Q&A with Hilary Rochow
Grab a cup of coffee, and settle in for this week’s Blue Star Blog post, a Q&A with local artist, Hilary Rochow.
Describe to us your style of art, and how it became to be your preferred medium.
I think the most obvious description of my work would be “detailed.” I’ve always had an eye and mind for detail which serves me well both in my illustration and in my design. People often comment that I must be patient to create the drawings I do, but frankly I’m the best version of myself when I have a pen in my hand, music in my ears, and some clean bristol in front of me. My brain goes to a good place when I’m working through the small details; it’s honestly more catharsis than patience. As for when I started this kind of work, I’m not sure. I’ve doodled in pen since childhood and as a designer I’ve done my best ideation sketching with the same medium, so it came naturally to branch out into more ambitious illustration work with it some number of years ago. I used to work exclusively small and enjoyed the intimacy of the little pieces, but I’ve been learning how to take up more space as a person this year and that has been reflected in the larger works on display this month. At this point, I’d like to push myself further and see how large I could work. I’d love to do a giant piece on multiple panels.
Who are a few artists (alive or past) that inspired you to want to work in this field?
Having loved and studied art history for many years I am inspired by artists, makers, and thinkers from every era and from many movements. Growing up, my mother consistently made a point to take me to art museums, even as a little child, so it was early on that I developed a sense of awe for those souls both past and present who could not remain silent but who did their speaking visually. I honestly can’t say that there is one person or movement that inspires me more than another for my work in particular. For what I do, I’m really more inspired by the natural world. I don’t actually think of myself as an artist at all; my education and now my bread and butter are industrial and graphic design. Art, both seeing and creating, is something I’ve never been without, but as for self-definition I consider myself more a designer and then an illustrator. To be afforded the opportunity to display in a gallery is the realization of a very recent dream. I’ve pulled so much sustenance from becoming a part of the San Antonio arts community since I moved hear now a little over two years ago. Frankly, the people that keep this community running, the local folks that create for a living and who put their whole selves into actualizing their goals, they’ve been more of an inspiration to me than anything or anyone else. Seeing my friends and colleagues here work hard and support each other has pushed me to work towards the most true version of myself and to create the best work I possibly can.
Where can people see and purchase your art?
I am proud and excited to have my work at FL!GHT Gallery in Blue Star this month, alongside Lloyd Walsh whose beautiful work will be in the back gallery. Anyone interested in the pieces displayed there can purchase them through the gallery. I also accept commissions for illustrations and for design projects, and can best be contacted through instagram (@fly_like_a_fox).
What is your favorite piece of artwork?
That’s a hard one. I have many favorites but one that always sticks out in my mind is “Sainte Sébastienne” by Louise Bourgeois. I was completely, jaw-agape struck by it the first time I saw it. It’s a powerful comment on being a woman in the world. I adore Réne Magrite’s “La Géante” for the same reason, though the latter paints a more optimistic picture, I think.
And something we ask all our featured artists…
Why do you think places like Blue Star are important for local creative communities?
Oh, I could write a treatise on the value of a creative community that supports and uplifts its members, but I’ll try to keep it brief. I will say that I’m so grateful to live in a city that has a supportive and growing art district. As a creator, it’s easy to become isolated both emotionally and in one’s worldly perspective, so it is absolutely integral to one’s growth to come together with fellow makers and creatives of all fields, to inspire and critique each other, to encourage each other to our best work. Further, it’s necessary to have a place to show and see work. It feeds the soul to be a part of a bustling community of artists and makers, so places like Blue Star that bring together artists and art lovers alike are immensely valuable. I firmly believe that the state of a society’s art is the best reflection of its core. The more we work together to support local art, the better we make our city.
BIO: Hilary Rochow is a designer and illustrator who is not from anywhere in particular but is now happy to call San Antonio her home. Her freelance business, Fly Like A Fox, keeps her busy with a constant parade of interesting projects but she always makes time for good conversations, good food, and good people. Hilary also makes time to go to various art events as well as to go out and marvel at the natural world, which is largely from where she draws her inspiration and definitely where she does her best thinking. She lives in a cozy apartment with her dog and two cats, who never fail to remind her of what actually matters in life.