Carrie Hartman

MCAD Continuing Education instructor and faculty member Carrie Hartman describes her love for illustration, exploring new creative outlets, and being inspired by her students.

How did you first become interested in illustration?

From a young age, probably four or five, I knew all I wanted to do was draw. I was rather obsessed with drawing and writing stories. I was incredibly influenced by Chuck Jones and Walt Disney. I really wanted to be an animator and I knew I loved children's books. Later in art school I had to decide which path to pursue, and I ended up majoring in Illustration. Once in a while, I get to be part of an animated project and bring both my loves together.

“Even if one doesn't pursue a career in art, developing a creative side brings a nice balance to life.”

What do you do when you aren’t teaching Continuing Education classes?

When I am not teaching either Continuing Education or classes through MCAD's degree program, I am typically in my studio in Woodbury. Right now I am illustrating a children's book for the Minnesota Historical Society Press. I am also writing about three new picture books. And I recently finished up some new food illustrations. I work on a lot of illustration projects ranging from books, to editorial, to greeting cards, to advertising. That is what I love about illustration—there is such a wide range of its use.

What other creative outlets do you have?

I was always the “artsy” kid growing up, having been involved in music, choir, drama, and ballet. Although my schedule now doesn't allow much time for other activities, a few years ago I performed with a local community theater in the musical The King and I. It was nice to venture into another creative place for a bit.

Neal Peterson

Hartman teaching Continuing Education students

What do you think is unique about illustration classes at MCAD?

They give good insight into what this field is all about; classes are taught by practicing illustrators who bring a lot of experience into the classroom. There is also a good range of projects to work on, so students really get a good sense of whether they enjoy this type of work.

"Be willing to work hard, very hard, and also enjoy the journey, not just arriving at your destination."

What do you find rewarding about teaching both youth and adult students?

I really enjoy meeting so many students from many walks of life. Some are practicing illustrators or designers and others haven't pursued an art career, but have always been creative. Even if one doesn't pursue a career in art, developing your creative side brings a nice balance to life. I find my Continuing Education students bring a certain energy and enthusiasm to class, which I love!

What is the learning environment like at MCAD?

Focused, genuine, and supportive.

Neal Peterson

"Mom" Artwork created by Hartman


What inspires you artistically?

That’s a tough question because so many things inspire me. I am a storyteller so just going for a walk is going to inspire a book idea or an illustration. I am also curious. I try to pay close attention to the world, to the small details that speak to me. That is where I find my place.

If you could condense your experience and knowledge into one tip for aspiring artists, what would it be?

Be willing to work hard, very hard, and also enjoy the journey, not just arriving at your destination.

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