How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style and bohemian, vibrant, and worldly. I gather inspiration from so many different sources, such as nature, other cultures, and architecture. I have a very real respect for any artists who can create products with a minimal style; my brain just doesn’t seem to work that way.
Are there any artists / designers that you particularly look up to?
Some of my favorite artists and designers are: Justina Blakeney (interior designer), Leela Hoehn Robinson of Native Bear (artist and illustrator), Lisa Congdon (artist and illustrator), and Emily Louise Howard of The Diggingest Girl (printmaker). They each have their own totally different vibe going on, but I am always inspired by the work they create.
What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
It actually took me a long time to figure out what my style even was. I knew I loved nature and geometric patterns, but it was a long process to figure out how to combine the two. I think it can be really difficult to stand out and create unique work with all of the social media around us. But I have learned how to gather inspiration from all different places, and mix it up just right in my head, like a recipe that has been perfected over the years.
One of the best compliments I’ve received was, “You have such a distinctive style.” Even if that style is not for everyone, I felt great that my work was becoming recognizable. I was so worried starting out, because I create art prints, posters, greeting cards, towels, aprons, pillows, and more, that it was not cohesive. But the first big art fair I did a few years back, I set up my tent and products, and somehow all of my color choices and patterns all translated into a collection.
What sort of things inspire you? Where do you look for inspiration?
My biggest source of inspiration is nature. I seek it out whenever I possibly can, and I am forever amazed by the tiny, intricate parts of each plant. Everything is organized just the way it should be, and it grows and blooms in such a beautiful, organic but also geometric, way. I am also hugely inspired by the cultures of the world, both ancient and modern. I think each one is fascinating in a different way, and I always like to imagine what it would be like to live there/then. To have my daily walk to work be surrounded by vibrant, patterned tiles, or to worship each week in a church filled with artwork from centuries ago. There is so much history in the smallest textile or painting, whether it was created hundreds of years ago, or yesterday.
When do you feel the most creative?
I definitely feel most creative in the morning, and when the sun is shining. I have so much more energy when it is the start of a brand new day, and I love how the light makes my studio look. I try to get as much done before noon as possible, which is when I start to slow down and get hungry! Summer is my most productive season.
What is your creative process like?
I generally start with a picture, whether from a book or from something online. I am careful to never copy anything, even if it was made thousands of years ago, but I love to have a starting point and some inspiration. I have never been good at doing things freehand (although maybe if I practiced I might get better :) ), so I always sketch everything out before I start painting or carving. From there, I will start painting the different parts of a piece, or start carving a new block to use on textiles. There is, more often than not, more than one attempt, especially if I don’t have a completely concrete idea in my head of what I’d like the finished product to be. But I typically am able to get it down after a couple tries. If I am working on a painting, I will usually print out some photos that I took as inspiration, and have them nearby.
What's the coolest artistic tip you've ever received?
Don’t give in to trends. It’s something I have struggled with since I was a kid, wanting to do what everyone else was doing. I got away from that as far as my own personal style goes, but it’s still occasionally in the back of my head when I am creating. It seems, for me, to be an easy way out if I am lacking inspiration, to tell myself, “This is what is popular right now, and people might not be interested if you don’t make something like that!” But I try to remind myself that trends will die out in a year or two, and I need to be creating what is in my brain, not what is popular at the moment.
Where can we learn more about you?
I try to share almost every day on Instagram, and while it definitely is styled, I always try to share pieces of my process and inspiration, or videos of me working. And, of course, the occasional picture of my adorable dog :)