This is an illustration done by a former student here at Columbia that goes by the name Rachael Duggan. You may recognize her work from the Manifest designs from two years ago that were plastered all around campus and the South Loop. I met Rachael my first year here at Columbia in the materials and techniques and drawing class taught by Michael Paxton. This class was great because all you did was draw or paint anything you wanted in any medium or style, and every other week critique the work. I quickly noticed Duggan’s unique and quirky illustrations of weird looking people and animals, amongst other things. Her drawings are fairly simple for the most part, and typically are pattern oriented to achieve different textures and values on her figures. I feel her drawings are easily likeable and can be interpreted by a vast range of audiences with a clear point or message. A lot of her drawings are cute and funny, while others are somewhat disturbing and sexual at times, but still in a humorous fashion.
When I met Rachael she was a senior getting ready to graduate and I was a freshman who just started college. I was instantly drawn to her work and got to know her a little better as the semester went on. It was pretty awesome seeing her put together and finalize her portfolio throughout the semester and see a finished product once the semester came to an end.
For the most part her drawings are a single figure or figures constructed of black lines with a plain white background. Even though the drawings are pretty simple, they still are quite lovely, unique and meaningful. She also has a good amount of colored illustrations made with both traditional mediums as well as digitally that have a much different quality than her black line drawings. Along with single illustrations, she also was quite a few small comic strips and layouts that bring her illustrated figures to life, which is a nice change of pace within her work.
I’m glad I met Rachael when I first got here to Columbia, and I’m glad I got familiar with her body of work and the process in which she makes her work. It was awesome seeing her design win the Manifest contest and I personally think the whole Manifest campaign that year looked amazing due to her illustrations. I still check out her updated drawings weekly from her Flickr, and love everything she posts.
Check out her work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/radillustrates/