Ritva first studied art at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. In Sydney, she studied art at the Paddington Art School and at the Julian Ashton School of Fine Arts. Today Ritva is a successful fine artist. She has participated in a number of group exhibitions in Australia, and her first solo exhibition was held in Gallery Lane, Leura, in 2003. The exhibition was a sell-out, and the demand for her work has grown ever since. She is currently represented by Gallery on Sturt, Ballarat, and Watling Galleries, Gold Coast. Her work features in several private collections in Australia and overseas.
Rita most recently beautifully illustrated a magnificently designed edition of Oscar Wilde's story The Selfish Giant (Allen & Unwin, 2012). Her first children's book, 101 Excuses for Not Doing Homework by Carly Little (Scholastic), appeared in 1990 and it became a great success. It has been reprinted several times, and is still in print. Other books she has illustrated include The Cat's Handbook by Sam Carey (Scholastic, 1991), Midge, Mum and the Neighbours by Phil Cummings (Random House, 1992), several titles for Blake Education, Poppy's Path by Wendy Orr (Koala Books, 2001), Fantastic and Fabulous by Penny Hall (Koala Books, 2001), Pequeño Cuento de Horror y Otros Relatos by Alberto Forcada (CIDCLI, Mexico, 2004) and the Lost Island series (33 titles) by Lisa Thompson (Blake Publishing, 2008). Her illustrations have also appeared regularly in magazines, book covers, and advertising posters and billboards. As a commercial illustrator her clients have included Darrell Lea, the Sydney Morning Herald, Women's Weekly, and other large corporations.
Ritva is also an accomplished school performer. She holds art workshops, and gives talks about art and what is involved in being a professional artist/illustrator. Since 1995 she has toured her school programmes throughout Australia to annual audiences of over 20,000 students. In 1999 and 2005 her show won a Frater Award for Excellence in School performances from the NSW State Department of Education and Training.
Ritva holds a BA in Philosophy from Macquarie University, Sydney, and studied Urban Design at Sydney University. She has a special interest in Philosophy for Children.
See her website at www.ritvavoutila.com.