By Sara Paul
Shoppers who have purchased fun household goods from such chains as Target, Michaels or Walmart may have a little piece of Rebecca Pry in their homes. The Warwick artist and graphic designer is a “mixed bag,” doing a little bit of everything, from freelance illustrator to graphic, product and surface design.
“I love designing products. It’s nice to go to a store and see items with my work on the shelves,” says 29-year-old Pry, who is inspired by Southwestern landscapes, colors, and textures.
With beginnings at the popular Fishs Eddy while still in college, Rebecca is currently drawing book illustrations for a start up publishing house in NYC. She has also started her own line of apparel and accessories called Desert Qween, available on her website.
Inspiration At Home & In School
From the first time a young Rebecca picked up a crayon, her parents knew she had natural artistic abilities. When she hit high school, an encouraging teacher saw that talent as well.
“My art teacher had such a big impact and really pushed me to think differently and use different mediums… soon it just clicked, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” recalls Rebecca, who boasts a musically inclined mother and sister, not to mention a dad who has never lost a game of Pictionary.
“Game night was a very competitive night at home. We still make fun of my mom for a pickle she had to draw,” Rebecca chuckles.
Further inspiration came from a creative aunt, with whom she would spend long days drawing in the giant fields of Ringwood Manor and Long Pond Iron Works. It was Aunt Jeanine who bought Rebecca her first sketchbook and set of charcoal.
“Going outside slows you down, and it allowed me to focus on one section of a vast landscape,” said Pry, who also utilizes watercolors and colored pencils.
College & Corporate Life
Attending the Rhode Island School of Design, Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. Two days after her 2013 graduation, the young artist left her West Milford home to pursue a career at Carter’s in Atlanta, Ga. When she discovered that working in cubicle in corporate America was not quite her cup of tea, she moved back up north in less than a year.
“I wanted to be a young professional and not just make it in the city, so I made it my quest to live someplace other than the city,” said Rebecca, who began freelancing in 2014.
Realizing the artistic vibe of a certain small town, where there were “galleries, cool art, and a magical experience,” Rebecca moved to Warwick in 2016. Since then, she has been featured in local art galleries in Warwick and Beacon.
In 2018, a very unemployed Pry embarked on a road trip to New Mexico. After inhaling the southwestern imagery, she decided to expand her horizons even further, this time venturing to the far away land of Morocco.
“Traveling gives one such a different perspective on the world. It’s seeing everything in new light, and that creativity let’s you notice things most people don’t,” comments Pry, who saw similarities in the Southwestern US and Moroccan landscapes and artistic inclinations.
Creating During Coronavirus
With social distancing and working at home a must, Pry has turned her artistic sights on her go-to strategy: making people laugh. Creating and illustrating comics about social issues such as online dating during COVID-19, Pry is glad to inject some smiles into these sad circumstances.
She admits, “It’s a release, and I really like being able to spread humor through art. If I can make people happy in that way, that gives me joy.”
To learn more about Rebecca Pry and her work, visit her website at www.rebeccapry.com.
Rebecca’s trip to New Mexico in 2018 helped inspire her artistic creations.
Rebecca works on a 2018 project, when she was commissioned to paint a residential bathroom.