Greetings, lovely readers! Wow, I cannot believe I haven't done this in three months. No wonder I had no will to live. But I'm here again to bring you this month's Illustrators Arise! C'mon, get excited with me! What? You don't know what that is? Illustrators Arise is a feature of this blog, where I introduce talented illustrators who I love through an interview with them. Without further adieu, please welcome Miss Rebecca Green to the blog!
A: Hi, Rebecca! Thanks for this opportunity. First of all, could you please tell our readers a little bit about who you are and what you do?
R: My name is Rebecca Green, but you can call me Becca. After growing up in a small town in Michigan, I moved away to study illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI. A small art school. I now live in Denver, Colorado where I work as a full-time illustrator and painter.
A: What first got you into illustration?
R: Like many artists, I have been drawing my whole life. My first published work was in my school newspaper in kindergarten. I drew a mermaid in a complete underwater scene with a treasure chest, fish and a shell bra. After high school, I decided on illustration because I loved the narrative quality to it. Also, at that time, I didn't think I had anything to 'say' to the world (best to illustrate other people's ideas, I thought). Now that's changed a bit.
R: That's a tough question. I think I spend much more time looking ahead than looking back. I never look at an old painting without thinking of what I would change. Pieces don't really stand on their own but are more like tiny bursts of progression which are never as good as the next one. The best pieces come when you can jump the plateaus you get stuck on.
A: What kind of materials do you usually work with?
R: I paint with acrylic on wood, adding in graphite, colored pencil, cut paper, and finishing with an oil coat. I am in the process of learning how to paint on paper.
A: I see you also love sculpting. You're really good at it too. Why haven't you pursued this career?
R: That is the golden question. I did a lot of 3-d illustration in college and when I got out, I think I started just plowing through work and my sculptures fell to the wayside. My dream job is to work on miniature sets for quirky stop motion films. Right now, I want to take my time and build my skill and my portfolio in hopes that when I do seek out a company, they will take me on. I need to learn how to actually build though, with power tools, and molds and resins and all that magical material that I am clueless about. Most of my work is made from garbage and found objects, and is hardly ever structurally sound.
A: Are there any artists who inspire you?
R: Yes! I love the work of Maira Kalman, Oliver Jeffers, Andrew Hem, Teagan White, Jon Klassen, Red Nose Studio, Andrew Wyeth...there are just so many.
A: If you weren't an illustrator, what would you be?
R: Easy. I would rescue and rehabilitate animals. I frequently dream of quitting my job to pursue this. I wish I had more lives so I could be something new in every one.
A: What does the future look like for Rebecca Green?
R: Ha! No one knows, not even me. If I had to plan it, I'd say there will be more art, more traveling, good friends, hopefully more schooling, learning to knit, good health, coffee, a long life for my fella, my dog Mori, my cat Junie, and myself. I would love to do more three-dimensional work and learn miniature set building. I am also dreaming up writing and illustrating my own children's book. And creating more products, rather than just mostly original paintings. Lots of aspirations.
A: Thank you so much for your time, Rebecca! One last thing: What kind of advice would you give novice illustrators out there?
R: Just keep making art. I've heard two things from illustrators I admire. 1. If you are passionate about the work you want to make, truly passionate, you will find a way to make it happen. 2. Create the work you want to get. If you want certain illustration jobs, in your free time, you should really be making what makes you the happiest.
What is incredibly unique about Rebecca's style: The softness of her colours and how well she uses them. You can feel the season just buy looking at the colours - faded shades for the colder months and bold yet soft palette for the warmer seasons. The characters she illustrates usually lack active facial expression, giving the whole illustration a shroud of mystery. Sometimes she adds typographical aesthetics into her works, which I also adore. And, I suppose you'd know this by now, I'm a sucker for child-appropriate illustrations - no mature content whatsoever - so her style suits me absolutely well. Knowing her artistic goal - to write a children's book of her own -, I'd say job well done!
Thanks for stopping by. Check out her website for more beautiful artworks. Also, check out the previous feature here.