Throughout high school, Maya Ruiz wasn't sure about pursuing her artistic passion. "I took some time to figure out that this is something I really want to do," she said. "I came to ArtCenter because so many amazing artists studied here and so many professors I admire work here."
For Maya, illustrators communicate with the viewer, while leaving room for ambiguity and nuance. "I think that's what makes illustration fun; the possibilities are endless," she said.
My Venezuelan and Japanese heritage affects a lot of what my art looks like.Maya Ruiz
ArtCenter's Illustration department offers six different tracks — Illustration Design Track, Entertainment Arts Track, Entertainment Arts Consumer Products Track, Fine Art Painting Track, Motion Design Track and Surface Design Track — to offer students the opportunity to deepen their craft and develop a portfolio relevant to their career goals.
Maya is pursuing the Illustration Design Track — a creative, versatile foundation for visual storytellers — which has helped her explore her identity as an artist. She’s also developed the skills to pursue her passion for creating children's books.
"My professors pushed me to create my own sense of belonging in my artwork — my Venezuelan and Japanese heritage affects a lot of what my art looks like,” she said.
Maya thrives in the creative community ArtCenter creates. "I've built a whole network of artists, each doing something completely unique," she said. "Being able to collaborate makes it less scary to go out into the world to pursue your passion.""