Monday, August 2, 2010

Behind the Design - Leah Duncan

This week's Behind the Design features the talented artist, Leah Duncan.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Almost everywhere - I can be inspired by anything from a kiwi fruit at the grocery store to a dinner with friends. My most consistent inspiration, however, would be nature, folk art, children's illustrations, animals, and relationships that explore tension.

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
Being outdoors in general always works for me. I live a block from Austin's hike and bike trails so it's nice to step outside for a walk, a bike ride, or a run. The moments between sleeping and waking also trend towards inspiration, so my pillow is a great spot.

Where do you do most of your work?
We converted the downstairs of our house into my studio. I have all the supplies I need there to draw, design, print, and sew. I have three studio assistants with four paws and a tail each.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
I was born with it. Then my husband took over me with his last name. : )

Your favorite thing to make?
Drawings. But I love putting my drawings on useable goods, making artwork out of something you wouldn't expect to be artwork.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
Probably my Harry from "Harry Had a Bad Feeling". I've started exploring animal relationships and humanizing them in my work, which has been interesting new territory.

You couldn't run your business without ___________?

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
Oh, I needed so much help! Being a "business" person is not something that comes naturally to me. Probably the most important thing you should have for your business is love. Without it, it's easy to give up when things get tough... and things will get tough. If you love it, it makes it much easier to keep pushing your way through those tough times.

Coffee or tea?
Tea. Sweet and iced. That said, I can't deny that I have a loving relationship with the hotter varieties of both tea and coffee.

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
Fine Little Day.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
Frida Kahlo

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
I love to dance. Sometimes badly.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
If I can't do the impossible and go everywhere, I've been obsessing over Spain and Chile lately - a very close tie for first in my head.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you take with you?
Internet access, a computer, wine, chocolate, my sketchbook + pen attached.

Thank you Leah for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Leah Duncan.

Leah can be found at:
Etsy shop

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