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Design Spotlight: Vicky Rubin

February 28, 2012

Today, our Design Spotlight is focused on Vicky Rubin – thanks for the insight!


Like many of us on GCU, I have been drawing and doodling my whole life. I’m lucky enough to be a published children’s book author and illustrator. Greeting cards and picture books have many things in common. The interplay between the text and image is important. I think it’s hard to do a successful humorous card (or book). When I see them, I’m impressed. My cards that sell are the ones where the words and art work together the best.

Mostly I work on a Wacom Cintiq, and sometimes on a Tablet PC–there is not much difference. Usually I work straight from the tablet. I tend to change things as I go along, so the flexibility of the tablet is great. I also work in watercolor with pen and ink, sometimes with crayon and pencil.

It was exciting to get Design of the Day the other day with this new card. It’s spring-like, and I’m glad spring is here. It came from a doodle that started out as a Fourth of July card—the flowers and hearts were like fireworks. (As I said, I change things a lot as I go!)

With all my characters, I focus on facial expression and (in this case) gesture, and try to keep it simple. In this case I didn’t do much writing of text, as the card is decorative and didn’t seem to need it. The cards I get bogged down on, that are too complex, end up not communicating as well. I see my style getting ever simpler and looser.

Looking to the future, I definitely plan to add more cards. Having worked in print publishing (as a copyeditor), I have not always welcomed the changes wrought by the Internet as audiences moved online. Happily, GCU helps us get our work in front of people.

Thanks for reading!


11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2012 4:53 pm

    Great Post Vicky. I’ve been thinking of getting a wacom tablet myself. I love your loose carefree line so full of vitality.

  2. Gail Pepin permalink
    February 28, 2012 5:09 pm

    Such a nice interview, Vicky! I’m so glad that you are with GCU. I wish you much success and happiness.

  3. naquaiya permalink
    February 28, 2012 5:28 pm

    You are in good company here Vicky. Love your loose and colorful style. If rabbits could talk he’d be saying, Yippee, it’s Spring!!!!

  4. February 28, 2012 5:54 pm

    Awwwww… so refreshing… Love this design. It’s Happy !

    Donna Collins

  5. February 28, 2012 8:08 pm

    LOVE what you can do with a wacom, I guess you prefer that over using real art supply??

    • February 29, 2012 8:28 am

      Hi Judith, it’s a neat tool, that’s all I can say. I like to use traditional media too! But yes it is very flexible. Sometimes I use traditional media, or combine the two (first paint, then make changes on the tablet).

  6. February 29, 2012 12:37 am

    Nice to meet you Vicky. Very fun card.

  7. February 29, 2012 8:06 am

    Thanks for the nice comments everyone!! 🙂

  8. March 1, 2012 6:27 am

    What a darling card Vicky! I am also a Wacom fan.
    Congrats on your design of the day!
    Janet Lee

  9. March 2, 2012 11:38 pm

    Loved this card when I first saw it! Sorry for the late post. So nice to read more about you.

  10. March 3, 2012 12:45 am

    Darling! And I will emphasize your statement which is excellent advice for all aspiring greeting card designers:
    “My cards that sell are the ones where the words and art work together the best.”

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