ICON brings together top illustrators, designers, educators, representatives and art buyers to explore the future of illustration. According to its website, the national Illustration Conference is committed to providing a forum for an ongoing dialogue centering on 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 the most pervasive issues facing the profession. ICON is a 501 C-6 nonprofit organization of illustrators and is an entity in itself. As of 2016, ICON remains the only national conference specifically dedicated to illustrators and the graphic arts community.
Since 1999, conferences have taken place in Santa Fe, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Portland and Providence. The Conferences present the issues relevant to the field of illustration and design. They have examined specific topics such as copyright, product development, children’s books, promotion and contracts. The Conferences have maintained the standard of convening the industry’s best and brightest talent to present and talk about their work, their business, their lives and their passion for illustration. They have also grown to include inspiring, informative and topical main stage sessions, along with pre-conference tours and workshops.
Speakers at the 2016 conference include Selina Alko, Melinda Beck, Matt Bors, Steve Brodner, Will Bryant, Marc Burckhardt, Kent Bye, Susie Cagle, Antionette D. Carroll, Gemma Correll, Eleanor Davis, Henrik Drescher, Kayla E., Camille Rose Garcia, Cody Haltom, Jamie Hibdon, Jessica Hische, Hellen Jo, William Joyce, Anita Kunz, Alejandro Magallanes González, Norma Jeanne Maloney, Alex Mathers, Roman Muradov, Lindsay Nohl, Ashley Pinnick, Sean Qualls, Lars Morten Refn, Julia Rothman, Kathie Sever, Lily Smith-Kirkley, DJ Stout, Svein Størksen, Michael Thompson, Jonathan Tobin, James Victore, Kyle T. Webster, Paul Windle, Calvin Wong, Charlyne Yi, Jet Elfman, Keith Young, Ping Zhu and Alexandra Zsigmond.