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 am pleased as punch to be catching up with the lovely Illustrator/Designer, Erica Hite! Erica lives in San Diego, California (a fellow Cali girl!!). During the day, she runs after two little boys, and in the evening, enjoys working in her studio on various fun projects. Erica has about 16 years of design and illustration experience, including work for Target, Limited Too (now Justice), General Mills, SC Johnson, Kraft Foods, skateboarding apparel graphics, scrapbooking products, and more! You can view more of Erica’s artwork here.
|Life is an absolutely ADORABLE circus!!|
Q: You’ve been participating in Lilla Rogers’ Global Talent Search 2014 and recently submitted your totally adorable Round 2 artwork submission. Dish with us about your experiences competing in the GTS and what you hope to get out of it, top prize or no top prize.
A: Right before we were to receive the assignment, my computer decided it didn’t want to work anymore. I was torn whether I should take my computer in and wait the possible lengthy time for it, or purchase a new one. I ended up getting a new one and decided I would later fix my computer for my kids to use. It is admittedly faster and perhaps I was due. I was able to get my new one set up and ready to go just in time for the contest.
I really didn’t imagine I would make it into the top 50 in the first round. My illustration seemed quite different from what other artists submitted. I felt unsure of it as it was a complete 180 from my vector submission from last year and what I thought was a simple composition. In hindsight, I wish I had created a mixed media piece for the second round as well. If it is feasible to enter next year, I will, but there are many opportunities out there besides the competition.
I learned quite a bit during the competition and I’ll take those lessons with me to my next projects: 1) embrace doing things differently, 2) continue to get more comfortable in my recent new mixed media style, 3) go with my first ideas and don’t second guess so much, and 4) I have wonderful friends out there that believe in me and it feels incredibly good to have their support.
|So sweet, so fun, so wanna going camping with mouse!|
Q: You have a new fabric collection coming soon from the fabulous company Windham Fabrics. Hooray! Tell us all about it—how the partnership came to be, what the development process was like and, of course, about the collection itself!
A: I saw a post on Facebook in one of my Make Art that Sells course groups about submissions to Uppercase Magazine for the Surface Pattern Design issue. The submission deadline was that day, but I thought I’d give it a go and submit. I sent in both patterns from Lilla Rogers’ class and Sabina’s Trends Online Class Workshop. Patterns from both classes made it into the issue and Windham Fabrics contacted me soon after the magazine issue was shipped.
When I spoke to Windham on the phone, they talked about a contract and had me send some images to them. They picked out what they wanted me to work on, gave an rough outline of expanding my pieces into a set of coordinating fabrics, and I started on my Mouse Camp collection soon after. It was a learning process for me on making proper repeats and colorways, but I have to say it’s been wonderful working with Windham. They’re super friendly and easy to communicate with. I’m really grateful that they contacted me because they’ve been a dream client. I couldn’t have had a better introduction to the bolt fabric industry.
Q: As an Art Mama, in what ways do you create a balance between the duel full-time jobs of being a professional artist and being a stay-at-home mama? (Note: I love this question, because I’m an Art Mama, too!)
A: I’ve found it easier to segment my days into play with the kids and me time. Trying to work while the kids need my attention frustrates them and me. There might be opportunities I can snag a moment or two to jot down ideas, do research on the iPad, do some hand work like quick ink or watercolor sketches, but I save most of my work for when the kids are somewhat done with the day. Before bed, I also find time to decompress and read.
|Fall fabulous—enough said!!!|
Q: Your artwork is both light, whimsical, graphic as well as dark, watercolor washy, sophisticated. Tell us about the two sides to your artistic style and the inspiration that feeds both.
A: I feel like I have a split art-making personality. I have a love for art that is spiritual, surreal, moody, and sometimes messy, but I also love the light, joyful, graphic, and retro. I suppose just like my personality, I’m a dreamer and I like to escape in fantasy books and imagine other worlds, ponder the finiteness of life, but I also feel optimism and sometimes desire simpler things and a return to childhood. When looking at the different styles, the connection of the two isn’t obvious to me; they’re both quite different.
The watercolor and ink style is more free and less thought out, I guess more like sketching, in a sense. I find it a wonderful and carefree way of working. I like that I don’t have to make the lines perfect and in fact push the imperfection of things. The vector art style on the other hand is more planned out, more researched, more ideas jotted down, composition sketches made, and then final sketches to draw over in a vector program.
|Love the ethereal watercolor & meditative sentiment!|
Q: Tell us about your MOST favorite art project that you’ve created: one from the past and one from the present.
A: It isn’t really an art project but a job I think fondly of sometimes. I worked at a high-profile packaging design firm on a team sketching and presenting concepts, art directing illustrators, and putting together designs and presentations for actual consumers to give their opinions on. It was a challenging but exciting job that contributed to my work ethic and my desire to learn and experiment.
A recent project I enjoyed very much was in my Make Art that Sells Bootcamp class. The task was to use our favorite beverage to inspire a piece of art. I made a few coordinating pieces and had so much fun drawing different types of fancy tea pots and cups.
|Simply lovely! Just lovely!|
Q: Describe your most perfect Sunday.
A: On my perfect Sunday, I sleep in. A very long and lazy time. Someone makes me breakfast and a delicious cup of sweet tea with milk. I read for awhile (preferably by a quiet pool or lake) and then curl up to take a nap. Then read some more and maybe work on a creative project. I have no chores to do, no worries, just pure, blissful relaxation.
Thank you so much, Erica!! Everyone here at Bird Meets Worm can’t wait to see what you create next!