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Sunday Spotlight - Illustrator: Erin Wengrovius

I'm kind of really excited to share this week's spotlight as it's showcasing one very talented lady that I've had the pleasure of working with at BUST Magazine. I was first in contact with Erin about two-and-one-half years ago as I was inquiring about an internship in the art department of BUST. It was my favorite magazine ever and I found Erin to be such a doll when we were exchanging emails for the first few months. In May 2009 I headed to NYC on my solo adventure of working under Erin and the other fabulous women at the magazine. I was even more elated when I was invited back in 2010 to do my second stint with the girls. Erin's design style has always inspired me and it was so cool to be able to work so closely with her; this past year especially. Not only is she an incredible designer and illustrator, but she is also such a sweet gal! She's a definite rockstar so when I received a packet of her adorable animal prints in the mail I knew I wanted to showcase her for all of you! Hopefully you'll love the following interview and love her work even more! Enjoy! xo

Hi Erin! We're so excited to have you on Little Chief Honeybee! Just to introduce you to everyone, how about you tell us some interesting tidbits about yourself!
♥ Hey Kaelah! Well, I’m a designer slash illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY (www.erinwengrovius.com). I‘m the Senior Designer at BUST Magazine, which is a woman’s pop-culture magazine. It’s a super fun, girlie environment, I get to meet and work with really rad people (like Kaelah Bee!). I also started my own business last year called Grovius where I sell paintings and prints; you can see them at www.grovius.etsy.com.
 
How long have you been into the whole illustration thing? Did it start by drawing doodles as a child or did you find your passion later in life?
♥ I was drawing ever since I can remember. It is really one of the few things I am good at so I invest a lot of my time working on it. I’ve always been a bit of a sales woman too. When I was a kid I would make little clay animals and sell them at my lemonade stands for a dollar each, I even employed the neighborhood kids to work for me. I guess it’s in my blood. Being able to make a living off my illustrations has always been my dream. It is a slow process but I am getting there. I basically want to be the next Jonathan Adler.
 
You pretty much draw the cutest little animals ever. You also choose a very eclectic mix of species... What is that all about?
♥ I have always loved animals, I remember studying animal atlases and learning all the different kinds of species. Their shapes and patterns fascinate me. The reason you see such an eclectic mix is because I pick animals that have the most interesting shapes and personality. Some animals have silhouettes that are especially unique; those are the animals I get really excited about, like the baboon or the kiwi. Another factor is all my designs are based on the square. If I can draw an animal to fit nicely in a square I will illustrate it. I am still trying to figure out how to fit a narwhale in a square.
 
Do you dabble in any other media of art such as canvas painting, woodworking or anything else equally as awesome?
♥ Yes, I experiment with everything. My favorite medium in acrylic paint which I love painting on wood panels. The fun thing about wood panels is you can use wood stains. It creates this great texture which kind of looks like animal fur so it is perfect for my designs. I also do a lot of digital art, I can’t say enough nice things about Photoshop and Illustrator they have made my life so much easier. Another medium I am exploring at the moment is embroidery. I am working on creating designs for pillows and tea towels.

 
Your style is also pretty refined and specific. Are there other illustrators or artists that you draw inspiration from for this kind of work?
♥ That is actually really nice to hear because I always thought my style was all over the place, there are so many styles I’m inspired by and I want to try them all. My earlier work was very realistic and labor intensive. But I learned over time the beauty of simplicity. I get my inspiration from all over the place. I think Charley Harper is a genius; he is a huge influence. I am a big fan of Orla Kiely’s patterns, Inuit art and Mid-Century modernism as well. Since I commission illustrators where I work I am constantly finding amazing illustrators, I am too shy to list them! It’s almost like telling everyone is school you have a crush on someone.
 
When you're not doodlin' up some darn cute doggies, what can you be found doing? How about a typical day in the life of Erin?
♥ I can’t be found doing much else. I am a total workaholic, as most illustrators I know are. When I am not working or drawing you can find me hanging out with my boyfriend, wandering around Brooklyn and eating! I also love movies and TV, which I watch while I illustrate. I don’t have an actual television set, I just watch everything on the Internet, currently I am obsessed with Peep Show, Trailer Park Boys and Freaks and Geeks. If you have not seen these shows I suggest you watch them right now!
 
Now for a more business-related question! If someone wanted to commission you for a portrait of their pooch or favorite animal, would this be something you'd be open to doing? Would you ever venture into the world of people portraits? I think a whole family photo could be pretty dang cute!
♥ Totally! I have created lots of custom paintings. I can paint anything; I’m not limited to animals. In fact, I love painting portraits. I had been considering doing a series of celebrities portraits on wood panels. I think portraits of James Franco would sell like hot cakes. Maybe I should get started on that. But if anyone out there needs a portrait of his or her aunt Edna, I’m your girl. Just give me an email at hello@erinwengrovius.com.

Any else you'd like to share with the little honeybees?
♥ Yes! If anyone has a cool idea for a project please send me an email, I love to collaborate. That is what’s so amazing about the blog world; it brings people together! 

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Thanks to Erin for taking part in this little interview for LCH! I hope you guys love her work and take a chance to check out the rest of her stuff! 

What is your favorite piece in Erin's shop?
You're kind of in love with the Sloth, right?! I know I am! (And peep the little bulldog on the wall up there! I die!)

8 comments:

  1. She's pretty cool, and my favorite's are the whale, and the lion!

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  2. I LOVE her style!
    her website is so simple, yet extremely eye appealing.

    I'd have to say that my favorite things in her shop are the Whale and Aye Aye prints, so cute!
    I just might have to snatch those up!

    Thanks so much for sharing :) :)

    xo!

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  3. I like Erin's work. Especially the mouse and koalas. I also think the self portrait on her website is pretty nifty. :)

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  4. She's such an amazing illustrator! I love the concept of fitting everything into a square. Very unique and mathematical, like Charley Harper.

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  5. Your blog, and the features you put on it are constantly inspiring me, and my art.

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  6. Love it... I'm a huge fan of wood panel pieces!!!
    I think the crab is my favourite. (That's a crab right? Haha)

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