Monday, November 25, 2013

Ana Davis

How did you came to be an illustrator/artist?
After graduating with a BFA, I looked for a job using at least something of what I studied, and was hired by publishing company. I eventually became an Art Director, and then a Creative Director there. I worked with many artists and illustrators over the years. I loved working with the artists, getting to know them, learning about their backgrounds, and seeing the amazing work they did. I began to make my own art again, knowing that really that was wanted I wanted (and needed) to do.

Did you go to art school?
Yes. I studied fine art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. My major was "2-D art" (rather than a more specific concentration in painting or print making or sculpture, for example). I had taken one more class in 2D forms than 3D, and the 2D forms were evenly split between painting, print making, and photography (which I studied intensively during a semester abroad in Santiago, Chili.).

Were there one or more individuals that were an influence in your becoming an illustrator?
I have been influenced by so many artists! Dena (of Dena Designs), Amy ButlerKate SpainAnna Griffin–I can't name them all. These women are incredibly talented and really savvy. 
I met Kate Spain the first year she exhibited Surtex (when I was a Creative Director), and I left with the feeling that she was living my dream! It still took me several years to begin making my own art again, but meeting her and seeing her fantastic work was a catalyst for me to delve back into making art.

What inspires you now?
Other artists are always inspiring. For me, going to museums and looking at old, classic artwork or textiles moves me to want to try things. Looking at various blogs, Print & PatternDesign Spongethe Die Line, is also fun and gets my mind racing.
Is there anything you would like to share regarding your technique or style of work?
I draw and sketch a lot. I digitize the drawings after that, but working digitally is more force of habit than desire. I really want and need to be painting more!

What types of markets do you do art/ illustration for?
I have done most of my work in fabric, home decor, and gift related markets, but there is no limit to what I'd like to do!

Are there links to your images you would like to share?  
Here are some images of my upcoming fabric collection, Clementine, due to ship in February (see attached). Please also visit my website, and follow me on Facebook! I don't blog as much as I'd like, but I do post whenever new items are released:

Are there other creative interests you pursue like writing or music?
I would love to write (both my father and sister are writers and poets), but I am so occupied with making art, I instead satisfy that desire by reading every night.

Do you currently have product with your images on the market? 
Yes! Any day now Barnes and Noble will have these tumblers on their shelves (image attached). I also have ten new pieces on Oopsy Daisy that I am thrilled to be able to share, and I have two fabric collections: Pippa, which is shipping now, and Clementine, which will ship in February.

What is the thing you love best about what you do?
I have the best job I could ever want. I love the process of drawing and colorizing. I also adore the people I work with and the crafters and quilters who work with my fabric. There are some amazingly talented people out there!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dennis Kendrick and Andrea Brooks

How did you become an artist?
Andrea: I always wanted to be an artist, a dancer and a doctor. Well guess which won out in the end. I have always been an artist, class artist in grade school; Illustrator club in Jr. H. S.; art major in Music and art H.S. Majored in science in College, then after school took courses at NY art schools.
Did you go to art school?
Dennis: I guess I was also class artist. I attended Paier school of art in CT and then started working in an agency and also freelancing in design. My big adventure was coming to NY from suburban CT and starting to break into the art market.Persistance is one of the most important qualities.
Was there anyone that influenced you in becoming an artist?
Andrea: Influences. Let me see. My cousin Jules Kirschenbaum was a painter with works at moma and I just wanted to be an artist like him.
Are there artists whose work influenced you?
Dennis: Some of the cartoonists of the 60's and 70's.I began as a cartoonist and children's book illustrator. That's how Andrea and I met through children's books. So maybe love, fame and millions await you in art.
Andrea: Beatrix Potter, Japanese art; impressionism and watercolor of all kinds.
Would you like to share your work process?
Andrea:  I do far too much research on a project, but that's the way I am. I want to make sure I know as much about my subject as possible. I love the watercolor stage best and work on arches 140 cold press paper and use chinese bamboo brushes. When I have finished painting I go in to show Dennis.
Dennis: Then we work on the design together. I'm at the computer. Background, layout, special effects, design and type are where I come in. We end up with a design that represents both of us.
Are there links where we can see more of your work?
Mostly designs dennis has done on his own

Andreas Web site also includes work we have done together


My blog: Two Artists Aloft
What types of markets do you create art for?
Andrea and Dennis: We work mainly in the gift and decorative accessories markets.This includes products such as: Paper tableware: greeting cards; coasters, trays and trivets: flags and mats: area rugs: ceramic mugs and dishes; calendars among many others.

Do you do other things regarding art like teaching?

Andrea and Dennis: At the moment neither of us are teaching. We have taught art students at Pratt Manhattan;Parsons (watercolor classes); Business classes for the Graphic Artist Guild: and we have done guest speaking.
Do you pursue other creative interests?
Andrea:  I love cartooning and have been keeping sketch books for years. I love doing the writing for my blog.We are both music lovers. We don't play an instrument at present. Dennis passionately loves history and baseball. We are both animal lovers and have three wonderful cats.
Where can your art be seen?
Our art can be seen on many products. I am working on a section of my blog called licensed products. I still have a lot to fill in, but what is there should give you a good idea.
Dennis: I've done a lot of children's books and currently have a number of kids e books on line.
What do you love best about what you do?
Andrea: watercoloring watercoloring watercoloring.
Dennis: I love my computer and all that it affords me especially in design.
Andrea and Dennis: Most of the time we enjoy working together. It's not all smooth, but we ride it out.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Martha Collins

How did you become an artist?
By default!  I was raised in a family where intellect was valued above all else.  My sisters and brother excelled in academia and I did not.  Lucky for me  I signed up for a Commercial Art class my first year in college and found I was really good at it.  I took a two year program that was extremely challenging.  I loved the work, I learned that I was tenacious, talented and smart. So I became an artist. 
Did you go to art school?
Yes.  After 2 years of junior college I attended Art Center College of Design for a year.  Then I got married and took a 6 year break to have my two sons, then decided to return and complete my BFA in Illustration at California State University, Long Beach.  5 years later I earn my MFA in Illustration. 
Was there anyone that influenced you in becoming an artist?
The best of my art school teachers, the top illustrators at that time -Glaser, English, Fuchs, painters such as Diebenkorn, Twombly, De Kooning and of course the old standards: Sargent, Vuillard,  Matisse, Cassatt & Gauguin. 

What inspires you?
 I am inspired by passionate & enthusiastic people who have something to share so I can learn and grow.  Kindness & humor inspire me.  Teaching watercolor painting & illustration to college students is extremely inspiring. I've been a adjunct professor for over 20 years and it's a huge blessing in my life.  It's invigorating being on campus, around students, faculty and other creative people.   My students keep me on my toes and keep me young….well, young in spirit, lol.  Teaching also gets me out of the studio and away from my work which is something very good for me. 
What is your work process?
I work in many mediums because I get bored easily.  I love watercolor and painting in gauche but love painting digitally as well. I also love line and wash which I do both in and out of the computer.  I try to keep myself a little out of my comfort level so I can take risks.  My best work is almost always when I paint or draw by the seat of my pants.  My watercolor style has gotten increasingly looser over time because I don't like to plan or sketch much before jumping into the painting.  I work in Painter 12 because it's fast, forgiving and flexible.  My aim is to not make it look digital and many of my clients are very surprised when I tell them the art they are licensing is digitally painted.
Are there links where we can see more of your work?

Facebook (for updates / new work):

Website (needs to be redesigned!):

What markets do you create for?
My list includes: Garden, fabric  & bedding, stationery, tabletop (paper, ceramic & porcelain), gift, home decor, canvas & rugs.  I wouldn't necessarily say I create for them though. Rather, I create. 
Where can your art be seen?
All over the place, thank heavens: > )  Pier One, Cost Plus, Tuesday Morning, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowes & Sears. Online sites like Joss & Main & catalogs including Signals, Expressions & Wayfair.
What do you like best about what you do?
Oh…..let me think….The everyday challenge of staying in business?  I'm KIDDING!  Seriously, I know how lucky I am to make a living doing the work that I love.  I really just love drawing & painting & teaching.  I love the freedom to work the hours (long) I do which gives me flexibility. Flexibility = freedom and challenge and requires dedication and focus.  Flexibility allows me time to spend with my family and friends & that's what makes life worth living for me.  And finally, I get to work with my sister, Betsy, who goes with me to the Atlanta and Surtex shows.  All my clients like her better than they like me: > )