Illustrator Spotlight: Richard Cartwright

© Richard Cartwright
Feb. 1, 2019

On the first of each month in 2019, we feature an illustrator who won or placed in our Kidlit411 Banner Contest, and we switch our website banner and Facebook page cover image. Today we present Richard Cartwright, who won 2nd place, and his work.

© Richard Cartwright

Tell us about yourself and how you came to illustrate for children.

I live in British Columbia, Canada and I’m a part time illustrator and fulltime executive chef. As a teenager I taught myself to paint and draw landscapes; my preferred traditional mediums being black ink and acrylic paint. Ten years ago I moved into the digital realm to provide the restaurants I work for with promotional materials and menus for children; however my ability to draw “cute” was very lacking so I began studying children’s books and taking lessons on the subject.  I have now started learning to write for children so I can hopefully illustrate my own work. 

© Richard Cartwright

Congrats on placing second in the banner contest! Tell us how you approached the design.

My banner design plays with how children love to mash up concepts when they create their own stories and games. I tried to mix very different themes such as pirate adventures and science fiction to give piece and adventurous feel. I used some retro elements in the piece to play on the classic monster and science fiction movies.  

© Richard Cartwright

The final piece had to read clearly as a banner so I designed each element with as little detail as possible; focusing on value and color to make the individual elements stand out. Normally when I paint digitally I stick to one layer but with this project I drew and colored each part separately so I could easily tweak their placement and color. The final touch was to add the parrot as a salute to your regular bird theme. 

© Richard Cartwright

What projects are you working on now?

Currently I’m working on the manuscript and sample artwork for my first children’s book. I’m also exploring opportunities for licencing artwork rights for retail applications. 

© Richard Cartwright

What is one thing most people don't know about you?

If you had to know one other thing about me, well I’m addicted to watching cute animal videos on the internet. I find them very inspiring for my artwork.

© Richard Cartwright

Where can people find you online?


Richard Cartwright is a part-time illustrator and full-time executive chef who lives in British Columbia.


Post a Comment