Friday, April 22, 2016

Artist Spotlight - Phyllis Dobbs


Did you go to school for Art? Are you self taught? 
I’m both self-taught and attended school. I’ve always loved creating and have been drawing and creating from a very early age. The women in my family taught me the needle arts - needlework, sewing, and quilting. My father was also creative and taught me drawing. I attended the University of Alabama for a degree in Interior Design and focused on color theory and painting while there. I love taking classes and love to learn. As a result, I have since taken many classes in painting, various crafts and needle arts as well as digital art. Dangle a creative class in front of me and I will take it. But I also learn simply by working everyday in my business and stretching myself to try something new or different.

Do you work in just one medium? Several? 
I use several methods to create. I usually paint with acrylics and some gouache. But I also turn my art into digital art to format for product design and fabric design with Photoshop and Illustrator. I love textiles and use fabrics to create quilt and sewing patterns. I guess the two creative paths are from the Gemini in me although both markets overlap heavily.

What inspires you/ where do you get your inspiration from? 
I see inspiration all around me, especially with animals and the florals and greens all around in nature. Combining this with my love of humor, I put a lot of whimsy and vibrant color in my art.

How did you start licensing your art?  
I began my career using my art and drawings for counted cross stitch designs which I self-published. I’ve always loved textiles and dreamed of designing fabrics, so I turned my art focus on creating patterns for fabric design. I showed the these pattern collections to a major fabric company, and that started my career in licensing as a fabric designer. I then pursued other product companies outside of fabrics for licensing and signed with an agency Jewel Branding and Licensing.

What are you working on now.   
I am working with a client on new bedding lines as well as working on new art for licensing for fabrics and other products in the gift and home markets. I’m also excited to be working on a new quilt book with a slant on modern quilting.

Anything else you would like to share with us? 
Loving art and classes, I started ArtBizJam, an art-business retreat, 4 years ago with a couple of other creative souls. The focus is to help other artists expand their art business in several directions, such as product design and licensing plus more, and to rejuvenate their creativeness. Our guest speaker this year is Susan January, art director and VP of Product Management at Leanin’ Tree. Susan will be joining Lori Siebert, Cherish Flieder and myself in presenting classes on all aspects of an art business. ArtBizJam has been a wonderful success! This year will be the 4th annual retreat and will be held in October in the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, TN.

I am also working on another retreat SewBizJam to help start or expand a sewing or quilting business. SewBizJam will be held in September in the beautiful and relaxed atmosphere of the beach in Destin, FL.

I love working with these retreats that help others with their creative businesses. Other perks from these retreats are the great friendships formed among all the attendees plus lots of fun and laughter, great networking and just spending time with fellow creatives.

Along with helping artists, I created a product template package, Create Product Mockups that allows an artist to show clients or potential clients how their art looks on products. Find it here

Any great advise for our readers? 
I learned early after starting a creative career not to put all of your “eggs in one basket” with what you do. It is a definite advantage to be versatile and willing to adapt as it is to be able to work in multiple mediums. But at the same time, you need to be true to yourself. Allow yourself to expand and experiment. Find your “creative pot”, put what you love to do in it, stir and let it work together.

Are you an early riser or a night owl? 
I prefer to get an early start so I tend to rise early. However there are also a lot of late nights when you are your own boss and when there are deadlines.

What is your favorite food?   
I have given up sugar and artificial sweeteners. This is a bummer as my favorite food is dessert - Flan, chocolate, cheesecake, key lime pie and wine (horrors). So I am focusing on my 2nd favorite food.  Hummm, haven’t found it yet, unless its pasta of some kind.

Phyllis’ website and blog, social media links - 

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  1. Thanks so much for "Spotlighting" me Annie!

    1. You are welcome! Thank you for sharing all of this great information with us.

  2. Love your colorful fun work and appreciate your helpful advice, Phyllis. Thank you Annie for sharing this with us.

    1. HEY Barbara! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog <3

  3. Thank you Barbara! I appreciate your comment!

  4. Great spotlight, Annie! It's so fun getting to know you a little better, Phyllis. I really do enjoy your creative spirit and your beautiful art.

    1. BETH! Great to "see" you! Thanks bunches for stopping by the blog <3

  5. Very nice you two. I remember when you received the Plaid award back when at CHA. I forget the entire name. I was so excited for you. Great stuff Phyllis.

    1. Thanks a bunch for stopping by the blog Madeline!

  6. Beautiful art Phyllis and thanks for sharing Annie.

    1. Hi Daniela! I really appreciate you stopping by the blog <3

  7. Thanks so much for your comments!! Madeline, you have some memory!!! That was a long time ago!


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