OwlCrate Jr March Community Feature: Risa Rodil

By: Cheryl Long

Q&A With Illustrator Risa Rodil!


1. Hi Risa! Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you became an illustrator?

Hello! I’m a multidisciplinary designer specializing in middle grade book covers and hand lettered illustrations. I actually started as a web designer where I design and code websites for different companies. I took up Multimedia Arts in college and got my first job as a web designer at the age of 19. That didn’t last long unfortunately, as I often find myself burning out from the fast-paced demands of the job. 2 years later, I made the hard decision to quit and formally transform my personal hobby, which is lettering and illustration, into a career.


2. What’s your biggest source of inspiration when it comes to your art?

As a pop culture nerd, I get most of my inspiration from all the media that I consume daily. That includes movies, TV shows, Broadway musicals, and books. I also get heavily inspired by words, as I believe is fairly obvious from my ever growing collection of hand lettered posters. It has become a personal goal of mine to amplify the messages of these words through my art, in hopes of bringing comfort to people who need it the most.


3. Our theme for this month is all about families! You’ve illustrated so many fictional families, which of them have been your favorite to bring to life?

This is such an easy answer — it would be the Rose family from one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, Schitt’s Creek. This show will forever hold a special place in my heart.


4. Do you have any future dream projects you hope to work on?

I really wish to get the opportunity to do a Google Doodle someday. And if we’re talking about something really WILD, it has been one of my craziest dreams to see my work immortalized in commercial spaces like theme parks, trains, tourist spots, or hotels! I just think it would be cool to, let’s say, design the whole branding of a new Disneyland ride and see my illustrations plastered all over the theme park. Wishful thinking!


5. What advice would you give young readers wanting to turn their love of drawing into their future career?

Speaking from experience, the best advice I can give is to take your time. Turning your hobby into a career is not as easy as it sounds and you have to be extremely patient. On that note, never be afraid to post your art everywhere, and I mean, EVERYWHERE. Don’t worry about looking desperate — if you have a ton of social media accounts, use them to your advantage. You’ll be surprised at how many people will randomly come across your work online. Chances are, some of these people can potentially hire you for a future project.


Catch up with Risa on all her social channels! Instagram @risarodil, twitter @risarodil, and her website