We nearly stopped our presses to get in this late-breaking news: The Santa Barbara Independent picked up awards for both — yes, both! — first and second place in the California Newspaper Publisher Association’s 2020 California Journalism Awards for Print Illustration.

Coming in first was our former art director/longtime contributor Ben Ciccati for his cover drawing of Brad Pitt for last year’s SBIFF, while our web content manager Saehee Jong snagged second for her Peace on Earth cover at the end of 2020. Ciccati actually won fourth place for his Queen Bee illustration during our Best of Santa Barbara issue, and Jong shared a fifth-place nod with our creative director, Caitlin Fitch, too for their election night image. 

Check out their illustrations above! 


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