Rachael Novak

Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a designer and illustrator from Cleveland, and where I’m from has a big influence on my work—the midwest attitude, living on the Lake Erie shoreline, the eclectic historical areas—all have made my work what it is. I am a total animal person, I have a crazy cat named Pajamas who will make the perfect subject for a children’s book. I’m really into collecting old things— knick knacks, buttons, fabric, magazines—anything with a history. I love to cook and eat (Cleveland has an amazing culinary scene!) and be out-and-about. I love fashion and music and my amazing family and friends.

I graduated with a BFA in graphic design from Kent State in December of 2008. I had a long period of “funemployment” after, which was incredibly frustrating, but once the economy started to turn around things got better. I spent the summer laying on the beach, sketching, and just enjoying some freedom after a grueling four years of design boot camp. Since then, I’ve done a handful of freelance projects, held a couple of full-time gigs, and had a few gallery showings. I’m really enjoying the way things are unfolding.

What’s your passion? What makes you tick?
I’m very passionate about what I do. I’m lucky that my career and passion is also a journey of personal growth (although sometimes it’s tough to get the two to meet in the middle) because I get to do what I love everyday. It’s what fills me. I’m also passionate about family roots and personal connections with the past…when I make my great-grandma’s recipes I feel like she knows 😉

What’s your wildest dream for Project OpenBook?
If my contribution to this project can make someone smile, or if one of my illustrations is paired with a child’s favorite poem from the book, I’d be happy. I have such great memories of my favorite stories and how the pictures made me feel, and being a part of that for another child is really exciting.

Where can people find out more about you?
You can find more about me on my website (www.rachael-novak.com) and my blog (rachaelnovak.blogspot.com). You can find links to my Twitter and Etsy shop on both! I am also a contributor on The Donut Project (www.thedonutproject.com) with some other Kent design alums. Check it out for some major inspiration!

Rachael’s OpenBook Works
A Phoneless Lament