Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"It's A Party" Birthday Collection

How much do you LOVE my NEW "It's A Party!" Birthday Collection?! It's sweet, it's pretty, it's perfect for cards, invites, wrapping and party paper! Interested in licensing it for your fabulous products? You can get in touch with me anytime at jane@superjane.com. Fabulous! XO

© Jane Smith • "It's A Party!"
© Jane Smith • "It's A Party: Heart Clusters"
© Jane Smith • "It's A Party: Presents, Cupcakes, Flowers"
© Jane Smith • "It's A Party: Party Polka Dots"

Monday, May 4, 2015

Super Star Interview: Victoria Johnson

Welcome to my monthly interview feature! I’m so excited to be interviewing all the fabulous artists, illustrators and designers I’ve meet over the years (both personally and virtually!) and sharing their artwork and experiences here on Bird Meets Worm. Look for a new interview on the first Tuesday of every month.

This month I’m pleased as punch to be catching up with the effervescent Illustrator & Designer, Victoria Johnson! I’m a long-time fan of her beautiful artwork and was thrilled to get to see her gorgeous Surtex 2014 booth in person. She is an English artist/designer in Rome. She lives there with her Italian husband and two children. Before that she lived in New York for twelve years, owning and running a design studio in NY and London. Her work has been featured on a huge variety of products, from women's and children's wear, to paper products, home furnishings and giftware and is lucky enough to have worked with some of the best known companies in the US and Europe. You can view more of her artwork here!

"C" is definitely for CUTE!

Q: How has your time living in each England, New York & London influenced and inspired your artwork?

A: I lived in NY for 12 years and worked in the Garment District, mainly designing womenswear prints.  I think this influences my work.  I gravitate towards feminine palettes that are very wearable.  I also love vintage womenswear fabrics—the way that contemporary art was so influential on fashion print trends during the 20th Century.  

Q: You've spent many years as an independent illustrator and have recently signed on with Jennifer Nelson Artists (Congrats!!). Dish with us about the pros and cons of representation vs. being independent and why you've chosen to be represented at this point in your career.

A: I was very happy being independent and would definitely recommend that route— even though it's very demanding and requires an awful lot of self-discipline.  However, it's not everyday that an agent of Jennifer's caliber presents an opportunity.  After one conversation with her I knew that my career would benefit massively from her support.  I was finding it difficult to make time to send my work out as often as I wanted and was starting to chase my tail.  I knew that Jennifer would get my work seen regularly by the companies I wanted to work with.  I felt she was 100% invested in my success and was keen to maintain regular contact with me (and her other artists), working as a partner in a joint venture.  This is unusual and offset any reservations I'd formally had about representation (that sense of sinking into a vast sea of anonymity with multiple other artists working under the name of the studio). I sensed that I was incredibly fortunate from the outset.

How adorable is this floral repeat?!

Q: Describe your artistic process. How do you begin? What comes next? How do you choose a medium and color palette?

A: I choose a medium based on the idea.  They're kind of linked.  I keep a running list of ideas in a single notebook.  I've worked like this for years.  I might be inspired by something I've seen online or in a shop (the usual sources) or want to progress from something I've already done or I might know that I need to cover a commercial theme like Christmas, Valentines, etc.  I write my ideas on my list and then decide what needs doing most urgently and what I fancy doing!  I always try to establish my palette at the outset and work very hard on making it beautiful—and hopefully a bit original.

Come fly away on a Victoria Johnson dream!!

 Q: In what ways do you balance your art career with being a mom? (As an illustrator mama myself, this is one of my favorite questions!!)

A: I struggle daily. My children are both school age so I have all their school hours to work, but my husband's away or working long hours a lot so it's difficult.  I often start work again after the kids go to bed.

Q: What advice would you give to an illustrator attending Surtex regarding prep as well as what to actually bring to the show?

A: I don't know where to begin.  I could write a whole blog post about this.  A whole book even.  In a nutshell— don't make yourself ill.  Be super organized. Make sure everything is cohesive—that it screams you and is high impact.  Go the extra mile because you will not believe how much effort people make on those stands. It blows your mind!!  Just when you think you've done as much as is humanly possible, you'll realize someone else has done MORE!!!  Also, establish relationships with key clients beforehand.  It's not like a shop where strangers just stroll by and pluck your goods from a shelf.  It's very much an opportunity to expand on and cement existing relationships and show your clients that you are professional and serious.

So lovely! So gorgeous! So fabulous!

 Q: Describe your most perfect Sunday.

A: Waking up at six am, leaping out of bed and going for a 5 mile run, getting back and eating fresh, crushed raspberries, organic oatmeal and a kale smoothie before taking my children out for a very educational tour of Rome's finest art galleries.  I've NEVER done this.  EVER.  But I imagine it would be quite nice and I would feel pure and saintly afterwards.

Thank you so much, Victoria!! It’s been an absolute delight catching up with you! Wishing you all the best at Surtex!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Teagan White's Solo Art Exhibition at Gallery Nucleus + BONUS Interview: Ben Zhu

One of the things I LOVE most about Bird Meets Worm is my monthly interview feature and the opportunity it provides to dish with so many amazing, crazy-talented, fabulous artists, illustrators and designers. One of my favorites that I recently had the pleasure of chatting it up is the lovely Illustrator, Teagan White, and I’m thrilled to share that I have the scoop on her upcoming solo art exhibition!

You will absolutely not want to miss the chance to see her gorgeous original illustrations from her new children’s picture book, Bunny Roo, I Love You, at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California. It opens Saturday, April 25, 2015 with a reception from 7-9pm and runs thru Sunday, May 10, 2015. Here on Bird Meets Worm, I’m please to share a preview of Teagan’s artwork that will be on display as well as an interview with the owner of Gallery Nucleus, Ben Zhu. I hope to see you at the opening! Enjoy!

Baby Sleeping • © Teagan White

Q: Being a big fan of Teagan White’s artwork (and children’s books!), I’m thrilled that she is having a solo exhibit at the fabulous Socal Gallery Nucleus. Dish with us about how you first discovered Teagan’s artwork and what about her artwork sparked your interest.

A: I believe we first discovered her work through a guest curated group exhibition at our gallery called Press Paws. It was a charity exhibition for dogs that was video game themed. We started seeing some of the range of her other work, from realistic to typographic and it really caught our eye that this is an artist with a rich sensibility. 

Lizard Family (detail) • © Teagan White

Q: Teagan’s modern artwork for both children and adults is abundant with woodland critters and feels vintage in styling and palette. Her subject matter and vintage feel are both considered “on trend” in the commercial art world. How do trends in the commercial art world influence what the gallery chooses to exhibit, given its niche working with illustrators and designers?

A: I think with Teagan's work it didn't feel like it was her trying to be on trend, as if her work had always focused on these themes and looked this way. Although we don't try to follow trends too much, I am sure there is some commercial influence in the artists we chose to exhibit. Our gallery focuses on illustration art and gravitates a lot towards artists who can execute, are confident and in control of their medium. Good design and technical prowess seems to always be on trend. With that said, there are a lot of artists that fit this bill so we look at artists who we think are in it and can stick with it for the long haul, have a clear sense of who they are, who are professional and easy to work with.

Mom in Garden • © Teagan White

Q: Do you have an absolute favorite illustration from Teagan’s solo exhibit? Tell us every little thing you love about it!

A: It is difficult to pick, but I think Mom & Baby Wolf would be my favorite. I like the sensitivity of the piece. I like the color palette. It seems like a simple piece, but there are a lot of overlapping elements and prep work that went into it to make it look effortless. I like her solution for illustrating a hole as a home. 

Mom & Baby Wolf (detail) • © Teagan White

Q: What advice would you give to illustrators looking to show with Gallery Nucleus?

A: Don't be afraid of criticism, don't stop learning and perfecting your craft, and do good work that you are proud of and we will eventually find you.

Wolf • © Teagan White

Q: What other upcoming exhibits can we look forward to enjoying at Gallery Nucleus in the future?

A: There are so many fun and interesting shows coming up—some larger and more themed and some that are focused solo exhibitions of more personal work. Teagan has another show with us September 5th. But the work is very different from the Bunny Roo work and really showcases her personal work. We are excited to see what she will create for that show.

We are also very excited for this small group show and about having the work of classic Russian animator, Yuri Norstein, in the gallery as well in September 26.

Thank you so much for chatting with us here at Bird Meets Worm, Ben! We love Gallery Nucleus!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

April Showers, May Flowers

"April Showers, May Flowers" • © Jane Smith
"April Showers, May Flowers" process pic • © Jane Smith

"April Showers, May Flowers" process pic • © Jane Smith

Twitter Tweet Chirp

Introducing my new mini collection: Twitter Tweet Chirp! It's a little bit of everything wonderful—cut paper collage, line drawings & ink brush typography! And of course, birds, birds, birds! Fabulous! Interested in licensing these beauties? Drop me a line at jane@superjane.com. They would make the most lovely home decor & stationary products! XO

© Jane Smith

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Robot City

Robot City • © Super Jane Smith

Robot City process pic • © Super Jane Smith

Robot City process pic • © Super Jane Smith

Robot City process pic • © Super Jane Smith