A Creative Life: Rachel O’Donnell

by Cat on November 4, 2009

I just loved hearing that illustrator Rachel O’Donnell created her “Alphabet Soup” print in anticipation of her soon-to-be arrival. And also that she often finds herself sitting in a puddle of art supplies (me too!). Today she’s sharing a little bit about her creative life with us. Be sure to click here to purchase or view her work.

What is your background and how did you start your career as an illustrator?

I have been working as a freelance illustrator & designer for the past 9 years. I studied Surface Pattern Design at Syracuse University, and after graduation I started freelancing between job interviews. I realized that is what I loved to do! I exhibited at SURTEX and was able to meet a lot of art directors and designers. I have worked with lots of different companies, creating artwork for a variety of products including: giftwrap, greeting cards, gift bags, bedding, apparel, wallcovering, and more. I do mostly kids and baby art, and Christmas too. Recently, I started selling prints of my artwork for baby & kids rooms!

What inspires your work as an illustrator?
I like to create things that make people smile. I am inspired by POSITIVE things- I choose to focus on upbeat, optimistic and happy.
I try and bring my camera with me wherever I go to try and remember things that I see. I recently moved from Florida back home to upstate NY and the changing seasons are wonderful. I have been spending a lot of time painting outside over the past few months. Fresh air and long walks do a lot for when I am in a creative slump.
Also, I am expecting a baby in November! I am so inspired by this new little person! This is our first child, and my husband and I are working on an Alphabet-themed nursery. I created a painting called ‘Alphabet Soup’ to put in the room – its full of little drawings and surprises, lots of fun things for baby to find.

What’s a typical day-in-your-life?
A typical day… usually everyday is different, which makes freelance work so much fun! But I usually get up early and try to do all my computer work in the morning, which leaves my afternoons free for painting & sketching, or creative projects. I enjoy having lots of different projects happening at once, and am most happy when I am sitting in the middle of a big mess of art supplies.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin Sweeney November 4, 2009 at 10:56 pm

The stuffed bunnies are so sweet!


Anna November 5, 2009 at 2:34 am

Those little rabbits make me SO happy!


Rachel O'Donnell November 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Thank you for the lovely article!

I just listed a pattern to create your own Rag Doll Rabbit, in my etsy shop!


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