Monday, September 19, 2011

Style, Theme and Technique in Art Licensing - Contemporary Whimiscal

This is a new series of editorials on styles, themes and techniques, as they pertain to art licensing - I realized that this is where my thoughts are right now while preparing my own collections. What's my message, and what about my style? What themes am I going to develop? And what are the best techniques to bring them to life?

I think a few basic, general definitions of the key terms will help enlighten the quest. According to the New Oxford American dictionary:

• Style - a manner of doing something; a way of painting, writing, composing, building, etc., characteristic of a particular period, place, person, or movement.

• Theme - the subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person's thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic.

• Technique - a way of carrying out a particular task, esp. the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure; a skill or ability in a particular field.

In the next several weeks I want to publish articles about other artists who are willing to share and help illustrate the styles, themes and techniques that could be employed for creating art for licensing; we can all learn from each other.

In this first article I will show an example of a beautiful whimsical style of textile work created by Australian artist Natalie Ryan - she loves painting using a loosely layered water-color technique when creating adult designs while her children's designs are bright, whimsical and inspired by picture book stories. For these, she uses thematic approach of 'telling a story' within her designs.

Natalie Ryan's design
To tell you a little bit about Natalie, she grew up on a farm in the state of Victoria, Australia, from a long line of farming families. Her grandmothers though had an interest in painting and textile handcrafts.

She graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Textile Design in 1995, pre computer era, and has managed to avoid designing on the computer ever since, apart from a few stripes, checks and basic jacquard designs.

Natalie was employed as a textile designer at the Australian bed linen company Sheridan before traveling overseas and settling in London for two years, where she freelanced for a home furnishing textile design studio.
Natalie Ryan's design
Once she returned to Melbourne she was employed as a textile designer at Linen House, another bed linen company. In 2005 she was given the opportunity to design the children's bed linen range ‘Hiccups’, which soon took up most of her design time. A few months ago she decided to become a freelance artist and started exploring the possibilities of licensing her artwork.

She has collaborated alongside some great mentors during her career, and one in particular is the successful licensing artist Chris Chun, who is now based in Thailand.

Natalie's favorite painting medium is Designers Gouache – she tends to stick to the Winsor and Newton range for reliability and pigment fastness. They're my favorite ones, too.  She enjoys using a variety of printmaking techniques in her design work including lino-cut, mono print and woodblock, and she loves her tin of Faber Castell Polychromos pencils (they travel with her everywhere).

© Natalie Ryan
She has a few projects in the works designing bed linens for children and adults. She is also pretty busy designing for a couple of customers who contacted her via her blog.  It goes to show how important having a blog is to get your name out there. You never know who might be reading!

Art licensing is definitely something she'd like to tackle over the next few months. Her to-do list includes designing cards and stationery, designing a fabric collection, designing for tabletop and she would love to try her hand at children’s book illustration. She has recently started taking lessons in Adobe Illustrator.

Here are some additional images of her lovely designs.

© Natalie Ryan

© Natalie Ryan


Natalie Ryan said...

Thanks for inviting me to show my work on your lovely blog Alex - very exciting!

Allison said...

Natalie is such a wonderful textile designer. Her Hiccups range for Linen House has always been amongst my favorites and one I would look out for each season.

sue z said...

Natalie your work is really beautiful! I think you will do great with licensing.

maia said...

I LOVE THIS WORK! Thanks for sharing!!!

Unknown said...

Natalie - you're very welcome! It was my pleasure to have you on my blog :) - Alex