Nora Krug sees illustration as a powerful medium, one that can be used in a variety of ways, including as a means of political commentary. She says, “I am interested in exploring how political and social issues can be communicated on an emotional and personal level through visual narratives.” People who have lived remarkable lives but have never been publicly recognized, such as Hiro Onoda—a Japanese soldier who hid in the Philippine jungle for 29 years, unaware that World War II had ended—are the subjects of her biographical comic strips. Even fictitious lives merit Krug’s talents: In her most recent publication, Red Riding Hood Redux, Krug retells the classic story from the point of view of each character in the fairy tale.
As a professor in the BFA Illustration program, Krug encourages students to explore the many facets and applications of illustration. She believes that the Internet has transformed illustration from a primarily editorial field into one that is truly interdisciplinary. She says, “Illustrators look for platforms that allow them to be the authors of their work rather than simply responding to a given concept.” An interdisciplinary approach to illustration is a distinguishing feature of Parsons’ program, one that Krug considers among its greatest strengths. “The faculty come from diverse backgrounds, which influences how they teach, giving students access to different ways of thinking and of using illustration as a tool to communicate their ideas and emotions.”
As the role of the illustrator becomes increasingly varied and important in different media, Krug’s students can look forward to careers as gallery artists, toy designers, animators for film titles, publishers of limited edition books or prints, and graphic novelists.