Project Selvage Finalist Profile: Nicole Tamarin
Sea of Stars by nicole_tamarin, Nicole Tamarin
I live with my husband and seven year old daughter in Worcester, Massachusetts. We do not have any pets which I am reminded about daily by my daughter who is dying to get her own dog! We are, however, proud owners of Sea Monkeys (fascinating little things!) and a family of field mice who live behind our shed who were kept well sheltered and fed this winter.
I currently work for an Interior Design Firm and have always loved working with all the wonderful fabrics, but I never gave much thought to how the art got there. I never realized companies used art from all different artists, sort of like freelancing. This past fall I made the decision to pursue a career in Art Licensing. I have a degree in Illustration from Mass College of Art and Design and I've worked here and there as a freelance illustrator. Creating art for licensing is completely different than creating for print. One of the biggest differences are the repeating patterns and borders. I just figured out the process a few months ago and am still learning how to bring my images, which are painted traditionally with watercolor, into this new medium.
I think I found Spoonflower through a Twitter post, but I saw you were having a contest for Breakfast fabrics and thought it would be worth trying. I've been hooked ever since.
In terms of making things, there are usually multiple projects going on. My husband is always asking me why I can't just sit for a bit! The most recent would probably be reupholstering an armchair for my mother.
One book I love is Peter Pan, especially the one illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (one of my favorite illustrators).
I really struggled with choosing a theme for my collection initially and went everywhere from bugs, to hot air balloons, to robots (which actually was laid out on watercolor paper). I was going to use primary colors and make it really bright and bold but it just wasn't feeling quite like me.
I had been doodling different concepts with the idea of using stars, and somehow between the swirls of clouds and stars the idea of a boat sailing the sea got in there. I feel like there is a narrative happening around the walrus that is fun but also I am hoping there is a sense of magic in there too.