Ruth Johnson

Storytelling with words and images

As an illustrator one thing I value is the ability to use my art to tell a story. I am particularly interested in ways of storytelling that combine words and images, such as children’s books, and graphic novels. I am interested in other cultures, and how they can be incorporated into my work. I especially like fantasy as it lets me create cultures that don’t exist, and lifts the limitations of creating something based on reality.

Writing the story usually comes first for me, creating a plot and characters who take on a life of their own. On occasion a story has been influenced by a character design. There is something of a push and pull between the words and images, both helping move my story forward. The images and text both expand upon one another, each telling a different part of the story, creating a whole they couldn’t communicate alone. I prefer longer stories that let me develop a story more deeply, but create shorter works as well. I work in a variety of mediums, my favorites being pastel, pencil, and digital.