Saturday, May 10, 2014

Local illustrator named to worldwide top 200 list
Written by Staff Reports | |
By Chase Will

After 20 years of honing her skills, local painter Penny Collins has been recognized as one of the Top 200 Illustrators Worldwide by Lüerzer’s Archive.
Lüerzer’s Archive is a bi-monthly magazine for the advertising industry, based in Europe with a global circulation of over 38,000 subscribers.

“I’m still on the ceiling with this,” Collins said. “I could not believe it when I got notification. Out of the billions and billions of talented people out there, and even in Toledo alone, to be picked for something like this is really great.”

“I love that she’s from Toledo. Out of everyone who enters, only about 20 percent are even from the U.S.,” said Claudia Coffman, chief executive of ad sales at Lüerzer’s Archive. “We sent out a call for submissions for the illustrators and they submitted their work.

It was free to submit and they could upload as much work as they wanted. We got over 5,000  submissions, which were judged by afive-person jury and had to receive at least three markings to be

The painting submitted by Collins, titled “Save the Bunnies,” featured a bunny wearing a gas mask, sitting in front of a skull. It was created for a company in California who specialize in rabbit rescues. “It’s rather dark,” Collins said. “I ended up being inspired to do it for them because ofthe horror stories they would tell me about these animals.”

Collins runs Studio 566, where she sells her artwork and does commissioned pieces when requested. Her primary artistic focus is rabbits.

“What they tell you when you get into the business is find something you’re passionate about, because that’s basically what you’ll focus on for all your projects,” said Collins. “My next big project is doing a little cartoon strip with rabbits. I found a niche with these rabbit people, so I’m working on this book of cartoons I’m planning for next year.”

Collins credits much of her success to the Internet, which allows her to find opportunities to submit her work and communicate with peers in her field.

“Everything’s at our fingertips now. Everything you’ve ever wanted to do, you can do,” Collins said. “The Internet helps yet it doesn’t, because everyone and their mother is out there doing it. You’ve got to hit it hard. You basically make your own opportunities as opposed to waiting for them to come along.”

With several years of passion recognized in a prestigious magazine, Collins said she’d like to encourage other aspiring artists to pursue their dreams.

“That would be a piece of advice I’d give any artist struggling to make it; you’ve got to get online, and you’ve got to take advantage of what’s out there,” Collins said.

“Toledo’s just one town. We’ve got the world at our fingertips.”

Studio 566 is located at 425 Jefferson St. For more information on Collins’ work, visit:

Toledo Free Press