Monday, February 27, 2012

An Art Licensing True Story - Artist Tamara Serrao



I am learning how to show my artwork on product mock-ups by using Illustrator or Photoshop. It makes a big difference to see patterns and colors applied to potential merchandise. It also makes me feel I've reached the end of a creative cycle. It's a good feeling, like the process has come full circle - although it is also sparking new ideas that are exciting to pursue!

Artist Tamara Serrao uses Illustrator for her beautiful work. Here is her story: "I have loved just about every form of visual creativity for as long as I can remember. I was raised in a very creative family. My mother sews, embroiders, quilts and hooks rugs, my father is a genius technical draftsman and my sisters paint, make jewelry and knit."

© Tamara Serrano-Ed Garn and 1st Aid
She would like to think she has inherited a generous amount of each of their creative energies, she says. She studied Weaving, Graphic Design and Art History at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design back when computers were barely being used to teach graphics, "so I am definitely self-taught where computer graphics is concerned," Tamara adds.

She has a day job designing packaging, catalogues and such for a Canadian manufacturing company, Mano Verde. They design horticultural kits for the gift industry. As the chief designer for the company, Tamara has a lot of creative freedom, but her work there is definitely limited by the parameters of the job. "In the past year, however, I have discovered spoonflower.com and I can easily say that fabric design has become a passion. As I have always loved fabric, this should have been a no-brainer, yet it took me all these years to finally get there," Tamara says.

© Tamara Serrano-Pansy and Capucine
"The texture of the fabric brings more to so many designs than simply printing them on paper. I love seeing my work on fabric, and then turning it into a garment, cushion, bag or wall hanging. The human tactile connection we have with fabric, the interaction with it, is so rich," she concludes.

Tamara has made it a goal to attempt to enter as many weekly design contests on spoonflower.com as she possibly can (and have won a few of them), in order to exercise her creativity and to get her name out there." As a result, my work was noticed by a children’s clothing designer with whom I have signed a licensing deal for a few upcoming seasons’ fabric designs."

© Tamara Serrano-Up and Up and Away

Tamara also says: "I try not to get stuck in a rut with my designing. While there is certainly a common thread that runs through most of my work, I try to push my own boundaries. Having spent my youth in the Caribbean plays a large part in my design aesthetic. I am hugely inspired by nature, colour and pattern." Pattern is such a stimulus. Pattern in the urban landscape, traditional patterns, pattern in nature, modern minimalist pattern… Tamara loves it all –  "While I greatly admire simplicity, it can be a real struggle for me. I adore embellishment and often get carried away with excessive detail."


While Tamara almost always works in Illustrator, she is starting to feel the desire to do more hand drawing and painting like she used to, so this will probably start creeping into her work this year. "I enjoy using watercolours (probably why I occasionally use transparency in my digital work) and doing detailed ink line drawings."

Here is more of her creative work:

© Tamara Serrano-The Dinner Thief
© Tamara Serrano-Fine Feathered Friends

Tamara Serrao's Links:
Mano Verde: manoverde.ca


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