Upstar Illustrator - Rabbit Catrina's Story

Updated: Oct 17


Last spring Andytown Coffee Roasters (currently occupying the original location of our youth center!) engaged SYS Upstar Records intern, Rabbit Catrina "aka RC," to design its limited edition camp mug. The new mugs have just arrived and are now available for purchase. Andytown is also generously donating a portion of the mug's sales to a local organization that directly supports BIPOC folks. Thanks, Andytown!


Reprinted with Permission (and thanks!) from Andytown Coffee Roasters:

Rabbit Catrina aka "RC" was born and raised in San Francisco. Her art embraces the beauty in the darkness. She's inspired by Tim Burton and she loves flowers. RC works as an illustrator at Upstar Records, a project of Sunset Youth Services, and is currently writing and illustrating a story about the struggles and misconceptions related to depression and anxiety. You can reach her for art inquiries or more ways to support her in the future at rabbitcatrinaart@gmail.com.


Corey Turner: How did you get involved with Sunset Youth Services?

Rabbit Catrina: I learned about Sunset Youth Services through a friend a few years ago, and during the pandemic, I started working with Upstar Records doing digital drawing and animation. I come to Sunset Youth Services because of the people. People are nice to me. They care about me and they actually listen to me. They’re always available to listen.


How long have you been drawing?

I’ve loved drawing since as far back as I can remember. It’s one thing I am always comfortable doing. I feel like I can express myself in illustrations more easily than I can with words.


What do you hope to build with your art?

I hope to get better and become a professional artist and animator someday. I'd like to learn how to sculpt too.


What would you be doing if you weren’t making art?

I'm not sure exactly what else I'd do because I've been drawing my whole life, for as long as I can remember. Perhaps I would have learned how to bake desserts. Baking always seemed to interest me.


What has it been like growing up as an artist in San Francisco?

It’s been pretty normal, up until I got the opportunity to make the mug for Andytown. I was so happy and relieved that the people from Andytown liked what I sketched. (I've never been very confident with my art) I also wanted to thank Sunset Youth Services for supporting me while I was stressing myself out while making my art. I can't thank them enough.


What do you most like to draw and why?

I really like skeletons and flowers. It represents my spooky side. It may seem morbid but it’s also natural. We all have skeletons! In my culture, death is not the end, it’s only the beginning. In history, during the plagues that killed lots of people, cathedrals would be covered in skeletons, which showed public display of our mortality. It’s not sugar coating the idea of death. It’s accepting and comforting.


Do you typically plan what you're going to work on or like to figure it out in the moment? What does that process look like for you?

It just happens naturally. Ideas and creativity just come to me, sometimes because I've read something or seen something inspiring. I look at what other artists are doing. I don’t compare myself to any other artists, because when you start comparing yourself to others' success, you’ll start feeling bad about yourself. You’ll start to spiral downward. I’ve learned to be happy with what I have. When I see other artists draw, I get inspired and give more effort to my work. I want to work harder to be better. I’m not going to be self-loathing, I’m just embracing my own style. I won’t pretend to be someone else or have someone’s style. You’ll figure out your own style at some point, and it’s rewarding when you do.


Jarabe Camp Mug

Artist’s note on this piece: Jarabe is a Spanish word meaning syrup, and the deer in the image is undead, so it can't shed velvet. The flowers have nectar, and the antlers are creating a syrup that represents growth.


Purchase your mug here and support the local BIPOC community.