Larissa Marantz is the author of Singin' the Blues also Orange County artist and children’s book illustrator Larissa Marantz created her first painting as part of a nationwide competitive call to artists for art inspired by then Presidential candidate Barack Obama. After placing as a finalist in the top 30 out of over 1200 entries, she was invited to create a new painting specifically for the Manifest Hope: DC Gallery during the week of the inauguration of Barack Obama. Marantz was one of 200 visual artists nationwide selected to participate in the exhibition.

Although her recent painting career began with a recreation of the Presidents image, she developed her skills through a number of mural commissions in homes and businesses all over Orange and Los Angeles counties. Her Bachelor of Fine Arts was received at California State University, Fullerton.

A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Larissa Marantz is recognized for her illustrations in several children’s books, including the Nickelodeon Rugrats series. Marantz began her professional career as an animation artist with Klasky Csupo Studios working as a Character Designer and continued her interests in animation while teaching at the Animation Academy in Burbank. She currently teaches in the Animation Department at Laguna College of Art and Design and plans to direct an art program for children during the summer months at the college campus. She formed her own art school, OC Art Studios, to supplement the non-existent art education in elementary schools. Her program reaches over 200 students at more than 12 schools in the Orange County area. She has taught classes for children over the last six years. Her latest project is a family collaboration called The Fuzz Budz: a series of characters created by her nine year old daughter with poems written by her husband and illustrations for the children’s book created by Marantz.

As for her fine art, Larissa’s paintings focus on bringing awareness to social and political issues through her illustrative and bold color styling. Her messages read as simply and clearly as her children’s book illustrations do. She strives to stimulate thought, conversation and enlightenment regarding the progressive ideals she so firmly believes.