Artist Spotlight: Rachel Hamilton’s Quest to Find her Craft


Illustration by Rachel Hamilton

Artist Rachel Hamilton's Self Portrait. Hamilton says the project is done in Painting II. "Special thanks to the winter 2019 Studio Photography II class for taking the reference picture. I couldn’t have done it without you!" The image was made in Hamilton’s Painting II class. The self-portrait was based off a photograph taken by a student in the winter Studio Photography II class.

Throughout the years, EvCC’s studio art program has been a launching pad for many students. For many people, art is an outlet. It’s a way to express how they feel on political issues, personal struggles and in this case, their passions.

Rachel Hamilton, one of the many artists on campus, has taken a hobby from a young age and intends to turn it into a career.

She answers questions on what inspires her to create and publish her sketches and touches on what she hopes to accomplish in the future.  

Q. What inspired you to become an artist? Is it a gift that you have always had?

I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist, even as a very young child. I think it started with my dad and his over the top enthusiasm for the dreadful kid paintings I churned out in elementary school.

Every parent seems duty bound to lie about how their kid’s scribbles are masterpieces. My dad happened to be unusually good at it. He put it in my head at around five-years-old that I could sell my work. From then on, that was my goal. I can assure you I was no prodigy. Looking back, I’m not even sure I had any natural talent, but I had a love for creating and an encouraging family.

Q. How would you categorize your art?

If I had to categorize my art, I would say it’s mostly illustration and character design with a heavy fantasy influence.

Q. What type of materials and media do you use for your art?

I use so many different mediums. There’s too many to explore to confine myself to just a few. At the moment though, I make digital art via Photoshop, and traditional art with art markers and colored pencils.

llustration by Rachel Hamilton
Beauty and the Beast: My own version of the classic fairytale characters.

Q. Who inspires you? Any favorite artists that you look to?

One of my biggest influences has been John William Waterhouse, not so much for his style, but for his subject matter. He painted scenes of myth and legend, and classic literature like Shakespeare. Whenever I need my fix of romanticized medieval culture, I look no further.

I also really love an artist named Jenny Clements. She writes and illustrates a comic called Mias and Elle, a fantasy set in alternate reality England during the Tudor period. It’s got gorgeous art, fun characters, and a thrilling story. Go read it!

Q. What message do you want your art to communicate to your audience?

As a child, I loved fairytale books for their ability to transport you to another world. I want to capture that feeling in my work and inspire it in my viewer. When they see a character or scene I’ve drawn, I want it to be engaging enough that people wonder about what happens in the story beyond what’s shown in the image.

Q. What program are you taking at EVCC?

I’m in the studio arts program and will be graduating with my AFA and DTA in the summer. It’s been a busy few years.

Illustration by Rachel Hamilton
Mila: The main character of an illustration project I’m working on. She will be featured in my graduation portfolio.

Q. What do you like about the program, and is there an instructor that you would like to mention?

I really like that the arts program pushes for an understanding of many different mediums and disciplines of art. I’ve been introduced to so many new techniques and ideas I may not have encountered on my own.

Linda Berkley has been my guide on this artistic journey the last three years. I’m really going to miss her feedback when I graduate.

Q. What are your plans after graduating EvCC?

I’m transferring after graduation, but I’m not exactly sure where. My goal is the get my masters in art therapy. I’m too much of a worrier to jump into the freelance world without a backup plan. So I’m prepping for a day job that I find fascinating and allows me to use creativity to help others. I also intend to begin taking commission work.

Q. Is there anything else you would like the readers to know about you?

I’m planning on writing and illustrating a series of fantasy and sci-fi stories in the next year or two. If that sounds interesting, definitely keep an eye out. You can find more of my work on Instagram @buttonbooper.

Click through the gallery below for more of Hamilton’s creations: