Known for her vivid, whimsical style, Cindy Salans Rosenheim has one goal every time she begins a project. “I want my work to feel alive,” she says. “Even when I decide it’s finished, it should still feel vital and dynamic.”

Illustration of San Francisco and Marin, CA biking map, from Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim Hand Lettering and illustration for San Francisco Ferry Building Bocce, from illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim

That sense of movement shows up consistently in Cindy’s work, from text book and advertising illustrations to larger-than-life chalkboard installations, which, fittingly, she often creates live, in front of an audience.

Hand lettering and illustration for a bike store wall, from Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim Photo of Cindy Salans Rosenheim on a ladder working on a large illustration on chalkboard

“It can be hard for artists to loosen up while coming up with ideas,” she says, “but I think it’s equally important to stay loose at the end. I want things to feel finished, but to stay as natural and free as possible. It feels better, and it looks better.”

Illustration of a woman with oversized hair in a suit, from Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim

Cindy got her start just out of college, when a local interior designer liked her style (and price) and hired her for some wall murals in a Houston hotel. With no training or experience, Cindy pulled it off, and built a portfolio from the project that landed her a job at Hallmark Cards.

Illustration of real people turned into fashion models for Ferragamo, from Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim Illustration of real people turned into fashion models for Ferragamo, from Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim

There, Cindy got a crash course in commercial art and the chance to refine her visual point of view. After a few years she struck out on her own, building a robust illustration practice that’s taken her from local farmers’ markets to the front windows of Ferragamo, illustrating everything from art books to birthday cakes.

Illustration of a carrot on a chalkboard background, from Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim Illustration of fava beans in a colander, from Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim

Now Cindy works with top tier clients like Time-Life, American Girl, Random House Publishing, Hermès, Hasbro and California Magazine. “From the beginning of my commercial career I learned how to bring my own vision, but be able to take direction and collaborate,” she says. “I still think that’s really important to this day.”

Illustration of an Italian village on a hill , from Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim Illustrated and hand-lettered map of Venice, from from Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim

Away from her pens and paper, Cindy is also a successful commercial actor. Still, she occasionally finds time to run off to Italy to recharge, get inspired, and eat as much pasta as she possibly can.

Illustration of restaurant and market, Boulette’s Larder, from Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim Illustration and hand lettering, “Lemon Gelato and Figs”, from Illustrator Cindy Salans Rosenheim

You can see more of Cindy’s vibrant advertising and editorial portfolio here.