“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”
The sights and sounds of the holiday season often bring back memories of simpler times and carefree childhoods, leaving us longing for Christmas past. And while it's important to make an effort to stay mindful and present during the holidays, a little nostalgic reminiscence can help remind us of how rich and fruitful our lives have been, and of all the meaningful relationships we've made along the way. This week, set aside some time for activities that remind you of holidays of the past; watch a favorite Christmas movie, take a sleigh ride through the snow, bake your grandmother's famous sugar cookies. Whatever the activity, cherish the memory attached to it and embrace the spirit of childhood. Happy Holidays!
What is your earliest memory of being inspired to create art?
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.
What medium(s) do you enjoy working with?
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.
Is there a piece or project that you are especially proud of? Why?
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.
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