SCAD District Comics and Illustrations is proud to present the second of a new weekly series of featured illustrators.
Brittany Upton is a talented artist with a unique style that incorporates design and storytelling. But don’t let the colorful and enchanting appearance of her characters fool you, their children’s book charm is often rooted with deeper meaning of empowerment and historical significance.
Lets learn more about this weeks featured illustrator:
Name: Brittany Upton
Hometown: Cary, N.C.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m an illustrator who loves bad movies and good design. I love playing around with colors and I have a website and a blog you can check out if you’re interested in seeing more of my work (www.brittanyupton.com).
At what point did you realize that you wanted to be an illustrator?
I had a little bit of a rocky road to realization; I actually started out in the game design department. I was taking illustration classes to try and minor, but it became apparent very quickly that what I really wanted to do was focus on illustration. So I switched majors and shifted gears, and here I am!
How would you define your artistic style?
I think my style is fun and I try to make my work approachable. I like to think it doesn’t take itself too seriously, even if the subject is on the serious side.
What is your preferred medium?
I work almost entirely digitally nowadays, but I still occasionally work with pencils and water colors.
Looking at your work as a whole, it seems to usually feature a prominent female character. Is this a conscious decision? When you create these characters does the story come first or does the character end up making the story within the image?
I think it started when I was a kid, I played a lot of video games and there was a huge lack of female presence. Whenever a significant woman popped up in a game, I was excited and I’d want to draw them because their presence was like, this special event to me. Even if their roles were limited (and they often were), I’d imagine the rest of their character and invent adventures for them. I think my work is the same now, I get this spark and I see this woman in my head and I want to find out more about her, what’s her story?
I see you’re working on a children’s book on your blog. Can you share more about that? Are you working with a writer or is it your own story?
I am indeed! I’m writing and illustrating, but it’s based on the story of “The Trung Sisters of Vietnam.” My book is part historic, part legend, and follows their efforts to repel the Chinese as they tried to invade Vietnam. A bit strange for a children’s book, but I love history and I remembered having similar books about George Washington during the Revolution when I was a kid. I think they’re definitely as interesting as he is.
What was your favorite illustrated children’s book growing up and why?
I was a big fan of David A. Carter’s pop ups. His bug books had a ton of different interactive bits I always loved to see and play with.
If you couldn’t be an illustrator, but could choose to be anything else what would it be and why?
I would be a professional pizza roll tester, because I love pizza rolls.
Want to be featured illustrator or know someone you would make a great feature? Email email@example.com