Rebecca Tillett: Photography & Design Photography & Design2015-04-18T18:40:45Z Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[Protected: Let’s Shoot!]]> 2015-04-18T18:40:45Z 2015-04-18T18:34:14Z

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Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[Rejected]]> 2015-04-15T22:33:49Z 2015-04-15T22:33:49Z I don’t often blog about my design for a multitude of ambiguous reasons, I suppose. Most notably, probably, is that it’s my bread and butter, and also because it seems unlikely that anyone outside the audience of the piece I’ve designed would find it particularly interesting. But sometimes, as a professional graphic designer, the knowledge of all the pieces I’ve designed that have and will never see the light of day because the client didn’t share your vision or embrace something maybe a little bit edgier than they’re used to can feel absolutely defeating. And this certainly isn’t an issue exclusive only to me. All graphic designers, and in fact all creative professionals that have worked in the industry understand this struggle. Everyone doing something creative to make a living is an artist. Whether you’re a writer or a videographer or a photographer or graphic designer or an interior designer, it doesn’t matter, you put a little piece of your heart into everything your create — unless you’ve grown bitter or burned out or are simply tired of the fight. And I can undoubtedly attest to have fallen down that dark hole a few times in my career but thankfully, I always seem to heave myself out (which typically requires big life shifts, in my case anyway, but moving on…).

It’s extremely rare you meet someone in a creative profession for the money (I mean like, Sasquatch rare), because it’s simply not there. We choose to forgo a comfortable lifestyle in the noble, and perhaps sometimes naïve pursuit of doing what we love, wrongfully assuming that we will indeed get to do what we love. And it’s true that sometimes, less often than not, I do get to design and create what I love. It’s true that every now and then I get a client that trusts me and has faith in my abilities and aesthetic, a client that wants something new, fresh, interesting and maybe even something they would have never considered, a client that gives me a little direction and then says “GO!” But that’s so rare it’s depressing. An old boss of mine used to always say “Everyone’s an art director!” and it’s true — well, it’s kinda true anyway. Everyone thinks they’re an art director and when everyone thinks they’re an art director, it surely makes someone like myself ponder why I went to school for such a thing in the first place, because apparently I’d have more creative power to yield as a client than a designer. With that said, I suppose that means the only thing I really went to school for was to become proficient in using the programs needed to design, which doesn’t make me a designer at all, it makes me a production worker. And there’s a big difference. Really, there is.

So without further adieu and in effort to salvage a few chunks of my heart before they’re tossed in the compost pile, below are two booklet cover designs I recently created for a client at work who deemed them “inappropriate” and instead opted for the safe and boring option. The option with the smiling graduates and the simple type treatment, the boring, snooze-inducing, straight-to-the-point-because-clearly-we’re-allergic-to-fun-and-creativity-option. This is for 21 year-olds, after all and everyone knows those guys hate fun, right?



Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[Decriminalize nipples]]> 2015-04-03T15:55:39Z 2015-04-03T15:55:39Z #freethenipple

Miley Cyrus is reportedly a huge proponent of the #freethenipple campaign so I had some fun with this one! Video of the drawing process below.


Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[Lola Roja]]> 2015-03-30T14:21:15Z 2015-03-30T14:21:15Z Last month it was my friend and coworker Lucas’s birthday and I was finally able to complete his gift. It’s an illustration of his adorable daughter, Lola, as Little Red Riding Hood. I wrote a pretty dark poem to accompany the drawing so I’m thinking about creating a second piece to reflect that!

Anyway, Happy Belated Birthday, Lucas! I hope you enjoy your gift. I know I had a hell of a fun time creating it.

Lola Roja


She pranced and she skipped and she romped through the woods
On toward gramma’s house quick as she could
When out of the shadows a wolf did appear
But our dulce mijita sensed danger was near
She cried “Come mierda y muerte, cabrón!”
And smashed him over the head with a rather large stone
Killed that wolf dead, right where he stood
Then onward she strolled, our Lola Red Riding Hood

And to see the illustration process using the Procreate App for the iPad:

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[tragic dimension of human existence]]> 2015-03-27T15:03:43Z 2015-03-26T14:50:49Z “As a divinity always ‘associated with the tragic dimension of human existence,’ she sees in Sekhmet’s face ‘the look of someone who sees the irreducible tragedy of life which she can do nothing to avert and which, indeed, she knows she herself has helped bring about – but who does not hide from the pain.'” —Richard Stromer

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[fuck a writer]]> 2015-03-23T20:25:50Z 2015-03-23T19:32:22Z broke-ass stuart

“Have sex with a writer because she chooses art over money, even if she’s always complaining about being broke. Unclasp her bra because she’s 31 and still living with three roommates, squeaking by on rent, sliding by on bills, bartending a few nights, working in a bookstore, doing odd jobs, hustling; all because she’s convinced that she will create something masterful that may one day make all of this worth it. Pull off her jeans because you admire the sacrifices she makes to do what she loves, knowing you could never do the same. Fuck a writer because she shivers and starves for her chance to carve her name on the world.” —broke-ass stuart

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[Adios Facebook]]> 2015-03-16T00:31:05Z 2015-03-16T00:31:05Z On Friday night I was once again notified by Facebook that I had been reported for nudity and the content had subsequently been removed. Also, not only that but this time, I would be banned from using Facebook for 24 hours, thus effectively treating me like a child who’d been badly behaving and deserved to have their toy taken away as punishment.
And this time? I hadn’t even posted the image directly to Facebook. I had posted it to a blog post on my own website – a website I pay yearly for to keep and maintain, by the way – but because the preview that Facebook automatically generates displayed nudity, I had been punished in the exact same manner I would have been had I posted it directly to their site. To me, this is absolutely unacceptable.

So this is my thank you to Facebook for finally giving me the motivation I so badly needed to be done with this site. For good.

If you’ve been my friend or fan of my work and have followed me for a while, you’ll know this isn’t the first time I’ve bitched about this, but it will be the last. I’m an ordinary, sensible, reasonably intelligent adult woman who happens to create art that yes, contains moderate nudity. And I have been doing so for at least the last fifteen years of my life. My art is just that: art, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s my love, my craft, my passion, my devotion and my raw expression all made tangible. But it is not pornography and it is not offensive and it is not some hideous and scary thing that needs to be hidden away. Its importance in my life can not be understated and censoring that part of me, is censoring everything, as far as I’m concerned. And to know that some power-happy douchebag sitting behind a computer screen under asinine orders from some billion dollar corporation can delete it all and threaten my account with a click of a button because some sanctimonious prude issued a baseless whine is dispiriting and even heartbreaking to me and ultimately, a ridiculous fact of this website I can no longer tolerate.

I realize this is part of a much larger problem in this country, especially amongst the other civilized first world nations, and that for some reason (so often religion, if I’m not mistaken) Americans are more than happy to accommodate images of bloody violence and brutality, but a naked human body is deemed obscene by fellow human beings who I would have to venture a guess never peer at their own naked bodies and must regularly have sex under the cloak of darkness. And I don’t hate these people, I just feel absolutely terrible for them. My heart aches for them; that they can not only not appreciate the beauty of such a sight but that they fear it. And that’s really the unfortunate essence of much of humanity, isn’t it? Fear. Decisions made in fear, actions taken or not taken in fear, a life not truly lived due to fear. And this fear of offense has grown to ridiculous proportions. You do not have the right to an offenseless life. You do not have the right to trample my freedom of expression because you’re offended. But you do have the ability to leave or not friend or follow those that offend you if you absolutely can’t stifle that useless emotion.

But as long as these websites take the sides of the offended minority, that won’t happen, will it? And that’s perfectly fine because it’s their website, their company and their prerogative on how they’d like to run it. And it’s my right to leave if I don’t agree. After all, Facebook is just a silly website. It’s an empty, vacuous shell with an overly inflated ego, but it’s its users that supply the content. It’s all of us. Facebook has nothing without us and I have faith in the inevitability of a world without Facebook sometime in the near future. We’ve given this website too much power over our lives and I believe the time has come to take it back. There aren’t many left (among my generation and younger, anyway) that even like the site or express any genuine desire to keep utilizing it. Like me, they continue to do so because everyone else continues to do so. Friends are here, family’s here, and in my case, fans of my work are here. But they despise the site. It’s even been proven to make us depressed and miserable and yet, we continue. There has been one appalling story after another of Facebook performing psychological experiments on its users, watching its users without their consent, selling its users’ data to advertisers to inflate their bottom line and yet, we continue. Why? Why have we allowed any of this? Why have we settled for this as if it’s our only option? It’s not.

Google the phrase “why you should stop using Facebook” and you’ll be confronted with thousands of relevant links leading to lists just filled with numerous compelling reasons to cut this site out of your life. But we shouldn’t need thousands of lists with thousands of reasons. We only need one good one. And I’ve had my own for quite a few years now.

So I won’t be here anymore but I won’t be deleting my profile just yet (I was one click away from doing it Friday though, must be that all or nothing personality I’ve been saddled with) simply because I have 7 years worth of content here I probably shouldn’t just delete on a hurt and angered whim. It’ll be deactivated eventually but in the meantime, I’ll be deleting the app, not logging in with a browser (the goal is ever but habit and addiction can be hard to squelch so it’s possible I’ll falter a time or two initially) and just basically ceasing all use of it. I’ve been updating my blog a LOT in the last year, so if you’re at all interested, find me there: And if you’re interested enough to subscribe to it, let me know and i’ll do it for you. smile emoticon Of course, it would mean the world to me.

And just in case, here are some additional details:
rebeccatillett [at] gmail dot com

(also Facebook owned, however, so my continuance there is still uncertain)

And I’m pretty picky about who I hand my phone number out to but if you don’t have it and you think you should, message me.
Thanks everyone, I’ll see ya around!

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[Beauty in the age of selfie is almost toxic]]> 2015-03-12T23:28:22Z 2015-03-12T23:21:23Z Interview with Fluffer

Last Summer I was interviewed by Fluffer Magazine for a feature and I learned today that it’s finally up! Do keep in mind, that the questions were translated from Italian but the interview is in full english on the Fluffer site. Also, as this is a nude and erotic publication, do keep in mind that the images chosen to accompany this feature are NSFW in most instances (unless you know, you happen to work somewhere that isn’t terrified of the nude female form).

Rebecca Tillett is the talented mind and eye we hosted in the very first issue of Fluffer Magazine. Her brilliant career started by being selected by Taschen for the first volume in their The New Erotic Photography series. We decided it was time to listen to her very own voice. And her she comes!

Are your women a mirror of your personality or is it melancholia you like to represent in your images?
I think it’s probably a bit of both. I tend to feel most creative when I’m feeling melancholy so I typically convey that emotion more so than any other even though it’s sometimes unintentional. When it’s purposeful, it’s because I’ve always more vividly seen the beauty in the darkness than in light. And as I age, I more freely embrace that fact about myself.

Your interior became a charming distinctive feature of your pictures. Models are naked in the kitchen, over the moquette, in the living room and in the bathroom dressed only with flashing accessories and lipstick: an ironical mix between eroticism and simplicity. What is the intention behind this representation of contemporary allure?
I love hearing what other beings see in my photographs because often they bring something to my attention that I never before realized. This is one of those instances. With that said, perhaps there isn’t always clear intention there. Or maybe there is but I don’t realize it. I’ll tell you what I know: When I put a model in heels and lipstick I’m both demonstrating an irresistible society-deemed sexiness; undebatable symbols of American feminism that have existed for many years over – red moist plump lips ready to devour you, beautiful heels that elongate the legs (I also utilize a wide-angle lens to further lengthen my model’s legs), sexy undergarments or perhaps none at all, a flash of beautiful breasts and perky nipples as well as demonstrating the strict confines of what we consider beauty to be. And I prefer to keep it simple because as important as the setting is (typically colorful and character-filled with a sharp tinge of vintage-flavoring reiterating the fact that these norms have existed for quite a while – maybe even over-stayed their welcome), its real only function is to complement the model – all attention should be on the woman in the photograph.

Show some support for both the wonderful magazine and me and read the rest of the interview here: Beauty in the age of selfie is almost toxic.


Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[young enough to be humbled]]> 2015-03-10T21:06:05Z 2015-03-10T21:06:05Z Sweetpea

From the way he smokes his cigarettes to the way his eyes get all cute and squinty when he’s smiling or laughing or embarrassed to the way he slowly moves his fingertips over my skin. I find it all so wonderfully endearing.

It really is true what they say, isn’t it?
You think you’ll never change from the person you are when you’re 15, 18, 21, 25, 30…
but you DO, friends. You really do. I think I’ve finally reached an age in which I understand the older generation’s contempt for youth. Kids really don’t know a damn thing.

Hopefully I’m still young enough to be humbled by that realization.

I fucking love him. Terribly.
And I don’t deserve this, any of it. This peace and happiness and elation. I really don’t.
But I’m going to accept it knowing it won’t be forever and make peace with that.
…because nothing is forever.
—Not pain or sadness or hurt or happiness or joy.
It all inevitably ends at some point, doesn’t it?

That’s such a harsh fact to concede to. And even more so now that I have so much to lose.

Rebecca Tillett <![CDATA[Spirituality / What I’ve Learned]]> 2015-03-10T21:39:21Z 2015-02-28T21:30:35Z Prior to this class, spirituality was a beautiful thing. It was a concept propelled by a greater understanding of the bigger picture, of nature and of the universe. It was beautiful but elusive and untouchable. It was something I felt I had a keen sense of but simply had never devoted any time to. Because of some of the lessons in this class, I now think I’d never devoted any time to it, because I really had no idea where to begin.

I now have a greater comprehension and awareness of the concept of spirituality and the incredible amount of work necessary to fulfill our roles as spiritual beings. And yet, it really isn’t difficult. It only seems to require a certain amount of dedication, passion, motivation and time. What’s unfortunate, however, is how lacking those attributes can be, especially in American society. With all importance placed on the external, we grow up learning to look outward, and not within, for happiness and contentment. And when we don’t find those things in our external world, we’re overcome with defeat and sadness, a hopelessness that we can’t rectify with the tools we were taught to use. And in a terrible and redundant display of a lack of wisdom, again we’re taught the solution to our sadness can be found in little mind-altering pills created in a government lab. My father was prescribed anti-depressants only months before he killed himself. At 16, I was prescribed anti-depressants only months after his death after a psychologist had spent a total of 30 minutes talking to me. That’s all he needed, apparently, before sending me home with a bottle of pills that was later determined to cause suicidality in teenagers. But the numbing of all emotion was an entirely too frustrating state of being to linger in and I didn’t last long on them, instead choosing to suffer through my depression and anxiety for the next ten years before finding a psychologist who preferred to talk my problems through to medicating me. As Palmer states “It is so much easier to deal with the external world, to spend our lives manipulating material and institutions and other people instead of dealing with our own souls” (Palmer, 2000, p. 82).

I have been through many autumns and winters in my life, learning to live beside death, sadness, impossibility and austerity. I have spent so much of my life in dead winters, that it’s where I’m most comfortable and secure. I developed a kinship with a season without promises and I dawdled there aimlessly finding comfort in the fact that I had nothing left to lose, because there’s something incredibly freeing and calm in the cold, in knowing there are no more brittle leaves to fall from lifeless branches. Of course, I’d dream fantastically of warmer days ahead, alive with vitality and high-spirits, but I’d assumed there were seasons I was simply never meant to experience. And why would I? It’s both forgivable and understandable if it’s all I’d ever known. I learned to appreciate the beauty of these seasons, the acute sensation of grief. I became grateful for the sadness because I was eventually appreciative to be feeling anything at all after my personal experiences with emotion numbing medication. As Palmer states “Our inward winters take many forms-failure, betrayal, depression, death. But every one of them, in my experience, yields to the same advice: ‘The winters will drive you crazy until you learn t get out into them’” (Palmer, 2000, p. 102). I revered it all almost unwittingly, before my then husband accused me one day of “loving sadness.” Apparently, I had become so content in it, my jarring serenity became noticeable to the outside world. And while I’ll never cease to realize the beauty of such seasons, looking back at my acceptance at such a defeating inevitability is incredibly sad to me now, since for the first time in my life, I have a flourishing temperateness to compare them to.

I was born into autumn and spent the first fifteen years of my life there. I spent the subsequent 16 in winter but I have now entered a Spring in my life. It’s the first time I can say confidently that I’m happy without subtext. I never realized before now, how powerful that is. Even more powerful is the knowledge that I acquired this happiness through my own doing; I, alone, took the ridiculously painful and challenging steps to get here, not even really knowing where I was going. I only knew I was hungering for something I’d never before tasted and I let my faith in the promises of the unfamiliar guide me. I put all conviction in nothing more than possibility and life rewarded me accordingly. I feel unbelievably lucky and brave for the bold moves I’ve recently made in my life and while I know I’m not guaranteed a summer or even a terribly long Spring, I now know that I have the strength necessary to seek them out before so easily acquiescing to a seemingly never-ending and brutal winter.

I found all of the lessons and spiritual teachers of this class to be powerfully enlightening but if I take one thing away from the previous eight weeks, it’ll be my newfound love and ability to meditate. I never before realized how something so simple could be so rewarding and now, when I’m having a rough day or week, I remind myself to sit quietly for thirty minutes so that I can easily distance myself from the trivial frustrations that hold neither the influence nor the ability to ruin my mood. It’s really quite amazing, isn’t it? The power we lend to the minute annoyances of our day among our limited supply of days. I feel I now possess the awareness necessary to end such self-defeating strategies and fill my life with light, warmth, and possibility. Summer awaits.