Trouble Child
art + literary magazine

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What Makes a Person by Veronica Crichton-Hill

You created a version of this piece initially as an idea for Trouble Child’s logotype. What inspired you, and how did it grow from a logo to a standalone piece?

Veronica Crichton-Hill: I was inspired by other designers on the Trouble Child team. I wanted to emulate the minimalist style but add my own flair of color and repetition. I think it grew more into its own piece because of the representation of identity and the meaning behind each layer.

Is this abstract style your go-to?

VCH: This is actually the first illustration I’ve done, so I don’t really have a style yet. I guess this is my typical drawing/sketching style, and I use a lot of color in my photography work as well. I would like to make more illustration work and explore more styles though.

How did you choose the different colors used in each panel?

VCH: It was a bit random. I did intend for the colors to contrast with each other so they would pop more, but I didn’t have these specific colors in mind before I made the piece. I think not having a concrete plan when you’re making a piece allows for more creative freedom while you’re doing it; instead of deciding “this is going to be lime green, light blue, and black” and that being the end of it, you explore more options and see color combinations that you didn’t expect to be very pleasing.

How did you become interested in visual art and design?

VCH: I picked up a camera when I was fourteen and haven’t put it down since. I didn’t realize my interest in design until I started college. I enjoy the freedom that art gives me, but I think it’s interesting to add the structure of design into work as well. Book covers and CD covers get me really excited about the overlap of art and design. I’m realizing that I've been drawn to the fight between two concepts in all of my work lately. Like with photography, I’m really into the fight between art and commercial in fashion photography. It makes sense that I found an interest in the overlap of art and design too.

What drew you to the idea of identity and the layers? What do each of the layers represent?

VCH: Talking to Trouble Child editors Aubrey Asleson and Koryne Martinez when they met with me to discuss the magazine really made me start thinking about identity more. We had a great discussion about Myers-Briggs and astrology, and it made me think about what I learned in one of my psychology classes about how there are layers to people’s identities. The basic concept is that there are three main layers of a person. The outermost layer is what you show to the world. The middle layer is the one you show to your close friends and family. The innermost layer is the one that only you know. I think it’s an interesting concept to think about and have your own sort of self-reflection on. You can go even further and discuss how the innermost layer is theoretically your “true self”, but it’s really the “you” that you think you are. That’s a whole other discussion though.