Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Q + A: Michele Rosenthal

Name: Michele Rosenthal

Age: 26

Location: Brooklyn

Q: How and when did you first become interested in art and illustration?

I said I wanted to become an illustrator in second grade, mostly because of a visiting illustrator program we had at my school. I was always interested in doing something creative, although my aspirations went in a few different directions before I eventually came back to illustration. I suppose it was meant to be.

Q: What is the first thing you do when you start working? Any warm-up rituals?

No rituals, but I do like to have certain things around me when I work: a cup of tea, some open windows if possible, and either music or a movie playing in the background. Also, I like the room to be clean.

Q: Can you briefly explain your illustration process?

It depends on the project, but a lot of times I'll start sketching right in the computer. I actually have terrible work habits—I do most of my drawing in Adobe Illustrator, with the pen tool, with the track pad on my laptop. I usually block out the composition then fill in the details, but sometimes I'll create all the elements first then fit them together like a puzzle. Figuring out the color is usually the last step for me, and one of my favorite parts.

Q: You graduated from Syracuse Unversity. What was your experience like there? Do you have any advice for recent graduates looking to pursue a career in illustration?

Syracuse has a great illustration program, although the focus is a bit on the traditional side. I hardly did any digital work until my senior year. The best advice I can give for those starting out is to try everything, and work constantly. The best gigs can come from the most random avenues, so use every social networking and marketing tool you can think of, and when you're not self-promoting, work on self-improvement.

Q: What was your first illustration gig?

Are we counting tiny gigs from Craigslist and for friends? My first real gig was probably some spot illustrations for AirTran's inflight magazine. Or maybe it was that singer-songwriter concert flyer. Both were through people I knew.

Q: What are some of your favorite things to do outside of making awesome illustrations?

Dancing to 80s music, watching old and/or foreign films, playing all board games except Monopoly or Risk, recording very lo-fi electronica with my brother, and exploring the city. Spending time with my awesome friends should go without saying.

Q: You currently live in Brooklyn. What are some of your favorite things about living and working in New York? Would you ever consider relocating?

I talk to a lot of people who consider New York a temporary home, but I want to live here forever. I love being surrounded by so many things to do and see, and I know so many great people here. Plus, at this point, I'm too accustomed to having easy access to every concert, play, movie, and art show that comes around. I'm spoiled.

Q: What are you currently working on? Do you have any new and exciting projects coming up? Is there a dream client you'd like to work with?

I'm finishing up some illustrations for a website, and working on new prints that I'll be selling in early November. I also have an ongoing illustrated blog where I'm trying to watch all 500+ films in the Criterion Collection. On a completely unrelated note, the Criterion Collection is probably my number one dream client.

Q: Is there anything else we should know about you, or your illustration work?
I have an irrational hatred of the word "whimsical," but I'm trying to get over it.

A super thanks to Michele Rosenthal for being our second ever contributor to interview! If you're interested in checking out more of Michele's sweet work head on over to her website, Etsy, Blog, or her Criterion Affection project!

No comments:

Post a Comment