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What’s it like to…

Richard Mia was entrusted to illustrate the personal stories of ordinary Rotary Club members for their monthly publication of Rotarian Magazine. Mia said he thought of this assignment, “As if an author had to render their experience with a picture.” The stories vary, but they are held together with Richard’s thoughtful, intelligent work.

After looking through the rather extensive body of work, please read the Q&A with the artist.

what’s it like to…


Q&A with Richard Mia:

What was your favorite personal story to illustrate?

My favorite story to illustrate was, Break the Sound Barrier (as a teacher for the deaf) by Jean Irwin Hatfield. As stated in her story… you don’t read with your eyes, you read with your ears; because reading is a sound / symbol system. I was amazed by Jean’s innovative teaching methods to help deaf students. As an illustrator you have subject matter, but clearly this was more than that, I was illustrating a heroine.

How did you and AD Jennifer Moody move from initial to final idea together?

The deadline was tight with many illustrations to produce, but not a problem with an AD, like Jennifer Moody in my corner. I supplied 2-3 options for each story, Jennifer and her editors were receptive and kept the deadline flowing. Jennifer mapped out the design for the stories at the start, it gave me a sense of space and sizes she was looking for but left it open. I needed some help at times with Jennifer ready to supply some ideas, a really great collaboration with Jennifer, a pleasure to work with.

What are the goals of Rotary International?

Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. Rotary International publishes an official monthly magazine named The Rotarian.

What was extraordinary about this assignment?

The positive themes and inspirational stories were true to the title, they give the reader a sense of being in their very own shoes, I wanted to play that out in the illustrations as well, as if the author had to render their experience with a picture.