Madeleine Maillette

Every year, the Marian Locks Senior Award is given to a graduating senior at Moore College of Art & Design, providing them with an opportunity to jumpstart their career. The Locks Family Foundation has endowed the Marian Locks Award, which is granted competitively, to help Moore graduates make the transition from undergraduate education to a creative career. 

Hear about Madeleine Maillette’s plans for the monetary gift below.

My name is Madeleine Maillette, but professionally I go by Maddy Ruth. I’m an Illustration major from New Hampshire.

My senior thesis is a 32-page, fully illustrated children’s book called Prehistoric Animals That You Know Nothing About! As the title says, it features many unique extinct animals. My book was made for kids who know absolutely everything about their favorite dinosaurs and wish to learn even more, along with adults who want to learn about some cool scientific paleontology discoveries. The book was illustrated using soft pastels and the digital program Procreate. Currently, my project is self-published and printed, but may be available from an indie publisher soon (wink). 

Honestly, I’m still a little in shock [to be the recipient of the Marian Locks Senior Award]. I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress over the years, both as an artist and a person, but receiving this award really solidified the growth I’ve made. 

It’s a huge relief to receive the award, considering it will help me kick start my career. I plan to move across the country to Washington, where I will pursue my natural history and science-led artistic career. I also plan to use the award funds to join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as the Paleontological Society, to help me find resources and reach out to people I’d love to work with. I’m even more excited to go on a dinosaur dig in Montana in 2024, where I’ll help excavate dinosaurs like allosaurus and stegosaurus, along with all the critters that lived amongst them. 

I’m looking forward to making professional connections and getting to know artists who’ve been in the field longer than I have. I also can’t wait to see how my art develops further. Moore has helped me learn and improve my fundamentals, and now I feel like I have the tools to experiment and to create art even more uniquely my own. Along with that, I’m looking forward to searching for an agent, so I can share the stories I wish to tell on a larger scale. 

I have two main pieces of advice for future Moore students:

First, school is meant for experimenting. Get wacky with your art. Not every piece will be amazing, but those subpar experimental pieces will be the ones that lead you forward into creating something that is really you. With art, there’s no real thing as failure, just opportunities to learn and grow. 

Second, have a plan but know when to pivot. Don’t be afraid to go, “this fundamentally isn’t working,” and remix your plan. Talk to your teachers and peers if you find yourself in this spot. They’ll be helpful, I promise.

Headshot by Dave Rizzio. Artwork by Maddy Ruth.