New Faces in VCD

With the start of the school year, we welcome new faculty to the School of Visual Communication. Here is one new face students will be seeing around the building and one adjunct joining us full time.

Hadi Rahmati – Assistant Professor in Illustration

Joining us from BEPS International School in Belgium where he taught design courses for secondary students, Hadi Rahmati is our new Assistant Professor teaching courses in illustration. Prior to his time in Belgium, Professor Rahmati taught for 10 years at Soore Art University of Tehran and Semnan University in Iran where he lived for 40 years.

Interested in art since his childhood, it was the formative influence of his older brother Jamal Rahmati, an editorial illustrator who awaked 15-year-old Hadi to the potential of editorial illustration to critique society, politics and governments. Influenced by Ralph Steadman and Brad Holland, Professor Rahmati loves to draw and experiment with new media to discover its possibilities. He also enjoys studying the aspects of all visual art, whether that’s a film, a documentary or the photography of Garry Winogrand or Henri Cartier-Bresson.

When asked what brought him to Kent State, he had this to say: “For a long time, I had been looking for a program that has this contextual approach towards illustration. I found the course structure at VCD so progressive especially how they are looking to integrate this contextual approach of illustration into their program. This is the place that I can help the students with a broad and contextual understanding that I have from illustration, ranging from animation preproduction to children’s picture books and editorial illustration. I also liked the diversity of the approaches of the instructors in the program which can provide students with lots of possibilities to find their own ways in the industry.”

David Wilson – Assistant Professor in Illustration

Returning students may recognize Assistant Professor David Wilson from previous semesters when he was part of the adjunct faculty and taught illustration and design courses.

The Brimfield native has deep Kent (and Kent State connections) going back three generations and including his in-laws. He is also a graduate of Kent State and worked at the Ice Arena during his undergraduate years. 

Drawing comic book characters from a young age, Professor Wilson never considered illustration as a potential career until he was introduced to VCD in his sophomore year. Here, the influence of Professor Jerry Kalback made him reconsider illustration as something he might want to pursue professionally. 

Professor Wilson has found that that advice has paid off. The time he spends not teaching is spent working on his creative work/endeavors. He is the creative director for Belt Publishing doing book covers, illustrating for companies like The Boston Globe, Dartmouth Magazine and Forbes as well as working on his own content — graphic novels and films. When he’s not doing creative work or teaching, Professor Wilson enjoys getting into nature, skateboarding, playing drums and fishing. 

A native of the Midwest, Professor Wilson finds much to admire in the work of Matt Bollinger, another long-time Midwest resident whose mood, colors and general content speak to how he sees the Midwest and how one can find beauty in things that might be considered mundane.

Asked to reflect on his relationship with Kent State University, Professor Wilson had this to say: “As a student, it was kind of my only option (and I'm glad it was! I loved my time as a KSU student). As a professor, knowing the community and the education I got from the VCD program, I really wanted to be here to honor the same education I got, but also push forward and create the same opportunities for a new group of students, as well as be a part of the VCD community.”

You can see samples of Professor Wilson’s comics, book covers, illustrations, short films and more at his website: You can also find links there to purchase a copy of Play Like a Girl, a graphic novel written by David's wife Misty Wilson (who is also a Kent State grad) and illustrated by Professor Wilson.

POSTED: Friday, September 8, 2023 09:40 AM
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2023 11:11 AM