Today we are delighted to share with you an interview with Lynda Metcalf, a self taught artist and designer. Her style is a mix of storytelling and humor with layers of texture and color. Inspired by Disney Films, nature and children’s books. Lynda creates art with a combination of traditional and digital methods. Lynda took The Ultimate Portfolio Builder in September 2016 and will be exhibiting at Printsource in New York this summer.
- When did your interest in design first start and how did that come about?
I’ve always loved animation and art since I was a child. I became a serious crafter and decorative painter in my early 30’s. I then put my art on hold when I got married and had two children. In 2011 I found some online art courses and started creating again. A designer friend told me my art would be perfect for surface pattern design. I looked into the subject and found a real passion for it. I’ve been taking courses on design and computer courses ever since.
- What steps did you take to get to where you are now as a designer?
My art education has been primarily online with a few in person art classes. Module 1 of ABSPD was the catalyst. Since I took that course I’ve been consistently educating myself in design practice and trends as well as continuing to take courses in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I feel it’s very important to continue learning as the programs keep changing. I also try to draw every day either with pen and paper or on my iPad Pro.
- What was the most important lesson you took away from “The Art and business of Surface Pattern” e-course?
My favorite lessons from the ABSPD e-courses are to not throw anything away and to create what you are passionate about. These philosophies take away a lot of the pressure of “what am I going to create?”. I find myself to be less critical of my work, open to try new things and willing to trust the process.
- How would you describe your style?
My style is whimsical and fun. I love drawing animals and giving them adventures or anthropomorphic characteristics. I’m inspired my Disney so animals dressed as humans and doing things out of the ordinary is common in my work. I’m also nostalgic so my art is often inspired by memories of my childhood or new memories I’m creating with my children.
- What are you working on currently?
I am currently working on designing collections for Printsource in August. This will be my first tradeshow so I want to make the most of the experience.
- What advice would you give emerging designers wanting to build their portfolios?
My advice would be to be yourself. Create what you are most passionate about. Create the art you would want to buy and not what you think someone else would buy. I don’t exactly follow trends. I look at what is out there and create art in my own style inspired in trends I am drawn to. I would also advise to continue to educate yourself because computer programs and the design industry is always changing. My last bit of advice is that you are never too old to pursue your creative interests. I didn’t start designing until I was in my early 40’s.
- What would be your dream design gig?
My dream gig would be to see my designs in Target. I shop there all the time and I love their Pillowfort collection. I think it would be so much fun to bring an item to the register and say “this is my art!”.
- Looking ahead what are your major goals for the next couple of years?
My immediate goal is to be successful at Printsource. From there I want to expand the licensing aspect of my business and then eventually have an agent.
- What difference did it make to have a supportive community of fellow students and how important do you think that will be going forward?
ABSPD’s Facebook groups are probably one of my favorite aspects of the courses. I have found the design community to be one of the nicest and supportive communities. It’s incredibly helpful to receive constructive feedback. There is also a vast wealth of knowledge in the groups so, if you have a question, someone is able to answer it. I’ve made lasting friendships locally and abroad.
Lynda Metcalf is a self taught artist and designer. Her style is a mix of storytelling and humor with layers of texture and color. Inspired by Disney Films, nature and children’s books. Lynda creates art with a combination of traditional and digital methods. The art always starts with a sketch infused with lots of imagination with the hopes of making people smile. Lynda currently sell prints of her work in her Etsy shop and hopes to expand deeper into licensing.