Meet HONOLULU Magazine’s April 2022 Cover Artist, Margaret Rice
We spoke with the talented illustrator about her process.
She’s a maternity nurse by day, but at night and on the weekends, she’s the illustrator behind those gorgeous, strong, lounging women gracing prints, sarongs and bucket hats—and our magazine cover. With everything the 34-year-old Kailua local has going on, Margaret Rice made time to talk with us about her process, future projects and the power of women.
HONOLULU Magazine: When were you introduced to art?
Margaret Rice: I never went to art school. I attended Maryknoll, then San Diego State University and UH Mānoa for nursing. But art surrounded me when I was growing up. My mother and her family are watercolor artists, and my dad’s side are carpenters, graphic designers and potters.
HM: How would you describe your art?
MR: Feminine. Soft tones and curves. I really do seem to stick to one color palette. Even my friends or people I know will be like, “That’s a very Margaret Rice color theme.”
HM: Where do you draw inspiration from?
MR: Inspiration for me is trying to capture a woman in her utmost time of relaxation, when she is in that moment of everyday life and nowhere else. Just simply there. Sometimes I’ll just see a beautiful lady somewhere, then my mind just starts running with an idea.
HM: When that inspiration hits, what’s the next step?
MR: It all depends. When I hit the drawing board hard, I can usually nail down a drawing in a day. But I can work on a project for days and it never comes together. Those land in the throwaway pile—some do get second chances, though.
HM: Who do you look up to as an artist?
MR: My all-time favorites are Paul Gauguin, Pegge Hopper and Henri Matisse. I can’t resist the impressionist daydream painters.
HM: We’re sure your artwork is out there inspiring others. Will we see more forms of it this year?
MR: Oh boy! I’ve dreamed about creating a small run of textiles and a clothing collection. I’ve literally talked about this since I was a kid drawing fashion sketches. I haven’t done it yet, mostly out of fear.
HM: Maybe you need a feel-good nudge. What’s the best advice you’ve gotten as an artist?
MR: When I first started to post my art, a friend told me, “OK, see, people really like it. You need to take the next step and make it available for people to have in their homes.” Maybe I’ll take that advice again, and 2022 will be the year to try new things.
HM: Great advice for all of us. Outside of your art, what’s one thing people might not know about you?
MR: My secret talent is belching. People around me will ask me, “Was that you?” Hahahaha.
HM: That’s hilarious, we wouldn’t expect that from you either. Lastly, you’ve collaborated with women on various projects, such as the stunning leather collaboration you did with Taira Barron Cran from Salty Western. How was that?
MR: I love it. Ideas blossom easily. The environment is supportive, and all thoughts are encouraged and welcomed. Even at the hospital, I’m seeing more women resident OB-GYN doctors—and the doctors who are retiring are mostly male. I’m surrounded and inspired by amazing women every day, it’s awesome.