Talented illustrator and surface pattern designer Emily Dumas is the most recent addition to the Painted Planet family, having signed on to the team just last month. Emily's experience as an advertising art director and her passion for illustration combine to create bright, cheerful and humorous designs, available for a variety of products including greeting cards, apparel, tabletop, bedding, bath, stationery, home decor and more.
I’ve been drawn to creating since I was very young. Art was always my favorite subject. I had a love of illustrated movies and characters, I was always using them for drawing reference. I naturally gravitate towards creating playful characters, from all my practice as a child.
What do you draw inspiration from? Which artists inspire you?
The people around me, everyday conversations, my favorite things and music. Charley Harper is definitely a big inspiration, I just fall in love with those clean lines. Eric Carle, the children’s book illustrator, also has these wonderfully simple shapes with this beautiful balance of texture. Shepard Fairey (OBEY) is another influence. I come from a design and branding background and he does this extremely well. I admire his intricate patterns but simple color palette.
Do you have an art education or are you a self-taught?
I have a BA in Graphic Design but the transition to illustration was self-driven. Generally all the principles of art are the same, so it seemed like an easy transition. Consistency and drawing every day were key in my development as an illustrator.
How would you describe your signature style?
Color is the main inspiration behind my illustrations. Words others use to describe my work are charming, cute, clean, simple and fun. I’d say those are all accurate.
All my illustrations are created digitally, so the computer is my medium. I do sketch every design in pencil loosely. Then I refine my sketch with a fine tip Sharpie. I am addicted to those! But my iMac is of course my favorite thing.
Describe the most difficult part of your process.
All my designs start with a loose sketch. The only goal I’m trying to achieve there is to get an idea of the shapes I’ll need to create once I’m in Adobe Illustrator. Many of my illustrations contain multiple smaller illustrations. Fitting them together can be a process. The placement, flow of color and shapes all need to fit together like the perfect puzzle.
Who’s your go-to person for providing honest feedback on your work?
I have a solid group of artist friends who give me feedback. And none of them are digital artists. They can look at my work through the simple foundations of art (color, composition, hierarchy). They’ve encountered countless criticism and praise so I value their opinions greatly.
Do you work in silence or with music? If music, what kind?
With music! Always! People are surprised to know that I’m a HUGE hip hop fan, so usually that’s my number one choice. I have a bold personality, so I feel like hip hop relates to me. It usually has heavy bass, quick lyrics and a good beat. It can keep me going throughout the day.
I illustrated a children’s book last year with an old co-worker. He and his daughter wrote it together years ago. They had always wanted their story to come to life. It was very personal to them, so I was honored to be part of it. It was also the first time I’d done a book so the challenge really drove me.
What are your goals for the future?
I have a huge interest in home décor, so I’d love to create a kitchen or bedding collection. I want to continue to exhibit my work in new cities and speak at a conference.
What is your dream project?
Vans sneakers. They’re my signature footwear.
What is your favorite color?
What are your hobbies (besides art)?
Attending concerts, indoor cycling, traveling, thrift shopping and if wine is a hobby, then that too.