From The Desk Of: Ruby Roth
Dec 16, 2015
When we approach an artist for our features, we try to seek out multi-faceted creatives with aspirations of changing the world. Illustrator, designer, and author Ruby Roth does not disappoint. It's easy to see why her collections of novels about vegetarian living for kids are such a hit. We caught up with the artist to see what inspires her desire for a better, brighter tomorrow.
Fill in the blank: "I don't show up at a meeting without ___________"
"An open attitude"
What's on your desk?
"Stacks of paintings, sketchbooks, and blank paper of all kinds, Mac desktop + Wacom tablet, Lumix GF6 camera, inspiring pages torn from fashion magazines, fabrics swatches."
Describe your personal aesthetic in three words:
"Organic, simple, bright"
Describe the creative space at your company.
"Quiet, bright, organized, stacked with books and reference, journals and sketchbooks, and never-ending To Do lists."
What are your design inspirations?
"Nature, fashion, books and film, fellow artists, vintage finds, Tank Girl."
What career moves and/or aspirations brought you to your current role?
"I've always been attracted to art with a purpose. I double-majored in art and American Studies, not knowing exactly how I would put them together. Just out of school, I was teaching art at an elementary school when the kids took notice of my vegan eating habits. I went to find a book I could share with them on the subject, but all I found were books about talking animals or talking vegetables. I decided to write and illustrate the non-fiction books I wished to see, and so began my professional illustration career. The three books are now translated into multiple languages and my fourth, a photographed and illustrated plant-based cookbook for kids, will be out in April 2016."
What is your favorite aspect of the job you do?
"The exercise of thinking outside the box."
What's your proudest accomplishment?
"Having written and illustrated a series of leading vegan books for kids, the first of their kind in children's literature."
Tell us about your latest printed project:
"My upcoming book, Help Yourself: 60+ Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the World, is due out April 2016. It's full of full-color photos that include hand-drawn illustrations, and I did all the graphic design as well. I'm using some neon PMS spot colors for the first time—SO exciting for a book designer!"
What was the inspiration behind this project?
I love art with a purpose. This book is art and design-heavy, AND it serves to inspire kids to make healthier choices—for their bodies, for animals, for the planet. It's a kid's cookbook, but I'm saying it's also for lazy/busy adults who want to know how to eat healthier—quickly and easily.
Branding is "a necessary evil. As an artist, you understand it, but it can feel restrictive to produce a body of work, especially one that is ever-evolving, with the undercurrent of "cohesiveness" always flowing. There is a balance to strike between great branding and freedom—it's a creative endeavor of its own!"
How does one tap into their creative side?
"Curiosity + quiet space/solitude = creative results."
Share an insight on your life or life in general that you’ve discovered.
"The cure for any rut is curiosity—that's true in the context of creativity, relationships, and self-knowledge."
What is the best advice you’ve received recently?
"You are the one you've been waiting for."
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