The national Illustration Conference, ICON, is committed to providing a forum for an ongoing dialogue that serves the illustration, design, publishing, advertising, and academic communities. Its purpose is to provide a platform for the most influential illustrators and industry leaders to address, in a timely manner, the most pervasive issues facing the profession. Illustration Conference (ICON) is a 501 C-6 nonprofit organization of illustrators and is an entity in itself. ICON remains the only national conference specifically for illustrators and the graphic arts community providing an unprecedented forum for the creativity, inspiration and drive that captivates the profession.

Ellen Weinstein



Ellen Weinstein is an illustrator and was born and raised in New York City. Her awards include American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts Illustration Annual, Society of Publication Designers and The Art Directors Club. She’s featured in an eight-page article in the March/April 2013 issue of Communication Arts. Weinstein lectures and conducts workshops internationally and is an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Robert Brinkerhoff



Robert Brinkerhoff is Department Head for Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). His illustrations have been featured in numerous publications and have been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Brinkerhoff served as Chief Critic for RISD's European Honors Program in Rome, and is an adviser to the Salama Foundation Arts Fellowship in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

James Yang



Born and raised in Oklahoma, James Yang graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, with a BFA in Communication Arts and Design. Within a few years of entering the illustration marketplace, prestigious trade publications began to show or feature his work, including Communication Arts Design & Illustration Annuals, 3×3 Magazine, Graphis, HOW, Print’s Regional Design Annual, Step x Step and The Art Directors Club of New York Annual. Since 1983, Yang won more than 200 awards for design and illustration, including best of show in 2010 from 3x3.

Katherine Streeter



Katherine Streeter lives in New York and illustrates for clients in various markets around the globe. Her commercial career has been balanced with gallery work, which includes her mixed-media collages. She has attended many ICONs.

Melinda Beck

Advocacy and Workshop Chair


Melinda Beck is an illustrator, animator and graphic designer based in Brooklyn, NY. She received a BFA in Graphic Design in 1989 from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Her clients include Chronicle Books, GQ, Nickelodeon, Martha Stewart Living, MTV, Nike, Neiman Marcus, The New York Times, Target and Time Magazine. She’s received two Emmy nominations as well as awards from and publication in annuals including American Illustration, The Art Directors Club, Society of Publication Designers, Communication Arts, Print Magazine, The Society of Illustrators, The Broadcast Design Awards and The AIGA. In addition, her work has been exhibited in various shows including a new acquisitions show at the Library of Congress.

Susie Ghahremani

Bookstore and Roadshow Chair


Susie Ghahremani is an award-winning illustrator, a 2002 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and founder of Boygirlparty®, her signature stationery and gift brand available internationally. Her commercial and editorial clients and partners include Chronicle Books, Bloomsbury, Bank of America, Target, T-Mobile, and The Washington Post. When not painting, illustrating, teaching at RISD, running a business, exhibiting her work internationally, designing or advocating for the illustration community, Susie enjoys sunny San Diego with her husband and zillions of pets. She does not sleep a whole lot but she loves every minute. Find her online at boygirlparty.com or communing with friendly strangers on Twitter at @boygirlparty

Jason Holley

Stage Production and Events Chair


Jason Holley is an illustrator and exhibiting artist who serves on the illustration faculty of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He is currently working on an experimental, semi-fictional book about fathers, with his wife and long-time collaborator, Lisa Wagner.

Rod Hunt

Int’l PR Chair


Rod Hunt is an award-winning London based Illustrator and artist who has built a reputation for retro tinged Illustrations & detailed character filled landscapes. He’s also the artist behind the bestselling Where's Stig? books for the BBC's hit TV show Top Gear. Rod served as the Chairman of the UK’s Association of Illustrators from August 2009 to March 2012.

Mark Kaufman

PR Chair


Mark Kaufman is a partner at Vivitiv, an issue oriented design firm focused on housing, technology and environmental issues. You may have seen his illustrations in The New York Times, The Stranger or Uppercase Magazine. His work has been recognized by The Society of Publication Designers, Society of Illustrators, Print Magazine, Graphic Design USA, American Corporate Identity, Creativity, Seattle Show and the Art Directors Club of New Jersey among others. When not working Mark will politely refuse your invitation to go camping, hiking or skiing. He does accept offers for cocktails. @drawmark @vivitiv

Rick Lovell

Education Chair


Rick Lovell is the Illustration Program Coordinator at the Atlanta campus of Savannah College of Art and Design. He served as the Illustration Chair at Atlanta College of Art from 2002 to 2006, and taught Advanced Illustration at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta. He began his freelance career in 1979 after a brief stint at studios in Atlanta and Houston. His clients include Coors, Delta, Simon & Schuster, The Atlantic Monthly, Business Week, Doubleday, Avon Publications, Bantam Books, Showtime and Disney. Lovell believes that through teaching, the future of illustration will be assured and will continue to grow.

Owen Smith

Programming Chair



Matt Sundstrom

Technology Chair


I fell in love with comic books when I was 13, but maybe not for the same reason other kids do. I was intensely interested in how pictures and words interacted to tell stories. Comic books lead me to drawing, which lead to RISD and then to interactive design where technology is allows for whole new languages of expression to be built out of pictures and words. I write a little about it over on my blog, along with my most recent illustration work and pictures of Oregon, my home sweet home.

Esther Pearl Watson

Bookstore and Roadshow Chair


Esther Pearl Watson earned a BFA from Art Center and an MFA from CalArts. She’s a painter, author, illustrator and comic artist. Her illustrations appear regularly in Bust Magazine, Inc. Magazine and The New York Times. In January 2012, Juxtapoz Magazine ran a 12-page feature on her work, and currently, she exhibits at Webb Gallery in Texas and teaches at Art Center College of Design. Watson and her husband moved from New York to California after hearing about the exciting gallery scene at ICON in Philadelphia.

Mark Heflin

Executive Director


Mark Heflin is the Executive Director of ICON The Illustration Conference, having served since 2009. Prior to this appointment, he was on the board of directors for ICON5 in New York in 2008. Heflin is also the Director of American Illustration and American Photography (AI-AP), the leading juried annuals of contemporary commercial- and fine art-illustration and photography.

Melanie Reim

Volunteer Coordinator


Melanie Reim is an award-winning illustrator with a sketchbook never far from her side. Since earning her MFA in Illustration from Syracuse University, she has illustrated for book publishers, advertising agencies, museums, magazines and major corporations, with Simon and Schuster,The Millbrook Press, The Sony Corporation, Coca- Cola, Newsweek, Inc., Young and Rubicam, The Wildlife Conservation Society and The American Museum of Natural History amongst her clients.

Marc Scheff

Venue Logistics Coordinator


I am an illustrator, but I have also been a computer scientist at Harvard, a web-programmer in California, and an art director on a curious spectrum of projects.I see pictures in my head, but I also see ones and zeros, user experience flow charts, and unorthodox strategies for designing successful projects. You may find me creating art for periodicals or theatre companies, or coordinating dozens of illustrators to build a deck of playing cards that got a write-up in the New York Times, or even art directing for major video game franchises.

Martin French

Board Advisor


Martin French is an illustrator and educator based in Portland, Oregon. He received a BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design. His clients include Candlewick Press, Discovery Channel, ESPN, The Grammy's, Joffrey Ballet, NFL, Nike, The New York Times, Scholastic, and the Village Voice. He has received gold medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles, as well as awards from American Illustration, The Art Directors Club, Society of Publication Designers, Communication Arts, Graphis, Print Magazine, Spectrum, and 3x3. In 2014 he was selected by Luerzer's Archive's 200 best illustrators word wide. He is an associate professor and chair of Design Arts at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland.