Get to know us.

MICA's Illustration faculty are professionals who bring the experience of their award-winning careers to the classroom. We are involved in all major illustration and comics conferences and festivals. Our work is regularly published and exhibited in national and international venues.

Additionally, noted guest speakers discuss their work and critique student work. The department maintains the Julian Allen Illustration Gallery, which displays exhibitions to showcase work by the department's students, illustration alumni, and guest illustrators. And last but not least, the illustration office provides a friendly and relaxing place for students to meet faculty, get advisement, and become an integral part of the department.

Illustration Faculty

Shadra Strickland

Shadra Strickland, Department Chair

Shadra Strickland studied, design, writing, and illustration at Syracuse University and later went on to complete her M.F.A. at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

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Deanna Staffo, Assistant Chair

Deanna Staffo is a Philadelphia based illustrator. She received her BFA with honors from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where she later taught sophomore and junior illustration students.

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Allan Comport

Allan Comport has been working as an artist's representative and educator for the past 25 years.

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Eduardo Corral

Eduardo Corral, a.k.a. TLaloC, is a full-time faculty member in First Year Experience. Born in the industrial city of Monterrey, Mexico, he is an illustrator, interdisciplinary artist and graphic designer.

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Stephen Hendee

See First Year Experience (FYE) Faculty for Bio

Joyce Hesselberth

Joyce Hesselberth is a writer and illustrator. Her work has been recognized by American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, and 3x3. Her children’s books have been published by Henry Holt, HarperCollins, and Chronicle Books. In 2018, she received a Bologna Ragazzi Special Mention for her book Mapping Sam. Her books have also received starred reviews from Kirkus and the School Library Journal and have been included on annual lists of best books by Bank Street Books, the New York Public Library, and the Chicago Public Library. Her editorial illustrations have appeared in magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Scientific American, and many others. Joyce holds a BFA in Communication Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MA in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University. She and her husband David Plunkert work together in a renovated screen print factory in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore.

Learn more about Joyce Hesselberth
Jia Liu smiling between plants

Jia Liu

Growing up in rural China, Jia had little access to art. However, she always had a huge interest in drawing, which led her to study Illustration and Visual Design at the China Central Academy of Fine Art, then the Maryland Institute College of Art. She loves to create whimsical, energetic illustrations with rich color and humor. Telling stories in a unique way is her motivation as a visual creator. She has illustrated for book publishers, magazines, apps, and institutions and published over 10 books so far. Her work has been recognized by American Illustration, the Society of Illustrators, the World Illustration Awards, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her clients include Penguin Random House, Astra Publishing, Penguin UK, Bloomsbury Publishing, Pearson Education, PlanSponsor, and more.

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Lisa Perrin

Lisa Perrin is an award-winning illustrator, designer, collaborator, entrepreneur, educator, and general mover & shaker. Her work has been recognized by The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, 3X3 Magazine, and Print Magazine. A proud graduate of the MFA Illustration Practice program, Perrin also holds a BFA in Drawing and Painting and a BA in English from SUNY New Paltz.

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José Villarrubia

Harvey Award winning artist José Villarrubia is internationally known for his comics color work and editing. He has also been nominated for the Eisner Award twice and regularly works for all the major American comic publishers (Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Dark Horse Publishing, Image Comics) as a colorist and digital painter.

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Heidi Younger

Born on Long Island NY, Heidi began her illustration career in 1988 after receiving a BFA in Graphic Design from School of Visual Arts in NYC.

Learn more about HEIDI YOUNGER


Book Karnjanakit

Book is a cartoonist and illustrator originally from Bangkok, now living in Baltimore. Their frequently used media include watercolor, pencil color, collage, and digital. Every day they are still learning and unlearning about gender, sexuality, social justice, and cultural differences. Their free time is often spent watching birds, thinking silly thoughts, exploring the city, and eating yummy food.

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Carla Speed McNeil

Carla Speed McNeil is an American science fiction writer, cartoonist, and illustrator of comics, best known for the science fiction comic book series Finder

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Danielle Nekimken

Danlin Zhang

Danlin is an award winning illustrator based in New York, originally from China. Danlin specializes in editorial, advertising, books, and is up for any challenge. She loves to travel, and her experiences are filled with vivid memories of world cultures and the many magical imaginings that extend from them, all of which continue to inspire her.

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Dave Inscore

Dave Inscore is a 22 year game industry veteran who began his career as an art intern at Microprose Software in 1995.

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John Geyer

John Geyer is an illustrator currently living in Baltimore and a recent MICA grad where he studied Illustration, Game Arts, and Concept Art. He was born and raised in a tiny town in Rhode Island, and has since developed an insatiable appetite for narrative media. From comics and graphic novels to films and games, all of it fuels his creative process and passion for storytelling.

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Normandie Luscher

Normandie enjoys bright, colorful and decorative illustration as well as narrative illustration that tell rich and interesting stories.

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Patrick O'Brien

Patrick O'Brien has been an illustrator and painter since 1985, working with such clients as National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, The Smithsonian, and the U.S. Naval Institute.

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Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka Kumar is an illustrator from Kolkata, India, with a practice that spans across visual narrative, murals, and printmaking. She graduated from the MFA in Illustration Practice at MICA, and holds previous degrees in Art History and Literature. Her comics have been featured in multiple Indian and international comics anthologies, and her visual essays have appeared in The Baltimore Banner and BmoreArt. When not teaching, Priyanka works as creative director at the Baltimore-based publishing project Anchovy Press, and serves as art director for the anthology South Asian Avant-Garde.

Yifan Luo

Yifan (she/her) specializes in editorial narratives and slices of life that explore current events, culture, personal stories, and food. Her work is characterized by expressive lines, lush colors and textures, and an empathetic, research-based approach. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA in Illustration Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Learn more about Yifan