Meet Metuchen's Cartoon Goddess: Lauren Rabinowitz

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One of the great aspects of Junebug is discovering the many wonderful artists in town - the abundance of talent. Lauren Rabinowitz (a.k.a. Cartoon Goddess) is one of those artists. Her work, and her charm, are light and happy and full of color. You can meet Lauren this Friday evening between 8:00 and 8:30 at the Westerhoff School of Music and Art. We were lucky enough to chat with her a bit and are happy to introduce you to her now:

 

What is your medium? 

 

Acrylics, watercolors, pencil, water-soluble crayon, markers and pen. I also like to use interesting scraps of paper and found objects for collage. Sometimes I combine several different media. (Those pieces get labeled "mixed media".)

 

If you work in more than one, do you have a favorite and if so, why?

 

I think my favorite, especially during summer (when I'm on the road more), is a combination of pen, water-soluble crayon and watercolor. They travel exceptionally well.

 

How long have you been an artist?  

 

I have been working professionally since 1980, but I thought of myself as an artist long before that. (You should ask my parents about the walls in their basement. They complained about my early artistic efforts, but I've noticed they've never painted over it.)

 

I've been lucky and when I wasn't exactly a free agent, I had a job that required the best of my creative skills. Some jobs were wackier than others. They've included (but are not limited to): calligrapher, scenic artist, scenic designer, toy designer, humorous illustrator, comic book artist, animator and production artist. For a while, I designed and built centerpieces and decorations for upscale parties. It was all fun, interesting and great sketchbook filler (especially designing mattress labels).

 

I am a sketchaholic and could probably build a tower from floor to ceiling with all my sketchbooks. I can't stop drawing.

 

What inspired your interest/how did you get started?

 

I have always loved to draw and paint. When I was a child, my parents noticed this interest and took me to many museums. What I saw there (Picasso, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Rembrandt, Maxfield Parrish) made me want to paint and draw more. While I was a girl scout, I earned one of my badges by painting scenery at Edison Valley Playhouse. That led me to my first professional position as a scenic artist a few years later.

 

Where do you study (or have studied), with whom, do you have any mentors?

 

I originally studied painting with Joan Waterson and later drawing and painting with Abraham Brill. I received my BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design and MA in illustration from Syracuse University. At both Parsons and Syracuse, David Passalacqua Sr. was one of my instructors. He was an amazing inspiration, as was Diana Bryan (Parsons).

 

Where do you show your work (generally and for Junebug)?  

 

I've shown in small galleries in New York City. During Junebug, my work will be in Metuchen Travel and Borough Hall.

 

If anyone is interested in purchasing your work, how would they go about purchasing?

 

They can contact me directly. I don't have an agent. (click here for Lauren's website)

 

What is your inspiration? 

 

Life! I love being anyplace where there are lots of people. Travel is good for inspiration too. When I feel stuck for concepts, I often go to the beach, even in the winter.

 

How do you balance family and your work?

 

My family is small, just my daughter and my husband, affectionately known for years in my cartoons as Agent M and Petman.  My husband runs an archival automotive literature business. We both work from home. While this sounds convenient, it is not without challenges.

 

I had heard a quote once that keeps coming back to me, more so now than ever, as I try to juggle it all: "Art is a jealous rival, no man can serve two masters." I think it may be a combination of quotes. The fact is, it's hard to maintain a balance between life, business, teaching and art. When my daughter was younger, art and business took a back seat. Now, she and I both dedicate time to make art (sometimes collaboratively), while my husband is busy orbiting around his car-planet. However, I think my biggest secret to managing it all, is having enough, um, apparel essentials, to go three weeks without doing laundry. That and knowing when to just let the little things slide.

 

How long have you lived in Metuchen?  

 

I've been in this area over 40 years. I've officially been a resident of Metuchen for the last 10.

 

What can you say about Junebug in Metuchen?

 

I love seeing everyone's art on Main Street! The performances every Friday are wonderful! The activities for the kids are great! There are so many different ways to get involved. In my travels, I've been to other cities where visual and performing arts are celebrated. Their creative communities are very strong and it brings everyone together. I've always wished for that to happen here.

 

 

Anything else you might like to add?

 

In addition to my life as a mom, wife and artist, I also run a bustling graphic design business. I am a graphic arts educator and has lectured, taught classes, given workshops, presentations and seminars for illustrators, cartoonists, animators and designers at various institutions of higher education, including Parsons School of Design, Syracuse University and The Joe Kubert School. I am currently teaching web design at duCret School of Art.

 

And, from her website (which is a lot of fun):

 

When she is not drawing fairies or playing with hexadecimal colors, Lauren can be found offering psycho-therapy to destructive slugs in the garden of her suburban New Jersey home.

3 Comments

Congratulations, Lauren! What a fantastic article. (Great job, Teri!) I learned so much about you that I didn't already know, and I love your window display. Very professional and colorful. My wheels are spinning on how you and I might collaborate someday. :D

Hi Cin, I think I fixed the link in the article but just in case, here it is again. Isn't she great?
http://cartoongoddess.com/

Nice article Teri,
I don't have the link to her website, could you please post again.
Thanks

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Recent Comments

  • Julie Walton Shaver: Congratulations, Lauren! What a fantastic article. (Great job, Teri!) I read more
  • Teri Coleman: Hi Cin, I think I fixed the link in the read more
  • CinC: Nice article Teri, I don't have the link to her read more

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