Monday, October 28, 2013

Rachel Gresham

How is it that you came to be an illustrator? 
I have always been an artist, although I haven't always called myself one.  Two years ago, out of frustration from not having enough space for my studio work, I took a graphic design class at a local art school.  I quickly became obsessed with making patterns, and worked on them every night until I started getting work as a freelance surface pattern designer. 

Did you go to art school?
I went to Middle TN State University & majored in fine arts with an emphasis in Painting & Printmaking.  At the time, I never took a graphic design course because I was too stubborn to admit I may need it.  I have been playing catch up for the past two years, when I finally decided to take one of those classes.
Were there 1 or more individuals that were an influence in your becoming an illustrator? 
Oh there are so many! My parents are both artistic (and my mom is a retired art teacher), and many of their friends are artists.  Having that supportive community was a huge influence on me.  Seeing people make their life about their art made a big impression on me. 
What inspires you now? 
I am inspired now by going to fabric stores, hiking, looking through photo albums, flower gardens, and by old illustrations, among many other things.  I recently found my grandfather's childhood sketchbook and it was like finding gold.  When I teach art to kids, I love that their work is so spontaneous and doesn't take itself too seriously. I try to keep this tucked into my art as well.

Is there anything you would like to share regarding your technique or style of work?
I am at heart a lover of's what drives my work.  So whatever I'm working in, whether paint or digital, the color is what does it for me. I normally take doodles from my sketchbook and then scan them in, and rework things in Illustrator.  I love the combination of hand and digital.  
What types of markets do you do illustration for? 
I design mostly for paper, juvenile, and home products. 
Are there links to your images you would like to share? 
Do you do other things regarding art like teaching, or Classroom visits?  
I was an art teacher for several years and still teach some summer classes, which is super fun!  My favorite age to teach is Elementary.
Do you currently have product with your images on the market? books, gift or home products? 
 I have photography backdrops with my juvenile patterns, as well as iPad and Kindle cases.  My scrapbook collection "Very Merry" is coming out this month through the new company Hazel & Ruby.  I am currently working on projects for baby textiles and bolt fabric, which will all be out in 2014.  All very exciting to me!
What is the thing you love best about what you do?
I am able to create, which is just the very best there is.  I am also very grateful to have such flexibility, which allows me to be home with my son a lot.  

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