For the Love of Pattern

Meet the Artist

Interview with MADLAWMEDIA

Meet the Artist, VideosAbby Leigh EckerComment

I've had the pleasure this past week of being able to work with Kyle and Elizabeth of MADLAWMEDIA, a local digital media company that specializes in videography, photography, and motion graphic animation. Well, I should say, they did most of the work, I just talked about my business and demonstrated some of my daily studio activities. I am not a natural when it comes to being in front of a video camera since I have very little experience on the big screen but both Kyle and Liz are great at making you feel at ease, comfortable, and relaxed. They made sure to keep me on topic and directed the interview in a way that aided describing my business and what I love about it. I find that the Mad Law Duo, are passionate about story telling in any shape or form and they are able to cater their skills to a variety of types of businesses. I was impressed with their quick turnaround with the finished video and think they did a wonderful job of capturing the essence of For the Love of Pattern as well as why I decided to start my own business. I'm very happy with their work and love how the finished video turned out. I may even start to be in front of the camera more often, after all practices makes perfect!

Liz & Kyle of MADLAWMEDIA

Meet Kyle & Liz of MADLAWMEDIA

Do you mind sharing a little bit of your insight about making this video?

Liz: We like to begin a project by sitting down with a client and getting to know them---not just their business, but also who they are as a person. It's so much easier to capture what matters most to them, once you actually get to know them, at least a little bit.

What do you love about working on projects with local businesses?

KyleOur philosophy is that ordinary people have extraordinary stories. We really love working with small, local businesses because we prefer the relationship that we build with our clients on a first name, face to face basis. We want to help build a tight community of strong local businesses so we can all grow together.  

Liz: I personally love learning new things. We've gotten the opportunity to film watercolorists, restauranteurs, designers, club owners, collage artists and we even created an online video for a company that creates crowns for your teeth. Every shoot, I get to learn more about someone else's skills and meet new people along the way.

Each video you work on is a little bit different depending on whom your client is, how do you keep your vision as well as bring in the feel of your client's work or business?

Kyle: Different clients present different challenges and those challenges keep everything fresh.  We are always doing new things we would never be able to do otherwise so that really keeps us going. We always take our inspiration from the client's passion for what they do. Without passion the projects don't really work so that is what we look for. We are incredibly passionate about what we do and try to find business that feel the same about their process/product/service. That passion is the main thing we communicate to the audience.  We want them to know how much love and feeling goes into their purchase and that it was made by somebody right down the road you can go have a conversation with. There are real people with incredible stories behind it all.   

What do you enjoy more, the filming or editing and putting the project together?

Liz: Editing has been my passion for years. The way you can shape a story after it's captured is such an intimate and intense job, and the pay off, once the story is complete, is so rewarding. 

Kyle: For me, there is not a favorite part of the process, I love the problem solving at every stage. The client satisfaction is definitely the most rewarding thing. There are far better ways to pay the bills than to be a filmmaker so you have to be compensated in other ways and be really passionate about making films.  The most rewarding experience for me is to know that MADLAWMEDIA helped the client grow their business and a community.

What projects are you most passionate about?

Liz: I am most passionate about projects that show off another person's passion. I am easily influenced by others emotions, so if they are excited about an idea or a design or product, I get really passionate about it too.

What inspired you to go down this creative career path? Do you have anyone you look up to or are influenced by?

Liz: I knew pretty early on that I wanted to tell stories as a career. At the end of my teen years I decided filmmaking was the proper outlet for that. I began my film production studies at Lansing Community College in Michigan and it was really there that my passion grew stronger and I learned the necessary skills to follow through with my career plans. I later finished a B.F.A. at SCAD but at that point I was really just refining what I had been doing for years. I don't really have anyone that I am influenced by, but I am continuously inspired by the other filmmakers that I came up with, in Lansing and at SCAD, as well as my talented husband who is constantly amazing me with his encyclopedic amount of filmmaking knowledge and his eye for beauty.

What's coming up next for MADLAWMEDIA and what should we watch for?

Kyle: MADLAWMEDIA just released a short film on the MATE International R.O.V Competition held in June 2014 in Alpena, MI.  It was a lot of fun to work with people from all over the world and see how advanced kids are these days.  Teams with no budgets coming halfway across the world to compete was really inspiring.  We are currently working on two other documentaries, A Few Things About Cancer, due to be released hopefully in the next month or so. AFAC is about Caleb Mock, a 25 year old newly wed who was diagnosed with Stage Four Burkitt's Lymphoma and his day to day experience and lessons learned through his journey of cancer treatment.  We are also working on Big Brownie: A Documentary about the history of the Michigan Brown Trout festival.

Liz: We shot Big Brownie: A Documentary, in Northern Michigan this past summer and it's entirely a MADLAWMEDIA production. This is the first time that we have really gone out on our own, with our own ideas, no clients, and funded it entirely ourselves. We are in post right now, and plan to have a finished product by next spring. It was a very difficult yet rewarding experience and I can't wait to see where the film goes. It's about a fishing festival that celebrated it's 40th anniversary this past summer, when in reality, it never should have succeeded from the very beginning. It's a story of perseverance and community and I think it's going to be wonderful.  

Anything else you want to share with us?

Kyle: MADLAWMEDIA wants to continue growing by helping other business grow as well as continue work in the documentary and narrative film world. Our dream clients are the ones that are more collaborators that clients. My main joy in filmmaking is the collaborative process and it is the best feeling when everyone can contribute to make a better product.  

Abby Leigh Johnson | For the Love of Pattern

A video about the business produced by MADLAWMEDIA

Enjoy and Happy Monday! Please check out MADLAWMEDIA and contact them if you would like them to capture your story!

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! 

Interview with Sarah Watson

Meet the ArtistAbby Leigh Ecker1 Comment

Sarah Watson is an American illustrator living in Brazil, trained in textile design and repeat pattern. She studied Fibers at SCAD and is currently designing for Cloud 9 Fabrics, an all organic company. In the past she's worked with Art Gallery Fabrics and she's even illustrated two books. Pretty cool stuff! She just exhibited at Surtex for the first time this year, which I think is a pretty amazing accomplishment. 

Sarah Watson Illustration

Today I'd like to share a little more about Sarah, her design inspirations and a short interview that she kindly made time for in her busy schedule.

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

SW: The story that I'm usually told is that my grandmother (my Mom's mother that is), who passed away before I got to know her very well, noticed some sort of creative talent in me and pushed my parents to enroll me in art lessons. It all sort of started from there and I've been having fun in the field ever since.

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?

SW: My inspiration really comes from pen and paper. Everything I do starts with a drawing and that style even varies quite a bit depending on whether I'm using pen and ink, watercolor or pencil. Mostly the themes stick to nature, but there's a lot of imagination involved.

What type of pattern do you enjoy the most?

SW: Because I was trained in textile design, I really love intricate, complex patterns. The actual repeat layout of the pattern is just as important to me as the illustration style, color or subject matter. There are a lot of things that go into making a pattern, lots of decisions, and they all have to work well together.

Do you have anything that helps motivate you while working?

SW: Well, because my work isn't always just being creative and there's a lot of business work too, I tend to have a broad variety of external distractions. Because I live overseas, I try to listen to international or stateside news once a week or so, to keep in touch. If I'm doing something tedious, I love to get a good pile of work, sit down with a cup of coffee and watch TV while I work. We live in an apartment with a pool, though, too, so if I can gather enough work to sit quietly for a large span of time, I love to sit at the pool and work. And of course, no music or anything then, because there are waves crashing in the background. It's all the music I need.

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

SW: Historically speaking, there are a few people I'm drawn to, William Morris is great. He was such a jack of all trades. As far as modern designers go, right now I'm really loving everything that Carolyn Friedlander is doing. She's slowing things down quite a bit, and with the pace that design happens these days, with products hitting shelves, and then moving to the sale rack within a month, I think that's really important. I think we could all use a little more handmade.

What do you think makes a strong textile design?

SW: Well, this kind of goes back to my answer of what pattern I enjoy most. To me, a strong textile design has a few important elements: color, subject, repeat layout and style.  Those design elements get moved around, depending on what the desired outcome is. For retail, I think color drives nearly everything. 

Besides textile design, are you working on anything else?

SW: I am! But I can't tell you about it yet! How's that for suspense? 

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

SW: I do like to cook. Living overseas, I get homesick for certain things every now and then, so I'm getting better and better at cooking. As far as hobbies, I love gardening, anything outdoors and exercise. 

Explain your vision behind Sarah Watson Illustration, what things are most important you you as a designer?

SW: When I quit my day job, I was leaving it because I felt like all my time was spent at work. I love to work, but there are other important things out there, life, family, giving back. I needed to figure out how I could make my schedule work so that all of those things could be incorporated into my day-to-day. A big part of my business plan is giving back. Because I've been very lucky to have supportive parents, and was born into a loving family, I feel like everyone should have the same opportunities. I allot 12 days a year to volunteering, and 5% of my profits go to social or environmental organizations. Design is very important to me, but when I sit back and look at the grand spectrum, what I'd really love to be known for is being a good person.

Do you have any advice for new designers out there?

SW: Hmm, I still consider myself a pretty new designer! But I think the best advice I have would to be work hard. It takes quite a while to make a profitable business, in any realm, and there is a lot of work involved. Don't take shortcuts or the easy way out, you're going to have to work very, very hard in the beginning. But if you really love what you're doing, it'll start to click, and it'll get easier and easier. 

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

SW: Well, with the way this industry works, I don't have too much fun to share right now, it's all top secret. I have a new fabric line coming out this month, which is very exciting. And I'm also pregnant, so I guess that's pretty important too!  

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

SW: Trying to convince my husband to take the day off work, and go to the beach! 

Make sure you check out Sarah's latest collection, Arcadia! My personal favorites from this collection are Herb Garden & Sun Spot and Bee. I love the line quality in these designs and the tiny little details. I can't wait to see what's next from Sarah and to find out all of the top secret projects that she is working on. I think it's safe to say that we will be seeing a lot of exciting things from Sarah in the near future. 

All photos were provided by Sarah Watson.

Enjoy your week and happy Monday! As always I welcome comments and feedback.