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Creative Chats with... Risa Rodil

Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Risa Rodil hand lettering Lin Manuel quote poster

Welcome to episode two of Creative Chats!

I thought this was the perfect time to introduce you all to my current inspiration. I've been pouring my eyes over so many pieces of Risa's that my current work is starting to look a bit too much like hers, oops! Trust me I'm working on changing that and pulling inspiration from some others as well. Either way that shouldn't stop you guys having a look at her work because it's bloody gorgeous! She's a self-confessed designerd and professional fangirl so Risa's work has probably popped up somewhere in your internet activities as they feature so many of my personal loves I'm sure they'd feature yours too! Now, on with the show!

Obvious first question, and one you're probably sick of answering but how did it all start? 

Risa Rodil illustrated portrait of herselfIt all started for me at age 14. I remember it was the time that I first discovered about Adobe in colourful picture books and cartoons and all that. So when I found out about Photoshop and all the cool things it can do, I became too fascinated that I found myself studying countless tutorials online trying to teach myself how to use it. Since then, my love for art and design just kept on growing. I started making random creative projects out of my personal interests as a way to practice. I’ll make a poster out of my favourite book or movie or TV show—basically it’s my own way of channelling my obsessions into something creative. Eventually, the more designs I share online, the more people start to take notice. It gave me a really warm feeling to know that there are people out there who appreciate the things I do. Up to now, design has always been my go-to outlet to express my emotions in a way that you can’t do in words.

So where did your love of illustration come from?

Photoshop. Growing up, I guess I’ve always been a visual person—with me being exposed.

At what point did you feel comfortable sharing and selling your work? Did you ever suffer from imposter syndrome?

As someone who suffers from low self-esteem, it took a lot of convincing on my part to finally put my work out there. If not for the genuine support I received from the internet, I wouldn’t have had the courage to do it. And yes, I did feel that way starting out. I had my doubts that I’ll forever be in the shadow of someone else’s style and won’t be able to find my own—which is really crucial for artists because it’s the most vital thing that sets you apart from other artists. But at the end of the day, you just have to trust the process and trust yourself never to let your passion die. With hard work and practice, it will work out eventually.

Three Risa Rodil illustrated posters - The Greatest Showman Moana Harry Potter Books

What's your favourite piece you've ever created and why? 

So far, my favourite is the “Go to the Library” one because it fuses my love for books, Harry Potter, and lettering. If someone asks me to describe myself in a poster, that’s the one I’d show them. I also loved that it was the most detailed poster I’ve ever done. It took me a really long time to finish but it was all worth it because I enjoyed every minute of it.

I bloody love your fandom pieces, especially the Harry Potter ones. What's your favourite fandom to create for?

I’ll have to say Disney because I’m a huge Disney baby. It’s the fandom that easily ignites my creative gears—that every time I work on a Disney-related poster, my creative juice just flows uncontrollably. I guess it’s also because it gives me the much-needed nostalgia to relive my favourite childhood movies through art.

Do you think you stick out from the crowd of other illustrators? If so, how did you manage it?

I like to believe I do, but with thousands of other illustrators out there, it remains a constant challenge to stand out. What I decide to focus on right now is building a strong connection with my audience. I always try to remind myself that I don’t need to be better than everyone else, I just need to value the people around me who’ve been supporting me since day one. When you appreciate the support you’ve been getting, people will decide to stay. In that way, you no longer have to worry about competition. Know your audience, value them and continue to do what you love—all these together and you’ll have a greater chance of striving in the business.

Risa Rodil illustrated Beauty and the Beast pattern

Who creatively are you loving right now? Feel free to pick more than one!

My lettering heroines are Stephanie Baxter, Jessica Hische, Lauren Hom, Linzie Hunter, and Mary Kate McDevitt.

Finally, if someone was wanting to pursue their creative dream right now, what would you tell them to remember?

Pull inspiration from your own obsessions because when you love what you’re doing, it will clearly reflect in your work, and your audience will easily feel your sincerity from there. Try very VERY hard not to compare your progress to other artists. It’s hard but you have to trust your own process. And I’ve said this previously, but remember to always value the people around you. Be nice, make friends, and never stop creating.

Risa Rodil illustrated signature

** I shouldn't have to say this, but just in case we have any keen eyes on this page, all of the artwork belongs to Risa so please don't take and repost them anywhere without her permission!

But if you do want to check out more of her work (because it's amazing am I right?) check out her links below:

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