Cover Stories

2024 Illustrator’s Cup

From pyrography to comics, this year’s winners drew it all

The timing is both fortuitous and heartening for this year’s Illustrator’s Cup winner Sandy Winkelman—his home studio is part of the upcoming 32nd Eldorado Studio Tour on September 21 and 22, so he’s feeling quite chuffed.

A nomadic sort of artist who plies graphic design for clients like Nike by day and works in pyrography—wood burning—and watercolor by night, Winkelman has lived in California and Oregon, but now calls New Mexico home. Here, he tells SFR, he’s developed a borderline obsession with the animals of the Southwest, many of which wend their way into his pieces.

“I always liked to draw and I always liked crafting, so I thought it would be kind of interesting to combine painting and drawing and crafting,” he says. “I’ve gone through multiple iterations, and it’s still evolving. I don’t really know what it’s going to end up being, but it’s usually animals.”

For his winning piece “Lobo Mexicano,” Winkelman makes use of muted desert watercolors among the concave textures of the pyrographic burns.

Elsewhere in this issue, find painstakingly detailed line drawings, an intense block print from an up-and-comer and even a comic book page from a food-obsessed local creator. As always, it’s hard to select just a few to print, but we’re loving the variety of styles.


(Sandy Winkelman)

Lobo Mexicano

By Sandy Winkelman

“My Southwest-inspired pyrography art captures the rugged beauty and rich culture of the American Southwest. Using fire to etch intricate designs into wood, I bring to life the vibrant, natural patterns and deep history of the region. Each piece reflects my passion for the desert’s resilience and the life within it, inviting viewers to connect with the spirit of the Southwest and its enduring beauty.” Find more at:


(Randy Perraglio)

Manny Suegro

By Randy Perraglio

Lifelong Española resident Randy Perraglio describes himself as “completely self taught,” though he’s taken “many classes” over the years. He doesn’t exhibit or sell his work, he says, with the exception of an annual local art festival. “I’m not good at the business side of art,” he writes. “I do what interests me and I do different mediums. Mostly drawing and painting but I also do fun bicycle creations.” Perraglio also spent more than a decade in the local band Imperial Rooster. His winning pen-and-ink entry depicts his late father-in-law.


(Cora Thompson)


By Cora Thompson

Artist Cora Thompson, 17, will start their senior of high school next semester. “I have been painting, drawing and creating my entire life, using art as both an outlet for my emotions and a source of joy.” Currently, they primarily work in oil paints and printmaking; “Salvation” is a block print they carved. Thompson has won regional awards from Scholastic, and received “best concept” in the Santa Fe Community College’s 2023 Santa Fe Regional Exhibition for high school artists. “The two primary themes that my artwork explores are self perception/reflection and horror; I deeply enjoy expressing my thoughts through images while incorporating surreal or creepy elements as well,” Thompson writes.

Honorable Mentions

(Ralph Torres)

Miss Universe

By Ralph Torres

Born in Los Angeles, CA, Ralph Torres has been drawing since he was three years old. His artistic style is one that depicts landscapes and people through a montage perspective by assembling specific imagery to convey a multilayered story. His recent relocation to Santa Fe has inspired him to explore new topics, a refreshing break from the hotels he would draw from the Las Vegas strip. Based on real photographs, the montage of images from this series are inspired from his research at the local public libraries. Ralph uses mostly pencil, ink and acrylic to reach the detail you see in his artistic expressions.

(Ryan T Cook)

App Hunter

By Ryan T Cook

Ryan T Cook is a cartoonist living in Santa Fe, which he describes as “a gold mine for material, especially my non-fiction ‘documentary’ comics about food and travel.” His comic “Gas Station Food” explores the unique foods of Northern New Mexico’s filling stations, and is now available at Kitchenality in Santa Fe, as well as Travel Bug, Garcia Street Books and Big Adventure Comics.

(Sarah Surprise)

The Wildwood

By Sarah Surprise

Sarah Surprise is an illustrator and textile designer based in Santa Fe. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Textiles. She uses natural dye techniques and watercolors to create magical critters and landscapes. To see more of her illustrations, visit:

(Bette Yozell)

Black Bird Fly

By Bette Yozell

Bette Yozell attended the Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy, the Boston Museum School and has a BS in art education from Tufts University. She exhibited extensively in Europe for seven years. Once back in the US, she came to Santa Fe and taught at the College of Santa Fe and Santa Fe Prep, where she chaired the Art Department and taught for 27 years. Since retiring in 2011, Yozell is now full time in her studio. Learn more at

(John Tolle)

Woman with Scarf and Book

By John Tollett

John Tollett worked for more than 50 years as an illustrator/designer/art director at ad agencies, publishers and as a freelancer. For the past 12 years, he has served as an organizer of the Tuesday Night Drawing group, founded by Eli Levin in 1969.

(Odessa Sawyer)


By Odessa Sawyer

Odessa Sawyer is an internationally published Illustrator and doll maker from Santa Fe, where she lives with her husband, mom and two sons.

Her artwork has been seen in and on the covers of middle-grade and young-adult books, ad campaigns, posters, film and television projects and album covers.

Her style is dreamy, colorful and haunting.

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