Rita Lichtwardt grew up in Burbank, CA close to her mother’s animation desk. From an early age she has been playing around with art and sculpture. Her childhood was deeply influenced by comics, where she copied panels and drew lots of X-men characters. As a teen she dove deeper into art and character design, where she developed a collection of original characters and won a scholarship to Otis College of Art and Design.
At Otis, she dove deep into anatomy, character design and storyboarding. After Otis Rita started working as a storyboard artist at an agency for commercials, then at Electronic Arts. From there Rita worked in feature animation doing storyboards for Illumination Entertainment on the animated film “Despicable Me” and other animated projects. Then freelanced doing illustration for Disney Consumer Products and Mattel Inc.
Rita worked as an art director and illustrator for Mattel Inc. on Barbie and other toy brands for 5 years. Rita recently redesigned the Barbie illustration style for Consumer Products and Packaging. In late 2016 she redesigned the Girls brand My Little Pony (to be released Spring 2018) and is working on an upcoming Disney Princess brand update for Hasbro and graphic comic art. (To be released in mid 2018)