Meet the Artists We Invited to Draw All Over Our Merch

We spent the weekend at Capsule, the roving independent designer-focused trade show, in New York, joined by some pretty choice company. Along with our curated community of indie designers presenting their spring/summer 2018 collections, we had the pleasure of working with six talented illustrators on some pretty special giveaways. Throughout the weekend, the artists spent hours drawing on exclusive Garmentory tote bags for anybody that stopped by our booth and wanted one, with no limit to their creativity. From self-portraits to animals of all kind, each drawing was one of a kind. We wanted people to leave Capsule with something unique, something memorable, and that’s exactly what these ladies delivered. Their stories, inspirations, mediums and aesthetics are all remarkably different, adding to the uniqueness of their canvas bag creations. Scroll on to get to know the six illustrators and rad women we now happily call our pals.

 

Gina Schiappacasse

Designer, stylist, and fashion illustrator Gina Schiappacasse, has been obsessively drawing all her life. Originally from Minnesota, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an Associate’s Degree in Fashion Design with an emphasis in illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Gina has now spent nearly a decade living in Brooklyn with her boyfriend and dog, Thelonious.

Living in New York, Gina finds herself inspired by the fashion world: photography, icons, and the city’s stylish denizens. With influence from the style of children’s books and Japanese comic art, Gina’s work is fashion-focused with a playful slant.

WHO ARE YOUR MUSES?I’m a huge fan of Björk and her constant ability to blur the lines between fashion and art. I also have always loved Alexander McQueen’s dark beauty and the women he dressed, including Daphne McGuiness and Isabella Blow. I’m in love with the photography work of Tim Walker and Sølve Sundsbø, but I also really enjoy drawing my friends and Instagram acquaintances. There’s such an incredible plethora of imagery online that it’s easy to find muses everywhere.”

 

Youloune

French illustrator Youloune is the kind of artist who carries their sketchbook everywhere they go. She grew up in Normandie, France, lived in Paris for ten years and in January of this year moved to Montreal with her boyfriend to experience somewhere new. Hélène loves to draw what she sees out and about, whether that’s at a concert, sketching the musicians playing as her pencil follows the drum rhythms, or details in jewelry, sculptures, and embroidery shown in museums she often visits. Her illustrations are mesmerizing as she draws as if she is pulling thread from a spool to make silhouettes and stories appear on paper.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO ON A NIGHT IN? “I like reading comics, listening to old vinyl records, and trying to catch my neighbor’s cat! I also take the time to upload all the pictures I took during my daily walks onto my Insta stories.”

 

Gabriella Cetrulo

 

Gabriella Cetrulo grew up in a the suburbs of New Jersey before moving  to New York City to earn her BFA in Illustration from Parsons. After spending many years working for a tech company as a web curator — her drawing falling wayside — Gabriella is now a freelance writer and illustrator living in Manhattan.

She draws inspiration from old films and photographs, idealizing people from the past and bringing their stranger moments to current time. Once described as “ominous posing as innocuous,” by a close friend, Gabriella’s illustrations embody a strong sense of nostalgia. Through character details such as a hair style or vintage silhouette, she brings decades of the past to the paper in front of her.

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON? WHAT’S YOUR ROUTINE LIKE?I’m definitely not a morning person. I could easily sleep until noon if I don’t need to be anywhere. I usually hit the snooze button at least three times, read some things on my phone, check social media, and then get out of bed to make myself tea. I try to meditate in the morning but usually end up doing that before bed because if I’m still tired in the morning, I’ll just fall back asleep!”

 

Lindsey Balbierz

Lindsey Balbierz is an illustrator whose work lives in many mediums: magazines, book covers, newspapers, as well as live events. She’s the talent behind the cover of I See London, I See France, a book published by Harper Collins, The Boston Globe’s illustrated Sunday real estate section,  a custom pet portrait on a Louis Vuitton dopp kit for a long-time loyal customer, and so much more. She also runs an Etsy shop, where she sells pins, patches and stationery adorned with her illustrations. There are no limitations to where Lindsey pulls inspiration from. Seriously, anything from maps to dogs in bags and farmers markets to snow cones, influence her work. All of Lindsey’s illustrated objects, people and environments are friendly and whimsical. Her distinct aesthetic of hand-drawn, brightly, graphic colors is to say the least warm and welcoming.

IF YOU HAD TO PICK UP AND MOVE, WHERE WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?My top three would be: 1.) Somewhere outside of Portland, Maine. I’ve always had a dream of buying a farm house and renovating it. The coastal surroundings are so pretty. The lobster is also a bonus. 2.) Maui. I went in 2015 and enjoyed the lush greenery so much! It would allow a slower and more relaxed lifestyle that would be a good change from urban living. 3.) Japan. I have visited Japan twice, but I think moving would allow for a complete immersion of the culture. I’ve taken Japanese classes, but I think moving would force my brain to think in Japanese and therefore force me to speak the language more.”

 

Danielle Kroll

Danielle Kroll is a textile designer, ceramicist, and — of course — illustrator. She is also the co-founder of Beech Hall, a multi-disciplinary artist collective she started with two university friends selling handmade and one-of-a-kind items such as paintings, ceramics, jewelry and home decor. Inspired by everyday life, childhood memories, objects from the past and nature. Danielle’s illustrations are colorful, painterly and playful but not childlike. Think a skinny pineapple ceramic or quirky depictions of ladies at the beach. Her pieces encourage her viewers to experience a more playful look at life – to always look at the bright side of things.

WHERE DO YOU LOVE TO SHOP IN A CITY FILLED WITH ENDLESS CHOICES? “I mostly shop at vintage stores. The pieces are unique, affordable and it’s really fun for me – I like a good treasure hunt! Dusty Rose Vintage in Greenpoint is my spot in the city: They have a whole room of boxes labeled with specific categories like ‘jumpsuits’ and ’80s high-waisted pants’. “

 

Lily Qian

DC-born, Brooklyn-based fashion designer-turned-illustrator Lily Qian has been drawing, painting and sewing since childhood. With her inspiration sparked by artists and entrepreneurs, Lily reflects the beauty of everyday life in her work, which is stylistically informed by cinematography, literature, and fashion history (particularly the 1960s and ‘70s). In her 12 years as an illustrator, Lily has worked with fashion and beauty brands ranging from Sephora to OBEY, sought after for her experimental techniques and loose, romantic style.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE TO ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK’S CRAZINESS?My favorite places to escape NYC’s craziness is going hiking in Harriman State Park, visiting Storm King Art Center, Dia Beacon, and long weekends in Montauk.”

 

Artist Ola Volo on modern folklore and traditional storytelling

Every work of art by Vancouver-based illustrator Ola Volo tells a story. Her intricate works weave a narrative motif with animals, people, elements of nature and architecture, all with a distinct style that is drawn from the traditions of her heritage and contemporary whimsy. Lucky for us Ola regularly shows her work around town while working on commissions from such clients as Hootsuite, Lululemon and the Vancouver Opera House. We love what she does, so we had to find out more.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST IDENTIFY AS AN ARTIST? I grew up attending art classes in school and out of school all my life. However, it was my final year of university where I completely fell in love with art. From that point, I couldn’t wait to dedicate all my time towards illustration and fine art.

YOU’RE ORIGINALLY FROM KAZAKHSTAN. HOW DOES THAT INSPIRE YOUR WORK? My world has been greatly influenced due to being raised in Kazakhstan and Canada. A big part of Kazakh culture is storytelling and use of intricate patterns. Blend this with multiculturalism, and often that’s where the root of my concepts are inspired from.  Having had the chance to live in Asia, Europe and North America, I’ve been directly impacted by the cultural styles and themes from these diverse regions. In fact, at the moment I’m visiting Kazakhstan and writing from a small town near China called Tekeli.

Artist Andrea Wan on the influence of Berlin

We’re just in looove with Andrea Wan. Andrea’s a Berlin-based illustrator who was born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver. Working mostly with ink on paper, she creates characters that one can only imagine in dreams. Her work’s been featured in Nylon, The New York Times and at Pow Wow in Oahu. We got the talking where she spoke to us about how Berlin has changed her as an artist.

HOW HAS LIVING IN BERLIN INFLUENCED YOU AS AN ARTIST?

Traveling and living abroad has always been an important part of my life and it helps shape my art in many ways. Through the process of getting lost, discovering and adapting we can learn a lot about ourselves and orient ourselves better in relation to the world. I always think that living in our cities we are like balloons that inflates a little bit everyday. When we stayed too long in one place, the air gets heavier and the city feel smaller, leaving no room for new stimulus. Traveling
makes me realize that the life I lived everyday is just a tiny part of what exist out there and it makes me appreciate the little great things from home.

Berlin is a big experimental ground for all kinds of creatives. The city has a laid-back
and nonjudgmental atmosphere, giving total creative freedom to those with interesting ideas. Everything in Berlin feels fast and fleeting, making shared experiences the only thing that really matters. The artists I met here are not afraid to share their knowledge and exchange ideas openly, which exposed me to many possibilities I have not yet explored in my own practice.

Feeling a little lost at first in such a big city, I learned to be focused on achieving my personal goals while keeping an open mind on the surprises that comes to me. After living here for almost 2 years now I was able to gain new perspectives and inspirations that helps strengthen my art practice and makes me grow as a person.

Photos: Andrea Wan

Fashion illustrator Bernadette Pascua on her creative process

Brooklyn-based artist Bernadette Pascua has us going gaga over her portfolio. Her handwriting is complete perfection. Her sketches are soft and oh so gorgeous. Her textile designs are fun and stylish. She’s so creative – it’s unreal. And we’re not the only ones to hold this opinion. Her clients range from GOOP to Isabel Marant to Victoria Secret. Blah, blah, blah, the list goes on. She even designed the print on the Lizzie Fortunato Kiss Pouch (available on Garmentory here)!

As you can tell, we have a little crush on her. We just can’t believe how talented she is (and she’s super cute too). So we asked and she answered.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?

Just keeping my eyes open and trusting my instincts. I’m a synesthete with a photographic memory, so my perception of the world is very visual. On a daily basis, I will see something that strikes me so I try to explore why that imagery was of importance to me and try to connect it to other permanent visuals in my mind that I’ve held on to. Like a puzzle.

When I do a project, whether it is for myself or for a client, I can close my eyes and see a faint finished image in my mind, so I work towards making the image happen. I never try to force it, I just like to work on things as they come to me and keep it simple.

bernadettepascua.com