Today, on the blog, I want to introduce Heather Rosas, an illustrator and surface pattern designer based in California, USA. I took notice of her work, when I came across this lovely mermaid print that she had designed. Given that Saira has been obsessed with all things mermaid for a while, this brought a smile to my face.
I checked out her works, and loved her style. Heather’s career began in the children’s space where she worked with Intervisual Books and then Barbie Consumer Product at Mattel. Now she illustrates and licenses in many areas: fabric, gift, greeting cards, home decor to name a few!
Here’s a little Q&A with the artist, for those who want to know more.
What was your role at Mattel Company? What was your most creative work while working as part of the Barbie Dolls team?
While at Mattel, I worked in the Barbie Consumer Products Division. I didn’t work on any dolls since that was handled by a different group. I worked with licensees that used the Barbie Brand on their products. We designed the style guides that guided the licensees in their product designs, and helped them adhere to the Barbie Brand. We provided color palettes, graphics, photography and most importantly, design direction. I mainly worked in the worldwide publishing and sporting goods categories. All the projects were fun! From books to bicycles!
Why did you choose the kids space? Who is your favourite children’s illustrator?
I chose the children’s market because I love it and I feel it comes very naturally to me. I have so many favorite children’s book illustrators, but two of my absolute favorites would be Charlie Harper and Mary Blair.
What is your background in design?
I graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art with a BFA in Graphic Design. I started out of school working in Boston for a graphic design firm that specialized in annual reports. I was able to enter the Children’s Market when I moved to California and got a job as a designer at a Children’s book publisher called Intervisual Books. I worked with illustrators and paper engineers on designing novelty and pop-up books.
What inspires your designs?
I get a lot of inspiration from my childhood. I grew up in a very small town in Massachusetts and spent a lot of time wandering outside, drawing and reading. We had a lot of woods and nature all around. When I was 7, my second grade teacher gave me the Big Green Drawing book by Ed Emberly. I loved that book so much! I’ve been drawing ever since!
How would you describe your creative style?
Fun, playful, young, happy. I love a graphic style with watercolor texture and bright, happy colors.
What would you describe as some of your best works?
I spent a lot of time developing all of my collections and pieces, so it’s very hard to choose. I guess I love the ones with cute animals!
What advice would you give an aspiring children’s market illustrator?
I would say stay true to yourself and draw and paint what you enjoy. Don’t copy other illustrators, but instead look at what you like about their art and see if you can incorporate that into your own, in your own way. So if you like an artist’s bright colors or use of texture, don’t use theirs, but instead develop your own way of using texture, or a color palette of your own.
For kid’s illustration, you have to show lots of kids and animals in action. But just draw and paint and have fun! It takes years to develop your own style. So be patient, put the work in, enjoy what you do and you will eventually create something truly unique and lovely!
Learn more about Heather: