Tag Archives: product design

Updated Links and New Artist Alert!

Time for a little spring cleaning, aka. link updating. If you haven’t noticed, down the column on the right are a bunch of fantastic blogs that I read regularly, and I try to occasionally go through and add/delete links so the list stays fresh with active bloggers. It’s a great place to turn to when I’m lazy busy here at Walking In Public!

I’m sure I’m missing blogs, though, so if you’re reading this and want me to add yours or a friend’s, add a comment below (note: I try to keep it to blogs only, not static websites).

Speaking of friends, can we discuss how amazing are Pratt student Sarah Mimo‘s hand-crafted clocks (above)?  I’m astounded at her innovation and stunning detail . . . wow.  Talk about a senior project that deserves buzz. Her new artist blog is full of more clocks, as well as some lovely textural illustrations, so make sure to head over there, pronto!

New Artist Showcase: Alexa Macfarlane

Alexa Macfarlane

Blog: www.alexaillustration.blogspot.com

What projects are you working on lately? Anything you’re particularly excited about?

Currently, I’m working on writing and illustrating a children’s book about a brother, sister, and a fortune cookie. I won’t tell you what happens though… you’ll have to wait to read it! I’m also working on some oil paintings which I’m very excited about, and a handful of other little craftsy projects like textile designs, glassware/dinnerware designs, and some digital illustrations. I’m also in the process of getting a website up and running, but for the meantime have been using my blog to showcase recent work. I’ve ALWAYS loved art–at least for as long as I can remember–and am so excited to graduate from Pratt in the spring to start life in “the real world” as an artist.

How has your art evolved in the past year? Have you discovered anything new about yourself as an illustrator?

In the past year I’ve realized my passion for children’s books even more. I’m having a lot of fun writing and illustrating new stories. I’ve always had a love for illustration that intertwines with graphic design, like the prints and patterns on clothing and home goods, and am finally discovering how to incorporate that into my work. I would love to design for a company like Anthropologie. I am also completely obsessed with buying items of this sort! This past year has been a period of discovery and development for me; I feel that I’ve finally found my niche (what I enjoy doing, although of course I’m open to the changes/growth that will come in the future) in illustration.

What is your creative process like? What do you do to keep new ideas flowing, especially under stress?

I find that I get inspired most by reading books, listening to music, and looking at artwork. I think that always surrounding yourself in art, no matter what form, will keep the creative process flowing. When I’m stuck on an idea or can’t quite figure it out, I take a break and do something that is not related to what I was working on at all. Some of the best ideas come when you’re lying in bed or in the shower—when your mind has time to think freely or when you think you aren’t thinking about your art at all!

As a student leader, what advice would you give to incoming freshmen or young people pursuing illustration?

As a student leader, I would encourage young people pursuing illustration to draw, draw, draw. And then draw some more (and keep these drawings compiled in your sketchbook so you don’t lose them). As a young person, it’s easy to get off track with so many responsibilities, decisions to be made, and while living a new lifestyle, but remember to stay focused and on top of your work. As I said above, I’d highly recommend that young artists go to as many gallery openings, exhibitions, and shows as they can and keep themselves surrounded in art, especially if you live in NYC–we have SO many opportunities here and we should use them. But most importantly, have fun! You should be doing art/illustration because you love it… and if you made some money off of loving it that would be great too.

You’re about to graduate from Pratt this May. What would be your dream first year, career-wise?

I would love to have a children’s book published!! My dream first year would be to get a book deal, stay in NYC, freelance, and/or even work as a designer at a publisher or at a company for textiles, product design/illustrations for home goods, or a magazine. Basically, I’d be happy working in any of those areas and am open to many more. My number one goal is just to be able to support myself with my artwork and to have fun with what I’m doing.

Stand Tall! Growth Charts

Anyone that knows me is aware that height is, um, sort of an issue for me.    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not generally insecure about my looks, but I think everyone has that one “sensitive subject” they’re not comfortable about themselves, and at 5’10”, being tall is mine.  And no annoying “But being tall is so great!” comments are going to change that.

So I could appreciate the levity and message of the latest book I’ve come across at work: Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, and illustrated by David Catrow.  Molly Lou, the shortest, buck-toothiest, bullfrog-iest new girl in class, shines because she follows her grandmother’s advice to always, “Walk as proudly as you can and the world will look up to you.” She’s got confidence that (literally) bowls over the school bully, and it’s fantastic. This is the kind of both entertaining and meaningful read that makes me want to shove it in the New York Times’ snotty face and say, “THIS IS WHY PICTURE BOOKS ARE SO GREAT!”  Phew!  Anywho… moving on…

Designing “extras” for Molly Lou’s 10th anniversary got me to thinking about those handmade growth charts scrawled up the doorframes of classic American households.  Remember those?  Well, I wanted to see if there were some pre-made growth charts with a bit of design flair.  Turns out, you can pretty much find a colorful growth chart for kids on any theme – no matter how tall or small!

Here were some of my favorites:

Heirloom Boxed Set Growth Chartvia Design Mom

Grow-With-Me Scroll Chart – via Family Style

Chalkboard Paint DIY Growth Chart – via OhDeeOh

Basic Shapes Growth Chart – via Kids Crave

Up, Up I Go – A Fold-Out Book by Eric Carle (Chronicle Books)

Giraffe Wall Decal Growth Chart – via CoolLil

Who Tall Are You? – For Big Kids, aka. Adults