Illustrator of the Day: Eli Neugeboren

ADC Member always — ALWAYS — begins with a pencil

It’s a brisk, almost wintry day in New York, but weather never gets in the way of Illustration Month! The ADC Blog continues to celebrate the illustrators within the ADC community with our Illustrator of the Day series. Some are professionals, some are students, and some just draw for fun. All of them are card-carrying members of ADC.

Next up: a Brooklyn-based illustrator with an affinity for comics and kids’ books.


Brooklyn, NY, USA


Almost every kid likes to draw. When did it become more than just a kindergarten project for you? How was that interest nurtured?

I remember copying a drawing from a Curious George book around kindergarten or first grade and everyone flipped out over it; I think I realized then I had something extra where drawing was concerned. My parents were very supportive and encouraging throughout my early years. I also read a TON of comics and had a lot of Peanuts compilations that I read again and again.

How much of your ability is self-taught versus through schooling?

I have had a lot of school and lessons, but if I didn’t work at it every day outside of those I never would have improved.

How would you best describe your illustration style? Would you say that you had a specialty?

I think of my style as figurative and textured. I try to keep things anatomically correct and always seems to be tweaking the way I render form and shadow a bit. Working digitally has changed the way I approach drawing, but I think I’ve managed to make the digital a part of the workflow rather than the determining force behind the style. Style is always evolving, and I always have goals set for things I want to work on and improve on.

I think my true loves are comics and children’s books. If I could work on those all day every day I would be very happy and satisfied creatively.

“I think my true loves are comics and children’s books. If I could work on those all day every day I would be very happy and satisfied creatively.

What’s your weapon of choice? Any particular brands or models you swear by?

Pencil. It all starts with pencil and no matter what materials I will end up working in, (paint, digital, etc.) I always sketch in pencil. I really enjoy the Palomino Blackwing 602 pencils and always have to have Pilot Precise V5 extra fine pens on hand. I’ve been using the Pentel and Kuretake pocket brush pens more and more the last few years.

Finish this sentence: “Despite what you might think, illustration is not _______ .”

Illustration is not easy.

What other artistic passions do you have?

I make paintings and design logos and do a lot of photo retouching and photo illustration. I have a lot of side projects that I keep busy with in addition to my commercial work and teaching.

Which professionals do you look up to the most in the illustration world?

Gideon KendallBill SienkiewiczGerhard RichterJohn Singer Sargent and Becky Cloonan.

At the end of the day, what do you love most about being an illustrator?

Getting paid to draw!