Yasmine is one of the nicest, most inspiring artists and bloggers I know. I’m thrilled to have her here today! Not only does Yasmine have a wonderful blog with some of the best free printables on the web, she also publishes cool online magazines, designs the most adorable scrapbook kits, and has now launched a line of beautiful fabrics. This talented California artist is one amazing woman, I hope you enjoy learning more about her.
When did you start A Print A Day, what inspired you?
I started APAD about two years ago. I was burnt out doing commercial design work that I wanted to just draw without having to think of money or being critiqued and all that. And it’s been a great experience so far. I’ve been given so many opportunities, and I’ve met so many creative people. I’m quite glad I started my blog.
You are so talented and have such a unique illustration style. Did you always have this style or did it evolve over time? What artists have inspired you along the way?
I love the work of Henry Darger, Gregory Blackstock…I love outsider and folk art. I love Native American, Pennsylvania Dutch, Russian folk art. I also love the illustrations of Arthur Rackham, Babar, and the like. I also read a lot of Japanese Manga and indie Euro comics. Oh and Lisa Frank. I love that stuff.
My style started out different. I read a lot of comic books, like Uncanny Xmen, Spiderman, Archie and all that. And when I was a kid, my style emulated the handwork done in comics. My mom is an animator and my dad is an architect, and they’ve influenced me quite a bit as well.
When I was a teenager, I discovered underground comics, ‘zines, handmade publications, graffiti, punk rock and this was a time when I changed my style. I think it became more natural and not as comic book-ish. I loved the awkward handmade nature of these indie publications. There were typos and cutting and pasting and screen printing errors and all that. It shows human mistakes. I love that sort of thing especially when everything is so digitized and perfect nowadays.
After I graduated from college, I had a choice of working in the animation industry or to be an illustrator at a toy company. I chose the latter. I worked at Lisa Frank for a couple of years. It was a pretty interesting experience. I drew a lot of rainbows, bunnies and unicorns. I also got to work with some cool people–one of whom inspired me to do my own thing.
Speaking of unique, I’ve always wondered about the illustration on your home page. Why the bunnies coming out of machine guns?
My header…I try to stay away from things that are too saccharine sweet and pretty, even though I like “prettiness”. I think it’s because when it comes to doing business, a lot of the companies I work with always demand “pretty” and clean. So every once in a while, I’ll add a creepy Victorian house or an automatic weapon popping out bunnies and rainbows in my personal work.
Tell us more about you. Do you have a boyfriend, husband, kids, cats, dogs? What’s your day job? What do you do for fun?
I am married to a sculptor. We met in college. I have 2 cats and and an 80 lb dog who thinks he’s a cat. We live in a tiny house in the Bay Area but our art studio is in Phoenix. Throughout my career, I’ve been an illustrator, toy designer, textile designer and accessories designer. Before shifting to the creative field, I considered geophysical engineering or the foreign service. Aside from art, I love science, history, reading on current events. But the creative field won me over–I was making a good living as an illustrator and designer prior to graduating designing rave and club fliers as I knew a number of promoters at the time. I loved working with club promoters–they pretty much let me have free reign.
For fun I like to not do anything. My schedule is usually packed so time spent just sitting around is quite a relief. It allows me to rest and be inspired. My husband and I do try to make time for quick out of town jaunts in Northern California. Sometimes we go to galleries or explore local neighborhoods. We also like to eat. And the Bay Area has a LOT of great little mom n’ pop restaurants. I love Indian food, food trucks and farmers’ markets. And there’s lots of those here.
You have so many projects going on… a blog, a huge digital magazine, an online shop and now fabric. What are somethings you do to balance all this with family life?
I’m very fortunate to have a very patient husband who understands where I’m coming from as he’s an artist himself–and a very busy one at that. We do try to make sure that we spend as much time with each other as we possibly can. He’s my best friend and one of the most important people in my life. So we have each other as a priority above everything else. But of course we have to eat and pay the bills too,
and we love what we do, so we work long hours. A lot.
What is the MOST fun thing that has happened since starting A Print a Day?
I would have to say that a lot of business opportunities came up since launching the blog. It also allowed me to meet a lot of creative people whom I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet due to geography. I’ve had the opportunity to make friends and work with some people from France, Germany, the Philippines, Malaysia and here in the US. I love that. I love meeting new people. It’s been a great experience overall. I’m glad wonderful things came about after all that initial frustration prior to starting my blog. It helps when you share a bit of yourself with others.
What are three of your most favorite designs or posts?
My favourites are my free matryoshka calendar (I love Russian nesting dolls).
My first Parasol•Craft cover.
And the first fabrics I’ve produced.
What’s in store for you? Any big plans you can give us scoop on?
More fabric, handmade ‘zines, my online mags, collaborations and various unmentionables. My plate is pretty full as of late and I try not to think way ahead. I also do hope to continue meeting new people, and promote creative individuals in the process through Prarasol•Craft and ParasolMag.
Thanks Yasmine for taking the time to talk to me. I hope my readers are as inspired by you as much as I have been since finding your blog. You’re the best! – Amy
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