This year, NYC-based artist Arielle Wilkins has filled the Scholastic Book Fairs Instagram with vibrant celebrations of Black culture and history for our Black History Month, #AmplifyBlackVoices, and Juneteenth campaigns.
Originally from the heart of Texas, Arielle grew up loving Scholastic Book Fairs. “Each class had an hour time slot for the Fair,” she told us. “When my class time was up I would hide in a section and wait until the next class came in and act like I was a part of their class, so I could stay longer.”
We sat down with Arielle to learn more about her work and how her amazing designs come to life. Check it out below!
What sparked your interest in design?
Arielle Wilkins: My interest in design came from my upbringing. I was exposed to the arts at a very young age due to my dad being heavily involved in the performing and visuals arts community in Houston, Texas. I ended up going to both arts middle and high school which led to me attending an art and design school in NYC.
What do you like the most about being an artist/illustrator?
AW: I love letting my mind go wild with endless possibilities.
Can you tell us more about your creative process? Do you have a routine when you create?
AW: Usually, when I create, I have music playing. Music really helps stimulate my creativity. I also have a lot of mood boards. With those items in hand, I just let my pencil flow.
What do you create your art on?
AW: I really don’t have a single item to create my work. It’s a combination of my iPad, laptop, canvas, or paper, fabric, etc. I see everything as a base for art.
Is there an element or style you like to stick to with your design work?
AW: An element that I stick with is not having eyes or a nose. I am generally quiet, so I see having only a mouth in my illustrations as a way for me to be vocal.
Is there a project or design that you are most proud of? And why?
AW: My most proud project is my Say It loud Say It Proud figurines. This was the first time I successfully created a toy, and its multiples, by hand.
Visit Scholastic Book Fairs on Instagram to see more of Arielle's beautiful artwork.