ICYDK, 22-year-old designer, illustrator, letterer, and nerdfighter Risa Rodil's work is featured on the cover of Rainbow Rowell's well-loved novel Eleanor & Park. Her lovely art—which used to be just a fanmade design housed on her Tumblr—is now front and center on the Dutch edition of the book.
We got in touch with Risa to talk a bit about what it feels like to have her work featured on a novel she fell in love. Legit #fangirlgoals, you guys.
People are quite familiar with your work for John Green's Nerdfighters. For people encountering your work for the first time, how would you introduce yourself?
"I'm a typical designerd who likes to channel my overly enthusiastic emotions through visual design. It has become my hobby to constantly devour new information and visually translate them in the best way I can. My body of work ranges from pop culture illustrations to hand-lettered motivational quotations."
Getting your artwork on the cover of a well-received novel is pretty major. How did this happen?
"I think it was early 2014 when the hype for Eleanor & Park began. It was curiosity getting the better of me that made me decide to read it. When I finished, I understood where the hype was coming from; I fell in love with the book just like everybody else. Then a fun concept for a cover remake randomly popped into my head. I made a quick sketch of it in Illustrator and posted it on my Tumblr. To my surprise, people started sharing the image despite it looking really rough and sketch-y. And to even further my surprise, Rainbow Rowell found the post and reblogged it. I posted the polished design shortly after.
"Fast forward to the following year, May 2015, I received an e-mail from Rainbow regarding the E&P design and a new typographic art she wanted to commission from me. She recently signed up with DFTBA Records, a company owned by Hank and John Green, where merchandise for her books will be made available. She wanted to include both designs in the bunch and sell them as t-shirts and posters. By September 2015, I received another e-mail, this time from the Dutch publisher of Eleanor & Park, reaching out with a very exciting news. They asked if I would be interested to have my E&P design published as the cover of the new Dutch edition of the book. I've never said yes faster to an e-mail before!"
What was the first thing you thought when you got contacted by Rainbow Rowell's publisher?
"These two words: 'For real?' It has been a long time dream of mine to see my work published on a tangible book cover. And to see it on a book that I’m personally a fan of? It feels way too unreal."
Do you have other major projects that people should watch for in the near future?
"There will be a new Young Adult book coming out in 2016 that I'm very excited about! I had an opportunity to work with Harper Collins to design the cover of the said book and I can hardly wait for it to launch soon :)"
How can people get in touch with you for collaborations or if they want to purchase your awesome art?
Anyone can reach me at my e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for commissions, collaborations, and/or inquiries. Currently, I have my stuff available in various items over at these websites:
DFTBA Records: http://store.dftba.com/collections/risa-rodil
Any advice for teen artists who want to pursue their art like you?
Pull inspiration from content that speaks to you the most and go from there. If you love what you're doing, it will clearly reflect onto your work and your audience will feel it. Keep the passion and never stop creating!
Know any other rad people who do interesting work we can feature on the site? Leave us a note here or tweet us @candymagdotcom. We'd love to hear from you!