If you’ve been following Lime Ricki for a while, you might know that we held our first ever Design Your Swim Contest last spring, where we asked YOU to design and choose a print to be featured in a Lime Ricki Collection. After gathering almost 700 entries, we picked our top 10, the public voted, and a winner was chosen! That winning design has now become the Blossoms print featured in the Newport Collection, and the winner was artist and designer Sue Douclette-Allred of Wild Rose Lane. Today, we want you to introduce you to Sue and get to know the inspiration behind the Blossoms print! You can follow Sue at @wildroselane designs on Instagram.
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When did you first realize you wanted to become an artist and designer?
“I have always loved to draw! I can remember as a young child trying to force my siblings to sit still for long periods so I could sketch them. I loved how drawing helped me to see and notice things as they really were! People always told me that I’d be an artist when I grew up but for some reason that never seemed like a real possibility so I didn’t entertain the thought. I became a nurse, though my nursing books were all full of doodles! It wasn’t until I had my own home to decorate on a student budget that I really started delving into design and exploring my style so that I could create beauty that expressed my values and personality. As I dabbled people started asking me to paint for them and I did custom work for a few years, and in doing so I learned so much! I studied and discovered many designers that were and are an inspiration to me, and ultimately decided that I wanted to use my time to design things that I was passionate about. I still feel like a beginner most days, and I usually only have time to dabble after my little ones are in bed, but hey! Someday!”
What inspires your art and what is your favorite medium?
“I am naturally a detail oriented type, and most of my life I tried to draw things as exactly as possible. But I am one thousand times more inspired by looser styles that capture the scene faithfully but also convey an impression or essence. In my art journey I’m constantly trying to loosen up and not just draw exactly what I see. I aim to “see” the essence of things. I’m not there yet, but I’m slowly making improvements!
Currently, my favourite medium is digital art. I draw/paint with a stylus on my iPad and it’s perfect for this season of life when I don’t have time to be cleaning up real paint messes! I love that I can easily switch back and forth between brushes and paint colors and create so many different effects as if on paper!”
What was your inspiration for the Blossoms print and what did the design process look like?
“When I design patterns I try to imagine what I would love to wear and at that time the answer was large florals! I had actually previously drawn a few of these blossoms as part of a gift for my sister, and I liked them so much that I thought they’d be fun to wear! The beauty of digital art is that I could easily grab the ones I’d already drawn, add a few elements, and organize them into a pattern. ”
(See below for Sue’s original piece that led to the creation of the Blossoms print!)
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How did you feel when you found out you were the Lime Ricki Design Your Swim contest winner?
“My sister was in my car with me and saw the results first and yelled “Sue you won!” And I was just completely shocked! Thrilled too of course! There was definitely some jumping and dancing! I’ve been working towards creating prints for fabric for a long time so this was a bit of an unexpected dream come true for me!”
When you’re not making art, what do you like to do?
“Every night after my little ones are in bed it’s a tough decision: draw, sew, play guitar, or read! Lately it’s been drawing on my iPad with an audiobook playing. Heaven!”
What is your advice for upcoming creatives?
I have had so many conversations with people who say they want to be more creative and get good at this or that but they don’t think they’re talented enough. My advice to them and to those actively creating but who inevitably have times of discouragement is this: I would say just believe in the power of practicing! Reaching your ideals takes TIME so CHOOSE to believe in yourself and in the process! Try to only dwell on thoughts that make you feel encouraged. Get yourself excited! Figure out what inspires you and what you would be thrilled to create. This part takes time and research… collect pictures, write even partial ideas down, notice what details make a design stand out to you… shapes, composition, colors, textures, etc. Explore, combine, and follow your interests and they will evolve and you’ll be amazed at where you end up!