Meet the Artist | Rhiannan Sibbald

Have you ever wondered who creates the beautiful covers on KDL's Kaleidoscope magazines? Well, meet Rhiannon Sibbald, the artist behind the Spring edition (available now at a branch near you!). We can't help but smile when we look at this awesome cover. Read on and "Let your imagination bloom!"

What can you tell us about yourself? 

I was born and raised in the rural eastern corner of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Creativity and artistic exploration were instilled in my three younger sisters and I from a young age, as there wasn’t much to keep us busy other than the nature in our backyard. That curious mindset eventually led me to art school at Grand Valley State University, where I earned a BFA in Illustration. After school, I settled in Grand Rapids and took on stable graphic design roles to pay the bills. Needless to say, my hunger for the arts wasn’t fully satisfied, so I left the corporate world with no plan but to make my own artwork. Over a year later, I’m still going strong, painting murals around West Michigan, creating custom illustrations for clients, designing merchandise, and selling my artwork across various platforms. If I had one piece of advice for fellow creatives, it would be to stop dilly dallying in the safe route and just take the leap towards what you love.

Where are some of the places you gather inspiration?

If you ask my friends to describe me in one word, it would likely be "hippie." Not in the sense that I hug trees or miss a much-needed shower… but in the sense that I’m obsessed with the 1960s/1970s. I’m in my element when I’m surrounded by vintage items from that era, listening to psychedelic jams and embodying an earth-loving, carefree mindset. You can often find me snapping photos of the swirling lettering art on records at the antique store, admiring quirky figurines of mushrooms, cats and owls, and drooling over gaudy patterns on fabric. I like to look at our world through a whimsical lens, so I suppose that’s why my appreciation for this aesthetic just makes sense. All of it mashes together to create the vibrant expressions in my artwork today.

Describe the perfect spring day.

The four seasons are very symbolic to me for personal development. Winter is when we turn inward, refocus, heal and recuperate. Spring is when we emerge from this period and set forth new goals and ideas with a fresh zest for life. The perfect spring day for me would be a walk in the woods, admiring how similar we are to our natural world. There’s just something special about noticing the first flowers peeking through the fall leaves, taking in the smell of muddy earth, hearing birds sing away and long-awaited sun rays streaming through the trees. Days like this infuse me with so much positivity and excitement for the year ahead.

What does the library mean to you?

As a self-employed introvert, I spend most of my days alone at my tiny apartment. Most people have home, work and another third space for hanging out, but I just don’t have that variety. I love having the library as an option for an alternate space, where I can be around people without the pressure of having to meet up with someone or spend money on food and drinks. I grew up regularly visiting my local library, and it taught me that all people should have access to informational resources and a welcoming space to relax, read and connect with others.

Check out more from Rhiannan over here: