Thursday, July 5, 2012

Michelle Lash-Ruff

How is it that you became an illustrator?

I became an artist because of a relentless passion for painting, drawing and creating art while growing up. I drew in sketchbooks, painted rocks, carved wood and rocks, anything to express my creative ideas. I became an illustrator at the suggestion of a wonderful art professor during my undergraduate studies in graphic design. He pulled me aside before graduation and asked what I planned to do after I graduated. (I had planned on working.) He suggested I continue my education for my Masters degree in illustration. I applied to the illustration program at Syracuse University, and was accepted to their Masters Program. Over the years as a freelance artist I have worked in both areas of graphic design and illustration.

Did you go to art school?

My original intention was to study to become an Art Teacher in college at the suggestion of my high school guidance counselor. But while showing my portfolio to the Dean of the Art Department at Buffalo State College she felt otherwise. She recommended Graphic Design. I had taken graphic design courses through a technical program in high school and it was more of my strong suite in my portfolio. I stayed at Buffalo State College for one year and transferred to SUNY University of Buffalo. I actually wanted to try my hand at premed. I lasted a semester. By spring semester I was filling up sketchbooks and back in the graphic design classes. I graduated from theUniversity of Buffalo with a BFA in Visual Communications and an MFA in Illustration from Syracuse University.

Were there one or more individuals that influenced you in becoming an illustrator?
There are many people that have inspired me to be an illustrator. Teachers, family and friends all along the way through out my creative career. My husband and children are strong influences on my creative spirit.
What inspires you now?
Everything and anything can inspire what I create. It can even be a new medium to try. My pets are an inspiration too.
Would you like to share anything regarding your technique or style of work?
I work in acrylics, gouache, and watercolor. I use an airbrush when I want certain effects. I also love trying new things on the computer.
What types of markets do you illustrate for?
My market is usually, children’s art. I describe my style as a “sophisticated cute”. Although, it does cross over to d├ęcor art.
Do you have a link to more samples of your work? ( I don’t get to blog much, but I hope too soon)
Do you do other things regarding art?
I teach occasionally. I am even substitute teacher when needed. I also take classes to try new things at my local colleges.
My other creative outlet is creating beautiful gardens. I tend to create a new garden every year. I also like to take broken antiques and make new artistic items for my house.
Do you currently have product with your images on the market?
I have licensed my art to appear on needle point, figurines, ornaments, tapestries, throws, pillows, puzzles, plates, napkins, flags, fine art prints, children’s books and more.
What do you love most about what you do?
What I love best about what I do....I just love what I do.

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