14 July 2007

on the spot • no. 02

m. writes about abigail + theodesign
i fell into abigail's imaginative land by a lucky click of the mouse. it was a serendipitous moment to say the least! her drawings spoke to me and i wanted to understand her characters, hoping to become their friend. abigail illustrates scenes both fantastic and realistic. the sketched fresh faces with darting eyes, their often flowing locks & tailor-made fashions create a whimsical theme. i notice her attention to color, balance between tight details & negative space, and how well she succeeds the ultimate challenge of giving a drawing a soul. bravo!

every time i view (or better yet, meet) one of her new characters, it's easy to see their unique personalities. once discovering abigail's astounding creativity, i knew i wanted to get inside her head. thankfully she consented! the interview goes as follows:

Name: Abigail Halpin.
Line of work: Graphic Designer/Illustrator

Favorite tool in your art studio / on your desk?
A trusty pencil and eraser. Actually, a lot of erasers.

Favorite activity on a lazy Saturday?
Leisurely sitting sipping coffee and gabbing with my family.

Favorite coffee table book?
Drawn From New England: Tasha Tudor, by Bethany Tudor.

On your ipod?
Lots of The Squirrel Nut Zippers, The Clash, They Might Be Giants, Marshall Crenshaw, Ratatat, Francoise Hardy, and episodes of "This American Life."

A must in your handbag?
My sketchbook.

An every day ritual?
Spending time with my nieces (almost 2 and almost 1). Doing so gives me a legitimate excuse to run around the front yard in my pajamas and roll down hills.

A must-see in Maine?
There's so many! The Rangeley Lakes region is stunning (the Appalachian Trail runs through the area), Camden (poet Edna St Vincent Millay's hometown) is really cute. The Old Port in Portland is quirky and the art museum is swell.

What/who is your source of inspiration?
Typography, anything mid-20th century, vintage children's book illustrations, textiles, unusual faces in the crowd, and song lyrics.

Best part about being in the art industry?
Having a chance to do something creative, definitely. Also the community is really awesome. I've come in contact with so many talented, encouraging people that I'm always being inspired by.

Do you have a favorite artist?
I love the work of Tasha Tudor, Carl Larsson, William Morris, El Greco, Lizbeth Zwerger, Aubrey Beardsley, and Arthur Rackham.

Where can your art be found?
I post a lot of things that I'm working on over at my blog. I have an Etsy shop where I put up original pieces here and there. I also illustrated a really great book, Basil's Search for Miracles, by Heather Zydek that Conciliar Press published this past Spring.

Do you have a message you hope to convey?
I visited Auschwitz as a teenager; it had a profound impact on me seeing that kind of evil. In contrast, the goodness that so many of the prisoners showed astounded me. I think the world can be a very ugly place. If in some tiny way I can bring a little bit of beauty and something good to it, however imperfect, then I'll have gotten across what I want to with my art.

Inspiring words for aspiring artists...
"Look after goodness and truth, and beauty will look after herself."
- Eric Gill, typeface designer

Something you always count on...
Once I get a bunch of lousy sketches out of the way, there's generally a decent idea hidden somewhere in the pile.

Makes you happy...
Spring mornings, bright colors, singing along to the car radio, daffodils, letters in the mailbox, tiramisu, bad puns, and my family.

merci, abigail, for sharing your insights & inspirations. to view more of abigail's incredible illustrations, visit her website Theodesign.com. and for a daily scoop of sugar, visit her sweet blog.


Sarah said...

Thank you for introducing me to Abigail through the Mellow & Yellow swap.I was lucky to get her as a partner. Great interview. I agree, her work needs to be seen by everyone!

joslyn said...

lovely interview. great find. thanks for sharing.

Ann said...

Once I get a bunch of lousy sketches out of the way, there's generally a decent idea hidden somewhere in the pile. Exactly what I needed to read this morning! Thanks, Marta! I hope you enjoy your trip!

love.boxes said...

Marta, thank you for introducing us to Abigail. It is lovely to meet her and all of her ispiringly happy creations! :)

flossy-p said...

I'm not great with words, so reading your wonderful introduction was incredibly satisfying, as it sums up (so perfectly) exactly how I feel about Abigails work. I've been a big fan of her's for a long time, so it's a real treat to read this interview. Thank-you to both of you! :)

Diane Duda said...

I visit Abigail's blog daily to see pretty things. :)

I'm A said...

Thanks for posting this Marta. She is fabulous, I would have to agree.

EliseBlaha said...

very cool. wonderful interview and beautiful stuff.

donna said...

lovely, lovely illustrations...thanks for sharing this interview with us.

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