Monday, 14 February 2011

Joan Reilly and Mastering the Art of Drawing Julia Child

As a worthy finale to our Lady Chef Drawing Challenge, itself a warmup for the upcoming fourth issue of Whores of Mensa, we offer you three drawings by New York artist Joan Reilly.

Joan has a redoubtable history in the comics trade, having been part of the Hi-Horse collective - comprising Joan, Howard John Arey, Bishakh Som, and Mome star Andrice Arp - since its founding in 2000. She is also a regular at in Brooklyn.

Here’s what Joan has to say about the many drawings of Julia Child she’s done over the last few years:

“The very first Julia image I made was done in the style of a Russian icon, and I was inspired to do it as a birthday present for my husband, who has been a huge fan of Julia Child since he was a kid.
Early in our relationship, we started watching DVD's of her old shows, and marveling at what a fantastic and funny person she was. Then I became fascinated enough to read her biography, "Appetite for Life," by Noel Riley Fitch, which is excellent.

When I was invited to create an installation for the Opolis show, curated by Jason Little, in which cartoonists were challenged to tell a visual story using a 3D model of a city block, I chose to tell the story of Julia's life by re-creating pivotal scenes and housing them in models of the buildings were they occurred. So the black-and-white line drawings of her at different ages were character studies for that exhibit, and then the color scene of Julia having dinner in China with a bunch of servicemen is one of the scenes I created for the installation.”

Thanks, Joan!

PS If you want to read more about Julia Child, Random House has a fantastic group of primary source documents - scouting and editors' reports - on Mastering the Art of French Cooking here.


  1. Do you have prints of your pictures available for sale?

    1. Hi Steph, are you asking specifically about the Julia drawing? Please let me know - you can reach the artist at Thanks, EL