Stacey Walker is a mother of two in Teton Valley, Idaho. Having conquered motherhood, she’s returning to work, bringing her unique blend of patterns and hand lettered art back out to the world. Her combination of colorful patterns and letters reveals a brand that is all her own, a feeling of matured artisanal quality.
What makes Walker so interesting is her actual viability as a commercial artist. Many of the pieces in her portfolio have been used for packaging for high quality companies or design for businesses and events local to the artist. To me, the feel of her work blends the skills of a technical line artist with the eye of a gift-wrapping specialist. Just imagine the best gift-wrapping you’ve ever used or received and now imagine the mind of the person who comes up with such pleasant patterns. There you have Stacey Walker. She employs seasonal themes like blends of vibrant flowers, explosions of colorful hearts and pineapple adjacent drinks.
A highlight of her work is a pattern Walker put together using the sketches she did with a class of children at one of her kid’s schools. It’s an adorable project that is still, signature to Walker, filled with color and arrayed beautifully. There are roughly drawn chickens and sunflowers and shapes all drawn with a child’s hand but arranged with an adult’s mind. It proves that no matter what Walker touches, even if it’s been drawn by a child, it will be fun, vibrant and worth a look.
Interview with Stacey
Your art is very floral or nature inspired. What draws you towards using this as inspiration?
I love the colors and patterns that are found in nature. Flowers are a perfect way to explore that. It’s fun to put different natural elements into a pattern and play with the relationships of size and color.
What are some challenges you faced in your art or art career and how did you overcome them?
I sold my illustrations as microstock for years and used it as a way to see what people liked and what sold well. I was working as an advertising designer at a local publication house so my art was geared toward print advertising. I watched the microstock market become over saturated and undervalued. The last straw for me was when one of my images was used in the movie La La Land and I realized that I only made a few dollars for that. Since then, I’ve become interested in surface pattern design and editorial illustration and am building my portfolio for those markets.
When are are "stuck" in your creative process, what do you use to get you out of the funk?
I love taking classes or doing challenges. It’s a good way to force yourself to try new things. I also get a ton of inspiration from my 7 year old and her love of color and art. And, of course, music - it’s such a good motivator.
What are some of your favorite tools you use when creating your art? What do you like about them?
I love fine line pens, .2 and .3 are my favorite weights for drawing and .05 for adding details. I switch between alcohol and water based markers. I like copic a lot because they have replaceable nibs and refillable ink.
What is a basic and advanced tip you'd have for someone who wants to improve their illustration skills?
A basic tip is make art every day, even if you’re not in the mood. Grab a pen and your sketchbook and just draw something.
An advanced tip is to use the best materials you can afford. It really does make a difference. When I try new things, I go budget, but if I find that I like a certain medium, I invest and it is always worth it.
Which artists on Doodle Addicts do you recommend everyone follow?
Kevin Loftus - I love the detail in his work whether it’s color or black and white.
Junkyard Sam - So unique and imaginative.
Joanna M Gregores - Beautiful colors. I love her interiors and still life.
Jim Bradshaw - I love the mood of his work and there is so much to look at in each piece.