Some cool new developments in the works.
Wolfgang Laib’s Pollen from Hazelnut at MoMA
“Pollen is the potential beginning of the life of the plant. It is as simple, as beautiful, and as complex as this. And of course it has so many meanings. I think everybody who lives knows that pollen is important.”
I have been completely behind on keeping up with this blog, business trips, hurricanes and holidays have gotten in the way, however I think I’m getting up to speed. And, even worse, I’ve been sitting with some great content that I have been dying to share. My friend Paula, whom I work with on a daily basis, can now add ‘childrens story book illustrator’ to list of incredible talents. We all have favorite books from our childhoods and I know Paula’s book will enchant many little minds to come. I am wildly proud of this achievement and look forward to the next book! I interviewed her from my ‘friends in fashion’ segment of the blog and am thrilled with the content. As you can see below, fashion doesn’t always have to mean apparel and accessories, it spans across genres and mediums – influencing and inspiring at every turn. Enjoy!! x
Tell me a little about your design background? Your bio?
I studied art and fashion design at Syracuse University. When I first moved to NY I was a clothing designer, but eventually my love for drawing patterns lured me over to textile design. The last few years I have been juggling a full-time day job in fashion and illustrating children’s books in the wee hours of the night.
How did you get started in illustration?
Working in fashion has been incredible for me, but it never quite satisfied that deeper calling. For years I took classes in everything from 3D animation to book arts, glassblowing to shoe making. So many passions, so little time! But when my friend Erin Frankel asked if I would be interested in illustrating Weird!, I knew that was it. Luisa’s story really resonated with me and I had to bring her to life.
Can you tell me a little about your book series?
Weird!, Dare!, and Tough! are part of the Weird Series, true-to-life stories told from all perspectives: the target, the bystander, and the child doing the bullying. The stories are about three third-graders: Luisa, Jayla, and Sam.
Who is your target audience?
Our audience is children ages five and up, parents, teachers, and caregivers who want to create a culture of kindness and put an end to bullying.
Where do you sell?
The books are available at your local bookstore (if you don’t see them, ask!) or online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly through Free Spirit Publishing. You can visit us at http://www.theweirdseries.com.
Have you always wanted to create children’s books?
When I was small I dreamed of becoming the artist that painted the M on M&M’s. But children’s books intrigued me from the moment I read Pippi Longstocking.
What do you hope to achieve with these books?
My wish is to spread love and peace and to reach all of the children in the world who are feeling alone.
What is the most challenging element to being an illustrator?
Juggling a job in fashion and the publishing house was an extremely challenging time for me. Outside of sleeping, the work never ceased. It took every ounce of my being to stay devoted to our project. Learning how to fully surrender was the most challenging.
What is the most rewarding element of being an illustrator?
Learning how to surrender! Letting go of “time” and learning to take criticism in stride while turning it into a positive were very valuable lessons. And the love and reactions I have received from the children in my life has nearly made my heart explode with joy. The day I hear a child say that the books really helped them through a tough time will be my most rewarding day.
Where do you find inspiration?
Wandering around a foreign city gives me a high and a spark. At home I find inspiration in bookstores, vintage boutiques, and galleries . . . but my favorite hiding place is my imagination.
Are you inspired by a particular decade or moment in time?
I often wish that I lived in Paris in the ’20s or hung out with the Surrealists in the south of France. But most often I am inspired by a fleeting glimpse of something special in the present, like an exchange on the subway or shadows on the pavement.
Do you have an absolute favorite medium to work with?
I really love plain old lead pencils and Micron pens. I colored the book series in with Crayola crayons. It made me feel like I was five again. When a medium makes me feel like a little kid, nothing beats that. I will never stop exploring and playing.
Is there an illustrator that you are inspired by?
I am completely smitten with Tony DiTerlizzi and Jon Klassen. I also love Carson Ellis, Julie Morstad, and Rebecca Dautremer, to name a few.
Does fashion influence your illustration?
Given that fashion fills my days, I would imagine that it does have an influence. I tried to keep these children more relatable and a bit more on the classic side. Of course my print and patterns always find a way of sneaking in.
What’s exciting right now in fashion?
I really love the handmade craft movement. Nothing stirs me like the love and skill that pour into handmade shoes, hand knitted scarves, or yummy felted gloves.
Which designer in the market place do you think is doing a really great job?
Writer-turned-knife-maker Joel Bukiewicz of Cut Brooklyn. The level of devotion that he brings to his craft just floors me.
Best wardrobe staple?
I have a thing for buying shoes on my travels. So when I return to the daily grind I can look down at my feet and feel transported back to a magical place.
Where do you like to vacation?
I live to explore all countries, but I am especially drawn to Europe. I am so inspired by the architecture, the history, and the storytelling. I also love hanging out in the mountains under the streaming colors of the Northern Lights.
What do you do to relax/have fun?
Yoga, taking new classes, hiking. I love sketch nights at the Society of Illustrators and listening to history podcasts. I am the quintessential nerd!
Do you have a favorite blog? Magazine?
I adore Papier Mache, an Australian children’s magazine, and Domino. For blogs, Design*Sponge, The Makers Project, and Book By Its Cover.
Merci in Paris.
Best mood booster?
Hanging out with friends, dark chocolate, dancing like I’m the only person in the world, and three-legged races (one of my hidden talents).
What would be the best piece of advice for someone looking to get started in illustration?
Draw what you love, push your imagination, don’t take shortcuts, and make room for surprises. And most of all don’t let anyone try to talk you out of it.
Round heels were part of the last collection and this season they’re back. This time, they’re higher! 4 inch heels with hand beaded embellishments. To me, they look like little sea urchins, so I’ve named them as such. I can see these shoes dancing in the streets of Rio during Carnival. The movement with each step makes these a very playful wear. They’re not for everyone. A girl who wears these shoes has a lot of confidence and won’t mind the attention she gets by standing out in the crowd.
Buy heels online in our main shop section. These are coming in 2013.