Monday, April 30, 2012

The Art of Raymond Ameijide

The Beverly Hillbillies
Raymond Ameijide (1924-2000) was an award-winning illustrator who was best known for creating whimsical constructions using paper bas-relief and felt cloth. Because of the use of the multi colors in his work, he was often referred to as a "Rainbow Snipper"
postcard stamp art by Ameijide created in 1986Add caption
Ameijide enjoyed a long career creating three dimensional advertisements and magazine illustrations. His work probably received the most attention when he was hired to create a series of memorable TV Guide covers in the seventies/early eighties featuring caricatures of popular TV show casts. I first discovered his work via those covers, they really jumped out at me at the time and still remain my favorites of his work. If you're discovering his art for the first time, enjoy. 

The Waltons
Ameijide created these 2 Christmas covers for TV Guide:

the original art

Barney Miller (including Abe Vigoda)
The Love Boat

1964 TV Guide ad

ad for the Mike Douglas Show

ad for three western TV shows

ad for Gilligan's Island

cover art for Saturday Review, 1976

a 1971 book cover

in 1975 Ameijide created the Society of Illustrator's poster image for their annual

An Ameijide elephant, most likely created for a children's book
a sample of Ameijide's advertising artwork...
 This poster image was created for PAN AM in the fifties

more whimsical illustrations for various clients...

late seventies baseball image
Postcard for The Anchor Savings Bank

Thanks to Spencer Gorman, Robert Hunt & Stephen Kroninger
                                     An obituary for Ameijide from 2000:

                     AMEIJIDE, RAYMOND

Raymond Ameijide of Cortlandt Manor died on January 11, 2000. He was 75. He worked as a self-employed commercial artist. An artist and philosopher who had many great accomplishments during his lifetime yet was ever humble. A loving father whose bright mind and gentle way will be deeply missed. Mr. Ameijide was a renowned illustrator, having originated and developed paper and felt sculptures as illustrations in the mid 1950√ęs. During his career he illustrated for such clients as Fortune, National Geographic , IBM. Pfizer, TV Guide, Chase Manhattan, Discover, and Harcourt Brace Jodanovich and the United States Post Office and other major companies. He was also included as one of the leading illustrators of the past 100 years in "The Illustrator in America" 1880-1980. Mr. Ameijide won many awards for his illustrations from the New York Art Directors Club, Graphis, The Society of Illustrators, including Gold Medal and the prestigious Hamilton King Award. He was born on September 14, 1924 in Newark, NJ, to Lisardo and Casimira Rancano Ameijide. He earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. He served in the United States Army during World War II. He was married for 52 years to Irene Kipus, and had lived in Cortlandt Manor for the past 32 years. He is survived by Irene Ameijide, his wife of Cortlandt Manor; two daughters, Sue Ameijide of Manhattan, and Lisa Ameijide of Medford, OR; two sons, Ray Ameijide of Washington, and Peter Ameijide of Cortlandt Manor, NY; and a brother, Jose Ameijide of Manhattan. Calling hours are today from 2-4 and 7-9 pm at Joseph F. Nardone Funeral Home. The funeral is today 3 pm at the funeral home. Cremation is private. JOSEPH F. NARDONE FUNERAL HOME 414 Washington St, Peekskill (914)737-1363


  1. Wonderful. Would love to see his work table.

  2. "Rainbow snipper" sounds a little condescending, like "prop comedian." Anyway, I always liked his caricatures. Reminds me a little of the guy who did the full color MGM caricatures in the forties/fifties. (I just Googled him and found out his name's Kapralik.) So many gifted Golden Age illustrators and caricaturists "never got a dinner," as Red Buttons used to say. Or in this case, never got a monograph. (Speaking of which, I just reread your brilliant posts on Sam Berman.) Nowadays, everything seems to be coming back into print, so maybe some smart publisher will rectify that situation, I hope.

  3. Mike, Yes, his work is similar to the great Jacque Kapraliks. Stephen Kroninger posted the definitive Krapralik blog tribute on the Drawger site.

  4. As a young sprout, I also remember his TV Guide covers of the 70s. By the early 80s I was graphic design student and I had to do one of these types of illos for my portfolio. Sadly, the rubber cement used discolored the origami paper only a year or two after completing it. Too bad I didn't get a slide! Such a evocative result, but in today's fallen world, there aren't any publishers willing to pay for such a labor intensive technique.

    1. HI, my father did lots of experiments with glues. When he found one that did not yellow or undo itself he was so happy. Then the US stopped importing this glue (?). It was a specific UHU brand. When my sister got to go to Germany soon ager the glue was discontinued in the US, we had to search out this UHU and bring him home every box we could find, that was a lot of glue.
      Thanks, Lisa Ameijide

  5. As a young sprout, I also remember his TV Guide covers of the 70s. By the early 80s I was graphic design student and I had to do one of these types of illos for my portfolio. Sadly, the rubber cement used discolored the origami paper only a year or two after completing it. Too bad I didn't get a slide! Such a evocative result, but in today's fallen world, there aren't any publishers willing to pay for such a labor intensive technique.

  6. Found this when trying to research the brilliant artist who illustrated a reader for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and I am so thankful that you posted this for people like me to find.
    Great talent, shame there isn't more about him out there.

  7. Hi, I currently own the Barney Miller piece, proudly hanging in my home. Oddly, I also own the TV Guide with Abe Vigoda signature you have on your page! A really nice 3-D paper construction - not sure how he pulled it off with such exacting detail and caricature.

    1. Hello, my father loved that show, we all did. Glad his sculpture is in a good place.
      Thanks, Lisa Ameijide

    2. It certainly is and new visitors often look at it with true awe and fondness for not only the show but that era, when illustration really mattered. One of my favorite shows of all time and somehow the stars aligned and it found a home with me. Now if I can just get my hands on the MASH, Waltons, Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies covers...

    3. Lisa & Drew, I just became the proud owner of two more TV Guide original works by your father - The Waltons and Santa & Reindeer. They will look so good next to my original Barney Miller. Of the TV Guide covers I don't have, were there any other ones than MASH, Bonanza, Love Boat and Christmas Tree?

    4. Wow, you got Santa and the Reindeer! I especially like all the holiday sculptures. Happy for you. The Waltons too! He seemed to get the likenesses so easily. He'd always say "an artist is as good as his reference." Meaning you had to really do you homework and get good reference or you can't do an accurate job. Hope you find the others you are looking for!

  8. Hello Drew and thanks for posting such a wonderful assortment of our fathers work. He was indeed a colorful and whimsical artist. He could also tell a joke like no one else and laughed at them louder than anyone else! He was the master o the bad pun. It was his birthday yesterday and we always enjoy watching some of his favorite movies and eating his favorite snacks on this special day.
    He loved a good thriller and Saturday nights at 8pm was our special movie night.
    Alec Guiness is always a good pick as well, goofy and clever movies ranked highly.
    He did love color but hated the phrase "rainbow snipper." It was made up by whomever wrote the article and he never used it.
    Lots of his work is white on white.
    There is a touch of his whimsy is in all of us. My father also loved animals and had a strong sense of integrity, (my brother Peter has a Halloween app coming out that is both whimsical and animal friendly.) He would never do work for tobacco companies though he smoked. He never through a cigarette butt on the ground either. I just remember those things.
    So a funny and good guy all around. Wish he was still with us but sometimes it still feels like he is.
    Thanks for the memories, Nice to know people thought so highly of his work. He was really a first in that type of art work. As we kids got older he had us cutting out all of the tiny pieces to make each sculpture. He was a good employer and paid interest when the check was late.
    Some of the sculptures you show I can remember cutting long into the night because the deadline was the next day. My after would still be up working when we got up for school.
    Ah well, good stuff. Thanks, Lisa Ameijide.

  9. Thanks Lisa, for the wonderful memories of you amazing dad.

  10. Lisa,thank you for sharing your father's unique artwork with your origami class today.I would have loved to watch and learn from him in his studio.How lucky you were to have such a talented father.He certainly passed down his artistic genes to you!