Racheal Anilyse

Racheal Anilyse

I’m struggling with this one.

I just heard from a Pikaland reader, Karen, that Racheal Anilyse – artist, illustrator and a lovely contributor at Pikalandpassed away on November 18 last year.

Throughout the years that I’ve known Racheal, I’ve never known that she was battling a rare skin disease. It’s the kind of person Racheal is. We exchanged long emails about work, illustration and everything under the sun. We talked about everything – except the challenges that she’s facing physically; it’s something that she has never mentioned, not even once. I’ve known her to be a wonderful person and friend – upbeat, passionate and deeply encouraging. The kind of friend that I would be drawn to in real life.

Instead of memories of long talks or bear hugs that would dot offline friendships, all I have now are strings of lovely emails and various snippets of our online exchanges; along with a remorse that is hard to shake off.

The last I heard from her was that there was a surprise package that was on her table, just waiting to be sent out from her trip to Paris (it has become a sort of running joke between us). I’ve always told her to take her time, and that I’d look out for it in the mail – whenever that may be.

It turns out that I might just have to wait forever, and that’s perfectly fine.

I’ll miss you more than you know.

UPDATE 10 January 2012

Racheal’s mother, Laura sent me an email:

Hi Amy,

I am Racheal Anilyse’s mother. As I am sure you have heard, Racheal passed away on November 18, 2011. I know she was a contributor to Pikaland. What you may not have known about Racheal was that she had a very rare skin disease since birth. It is called Epidermolysis Bullosa and she was born without collagen, which is like the glue that keeps the skin together. Any mild trauma would cause breakdown of the skin and treated like a 2nd or 3rd degree burn. Due to the repeated breakdown of the skin, Racheal has had severe contratures of her hands since the age of 12. Essentially, she has not fingers and just thumbs. She never wanted anyone to know this because she wanted to be taken seriously as an illustrator and she didn’t want to use her disease to advance her career. Unfortunately, due to the continued breakdown of her skin, she contracted squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) which spread to her lymph nodes and eventually her liver. She was brave and courageous and rarely complained. She kept her sense of humor and wit until the very end and was surrounded by her art and family. I just thought you should know.


UPDATE 13 January 2012

I just heard the most uplifting news from Laura (Racheal’s mom) that their family has started the Racheal Anilyse Art Initiative through the Rose Foundation of Haiti, and that the University of Hartford School of Art has established a scholarship in Racheal’s name.

Also, the University has an online guestbook where you can share your memories and express your condolences.

Tad Carpenter

Name: Tad Carpenter
Location: Kansas City, Missouri USA
Website/Shop: www.tadcarpenter.com
Illustration media: mixed media: silkscreen, digital, paint

Tell us a little more about yourself.
Well, I live in Kansas City as a designer and illustrator and feel very lucky to work on great projects everyday.
My work ranges from traditional branding jobs to greeting card design to lots of gig posters and band merch and of course various illustration projects.
I just designed a toy for kidrobot that is being released in May 2009 which is a real thrill.
On a personal note I marrying my beautiful girlfriend ( a fabulous graphic designer in her own right) in June so we are getting ready for that.

How did you get your start in illustration?
I got into illustration at a very young age. My father is an illustrator and I grew up watching my father and knew that was what I wanted to do.
I can remember my first real taste of illustration in the 4th grade. I won a contest where one of my drawings was selected to be on the season tickets of Kansas City’s professional football team the Chiefs. It was published on 80,000+ tickets and I went down on the field and was on the jumbo-tron and won free season tickets. I thought this drawing thing is pretty sweet. A real life pro football player even came to my school to see me too, I felt pretty cool. I was hooked from their on.

Could you tell us more about your thought process when you start a piece?
When I start a process no matter what the job I always sketch first. I feel sketching is so important. I keep a little sketchbook at all times and when I begin a project I start by making little thumbnails where I work out composition and shape. After I choose which ideas have the most legs I move on to a tighter sketch.

Do you keep a journal/sketchbook, and would you mind if we had a sneak peek?
Yes I do, several. Here is a link to my sketchbook
Not the best example of how I sketch but some funny things.

What or who inspires you?
I am inspired by so much. I have lots of friends that are very talented illustrators that inspire me everyday. One specific thing that I really draw inspiration from is vintage children’s golden books. I love artist like J.P. Miller, Mary Blair, Richard Scarry and Aurelius Battaglia. I also love to travel. When ever I get back from a trip I always come home with a big stack of books and toys and art and stickers and all kinds of good things. To sit that pile in your office and admire it and use it as inspiration is a great tool.

What keeps you motivated?
You know, I am not sure. I just really love doing what I am doing. It sounds crazy but if I did not do this as a job I would sit around and draw all day anyway so continuing to make great work is a lucky thing to be able to do. I think that is big key for any profession.

What’s your favorite tool?
My favorite tool would be my lucky Mirado Black Warrior 100% premium cedar pencils. The best cheap simple pencil you can find.
Do you think they will send me a free case of them?

Are you a full-time artist?
Yes I am. I work as an illustrator/ designer/art director on various projects all day and night long.

What advice would you like to give people who would like to sell their works online, or get into a gallery?
The gallery scene I have to say is a lot of fun. I had a show in Seattle at the Blue Bottle gallery in September, one in Kansas City that opened December 5th and one in Florida at the Bear and Bird gallery opening in February. All so far have been a blast to prepare for and even more fun once the show opens. I highly recommend doing it. Most galleries are always looking for and accepting proposals so put one together with some ideas and make it happen. I also sell posters and prints on my website which is great. I think it is a great aspect to have on your own website. It can get hard to fulfill orders if you are not careful though.

Where do you see yourself within the next few years?
I hope I will be doing the same kind of work as now. I am in the process of working threw a couple children’s book ideas so I hope to do more work like that.

What message do you want to send out to people about your work?
I hope people have fun when they look at my work. I sure have lots of fun making it. I think illustration and design really is meant to be fun and i know thats what I want people to see and take away from what I do. Let’s all just have some fun!

Tell us something random!
Here are couple random thoughts:
1. I LOVE peanut butter
2. My favorite color is pantone warm red (right now)
3. I just purchased a wooden 1934 Schoenhut Felix the cat toy on ebay.
4. I love ebay
5. I drink a lot of grape Kool-Aid

Yael Frankel

Name: Yael Frankel
Website/shop: yaelfran.etsy.com
Location: Argentina

1. If I wasn’t an artist I would be a photographer.

2. My worst habit is eating chocolate every single day!

3. I am in love with my family (husband Andres and children Ian
and Ema)

4. Who/what inspires you?
Always SHAPES.

*5. What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
Working in what I love.

6. What is your biggest fear?
Waking up and not having my family.

7. If you could have superpowers, what would it be?
Superdrawing, superpainting, superphotographing!

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