For the Love of Pattern

Meet the Artist: Abby Zweifel

Meet the ArtistAbby Leigh EckerComment

Today I'd like to introduce Abby Zweifel of Pomelo & Pomelo, a creative company ready to deliver patterns made to color your world awesome. Abby is an illustrator and print designer and resides in Sarasota, FL. She has her BFA in illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design. In the past she's worked for Carter's and Bealls Inc., before starting her own company. She enjoys knitting, baking, watching for ibises in her yard and evening walks with her hubby. 

Pomelo & Pomelo Drawing - Photo of Ibises

Pomelo & Pomelo Drawing - Photo of Ibises

What is your earliest influence that you can recall that inspired you to go into a creative field?

AZ: Thinking back, I think of when you had to fill out that question, what do you want to be when you grow up, I always said artist. I don’t actually know why I wrote that or where that even came from. I knew a few of my mom’s friends who were artists, but they were very much traditional. For a long time I gave up on art, but got back into it in high school. I had a wonderful teacher for all four years and I really wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without him! At Ringling, all the illustration majors are taught in a traditional way. We all can paint and draw in traditional media, it was only in the last year of school that we got into making digital art. I didn’t realize there was this whole world of pattern design until I had an internship my junior year of college. That’s probably when I was like, “ hey this is awesome, I love to shop and make things so let’s do that!”. 

Where do you find inspiration for your designs? Do you find you have a common theme you return to or is it different for every collection?

AZ: Making different marks and repeating that seems to be in my work recently. Also lots of doodly lines and bits for texture. Inspiration comes from everywhere. That sounds totally corny but its true. We live in a tropical area so florals and bright colors are my favorite. 

What type of pattern do you enjoy the most?

AZ: Lot’s of florally doodly bits. I’m pretty sure that’s the technical term for it. The more layers and depth the more I love it! Also anything that has a clever layout. One that makes you stop and go “Wow, look how they did that!”. 

What is your favorite product to have your prints on?

AZ: I love seeing my work on drink ware. Like travel mugs or on Tervis tumblers. Ultimately, I’d like to see it on fabric in a quilt shop! Stationery would be pretty cool too. 

Do you have anything that helps motivate you while working?

AZ: My go-to, "I need to get to FOCUS nowww", would be the 80-90’s station on Pandora. Such a guilty pleasure, but you can’t go wrong with the 80’s. Every Tuesday one of my favorite podcasts comes out, Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine. It’s wonderful, I love that sort of stuff. 

Who do you look up to, someone you most admire or are influenced by?

AZ: I have lots of people who influence me in different ways. I look up to those who have sort of blazed a trail in the pattern world and also to those who are doing their own thing really well. The ability to OWN it in everything you do is quite something. 

What do you think makes a strong print design?

AZ: Color! Man, if there’s some not so great color combos going on, it doesn't matter how well you draw or how great your concept is!

Tell us about Meebs. :)

AZ: Ha! Meebs! I love the Meebs. Meebs started as a doodle between my husband, Ben (then new boyfriend), and I during a class in college. I think we’ve told stories about Meebs for over six years and they are just a part of life. Meebs are sweet little friends who average about three inches tall and will eat all your snacks. They LOVE getting into trouble but their sweetness makes up for it!

Where can we find the book "Meet the Meebs?"

AZ: At the moment, you can email me. I have hard cover and soft cover books available and I’m working on getting it into an ebook to sell online! There’s also a cute little plush toy I make as well!

What's your favorite thing to make when not designing?

AZ: Things. I like to make stuff in general. I love to knit, crochet, sew and just create things. Oh and bake! Loooove to cook and bake tasty snacks. Pinterest gives me all sorts of fun projects to work on.

Explain your vision behind Pomelo and Pomelo, what things are most important to you as a designer?

AZ: Pomelo & Pomelo’s purpose is to bring bright and colorful patterns to everyday products. I’ve worked for two major companies as an in-house artist and in the end I knew that If I wanted to keep growing I needed to start my own business. Sometimes you’re just done drawing palm fronds and need to branch out a bit!

How did you come up with the name Pomelo and Pomelo? It's very unique so I'm wondering if there is a story behind the name.

AZ: Yes, yes there is. Ben and I dream of living in a really cool area of Sarasota someday. There’s lots of tropical growth all throughout these neighborhoods and we just love it. Pomelo & Pomelo is an intersection down one of those streets. We just love the name and it’s also a LARGE citrus fruit. We’re big fans of citrus, so this seemed appropriate. It represents a “someday” goal!

Do you have any advice for other print designers?

AZ: Draw all day everyday! There’s something really wonderful about opening a sketchbook and drawing like nobody is going to see it. I think the ability to draw well, with confident lines, is super important when creating elements for your patterns. 

Is there anything new and exciting that you would like to share?

AZ: At the moment, not really! I have been thoroughly enjoying sewing with Sarah Watson’s Arcadia fabrics from Cloud 9. She’s a super fun person and I love being able to have a bit of her hanging around. 

Finish this sentence - When you're not in your studio we can find you...

AZ: In the kitchen! Either cooking, baking or digging around for a snack...

be kind to yourself - pomelo and pomelo

All Photos were provided by Abby Zweifel.

I love Abby's fun vibrant designs. She has a real eye for color and brings her designs to life through her use of color. I also really enjoyed hearing about how she came up with the name Pomelo & Pomelo, it's such a sweet story. Please check out Abby's website  to learn more, shop her etsy store or find her on twitter and instagram. Feel free to contact her at: pomeloandpomelo {at} gmail {dot} com

Enjoy and Happy Monday!