The Graduate

h1 May 21st, 2013 by jules


“We’d wait by the windows / gaining in size /
with plans for the nighttime / and daytime’s goodbyes”

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Philadelphia-based illustrator and designer Rita Carroll just officially became an illustrator and designer. She graduated last week from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, as you’ll read below, so I think it’s a great time to feature some of her artwork. This is something I typically do on the first Sunday of each month—feature, that is, a student illustrator or new-to-the-field illustrator—but she just earned that degree, so I think it’d be fun to do it now.

Here she is to tell us a bit about herself and share some of her artwork … I thank her for visiting.

Rita: I am Rita Carroll. I majored in Illustration at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and graduated on May 16, 2013. During my final semester, I had the pleasure of being taught by Greg Pizzoli, Zach Ohora, and Matt Phelan in a class called Personal Viewpoints, where they offered individual perspectives regarding children’s book illustration. One of our last discussions as a class stemmed from the instruction of Matt Phelan, where he introduced us to Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast and opened up a gateway for me to be even more inspired.


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During my senior year, I wrote and illustrated a children’s book called, Night on the Fly [pictured above]. It is about a group of kids who perform shadow puppet shows, using the natural radiance of lightening bugs, the onyx sky as the backdrop, and their hands to direct their own storytelling. With the release of the fireflies, we are reminded of the mystery of imagination and hopeful that the bugs will be back to do it again.

My medium of choice is acrylic paint on wood. I like texture, and I like to do anything to enhance it. I usually develop a tight composition and then, within that framework, experiment with pattern, color, and surface qualities. I like to approach my art intuitively and surprise myself during the process. Knowing that—when I peel up that last area of contact paper, sand that last corner of wood, or put an arbitrary circle on an arbitrary square—I’ll be surprised is what keeps me inquisitive and eager to make more pictures.

[Pictured below are] images from [a] zine I worked on. This one is a little girl exploring the big city to the lyrics of Petula Clark’s, “Downtown”:


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The other zine is about a sock that gets lost in the dryer and tries to find his other half:









 

Character designs:



 

Some personal pieces:

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All images are © Rita Carroll and posted with her permission.

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6 comments to “The Graduate”

  1. These illustrations are such fun–playful, humorous, gentle and evocative, and beautifully composed. Can’t wait to see more of Rita’s work in the world.


  2. Absolutely stunning & unique work by Rita. I cannot WAIT to see what her picture book future holds!


  3. Congratulations to Rita, and I love that art–particularly the dragon. That iTunes playlist one is especially fun, too.


  4. A picture is worth a thousand words and Rita’s pictures speak volumes. Love!


  5. You have a big future ahead of you! Looking forward to lots more….


  6. I think I have to go back to school.


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