When Greg Betza received this commission from Thomas Jefferson University to contribute to their magazine he was excited as he’s always been drawn to butterfly imagery and the idea of metamorphosis, but that was not at all what this was about. Butterfly disease is a devastating disorder that often leads to an aggressive and fatal skin cancer. People who have this rare genetic condition have skin as fragile as butterfly’s wings because their bodies do not make enough collagen to hold the layers of their skin together. This leads to painful blistering and ultimately cancer. Most patients do not live to the age of 35.
Fortunately this article was not only about the disease, but the promising research into a therapy to treat the disease. You can read the article and see more of Greg’s illustrations here: RESEARCH: Thomas Jefferson University
He was asked to illustrate the story of Bowdoin alum Ed Burton who searches for American soldiers who never came home. Whether POW or lost in battle his research has brought closure to countless families.
This series of animations are a continuation of a project from 2019 which was postponed due to the pandemic. Greg Betza recently had a reel put together of some of the highlights.
The animations are designed to work as culture-shaping, coaching videos that are explanatory in nature, spread across many industries including, retail, health, food, hospitality, manufacturing and more. He created all of these as frame by frame line art and added digital color.
Thank you again to the whole team at StrategyMuse for the great collaboration!
A few months ago Greg Betza was contacted by Len Small over at Columbia Magazine. He always wanted to work with Len and this was a really fun collaboration. Len had the idea of integrating actual photos into the illustrations, and Greg really liked the potential of doing something different like this.
Last week I was asked to create an image to run alongside the introduction of the jury in the George Floyd murder trial. After quite a bit of discussion here is the illustration that was agreed upon to protect the anonymity of the people involved.
Thank you to the Washington Post for the assignment.
Studio 1482 would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you that visited our site, liked our work, or just offered a note of support this year. It made a very difficult situation a little bit easier knowing you were there.
Because we couldn’t physically mail our annual calendars to you this year we have made them available as a FREE pdf download. We hope that our art brings you joy in the year to come.
Welcome to Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482.We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly.
Enjoy Times Square, NYC by Greg Betza…
Times Square, that section of midtown New York City that has been referred to as the “Crossroads of the World”amongst other things (both favorable and not so much). It is a place that many native New Yorkers avoid at all costs and yet it is a not-to-be-missed destination for all tourists.
As a New Jersey native that spent a great deal of time in New York City, I have a certain fondness for Times Square, though I completely understand why you’d want to avoid it as well. What a contradiction!
Speaking of contradiction, could there be a place more antithetical to our current “new normal”? To think of the thousands of people that would traverse the area each day; have it reduced to a near ghost town in a matter of weeks. Chalk that up to things I’d never thought I’d see.
It was the masses of people that first brought me to Times Square to draw. It was a challenge. So many people, so much movement, even more personality. The architecture, the advertising, the lights! To learn to capture and tell that story was a lesson so important in my development as a reportage artist and illustrator. Here are a few early attempts.
Trips to draw here gave me the full sensory experience. Ears assaulted by honking horns, indiscernible shouts, tourists asking for directions…, music, discernible expletives, and of course, the pigeons!
The smells. Oh boy. From hot garbage in the summer, to the constantly wafting smell of something frying from the endless row of chain restaurants.
And watch your step, the garbage cans often overflow!
Now while this may sound horrible, it is what makes Times Square unique and as an artist you need to take it all in…the good and the bad, to tell the truth with your reportage. And despite all of this (and there is more) people flock here anyway and stay awhile. As did I, many, many times.
On a more positive note, looking up and around when you are here is inspiring. On the surface it can appear a soulless theme park devoted to consumerism, but if you can get past that tired and overused criticism, Times Square is home to so many visions realized. As a student of advertising I love to see the campaigns compete with each other publicly. How each brand approaches this space and how they utilize technology to bring their message to the masses is truly impressive. It’s a constantly evolving gallery.
One of the last times I spent a long day drawing in Times Square was back in 2010 when Mayor Bloomberg closed several sections to traffic, allowing the area to become more pedestrian friendly. I remember it was a very peaceful day, the people seemed to enjoy the space more than they had in the past and I believe I noticed more native New Yorkers hanging around that day too :)
The animations were based on podcast interviews which told stories of empathy, worldliness and fascination and were recorded in London, Beijing, and New York City. Smith and animator Mark Bellncula were incredible partners to work with, granting me a tremendous amount of creative freedom and support. I couldn’t be any happier with how the animations turned out.
I loved that these pieces were created in a mostly traditional way, using sequential hand made drawings and paintings. Some of the longer panoramic drawings were so long that I had to work on my floor…and my floor became my desk! Whatever works.
I did my best to document the process of creating the animation art which I’ve included below. I appreciate you taking the time to look!
I was commissioned by Bloomingdales to ‘live-paint’ portraits of their customers. It was so nice to see their clients’ faces when they saw their likenesses appearing on paper. I don’t often talk about art with people who are not artists and it amazed me how impressed and fascinated they are by the process of creating art. Their observations and opinions are diverse and genuine. I learned a lot.
I went into the day thinking mostly about the job that I had to do and how I would execute it. I came away with so much more…meeting new people, of all ages, and hearing their thoughts on what I was doing and how much they enjoyed the process.
Thank you to Bloomingdales for asking me to live-paint portraits of your patrons. Great day!
I was commissioned this summer to work on a reportage assignment for NJ Monthly magazine. Being born and raised in New Jersey it was just that much better to be asked to drive around the state to visit and draw different “landmarks” throughout to help make the case for the best downtowns in New Jersey. I had a great time. Here are the drawings which appeared in the magazine (out now!) and the additional ‘rejected’ pieces that I made as well.
I’m excited to share this latest bit of good news with you. I was contacted earlier this year by a company designing a new Chicago office space for a global consulting firm. The company had seen my reportage drawings of Chicago and thought they would make a great addition to the space. I’m truly satisfied when I do work that I love and enjoy doing and someone finds a use for it. Here are a few photos from the new space. You can see the rest of my reportage here.
I have been working on a large series of illustrations for American Family Insurance. With Father’s Day just passing I’m happy to post this first illustration because I was able to use my son as my model.
This Shel Silverstein inspired ad is appearing regionally in issues of Sports Illustrated.
I was recently asked to create an illustration for Four Seasons Magazine. The story is about how children in Shanghai, a city with very little “green”, are being educated about the environment. I was really inspired by the opportunity to add a cultural feel to the illustration. Here is the final watercolor.
I’ve always been a fan of Guy Fieri, so I was thrilled to get a call to do some illustrations for his Miller Lite Grillin’ For Greatness campaign. Again, I was asked to draw a stadium! First, NBC Sports calls for the Stadium Series and soon after, Guy. The theme behind the stadium imagery is that his recipes (and Miller Lite) can be used during your tailgating parties this football season. Overall a fun project to work on. Here are the illustrations and the final print ads. #grillwithguy