator and graphic designer here in New York. His clients include The New York Times, The New Yorker, Playboy, Village Voice among others. He’s also an accomplished writer and illustrator of picture books and graphic novels and has just published his second children’s book. His work has been honored by the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Print, Freistil and the European Media Arts Festival. www.paulhoppe.com

Joe Kauffman game designer

Joe Kauffman grew up outside of Philadelphia and attended Millersville University where he studied focused on drawing, painting and printmaking. He then went to graduate school at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he majored in Illustration. Joe’s first professional job was as an artist/animator for the popular screensaver software After Dark. He started Fire Maple Games in 2008 to create casual games for both desktop and mobile devices. Joe’s latest game, The Lost City, became the #1 paid iOS app in more than 30 countries. www.firemaplegames.com

Kate Kelly artist rep

Kate KellyKate Kelly graduated from Syracuse University with honors and has a degree in French Literature, Language and Culture. Prior to joining the artist representative firm Morgan-Gaynin she was involved with fund-raising for non-profit performing arts groups throughout the country. She is currently an associate representative working with Morgan-Gaynin’s international roster of illustrators and is active in the local and national illustration community. www.morgangaynin.com

Aaron Meshon illustrator

Aaron MeshonAaron Meshon graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and now lives and works in Brooklyn. While still in school Aaron did his first assignment for Rolling Stone and now his work has been seen throughout the world in hundreds of publications as well as on licensed kid’s products such as lunch boxes, t-shirts, puzzles, stationery and magnets. Aaron’s work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration and 3x3 and his clients include Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Wired, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, I.B.M., Chronicle Books, Crocodile Creek, Galison, Kaplan, Washington Post, Delta Airlines and New York Magazine to name a few. www.aaronmeshon.com

Sarah Munt art director

Sarah MuntSarah Munt graduated from Connecticut College with a BA in art history. Prior to joining HivelyDesigns she worked in the publication department at the American Folk Art Museum followed by her study of graphic design at Parsons the New School for Design. She has freelanced for such firms as W Magazine, the National Museum of the American Indian, Aramis and was recently named deputy design director at Creative Quarterly magazine. She has designed website for Somebody’s Mother’s Chocolate Sauce, Creative Quarterly and assisted in the design of other company websites. Her work has been recognized by HOW International Design Awards, Communication Arts and The Best of Cover Design, The Graphic Eye and Color Management for Packaging. www.cqjournal.com

Matt Rota illustrator

Matt RotaMatt Rota received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and then received his MFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts. Matt’s illustrations have been featured in the New York Times’s Op-Ed section, Utne Reader, LA Weekly, Russian Esquire, Philadelphia Weekly, Time Out Chicago and the Columbia Journalism Review. His drawings and prints have been shown in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Toronto. He has received recognition and awards from the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, 3x3 Magazine, Creative Quarterly and Lürzer’s Archive. His comics have been anthologized on Top Shelf 2.0, and in Gutter, Rabid Rabbit and Supertalk. www.MattRotasArt.com

Sheheryar T. Sardar attorney-at-law

Sheheryar T. Sardar received his B.B.A. from Georgia State University, graduating as a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, Faculty Scholar and on the Dean’s List. Sheheryar received his JD from Emory University School of Law and is a member of New York State Bar Association and American Bar Association. Sardar Law Firm is boutique law firm tailored to meet the needs of small businesses. Sheheryar is the Media & Policy Editor for NEEM Magazine and is actively involved with mentoring entrepreneurs in New York City. www.sardarlawfirm.com

Laura Tallardy illustrator

Laura TallardyLaura Tallardy lives in romantic Greenpoint, Brooklyn with her husband Cory and their puppy, Potatoes. She has illustrated many books for tweens and children, including Scholastic’s Sophie Series by Lara Bergen and Friend2Friend Series by Devra Speregen, Nancy Rue’s Lily Series from Zonderkidz,The Girl’s Body Book by Kelli Dunham from Applesauce Press, and a series of four pop-up picture books by Elizabeth Goodwin from School Specialty Publishing. Her first app, Mermaid Fashion Show was released on the App Store in June 2012. She also contributes award-winning illustrations to teen and tween magazines, home and beauty products, websites and blogs. Laura spends her time crashing computers, daydreaming, playing the ukulele and watching old sci-fi movies when she really should be painting. She also enjoys zooming around town on her pink Vespa! www.lauratallardy.com

Martin Wittfooth artist/illustrator

Martin WittfoothMartin Wittfooth was born in Toronto but spent most of his childhood in Finland, moving back to Toronto and earning his BAA in Illustration from Sheridan College. He currently lives and works as an illustrator and fine artist in New York City where he earned his MFA at the School of Visual Arts. His work has been represented in gallery group and solo shows in Los Angeles, Hamburg, Orlando, Montreal and New York. His illustration clients include Playboy, Victory Records/Silverstein, Sims Snowboards and O’Brien Wakeboards. He has received honors from the Society of Illustrators with a silver medal, Spectrum, 3x3 and Applied Arts and was the featured cover artist on New American Painting, Hi Fructose and B!isss. www.martinwittfooth.com

Portfolio Reviewers

Matt Dorfman art director/illustrator

Matt Dorfman is a designer and illustrator. His work has been recognized by the AIGA, the Art Director’s Club, The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, the Society of Publication Designers, The Type Director’s Club and Print Magazine. Matt is currently the art director of The New York Time’ Op/Ed page. www.metalmother.com

Sandra Garcia design director

Sandra GarciaSandra Garcia graduated with a BA in English from the University of Connecticut and then attended Parsons the New School for Design where she studied graphic design. She has freelanced for such publications as Food & Wine, Latina and Art & Auction and was art director at Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel prior to being named design director at Travel + Leisure Magazine.


Our two day conference begins with a series of optional pre-conference studio tours on Thursday, July 12. These optional tours will be announced soon.

Particpants will have plenty of time to get to know fellow attendees at our opening cocktail reception on Friday or over lunch and finally at our closing reception on Saturday evening. Speakers will attend our closing reception.

You’ll also have the option to attend the Thursday night Sketch Night at the Society and/or their Brunch on Sunday.

Be sure to join our Mailing List to get updates on our schedule.

Friday, July 13
9:30 Welcome
10:15–11:00   Nuts: How to Build a Successful Site Sarah Munt
Bolts: How to Develop Your Mailing List Matt Rota
11:15–Noon Nuts: How to Develop Your Mailing List Matt Rota
Bolts: How to Build a Successful Site Sarah Munt
Noon–1pm Lunch at the Society
1:15–2:00 Nuts: How to Market Yourself Charles Hively
Bolts: How to Break Into Licensing Aaron Meshon
2:15–3:00 Nuts: How to Break Into Licensing Aaron Meshon
Bolts: How to Market Yourself Charles Hively
3:15–4:00 Nuts: How to Read & Write a Contract
Sheyear Sardar, Esq.
Bolts: Portfolio Review
Matt Dorfman, Sandra Garcia, Sarah Munt
4:15–5:00 Nuts: Portfolio Review
Matt Dorfman, Sandra Garcia, Sarah Munt
Bolts: How to Read & Write a Contract
Sheyear Sardar, Esq.
5:15–7:30 Opening Cocktail Reception
Saturday, July 14
9:30 Welcome
10:15–11:00 How to Get Yourself Published Paul Hoppe
11:15–Noon How to Move Between Illustration and Galleries
Martin Wittfooth
Noon–1pm Lunch at the Society
1:15–2:00 The Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Young Illustrator
Charles Hively
2:15–3:00 How to Know if You’re Ready for a Rep Kate Kelly
3:15–4:00 The Future of Illustration: Panel Discussion
Charles Hively, Joe Kauffman, and Laura Tallardy
4:15–5:00 How to Make a Living as an Illustrator Marcos Chin
5:15–5:30 Closing Remarks
5:30–8:00 Cocktail Reception

Dates & Location

July 13–14, 2012

Society of Illustrators
128 E 63rd St
New York City

F train to the Lexington-63rd St Station
N, Q, R trains to Lexington-59th St Station
4, 5, 6 trains to Lexington-59th St Station


The 3rd Annual Nuts & Conference is over. If you’re interested in the next Nuts & Bolts, please join our mailing list.



Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend?

Any graduate, soon to be graduate or recent graduate (1 to 3 years) will benefit from this conference.

Why is the conference in New York?

New York has some of the best illustrators in the business to draw from for our speakers. It also keeps the cost down to hold it here.

Why should I attend?

Illustration is a business, the more you know about how a real illustrator works the faster you can get up to speed in your own career.

We covered business aspects in school how is your conference different?

If you were fortunate to have had a full semester of business-related information then you’re among the lucky few. The reason we started this conference is we found that too many young illustrators felt they weren’t properly prepared for the real world of illustration. Anyone will benefit from hearing the experiences of successful illustrators and how they became that way.

Why do I need to know about business practices?

Because you are a business owner the minute you graduate. You’ll have to find clients, negotiate fees, bill and collect your fees, pay taxes, secure health insurance and plan for your future. As an independent illustrator you’ll be doing everything.

Do I really need an accountant?

The simple answer is yes. At some point you’ll need financial advice on how to structure your business for today and for the future.

Do I really need a lawyer?

Hopefully you won’t need a lawyer but we’ll give you ways to avoid needing one as well as alternatives for legal counsel.

Do I need an artist rep?

We’ll discuss the pros and cons of having a rep and let you decide.

Why should I listen to your speakers?

Because they’ve been where you are today. And by trial and error they have developed into highly successful illustrators. You can learn form their mistakes and avoid making some of those same mistakes yourself.

Do you offer any discounts?

We have an early-bird sign-up and will coordinate housing arrangements if you’re interested.

Will you look at my portfolio?

Yes. this year we'll do a portfolio review on the first day of the conference.

Will I be able to ask questions?

Yes you will and in fact we encourage you to make a list of questions you’d like to ask our speakers specific to their topic ahead of time so they can address your concerns in their talk.

Will I be able to speak directly with the speakers?

Yes we have a social hour on both days where you can approach that day’s speakers.

Will I get to spend time with fellow attendees?

Yes you’ll have an opportunity to exchange promotional pieces and we’ll share the website information of all attendees prior to the event. You can also communicate via our Facebook page.

Can I contact the speakers after the conference?

Yes but keep in mind they are busy people, try to make the most of your time with them at the conference.

What happens on the studio tours?

You’ll get to visit the studios of a well-known illustrators and ask questions related to their work. We can also provide you contact information for other illustrators in the area to visit before or after the conference if you wish.

What about lunch?

Lunch will be provided both days at the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame dining room.

Can I just come to Day Two of the conference?

Yes, while we would encourage you to come to both days you can signup for just the second day. Unfortunately the conference fee remains the same.

Why is it so expensive?

We’ve tried to keep the costs down but it is an expense to put on any sort of conference whether it’s New York or not. We realize not everyone can afford to come to the conference but we feel the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes but the final payment will need to be made one week prior to the conference.

I’m on the fence about coming can I speak to someone who was there last year?

Yes, we can provide you with the contact information upon request. We have listed last year’s attendees on the Photos page along with their comments.


Business Hours
Monday through Friday

Nuts & Bolts Conference
Sponsored by

3x3, The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration
244 Fifth Avenue, Suite F 269
New York New York 10001
(p) 718 435 4047
(f) 212 537 6201

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Photos from the 2011 conference

Quotes about the 2011 conference

“The 3x3 Nuts & Bolts Conference is absolutely necessary for every young illustrator or designer to attend. The informative and inspirational presentations by all lecturers are only part of the reason why Nuts & Bolts is great.”

“Really great experience—met a lot of great people! Thanks!”

“Very motivating and informative. Thank you.”

“It was a really amazing, invaluable experience and I truly think my career will be better for it.”

“Overall, it was amazing. I wouldn’t change my experience for anything.”

“Incredibly informative. I’m very happy with the experience.”

“Very inspiring and useful information, thanks!”

“Very well done and informative.”

“Very beneficial to young illustrators.”

“Worth every penny.”

“Fantastic, life-changing experience for a recent grad like myself.”

“Very nicely done! The knowledge, inspiration and contacts from this experience are priceless!”

“I really enjoyed the conference and felt it was inspiring and informative not just for recent grads but also for someone like me, who has been out of school for a long time and working in graphic design, but looking forward to focusing on illustration again. Thank you!”

“GREAT conference!! I really learned a lot, took a lot of notes and really feel inspired and directed!”