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Stephanie Hill-Ross

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All photographs by the artist


ARTISTS ON THE CUTTING EDGE: How did you come to art?

STEPHANIE HR: I have been drawing since I was a small child. I had a cousin who was in school to be a "commercial artist" back in the day and I would sit with him as he worked on projects and then he started giving me drawing lessons. Then I started drawing on the back staircase walls of my parents' house to get out of doing housework, which my mother stopped me 'immediately and gave me some paper and crayons and I have not stopped since.


AOTCE: How long have you been in the arts?

STEPHANIE HR: Since elementary school days. When I was in Junior High, my art teacher reached out to my parents, and they got me into Cass Tech Art Department and from there I was offered a scholarship to Parsons School of Design (Thank you Dr. Cledie Taylor!). My parents said no & that I was going to Wayne State, so even while at Wayne State, I kept up my artistic skills.


AOTCE: Who were your biggest supporters?


STEPHANIE HR: Dr. Cledie Taylor, my Cass Tech Fashion teacher, Dr. Phyllis Ashinger, my Wayne State fashion professor, Shirley Woodson, Pres. NCA, Michigan Chapter, and my late Aunt Rose & Uncle Lee Mason-my heroes; all saw something special in me and my creative talents. I am very blessed to have them in my corner.


AOTCE: Have you ever taught art?

STEPHANIE HR: Yes, I taught calligraphy, caricature, and fashion illustration courses at Michael's which I enjoyed while working a regular 40 hour a week job. I already had my bachelor’s in liberal arts at the time but was not state accredited to teach in the schools, so I went the "Retail Route" to get my art across to the public.


AOTCE: How would you describe your work? What category would the historians put your art in?


STEPHANIE HR: I would say, Eclectic figurative with a twist of digital-I enjoy illustrating different things, shapes, objects, people, animals whatever comes to my mind or spirit. I even do cartooning!! I would hope that the historians would put me into the diversity section-sort of a "Jill of all trades".


AOTCE: Are you a full-time artist? If not, what else do you do?

STEPHANIE HR: At this time no, it's frustrating because I work a 40+regular job in insurance to pay bills and fund my artistic endeavors-I call it my “Retirement Project" so that I can do this full time once retirement comes. Over the years, I have been learning how to run my art career as a business, which is an ongoing project for me. Thank God for social media-it enables me to virtually "Hang out" with my creative friends in the meantime.


AOTCE: What is your medium of choice?



AOTCE: Do you have a studio or is your studio at home?


STEPHANIE HR: Yes, I have a home studio in my basement and part of my home office.


AOTCE: Did you show your work during the past year?


STEPHANIE HR: Yes. At venues such as: the NCA gallery, Irwin House gallery & a live art auction with the Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan and other virtual exhibits.


AOTCE: Has your art changed over the years?


STEPHANIE HR: Yes. I am thankful for the progression. It's a continuous work in progress. Back in the mid-80's I wanted to know about digital -or computer aided art, but its knowledge base was limited-not as wide spread as it is today, but I kept searching and investigating the process and then my best friend had purchased a pc with a computer art software package on it for their son, a young budding artist, so they had me sit at the computer and it was love at first sight and since then, I've not put my stylus down. I don't see it as "cheating" as the purists would say. I see it as another skill set to enhance my art. I still work manually with the pencil, paint, crayons, ink, and paper, but c'mon now, why put all eggs in one basket?


AOTCE: Where can your work be seen?


STEPHANIE HR: I have a website: and on Facebook-producktioncentral, then I have a couple of artwear & home accessories sites:,, I'm currently working on a special Instagram site too.


AOTCE: What do you hope the viewer will come away with after viewing your work, and is that important?


STEPHANIE HR: I hope my work stimulates their thought process, entertains them, and invokes their spirit which very important to me. If I can make someone feel good or help them think about something in a different view, then I know my job is done.


AOTCE: Who is your favorite artist or influencer?


STEPHANIE HR: I have many including-Bisa Butler, Romaine Bearden, Salvador Dali, Kehinde Wiley....and so many out there!


AOTCE: Do you mentor or teach today?


STEPHANIE HR: I always mentor.  You've got to give back and share knowledge, especially with our younger people coming into their own creative worlds- Teaching, that's what I liked to do without all the politics involved. I feel that you should not need a certificate to teach someone artistic skills.

To me, teaching art is something you do from your heart and share your experiences to enhance someone else hoping they pay it forward (each one-teach one).


AOTCE: What words of wisdom would you like to leave our readers?


STEPHANIE HR: Go out to the museums, gallery exhibits, join local art groups- (I'm a member of NCA), see, get inspired and make your own art.  It reduces stress, depression, anxiety-and who knows it may be a future cure for Alzheimer's-that's why there's art therapists! -be your own therapist!

Be fearless-make art your own and stand by your work as if they are your "children".


AOTCE: Thank you for speaking to us about your art.


STEPHANIE HR: You're welcome. I appreciate you interviewing me today.

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