October 2018 Issue
by Cindy Whitman
This is the second time in our magazine’s history that the work of illustrator Alece Birnbach has been selected to sass up our cover. “So Many Frogs So Little Time,” a part of her Sassy Halloween Collection, features a sassy witch for our October cover. We were delighted to catch up with the now San Francisco Bay City Area based artist across the coast in New York City, where she was putting her current profession as a graphic recording artist to practice.
Graphic recording, Alece explained, is translating conversations into images and text onto large sheets of paper during corporate meetings and events. “I’m basically a visual note taker,” Alece says. “And I love it. I’m drawing every day and traveling all over the world. There are only 500 people who do graphic recording, and there are many companies now who won’t have a meeting without one. Seeing what is happening in the meeting via my large drawings helps draw the participants into the process. ‘Words,’” she said, “are often much more powerful and memorable when they come with pictures.” Google and Twitter are just two companies that have brought Alece in to graphically record events, and she has traveled as far as Dubai to stand up and draw.
But fear not, readers: The sassy illustrator of our cover art has not abandoned her love of sassy women, more specifically, sassy tween girls. In 2014, Alece and her friend, writer Meghan Dougherty, published their first “Dorothy’s Derby Chronicles” book, with Meghan as author and Alece as illustrator. Soon to be a series of three, “Dorothy’s Derby Chronicles” feature a team of feisty tween roller derby queens, who take on middle school, along with its ups and downs.
“I’ve always been inspired by women,” Alece said. “And I’ve always loved to celebrate them, first with the sassy illustration collection and now with “Dorothy’s Derby Chronicles.” I thought tweens could use a little help, frankly. It’s such a tough age. It was a tough time for me, that’s for sure, and it’s been so much fun giving these girls roller skates and personal power. Meghan and I have had a ball with the ‘Derby Chronicles.’”
Next up for Alece: A cartoon strip. “It will be a web comic,” she revealed. “And it will celebrate women. But that’s all I’m ready to share at the moment.”
You can find and purchase Alece’s illustrations at www.alecebirnbach.squarespace.com.
To find out more about Dorothy’s Derby Chronicles, go to www.dorothysderby.com.