Hilary Rochow

As a child I had a massive collection of poetry, fables, and old fairy tales. I have never outgrown the little skip my heart gives in response to a beautiful illustration in the middle of a storybook. These images, often simple things in a sea of text, aid or embellish the narrative. They exist so the reader can move through the story's world at their own pace and with their own understanding. I aim for my viewers to have a similar experience of exploration and character as they read my drawings.

I wanted to be a veterinarian from the time that I knew what a veterinarian was, but as I studied in the field I realized that this wasn't creating the close connection to animals that I longed for. My work is opposed to the misconception that animals and humans are inherently different. We are, in fact, another type of animal in a community of animals. By isolating portraits of our fellow creatures on a white page, creatures who are blissfully free of the biases and trappings of human society but whose inner lives are as rich as our own, I create a purely emotional connection between viewer and subject.

My work has been further developed by my training and work in industrial and graphic design. My sense of composition, love of elegant simplicity, and an appreciation for clear visual communication has been fostered in my professional work. This sensibility has informed my choices of material; I love the decisive mark that pen work requires. In this limited palette I find a surprising depth of emotional space and intellectual texture.

My hope is that my audience will take this connection with my work and let it inform how they move through their own stories. I don't want them to see a wild thing in the world but, rather, a piece of themselves in the likeness of an animal.

Hilary Rochow is a multidisciplinary image maker living and working in San Antonio, Texas. She holds a Bachelors of Industrial Design from Auburn University. Her formal training in both industrial and graphic design informs her illustrations of impactful figures on clean backgrounds. Her lifelong adoration of the natural world weaves its way into her choice of animal and plant subjects. She has shown work at multiple galleries including Flax Gallery, Space C7, and FL!GHT. She also operates a gallery, Rojo, and studio in the Southtown Arts District. Her work as a curator has been recognized within the community, including a CAMMIE awarded by the San Antonio Museum of Art in 2019.