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Judith Breidenstine studied online with IDI towards a BA (Hons) Illustration degree. She took some stories from her life and used it as inspiration for some her illustrations.

Judith’s Design Work

“I am an American, born and raised in Mexico, and have lived and worked in several countries in Latin America and Europe. Immersing myself in these communities and cultures both broadened and deepened my perspective on the unique characteristics of each people, while also reinforcing my Mexican heritage. My illustrations reflect the diverse life that I have lived.

“I have always enjoyed the process of creating images, as the conversations surrounding them are endless. Through illustrations that convey narratives and evoke emotions, I seek to explore societies and participate in cross-cultural studies that give us a greater appreciation and respect for others. More specifically, my passion for the illustration of children’s picture books emanates from a desire to make a difference.

“I am most thankful for the opportunity given by IDI to take part in such a gratifying and empowering experience.”

Interview Transcript

Where have you come from to be here today?

We currently live in Brussel, in Belgium. I’m Mexican-American, so our home is back in the states.

What bring you to the Graduation Ceremony today?

Studying with IDI was very important for me because it was a career that I decided on when I was already mature and I had already kind of solved my life so I wanted to study what I always wanted to study which was Illustration. It was really exciting for me to close this little phase in my life with attending the ceremony, I couldn’t have missed it.

What made you choose to study online with IDI?

As I mentioned before, because of my husband’s work we move around the world every two, three years. He’s with the Foreign Service. So it was a very good option because I could study online and I could not even remember how I came across IDI, I think it was because of the reviews that other people had done. Once I entered I was so well take care of by everybody from the very beginning when I sent an email to ask questions about the programme that I just felt embraced and it was the right choice for me.

What were the highlights of your studies with IDI?

It’s hard to nail it down but as I mentioned I always felt that I had somebody to help me on the other side of the website. The people in the programme, the tutors, they were excellent and they were so patient throughout the process. I really sometimes I felt embarrassed to even go into the email to write them a message because it just seemed like I was so completely off and they were so kind and patient in guiding me back into the where I should be that I will always remember the patience they had, the care that they had, during my studies.

Were there any struggles along the way?

The first course that I took, I did not get a good grade. I got a very low grade and I was very afraid that it was not for me and I actually thought about stopping because it just seemed like I didn’t have what I needed to continue. I wrote to my tutor and I said I should not be taking this spot, somebody else may take a better position than me, and he was so encouraging in coming back and trying and kind of highlighted what the process would be.

How have you developed as an illustrator during your studies?

I had no idea how to do illustration even when I was an artist so it completely changed and informed. It’s really hard for me to nail down how it happened but just suddenly things just started to make sense, and it was like putting a puzzle together, all the knowledge.

Were they any projects that stood out as a personal favourite?

At the end I decided to do for the last project of school, to begin a work that I wanted to continue after I finished school which is a book that is called The Mexico in Me, and it narrates the story of this kid whose parents are Mexican but he was born and raised in the states and he has this re-encounter with the culture of his parents, which is my story, or the story of my kids.

So, what’s next?

I will finish the book and I want to work on another project but I also want to return to do a Master’s in Illustration.

What advice would you give to any new students studying with IDI?

My only advice would be that they get full appreciation of the opportunity to study and that they give it all they have and they will see the results.