Illustratioin Interview with Rebecca Green

Rebecca recently graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with a BFA in Illustration. She works in many different forms, from commercial work to gallery work, to community events and workshops. Green focus lie primarily in painting and drawing, but also work as a three-dimensional artist.

In her work, Green tries to portray the potential good that lies in everyone.  She combines her love for art and her love for animals, somehow bringing them together to further educate, explore, and ultimately end the exploitation of our earthling neighbors.

1. What inspired you to be an illustrator? 

Hmm, Well I have always been artistic and knew I wanted to go into art after highschool. I thought a lot about illustration, mainly because I loved the different styles, I loved stories, I loved small drawings that contained a lot of life. I started college with a direction in Graphic Design, because it was more stable of a career path, I loved typography, and I was able to work digitally with layouts, concepts, etc.
I found though, that all of my design projects centered around illustrations I would create. I decided to do a double major, but loved illustration so much that I dropped the GD, getting only a minor in it.
Illustration is a funny thing though, because I spend just as much time doing ‘fine art’ work, in galleries, and markets. None of my best work is for a client.

2.What artist do you personally admire?  Also, when did you receive your first client?  What was that experience like?

Well, as far as influences go, when I was younger, I was amazed by Normal Rockwell, Joan Miro, Andrew Wyeth..a lot of older fine artists. These days, I am influenced by Natalie Ascencios, Susy Pilgrim Waters, Edwina White, Andrew Hem, and tons more. I am borderline obsessed with Red Nose Studios, run by Chris Sickels. His work is amazing, and I met him in LA last summer. Such a nice guy…I thought I was going to faint when I saw him. haha. His work is so cool. 

As far as client work, I think I got my actual first job when I was in my..sophomore yr of college. A peer in the design dept was going into business with her mother, designing these clip cover things that go on badges. I designed  Santas! haha. I did all sort of drawings for them, but it was kind of a ridiculous venture. At the time, they didn’t want to let anyone know what they were doing, so I handed in these completely rendered, finished pieces, which unknown to me where then taken and made digitally flat. It could have saved them money, and me time. I wasn’t paid a lot, I think like $12 a figure. I can’t find anything from them since 2008 so Im guessing the business didn’t take off. Then, I didn’t have contracts, invoices, a website or anything, so I feel like I’ve come a long way in the past 3 years. 
3.We had/have to take foundation classes and required courses that fall under our major.  Did you have to do the same?  What was college like for you? 
OK..Required Courses…yes, we did have to do them. I hated still life. haha. 
I kind of squirreled my way around a lot of stuff I didn’t want to do, like color theory (that I swapped for a printmaking class) or film photography (that I switched with a digital course bc I couldn’t afford photo supplies) or Portfolio II (which I switched for sci-fi painting and learned grisaille painting.) 
The professors weren’t sticklers once a student showed them they were willing to be self motivated and that sometimes they could get better work out of different classes. That being said, I did take a lot of required and foundation classes, like life drawing,  art history, foundation design classes, sculpture, etc. We also had to take writing, science, math, and political science classes. 
All in all, I’d say I wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything, but of course I have my complaints about the school. 
Here’s the good:
– It’s important, I think, to not only learn in school, but just to be able to take that time to develop in yourself and understand your skills better. Its the time devoting to it (instead of working a reg job right away) that I think is the most beneficial.
– In school, I studied in not only the illustration dept, but the graphic design dept and the fine art drawing dept. I met a ton of people, teachers, etc, who I am still in contact with. They are great resources, and friends…I built up a pretty solid community in school, which is beneficial.  
– A lot of the professors were really a big part of my improvement in college. Some of them would attend outside events I was part of, and they were helpful in letting me take independent study courses with them. I also had an outside studio and they weren’t pissed that I didn’t come to class everyday. I brought in work, and worked on real projects my last year of school, so they just kind of let me do my thing…of course with critiques and suggestions.
Here’s the bad:
-There were a lot of politics in the illustration dept. There was a clear divide between realistic painting teachers and stylized teachers. The chair of the program has been there forever and teaches only photo-realism, and is basically passing people through, patting everyone on the back. There were no critiques in his classes. He made everyone work on a projector…trace the project and fill in. Paint by number. I hated it! He’s a great guy…terrible teacher.. We needed someone young, and fired up about the field..someone who had experience beyond painting watercolors for hospital hallways. (sorry if this sounds a bit heated, haha) He and I had plenty heated arguments once I stopped painting realistically. I just felt that I had to follow what I really wanted, which obviously, wasn’t photorealism. I stopped attending his classes, and from there tried to do my own thing..make my own schedule. There were a couple of other teachers that really supported thinking outside of the box, teachers that were young and excited about illustration, some that were older and equally excited. I just tried to surround myself around these people. It worked out I suppose. 🙂
I just think when I started school, I believed everything the teachers said. But then as I began to learn from different sources, I began to kind of form my own ideas of my work, and when they started conflicting with what I had learned from my professors, I just continued to do work that I wanted to do.
3.How do you keep yourself inspired? 
Keeping myself inspired…I look at different magazines, read books (art and non-art related). Try to learn about new things..take time not creating. Im kind of a that I don’t know pop culture. I don’t have TV, I don’t surf the web, or read the papers. I am a hermit. haha. But I think that’s why there’s no time reference in my work. 
So I send a lot of time just watching out for little details in people, old buildings and architecture, animals, colors..all that. When I get an artist block, I take a break from my studio and look at other people’s work, that usually fires something. It can be frustrating sometimes to have to work to pay your bills when your not inspired…But Id rather be doing that than cleaning toilets. haha
4.What was it like during your final semesters of college?  Nervous?  Overwhelming?
My final semesters..
I think I was very ready to get out actually. I wanted to start working, start getting jobs. I wanted to see if I could do it. I felt at times that I didn’t want to do school projects because some of them, I thought to be a waste of time. I don’t know yet if they were. haha. But like I said, a lot of my teachers let me use my outside commissions for class projects, so I was getting a grade and getting paid (a little) at the same time. 
I graduated in December which was weird, because I didn’t actually walk in the ceremony until May. I felt a little disconnected with my class at the end, and since I spent a lot of time in my studio alone working, I didn’t feel the camaraderie that I had once hoped for. 
Then I graduated and felt very alone. haha. its weird not seeing those people everyday. Not having someone always there to give you feedback. So take advantage of it now, it’s a lot different when you’re through. 

This interview experience has been an awesome opportunity.  I honestly had my doubts at first, thinking that it would be extremely difficult.  But Rebecca has been really awesome with giving honest feed back to the questions.  Also she made it a interesting experience.  Thanks Rebbecca and hope to see more of your work soon! -Ric Evans


Article Metaphor:Spotted Horses in Cave Art Weren’t Just a Figment, DNA Shows

About 25,000 years ago in what is now southwestern France, human beings walked deep into a cave and left their enduring marks and art. Using materials like sticks, charcoal and iron oxides, they painted images of animals on the cave walls and ceilings.  Animals such as lions and mammoths and spotted horses, walking and grazing and congregating in herds.  For years scientist have thought these images were just idealized representations.  But due to the study of comparing horses DNA of today to the DNA of the prehistoric ones, the cave paintings were accurate.  People of those times actually painted what they saw.  From the study, scientists have also found that there were really only three color patterns, spotted or dappled; blackish ones; and brown ones.

As techniques for working with ancient DNA have matured, scientists are now using it to answer an increasing variety of questions about the past from what happened to a species’ genetic variation as its environment changed to how humans recolonized Europe after the last ice age to what type of microbes lived in the guts of people and animals thousands of years ago.


Article Metaphor: Thailand Flooding Cripples Hard-Drive Suppliers

In the neck-deep floodwaters of an industrial zone in Thailand, workers are using Jet Skis and wooden skiffs to transport stacks of computer components out of waterlogged factories.  Three weeks after the monsoon run-off swamped more than 1,000 factories across central Thailand, flood waters has only slightly receded, leaving the world’s largest computer makers without crucial.  Because of the flooding, consumers worldwide will roughly a 10 percent increase on external drives.  The effect will be less for desktop and laptop owners.  The world’s biggest names in hard-drive manufacturing operate from Thailand and before the flood, a single facility produced one-quarter of the world’s supply of “sliders,” an integral part of hard-disk drives.  Some view the flooding as a reminder this year’s vulnerability of global supply chains, coming just a few months after the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan and shut down facilities that produce crucial car electronic components.


Article Metaphors

1. Star Show-Jumping Horse Dies During Competition

Hickstead, a stallion and one of Canada’s top athletes, collapsed and died in front of hundreds of spectators while competing in Italy on Sunday.  Before crashing to the ground under his rider, the horse had just completed a nearly flawless run with his rider.   He died in the ring, as fans gasped in horror in the grandstands.  Eric Lamaze, Hickstead’s longtime rider who won an individual gold and silver medal for the Canadian team with the horse at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, appeared to be unharmed after the horse’s legs seemed to give out as he walked unsteadily between two brightly colored jumps in the arena in Verona.  Lamaze and Hickstead were known as a unbeatable pair and the death of the stallion is unknown at the moment.  But, some suggested that maybe it was due to having a weak heart.


Article Metaphors

For this assignment, we were asked to select five unillustrated articles form the International Herald Tribune.  Each article must had to be from a different section of the paper.  Next, we were ask to write a summary on each, and draw 10 thumbnails for them as well.

1. In Loss, a Mother Explores Dark Questions and Bright Memories

This article give a summary/review of a book about a mother struggle to deal with the death of her husband and her daughter illness.  The book is called “Blue Nights”.

Quintana Roo Dune (her daughter) were having nightmares about The Broken Man, a name she had given to fear and death, was coming to take her away.  She would beg and plea with her parents not to allow him to.  She want them to keep her safe.  In December 2003 was suffering from pneumonia and went into a septic shock in a New York City hospital.  The Broken Man tried to take her, but was unsuccessful.  Instead, he claimed her father who had suffer from a heart attack shortly after coming a visit seeing her.  Quintana held on for 20 months before dying in August 2005 at the age of 39.


2. Sporting Big Feet and a Heart to Match

This articles gives a brief summary of the successful film career of the director Christopher Munch.  He is known for taking risk and not being afraid to use his imagination to depict unruly details and irreducible dimensions of individual lives within his films.  His latest film, “Letters From the Big Man”, is the feature topic.  It is set to open IFC Center in Manhattan this Friday.  It is about Sarah Smith, an artist and government hydrologist, sets out on a post-fire stream survey in a remote part of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness of southwestern Oregon. In the course of her journey through this ancient and ecologically diverse land, she finds herself interacting with a sasquatch man. As their friendship grew, Sarah must take bold steps to protect his privacy, as well as her own.



Wonder Illustration

Wonder Illustration(Sketches)
For this assignment we were ask to create an illustration based on the theme of “Wonder”. The size had to be proportionate to 8×10.
We were then asked to develop three concepts related to the theme of Wonder.
Wonder Project one: Trapped in the ice age and being chased by wooly mammoths.(thank you Trista!)
Wonder Project two:  Chase Dream-being hunted be your friend.  (Thanks Terri!)
Both projects are currently being reworked and will be posted soon.