Cait Pantano, illustrator

Cait Pantano is a Cincinnati illustrator who has had artwork commissioned by local fixtures such as The Pinstripes and Far-I-Rome Productions. Her pieces tend to elicit intense responses, and are typically most enjoyed by people with a dark sense of humor and an appreciation for bold, comic book-like illustrations.

How did you start professionally illustrating?
I started a tumblr page last fall and posted what I was calling my "Daily Doodles," where I would feature a new modified contour line drawing every day that I had completed in under 30 minutes. I had no intentions of it going anywhere, besides being posted for my own amusement. Soon friends of mine started telling me how much they enjoyed my Daily Doodles, and the positive reinforcement from their enjoyment and my own inspired me to keep going. Soon Daily Doodles became Two-Day Doodles, then Three-Day Doodles, and so forth. I began to develop my style, and still am. That's when a band called Daniel and the Lion approached me about doing their album cover in November of last year. Everything changed after that.

How did you come up with the idea for your efforts?
Freelance illustration happened to me. All it took was for one person to hire me for a job, and since then, I've had really awesome opportunities pop out of the wood work. I still don't know what all of this means, but I love it and I take each day as it comes. I hope to continue to grow my freelance work and eventually fully understand what I want out of this myself.

What local resources did you take advantage of and how did they help?
As far as local resources are concerned, I've had major support from Southpaw. They are a badass local print shop that did an amazing job doing printed flyers and screen prints of some of my personal work. I am always networking and reaching out to the community. I know there are probably so many amazing resources out there, but I don't know where to start.
What’s next for you and your company?
The next step for me is more freelance projects, more involvement with the local art community, and some more shows. I have a show at the end of April in Indianapolis where my art will be featured alongside experimental film artists and garage punk bands. I just had a show in the basement of a home in West End that featured local bands.

I like more unconventional spaces for art, and I love the music industry as the platform for my art. I'd like to continue doing more album art, more T-shirt designs and poster designs. I've got a lot ahead of me, and a lot to learn, but since I've started developing my illustrations, it's the only thing that makes sense. 

Interview by Sean Peters