Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SACRED Art Show... with Aileen Holmes!

So far, I've shared art that features Scarlett, her mare Delilah, and handsome, green-eyed Will Cohen.

Today's addition to the art show by Aileen Holmes introduces a new element of the SACRED story... Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah. Take a look:

The image behind Scarlett is the Tree of Life, a map of the Sefirot. The rose... well, you'll have to read the book to find out about that!

E: I love how you incorporate the Tree of Life in the background. You mention an interest in mystical symbolism… is this something you often have an opportunity to include in your work?
A: I've always had a fascination with symbols-- from studying hieroglyphics and cryptography as a kid, to drawing the perfect star with a compass and ruler in geometry class in high school, to exploring ancient mystical symbols when I was studying art history in college. Now, I am going back to my roots on a more spiritual level studying tarot. I hope to create my own tarot deck someday!

E: Oh! I love Tarot. My next book BURNING kind of revolves around a Tarot reading.

E: How does being an artist affect the rest of your life—the non-art creating moments? (I find being a writer influences a lot of what I do, think, and say, even when I’m not writing!)
A: I see everything through an artistic lens--the lights, colors and patterns of everything around me. I'm always on the hunt for new inspiration whether consciously or not. Since much of my art involves fashion, I enjoy playing with color, texture and pattern in what I wear everyday. Sometimes I change my outfits multiple times a day just because! 

E: Who and what inspires you?
A: I'm most influenced by art nouveau from the '20s and re-imagined in the '70s. I love the organic and mysterious yet sometimes wild and psychedelic nature of that artwork! I am also inspired by estate sale shopping. I am a total snoop--I like to wander around in the houses of folks and piece together what I imagine life was like from the artifacts in their home. 

E: What is a typical work day like for you?

A: I am so lucky that I live next to a park and two miles from the ocean. If I manage to wake up early enough, I like to take a stroll in the park first thing and write down my dreams in a journal. If there's nothing urgent pending, I might linger a bit longer. : ) I work from my home office and try to book half of my day for billable hours. The other half is used for meetings and boring businessy stuff but who wants to hear about that? 

In my creative work, illustration is sometimes involved in creating textile prints or designing a character for a brand, but most of my work involves graphic design. Most of what I get hired for these days includes: accessory design, t-shirt graphics, footwear design, and generally decorating cute products with graphics! 

E: Your workspace is so lovely! Here are some photos: 

E: Do you have a favorite type of art to create?
A: I love creating patterns! Whether hand drawn or on the computer (or some mixture of both), I love making repeat patterns. It's also obvious that I love to draw girls with really cool outfits and accessories. I was really into screen printing on fabric and paper too and I hope to get back to that. And, I am generally crafty--jewelry making is my fav.

E: Here's a shot of the SACRED piece in progress:

E: What other projects—both professional and personal—are you involved in?
A: Some of my big professional projects right now involve: creating graphics for a licensed character's style guide, designing fashion totes + backpacks for Target and Walmart, designing graphics + prints for shoes and helping little start-ups develop their branding.

I used to over volunteer and be in tons of art shows and basically be a workaholic but I've cut back recently to actually enjoy the fruits of my labor! I am focusing on the simple pleasures in life, soaking up inspiration and building up energy for my next big venture.

E: What advice would you give people who’d like to break into the art world?
A: Be willing to experiment and seek an internship or apprenticeship while in school. You don't want to build up expectations of being happy after your ultimate goal is fulfilled (i.e. perfect job, degree, etc) without actually trying it out first! 

I also recommend making tons of creative friends and staying in touch with everyone you work with. When your old co-workers go on to different jobs at different companies so after some time, you'll have contacts everywhere! Be free with information and develop a culture of sharing and everyone can succeed together.

E: Do you have a web presence?
A: My website
     My facebook fan page
     My tees + art for sale on etsy

If someone has a design project in mind, please feel free to contact me for my latest portfolio! Since it takes at least a year for my designs to be produced and get onto shelves in stores, there's much work that I cannot put on my website but I've had permission from clients to share privately. Don't hesitate to ask!

E: Without giving too much away…do you have a favorite scene in SACRED?

A: Call me dark but I really enjoy the more introspective moments like when Scarlett choses not to hurt herself and faces her inner pain. Wow, I sound so goth! 

And once more, Aileen's beautiful SACRED piece...


  1. Love the incorporation of symbolism and the mystery of what part the rose plays :-)

  2. Me too! And I love the fingerless gloves!