Zina Saunders

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Zina Saunders (born August 30, 1953) is a Manhattan-based artist, writer, animator and educator. She wrote and illustrated Overlooked New York, a collection of interviews, profiles and portraits of diverse New York subcultures and hobbyists, published in 2009. In 2010, for Mother Jones, she began creating regular weekly animations (which feature Saunders doing the voices of all characters).

A native New Yorker, Saunders attended High School of Music and Art and Cooper Union but also learned much about painting and commercial art from her father, illustrator Norman Saunders. She has illustrated for a variety of publishers (Simon & Schuster, Random House, Scholastic Books, Oxford University Press), while contributing to magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Time Out New York and Outré.

Her Overlooked New York subjects include amateur astronomers, bike messengers, carnival costume designers, cricket players, keepers of rooftop pigeon coops, kite flyers, scuba divers, street performers, subway musicians and urban gardeners. The project began in the fall of 2004 with her observation of colorful, decorative bicycles, as she explained:
Ever since I was a kid I’ve seen older Puerto Rican men riding crazy, tricked-out bicycles, loaded with mirrors and flags and chrome and fuzzy dice and raccoon tails. I’ve always wanted to paint their pictures and find out why......

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