Having spent a a good deal of her professional life involved in both design and fine art, Susan Doyle is particularly interested in the tension between how something is conceived versus how it is perceived. Currently she is working on a series of prints and paintings exploring the confluence of abstract and denotative constructs in work that involves graphing, optical illusion and pictorial imagery derived from the stuff and nonsense of myth, fine art and contemporary culture.
Lizzi Akana is an award winning director, animator, and designer. Since graduating with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005, she's cultivated a diverse portfolio as a freelance artist in the field of animation, working in television, advertising, feature film, music videos, and illustrative design for many of the top studios in New York City. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
Venezuela native Rafael Attias creates, performs and records music, merging visuals with sound, and creates mixed-media abstract paintings. Projects include The Ear Draws Inward, an experimental album, as well as several multimedia collaborations.
The bulk of Attias’ teaching has been in computer-based digital media tools. He has learned much about the possibilities that these new tools have to offer, while keeping a solid foot on the foundation of what makes work meaningful.
Polly Becker's illustrations are frequently published in magazines, newspapers and elsewhere. They have been honored with numerous awards (including a medal from The Society of Illustrators) and inclusions in the illustration annuals. She has been profiled in art and design journals, lectured around the country, and had solo shows in the US and in the Middle East. She has taught illustration both full and part time for various design schools.
Jason Beene has worked in the video game industry since graduating from the Illustration department in 2001. As the art director of THQ’s internal studio, Helixe, he oversaw the visuals for game projects on Nintendo handhelds working on properties including PIXAR’s The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille and Wall-E. Currently he is art director at MIT’s GAMBIT lab, which explores and innovates in the medium of gaming.
Mary Jane Begin is an award-winning illustrator known for her acclaimed and much-beloved children’s picture books, including: The Wind in the Willows, A Mouse Told His Mother, Little Mouse’s Paintingand R is for Rhode Island Red, created for Sleeping Bear Press. Begin’s first authored series, Willow Buds, published by Little Brown and Co. has been optioned for children’s television animation. Her freelance clients include Hasbro, Milton Bradley, Celestial Seasonings and Disney.
Jean Blackburn has been teaching at RISD since 1982 as a member of the Illustration Department. Her work, both painting and sculpture, addresses the domestic setting and its power to shape or reflect our understanding of the world. She has exhibited her work throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the DeCordova Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Aldrich Museum and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.
Jason Brockert works as both painter and painting faculty at RISD. He exhibits his work in galleries across New England and is represented in many collections in the US and Europe. His work has been featured at such galleries as the CoSo gallery in Boston, the Wheeler Gallery in Providence, and the Central Gallery in Connecticut, among others.
Illustrator and children’s book author Calef Brown studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He is author and illustrator of a dozen books for children and crafts narrative story-poems with accompanying paintings and drawings. In interviews, he has cited wordplay, dreams and the rhythms of music as inspirations.
Brown's illustrations have also appeared in Newsweek, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time and Travel + Leisure.
Trent Burleson graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts) with a Bachelor’s degree in Painting and received a Masters Degree in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, where he began teaching various painting and drawing classes. He served as the Chief Critic of the school's European Honors Program in Rome in 1984. His paintings have been widely exhibited and are part of many private, corporate, and public collections.
After graduating from RISD in 1995, Chris Buzelli moved to New York City and began his career as an illustrator. His oil paintings have appeared in many publications, including Rolling Stone, TIME, Playboy, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly. Buzelli’s work has been recognized by American Illustration and was recently awarded a Gold and Silver medal by the Society of Illustrators.
Bill Draw is a Professor of illustration at RISD and a past recipient of RISD's John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Fritz Drury works from his studio in Brooklyn, focusing on narrative paintings that explore personally generated themes with extended socio-political significance. He was the Chief Critic for RISD's European Honors Program in Rome for spring 2011. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the Yale School of Art in painting. In 2005 he was the recipient of RISD's John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching.
For over 30 years John S. Dykes has been creating illustrations for a wide and diverse range of clients, earning recognition from The Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, American Illustration, 3x3 Illustration Annual, Print Magazine, How Magazine, Step By Step Graphics, and The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles (gold and silver medals), as well as the Luerzer's Archive 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide.
For the past 20 years, Janet Fairbairn has worked as principal of Fairbairn & Company, a graphic design studio that produces a range of print publications, identities, branding and exhibition catalogues. Her work has been shown in numerous juried exhibitions including: AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers, AIGA Design of Understanding 2, New York Is Book Country, The International Platform Association and Maine Coast Artists among others.
Ferreira first attended the University of Massachusetts with the intent to work in sociology or psychology, but soon realized she could serve others through art. She then honed her skills at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she returns yearly to teach. Ferreira also teaches in the town she now calls home, Pont-Aven, France.
Lisk Feng is an award-winning illustrator who is initially from China, and now a New York-based freelance illustrator. She graduated from MFA Illustration Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014, with a lot of publications and advertisings projects seen by the world, such as The New Yorker, Apple, Penguin, Airbnb, The New York Times, Chanel, etc. Meanwhile, her illustrations received some awards and recognitions such as Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators.
As a figurative artist with experience and aptitude in multiple disciplines, Julio has academic experience in foundation level traditional, digital and conceptual art courses. Julio specializes in figurative painting, illustration, drawing, murals, and experiential sculpture.
Richard Gann is a figurative painter working primarily in traditional media (encaustic, egg tempera emulsion). He also works extensively in digital media, both as a fine artist and as a web designer. A native of Baltimore, he graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz before receiving his MFA in Printmaking from RISD. He currently resides in Brooklyn.
Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges has worked in the art departments of such places as Hallmark and Ginn & Co. before starting her own children’s book studio in Boston in 1989. She envisioned a place where she could nurture creative talent and develop quality book projects for trade markets and museum communities. Today, she works on behalf of nearly 40 picture book artists worldwide. When on break, Sturges returns to Italy, where she spent a few years as chief critic for RISD's EHP.
Lars Grant-West was born in the big city of Manhattan. Grant-West has developed a lifelong interest in all aspects of the natural world. When the opportunity arose, he accepted a job at the NY zoo, where he worked designing and building exhibits. Eventually he launched a graphics department at the zoo and became its art director. During this time, he continued to work as a freelance illustrator, and after 12 years, eventually left the zoo to focus full-time on illustration.
Henry Horenstein studied history at the University of Chicago before turning to photography. He earned his BFA and MFA from RISD with legendary teachers Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. Horenstein’s more than 30 books include a recent memoir, monographs, and some of the most widely used instructional texts in the field.
Nick Jainschigg was born in New York City and grew up near the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. The two influences of art and natural science have been with him ever since. After graduating with a BFA in illustration, he pursued a career in science fiction and fantasy illustration, producing hundreds of covers and interiors for most of the major (and many minor) publishers.
Tony Janello is obsessed with the human face, its endless variations and its extraordinary capacity for expression. He began his artistic practice painting portraits and eventually began creating three-dimensional sculptures and digital photographs depicting faces that appear structurally unsound as if in the early stages of implosion. Janello began teaching in RISD’s Continuing Education division and moved into the Illustration department in the early 1980s.
Caitlin Keegan and I'm an illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York. I've been freelancing for about five years. Prior to that I worked as a print and licensing designer at Sesame Workshop and as a staff designer for Nickelodeon Magazine, while illustrating on the side. I graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and have been a guest illustration critic at MICA, UArts, SVA, and RISD.
Kikuo Johnson grew up on the island of Maui. He began a career in cartooning and illustration with the release of his debut graphic novel, Night Fisher, in 2005. His comics and drawings have since appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times, Marvel Comics and in galleries in New York and Los Angeles. Today, he divides his time between drawing and playing the ukulele in Brooklyn, NY and teaching at RISD.
Upon graduating from Pratt Institute in 1981, Paul Karasik studied at the School of Visual Arts with cartoonists Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman and Art Spiegelman. He was associate editor of the avant-garde comics and graphics review, RAW, and published his own acclaimed magazine, Bad News. Karasik is known for his groundbreaking transformation of the Paul Auster novel City of Glass into a graphic novel. Karasiks cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker and Nickelodeon magazine.
Ryan Lesser is a visual artist, game designer, musician, and teacher. He is a grad of RISD's Illustration department and has been developing video games since 1996, best known for his design and art direction on such influential games as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. He founded Wild Power games in 2014, where he continues to develop and crowd fund board games and video games such as High Heavens and Streets of Steel.
Clara Lieu is a fine artist and a Partner at, a free online educational platform for visual arts. Her studio practice involves drawing, printmaking, and sculpture as means towards exploring the extremes of human emotion, using the human figure and face as a vehicle for expression. She has shown work at International Print Center New York, the Currier Museum of Art, the Davis Museum, and received grants from the Mass Cultural Council, the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
Since 1981, Lenny has taught at many colleges in Rhode Island and Mass and has shown his work in a wide range of local and national exhibitions. He founded the Mt. Hope Learning Center in 1998 and is the current president of the board. In 2016, he founded and directs Hog Island Studios, a summer art program with newly expanded artist residency capabilities. It is located at the mouth of Bristol Harbor and is too much fun.
Fred Lynch has been creating illustrations for a broad range of national clients since 1986. He works in publishing, advertising, and corporate communications and has won recognition from the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts magazine, Print magazine, American Artists magazine and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Lynch has won the John R. Frasier Award for Teaching Excellence at RISD and the Carlos Dorrian Award for Teaching Excellence at Montserrat.

Xander Marro has a BA in Art/Semiotics from Brown University and is co-founder of the Dirt Palace, (a feminist art collective), and a former managing director of AS220. She is diverse in her artistic practices with work ranging from printmaking to puppetry to performance to film animation and installation. Marro’s work is generally low-tech and handmade and embedded with a community of collective art-making.
Joe McKendry is a painter and illustrator whose work has appeared in over 50 publications worldwide, including the New York Times, the London Times, the Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, Esquire and GQ. His children’s book, Beneath the Streets of Boston: Building America’s First Subway (David R. Godine, 2005), chronicles the planning and construction of Boston’s subway system at the turn of the last century.
Jamie Murphy Hlynsky majored in painting at RISD and worked professionally as a freelance Illustrator and prop maker until 1980. The experience of motherhood and childrearing has had a profound influence on the content and nature of her recent work. Her paintings and collages, which sometimes take the form of paper quilts, explore themes of women in the the world, beauty, body image and the phases of a woman’s life.
Kelly Murphy is an award-winning illustrator working predominantly with traditional and mixed media. Kelly has led a multidisciplinary career in the realms of picture books, editorial illustration, posters and character design for both the film and toy industry. An accomplished children's book author and illustrator, Kelly's books have been published by leading international publishers. Kelly is the co-founder of Shybird Studios with Antoine Revoy.
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Kikuo Johnson grew up on the island of Maui. He began a career in cartooning and illustration with the release of his debut graphic novel, Night Fisher, in 2005. His comics and drawings have since appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times, Marvel Comics and in galleries in New York and Los Angeles. Today, he divides his time between drawing and playing the ukulele in Brooklyn, NY and teaching at RISD.