Promoting New Illustrators in the Dominican Republic: Jonathan Schmidt’s Wager as New Coordinator of the Illustration Major

Coming from the same CHAVÓN, as a 2003 Fine Arts and Illustration graduate, and from a Parsons School of Design specialization, in 2005, this multifaceted artist joins the ranks of our faculty as coordinator of the Illustration technical major. Facing this new professional challenge, Jonathan—supported by a distinguished team of professionals and colleagues- is going for it all.

The talent of this new generation of illustrators is their motor; guiding them so they may have their own voice and defend their critical thought, their ignition. “The idea is to imbue students with information and techniques without changing their essence, so that upon graduation they will have long and satisfying careers where they continue to explore and expand their skills,” says Jonathan.

For this creative, “The ability to tell a story with something as primitive as lines on paper is a profound connection with humanity». That’s why he’s  a faithful believer that drawing from direct observation is the keystone of the Illustration major’s academic plan, along with classic techniques in combination with contemporary mediums.

Jonathan dreams that visual narrative, the development of concepts, and the use of different techniques will become something natural for the CHAVÓN illustrator over the course of the major’s two years—and forever!.

He comes with an impressive professional trajectory. His works have been exhibited with great success in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, New York (Studio Museum in Harlem and Parsons Gallery), and Connecticut (Mystic Seaport).

But it doesn’t stop there: Jonathan has also played a fundamental role in the creation of five original, copyrighted properties “Suckers,” “After Ascension,” “Gulls,” and “Jaymse” (he was  Ascensión», «Gulls y «Jaymse» (he was involved in the development of the last three).

He has also created many storyboards and animations. He participated in the series «The I-Land I», on Netflix, as well as in the Dominican films «The Barbershop», «Loki 7» and «The Fabulous V», to name a few.

He has worked on different educational projects such as the creation of children’s books, and has participated in the design and illustration of the cover of the Penguin Young Readers Group series of 2005–2006. 

Motivated by this barrage of successes, Jonathan launched Piece of Schmidt, his own studio, in 2013. Magic was produced there, through their services —the conception, development, and creation of characters storyboards, and animation.

Now, since his recently assumed position of academic coordinator, this artist plans to work with each person so that they eliminate any kind of negativity toward their work and find a way to translate their thoughts with clarity. In other words, this is what Jonathan has as his guiding principle “To equip students with the mentality to be better than yesterday.”