Episode 493 – Joe Ciardiello

Virtual Memories Show 493:
Joe Ciardiello – LIVE!

“A blank piece of paper is still the most intimidating thing.”

It’s our first live episode since The Before Time! The great illustrator Joe Ciardiello rejoins the show for a conversation at ArtYard in Frenchtown, NJ! We talk about ArtYard’s exhibition of his art from A Fistful of Drawings (Fantagraphics), the conversation with his grandfather that led to that book, the new directions his art is taking beyond illustration (and how Beckett can turn into Andre the Giant), what westerns say about the times in which they’re made, why he still draws with a Rapidograph, and the joy of scarabocchio and exploring lines! Plus, the audience gets in on the fun, asking him about how he looks at faces, where he starts with his drawings, how the improv/jazz-like nature of his drawings evolved, and more. Give it a listen! And go read A Fistful of Drawings!

(And go listen to my 2017 and 2019 conversations with Joe!)

“It’s not illustration anymore; it’s something else. It may just be another collection of drawings stuffed into my flat file, but it’s kind of fun right now and I’m looking to explore this.”

“I’ve abandoned everything I learned academically about drawing. I’m not interested in accuracy”

“Attractive people are the hardest to draw.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

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About our Guest

Joe Ciardiello was born and raised on Staten Island, NY, just a ferry ride to Manhattan where he attended the High School of Art & Design and Parsons School of Design. A freelance illustrator since 1974, Ciardiello has worked for most major magazines, newspapers, and book publishers, including Entertainment Weekly, The Nation, The New Yorker, The NY Times Book Review, and Rolling Stone. His drawings have been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country. Among his awards is the prestigious Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators in 2016. Joe lives in Hunterdon County, NJ. His most recent book is A Fistful of Drawings.

Follow Joe on Instagram and Twitter.

Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded at ArtYard in Frenchtown, NJ on Zoom h2N digital recorder. I recorded the intro and outro on a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. B/W photo of me & Joe by David Leopold; color one by me. It’s on my instagram.

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