Even as a child, Stephanie Rodriguez considered herself an artist, drawing her favorite characters from stories such as The Phantom of the Opera, Great Expectations and Wuthering Heights. Later, while attending La Guardia Arts in New York City, she officially embraced illustration and focused on developing a unique style, creating expressive and whimsical art via the juxtaposition of classical photorealistic drawings or paintings.
Stephanie, a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology, is inspired not only by classic literature (she cited Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde as favorites) and classic illustrators (including Howard Pyle and Arthur Rackham) but also by music—from classics such as Ludwig van Beethoven to heavy metal legends like Alice Cooper.
When creating her art, Stephanie’s main objective is to make the viewer feel an emotion, even if he/she is not familiar with the character or subject. She kept this goal in mind when planning her solo show, Monster Mash, which explored characters from classic horror literature and movies. The artist’s favorite piece in this series, titled “In the Laboratory,” pictures iconic horror actor Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein.
The artist is currently working on several different projects, including a collaborative with another local artist called Janus Bridge. Stephanie is also creating a new portfolio of illustrations geared specifically for children’s books. “I would like to be remembered as a children’s book illustrator,” says Stephanie. “I love bringing new and familiar characters to life on paper.” She’s been working as an illustrator for different companies and has had the opportunity to display her art locally and internationally. Depending on the nature of the project she’s working on, Stephanie uses all kinds of mediums, including oil, pen and ink, watercolor and color pencil. “I enjoy working at home and making my own hours,” she continues. “I also like receiving all kinds of different assignments. Being an illustrator is never predictable!”
One of the most important things Stephanie has learned about being a graphic designer and an illustrator is how to make a deadline. Despite a widespread myth about artists involving a need to be stricken by the muse in order to create, Stephanie doesn’t “wait for inspiration.” She says that she really doesn’t believe that artists “need to be in the mood to make art when it is already a part of you.”
Visit Stephanie Rodriguez online at http://stephanierodriguezillustration.com/
Her art can also be seen on Bogamia Art and Fashion Magazine