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Allison + Cam Q&A

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Allison Burda + Cam Gee,
Working collaboratively they make illustrations and animations as well as sell there own line of greeting cards. They create things in the spirit of colour and fun.

Allison + Cam Artist Q & A:

How did you start?
Neither of us went to art school but when we first started dating we realized we had an excellent creative dynamic. We made small comics, animations, and filled sketchbooks with little throwaway projects we made together. We got a lot of positive feedback from the people who saw our work so we started to post illustrations on a weekly blog and printed out some of our work to sell online. From there we were contacted by a few publishers and magazine art directors and started getting paid for our work. But it took years of taking on freelance projects and juggling 1 or 2 days jobs until we were able to make this our full-time gig.

What is your process? What art tool could you not live without?

One of us will mention an idea. If it’s digital work (like planning our cards and stickers), usually Cam will map it out; he’s amazing with rough sketching composition. Then one of us will flesh it out in Photoshop. I’m almost always in charge of colour. If we’re working with irl materials like clay, plaster, paint, wood then it’s kind of a free for all where we converge and diverge throughout the process until the project feels complete. Our work is always stronger when it’s a collaboration than
when we work separately

Where do you get your inspiration?

No one place. We love and collect children’s picture books, and we have a toddler who does bizarre baby stuff and his motions are often a jumping off point for animations. Usually ideas start in a sketchbook that seems to get the most action in the late evenings. Mostly we randomly put ideas on paper and then forget them for months at a time, then we revisit them and the idea feels stronger than it did in the beginning. If it makes us laugh when we come back
to it then it’s worth turning into something.

Is there anything you are currently working on that you are excited about?

We’ve been caught between some large and looming editorial contracts for the last 2 years which have all finished up for the moment so this is the first time in a while where we’ve been able to work on stuff that’s just for us. We’ve been working on plaster sculpture this summer and we’re in the middle of making everything we need to try out punch rug hooking. September is coming and our free time is almost up so we’re savouring this creative trial and error before the autumn
editorial rush picks up again.
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Smitten Kitten Q & A

We had the pleasure to converse with the owner of Smitten Kitten for our Artist Q & A.
Amy Kwong, the designer behind the brand, started Smitten Kitten in 2006 and
opened the I HAVE A CRUSH ON YOU Gift Shop in 2014.

How did you start?

I started Smitten Kitten in 2006 after I quit my career as a creative director for a giftware company.
I loved the design process and over-seeing the creation of a product from start to finish,
but my design sensibilities didn’t align with the company’s vision.
After butting heads with them one too many times,
I decided to quit working for someone else and start my own company, and Smitten Kitten was born.
Hard to believe that was 13 years ago.

What is your process? What art tool could you not live without?

Well it’s not really an art tool, but I can’t live without my notes app on my phone.
Sometimes ideas come so quick (and I can be very forgetful)
if I don’t jot it down right away, even a few words, I’d loose it forever.
Reading back my notes doesn’t always make sense though.
What’s “Honbre some umbra”?! Who the hell knows. Auto correct is the ducking wurst.
When it’s time to launch a collection, which is twice a year.
I’ll go through my notes to see if any of the ideas have legs.
Then it’s off to races with my trusty sketch book and sharpie where the doodling begins!

Where do you get your inspiration?

Hmmm…not a source of inspo but I find a nice long drive on the highway in
my Mini helps me focus and clears my head.
Also, falling down the social media rabbit hole helps me identify what’s missing in the marketplace.
I’m a bit of a pop culture junkie, so memes and articles that flash across my screens stick with me.
My friends are a brilliant funny bunch too, so we tend to come up with ideas when we hang.

Is there anything you are currently working on that you are excited about?

Yup! Currently working on my 2019 Christmas designs.
Dead celeb RIP Christmas cards and letterpress holiday cards will drop in August at the NY Gift trade show.

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Fabled Creative Q&A

Fabled Creative is run by power couple Indy & Ron Guyatt.
They both have a background in illustration and graphic design.
With their love of nature and art they Co-Founded Fabled Creative.
We had the pleasure of doing Q&A with the couple, heres what they had to say.

How did you start?
With $1.00 and access to the school’s printer

What is your process? What art tool could you not live without?
Everything starts as an idea. If it’s a subject that needs research then we start there before we start sketching.
If there was research then we make notes about important common factors,
if there was no research then we will usually make a list of things to consider including in the work.

From there one of us does the initial sketch, usually,
Ron does the refined version of the sketch, and potentially a colour test with markers.
Then Indy will render out the digital version usually in Adobe Illustrator,
it then is handed off to Ron to do final touches in Photoshop.

After all that, our screens are produced by Kid Icarus and then we screen print our art in our apartment.
I guess it could be said that we kind of hot potato our work haha.

As for the tool we couldn’t live without; we unanimously agreed upon the pencil.

Where do you get your inspiration?
In the past year or so we have been switching our gears and with that our inspirations have shifted.
Currently, we are a mix of things like space, science, nature, books.
That said inspiration comes from everywhere so it can sometimes be hard to nail down exactly
what it was that lead to the creation of a piece.

Is there anything you are currently working on that you are excited about?
We are always excited to be making new art,
recently we have started working on fabric which has been very exciting!