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Hi! I'm Rita Jane!

I'm an Australian children's educator, illustrator and surface pattern designer currently living in Cyprus

My playful illustration style, alongside my decade of teaching young children, provides me with a unique set of skills to create designs truly for kids, considering their cognitive development, social-emotional skills, and love of fun!

I find pleasure in creating digitally as well as with my hands, and I specialise in making child-friendly wellbeing messages with child-friendly materials. Common themes in my work are emotions, family and nature.

My literary work is represented by Michaela Whatnall at Dystell, Goderich & Bourret, and I am seeking representation for my illustration work.

 

My illustrations and animations are available for licensing, and I take commissions for both commercial and personal projects. 

See below for more information about my education background.

A decade of working with children
means a strong understanding of my audience

 

My beliefs around illustration, education and childhood are strongly influenced by my decade of primary-school teaching in Australia, the UK and Switzerland.

Play is as important in my illustration practice as it is in my teaching. I play with materials, I play with tools, I play with words, and I have a lot of fun!

Rita Jane motto

As an educator, I feel strongly about children learning to be comfortable with themselves and with others. As an illustrator, I want designs to be truly designed for them. My choices around imagery, colour, font and language are all carefully considered in order to be as accessible as possible to children, meeting kids where they are.

The Scandinavian education model aligns closely with my core beliefs around teaching. My personal experience with this approach was a two year teaching position at the Swedish School of Geneva, which I found to be the most empowering, impactful teaching and learning experience of my career. Woven through this teaching approach is a focus on social-emotional learning, real-world application of skills, and play. 

While teaching, I loved greeting my students in the morning, at which time they would often enthusiastically show me the design on their t-shirt, backpack or socks. It might be an animal they loved, a place they had visited, a texture they enjoyed. I noticed that some of these designs which the children loved were based solely on the image, as the text was not accessible to them. These memories are what drives me to make meaningful designs for my audience.

The cornerstone of my work is my Designs with Feeling series. Designs with Feeling are emotion-based artworks for children’s products. They are accompanied by animations and educational resources to help parents and educators explore the featured message with their kids. By engaging children in the artwork, we are taking surface design below the surface so that we may, together, make a lasting impact on our children’s social-emotional wellbeing.

Rita Jane bio photo
Rita Jane teaching children

Above: Using joke books and stand-up comedy to help five-year-olds  build confidence when speaking in front of others  (2021)

Rita Jane teaching in lockdown

Above: Teaching 4-year-olds online during the Covid lockdowns was a deliciously creative experience. One week, my co-teacher and I designed lessons all about homes (and encouraged den building to create feelings of safety and fun!)  (2020)

Rita Jane 2 4 6 8 Who Do We Appreciate?

Above: While teaching, I often illustrated funny or wise things my children said. Here are my students' responses to this chant, which we used to practise gratitude. (2021)

Drawing based on Lucy's image

An illustration I made based on the below drawing from a 5-year-old student (2021)

Lucy's original drawing
Rita Jane working with others

Above: Planning a whole-school show with my colleagues (2020)

Collaboration is a huge part of teaching and it's also one of the best things about illustration. Working within a framework, dreaming up engaging ideas, planning a course of action, and quickly responding to issues as they arise are just as applicable to teaching as they are to illustrating.

Please get in touch and let's make wonderful things together!

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