Entertainer Sean Reilly does Ol’ Blue Eyes his way. Winning a major Sinatra impersonation contest has made it a very good year.
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Local artist Kristen Margiotta’s scary illustrations bring children’s book to life. Just ask Ivy Spookerton.
Kristen Margiotta of Wilmington has always enjoyed Halloween, so it’s no surprise that she earned her first illustration credit with the children’s book “Better Haunted Homes and Gardens.”
The book tells the tale of Ivy Spookerton, who goes house hunting to find “the most haunted house in all of Pumpkinville.” Margiotta’s spooky yet charming style brings author Jennifer Barnes’ characters to life.
Margiotta, 26, has been busy promoting the book since its release in June. She will exhibit several original illustrations and sign copies of the book on September 11 at the Talleyville Frame Shoppe and Gallery as part of the Wilmington Art Loop.
Gallery owner Wendy Mitchell is impressed with the young artist’s style. “I find her work to be sweet and whimsical with slightly somber undertones,” Mitchell says. “Her work is very unique, but her charming characters and painting style will appeal to a wide audience.”
Margiotta struggles to define her own work because she uses many styles, including realism and surrealism. She credits her signature big-eyed characters to her own self-image. “I talk to my artist friends a lot about how, when we do self-portraits or illustrations, it reflects the artist’s subconscious or self,” she says.
Margiotta’s scary subject matter is subtle and suggestive, so while parents enjoy the storyline, kids are entertained by the colorful images. “I love reaching a wide range of people,” she says.
Margiotta hopes to license her characters for merchandise in forms other than books. Though she loves using oil paint in her illustrations, she also has explored 3-D art, including toy novelties, to make her art more affordable and interactive.
“I want people to enjoy it rather than just hang it on a wall.”
For more, visit kristenmargiotta.com. —Jen Bray
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