Former graphic designer for Seattle Theatre Group and Sasquatch! Music Festival now works independently, selling art prints, working with clients and just being creative.
What do you do? I am an illustrator of art prints, books, tour posters for bands, and whatever else I find interesting.
How did you get started in that field? My career has evolved pretty organically. Early on I worked strictly as a graphic designer. Eventually my love of music led me to the concert promotion world, and I spent some years as the senior designer for Seattle Theatre Group — and working with the Sasquatch! Music Festival. About four years ago, I decided to try making it as an independent artist, which has proved to be incredibly satisfying. I mostly focus on fun personal projects now, like my “Have A Little Pun” print series that was recently published as a book through Chronicle Books.
What’s a typical day like? It really depends on the time of year. I just wrapped up a couple of weekends selling my art prints at craft fairs. The month before was dedicated to a large client project. I do spend a lot of time shipping, invoicing and keeping up with wholesale orders, particularly in the wintertime. The rest of the year, I try to focus on just being creative. I pull a lot of inspiration from living in the Northwest, nature, my favorite music and my Scandinavian roots.
What’s the best part of the job? Being able to follow my curiosity and see where it leads. I feel so very grateful to finally be in a position where I can try new things and adapt in my career … and that I have an audience that continues to support my journey. Also, working from home definitely has its perks — the dress code is nonexistent and the hours are perfect!
What surprises people about your job? I suppose that I can survive as an independent artist is pretty surprising. I’m surprised myself, sometimes!
Being a full-time illustrator sounds pretty dreamy — and some days it can be. There is no greater joy than being “in the zone,” with a large amount of uninterrupted time to draw and conceptualize new ideas. However, those days are few and far between. To make it work, much of my time has to be dedicated to the business end. Still, whether I am packing and shipping orders to adorn people’s walls, or if I’m out collecting flora to study for my next print, it’s all pretty amazing that this is my life.
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