Creator Crush: Lindsay Stripling

 
art by Lindsay Stripling 

art by Lindsay Stripling 

 

It's clear that we love Lindsay Stripling here at ILLUSTORIA. Not only did she do the breathtaking cover for Issue 4: Grow, but she does regular features with Alexis Joseph (hi, Case for Making!) on the brief history of all of the coolest colors. A master of watercolors, she creates amazing fantastical worlds and nature-infused portraits that make you contemplate what your inner animal would be. From creating a booklet series to teaching classes, Lindsay puts her expertise to spread the good word of watercolor. We were able to pick her brain on all things creative, so be prepared to get inspired by her rad art! 

 
photo courtesy of Lindsay Stripling

photo courtesy of Lindsay Stripling

 

What are you currently working on?

Currently I am working on the second booklet in my watercolor booklets series, this one will be for people looking for expanded information on how to paint with watercolor. I planned a mural for Point Reyes Bookstore which is nautical themed, I just hung a tiny show in June at Fayes Video in the Mission District here in SF, and I am always working on commissioned paintings. 

How did you transition from your day job to being a full time artist?

Well, honestly its still a work in progress. I currently work full time as a restaurant manager for my friends at Outerlands here in the Sunset, I teach watercolor classes at Case for Making regularly and I try and have a regular painting schedule when I am not doing those things. It is hard to balance and I think I will be taking the plunge soon into working freelance full-time, but that is a scary and exciting step, and one that I don’t take lightly. I believe in checking in with myself regularly, assessing where i am at mentally as well as financially- being an artist requires a lot of administrative work that isn’t as fun as the painting part, but over the years I have come up with my own systems that work for me.

 
photo courtesy of Lindsay Stripling

photo courtesy of Lindsay Stripling

 

Can you talk about your process of creating a work/project/book/zine/product from start to finish, and share some process pics with us?

When i am working on a painting or an illustration, I first start with really loose sketches. It is hard for me to allow myself to make quick doodles and concept sketches, so I do them as really small thumbnails. Then I choose my favorite layout from there and do a more detailed sketch- or sometimes I move straight into my under drawing. I typically draw out my painting first in a 3H or 4H pencil on watercolor paper and then before painting I erase the majority of it. I like to erase it because it gives me the freedom to adjust small things, and also removes most of the pencil lines from the final. THEN i get to move into the fun part. I typically start with light washes to cover larger areas and then move into the detail colors and pieces. There is usually a part in the beginning as I am laying down washes where I hate the painting, or I can’t see it coming together. It is hard to push past that sometimes, but when I do and I trust in the process I am usually really happy with the result. And if I am not, I do it over again...

 
art by Lindsay Stripling; lettering for A Brief History of Ultramarine Blue, from  Illustoria  Issue 4: Grow

art by Lindsay Stripling; lettering for A Brief History of Ultramarine Blue, from Illustoria Issue 4: Grow

 

What makes watercolor your medium of choice?

Watercolor is so vibrant, accessible and easy to take with me on trips- and I LOVE watercolor paper. In the last few years I have gotten to work with Alexis at Case for Making to make watercolors from scratch and experiment with color in a different way than I ever have before.

We love the Brief Histories of Color series in the mag! What is your favorite color?

I don’t really have a favorite color, I love all of them too much. But I do have favorite color combos- a tried and true combo is dirty pink and burgundy with a splash of neon orange but recently I’ve been really into lemon yellow and brown (think old banana). 

 
photo courtesy of Lindsay Stripling

photo courtesy of Lindsay Stripling

 

Much of your work involves half-human, half-animal characters. What would the animal-half of your body be?

Probably a coyote!

What were you like as a kid?

I was always swimming and playing different sports, and when I wasn’t doing that or going to school I was reading and drawing. I would make maps of stories that didn't exist yet because that was my favorite part of the books I would read. So many maps. I also would practice my handwriting all the time, my friends and I would spend hours drawing, making maps and copying our favorite handwriting.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist and writer?

I think I have always wanted to do that, I just didn’t know I actually could until I was much older. I had no actual examples of people around me who were artists or writers so it didn’t feel like something that was attainable. When I got older I realized that the best thing about this world we live in is that if you want to achieve something, you just gotta hustle. The best part of that is maybe you don’t achieve that thing that you were initially hustling for but you’ll figure out what it is that you want along the way, through many failures and mistakes and realizing who it is that you are and where it is that you actually want to go.

 
art by Lindsay Stripling; for A Brief History of Yellow Ochre from   Illustoria  Issue 6: Symbols

art by Lindsay Stripling; for A Brief History of Yellow Ochre from Illustoria Issue 6: Symbols

 

Who or what inspires you?

Reading and being outside.

 

Now get lost in Lindsay's dreamy paintings and make some of your own! You can also check out Lindsay's latest features in Issue 7: Black and White!

The Grow Issue: A Cover Comes to Life

 
 

We couldn't be more excited to announce that Issue #4 has arrived from the printer! The contents of The Grow Issue are as rich and teeming with life as the cover. I'll share more about all the amazing writers, artists, and makers who contributed to this issue soon. But for today I'd love to highlight the wonderful artist behind this cover and the making of it. 

Fave local artist and watercolorist extraordinaire Lindsay Stripling graces our cover with her lovely art depicting the flowers and insects that she remembers from long days spent playing in her grandparents' backyard in Lafayette during her childhood, and the flourishing flora she finds in Northern California. Lindsay is a master of her craft, who paints dreamy tableaus of scenes set in folk and fairytale worlds from her imagination. She tells us that the best way to tackle her paintings is to allow for mistakes, since they are impossible to avoid. As soon she messes something up, she just turns it into something else. Find her awe-inspiring work here. You'll also find Lindsay's gorgeous watercolors in another spot in this issue, accompanying our illustrated story A Brief History of Ultramarine Blue written by Alexis Joseph, pigment expert and founder of the swoon-worthy art supplies shop Case for Making in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco. 

Here's a look at Lindsay's issue 4 cover sketch, already so beautiful:

 
 

We knew we wanted the flora and fauna to contrast against a black background. Our creative director, Elizabeth Haidle, came up with this nuanced coloring of the masthead against black:

 
 

 Lindsay's final art in place with a mock cover design:

 
 

As much as we loved the simplicity of this cover, we knew we'd want to accommodate callouts for our delectable main features, so Lindsay filled out the space with added pea tendrils. We also included lettering so the plants could be identified on the back cover. 

And so...the final cover!

 
 

Elizabeth designed and illustrated the back cover to beautifully compliment Lindsay's art and the theme of nature and the outdoors, introducing the legend for curious kids (and grownups) to pore over. 

 
 

We hope you love how this cover turned out and the entire contents of this issue as much as we do! Find out more about all the goodies in issue 4, which includes contributions from creative duo Lisa Brown and Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket); an essay on the making of The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, author of The Curious Garden; an inspiring, illustrated Q & Artist interview with illustrator Diana Sudyka; a new Literary Giants as Kids comic featuring Mark Twain; stories, art, DIY, and activities galore. Click here to see our full table of contents and a few spreads from The Grow Issue. Enjoy!

Shop Local & Support Your Fave Artists

 
Today we have guest blogger and Illustoria contributor Lindsay Stripling, one of our absolutely favorite local artists, sharing with us her thoughts on shopping locally and the artists in the San Francisco Bay Area whom she loves to support. We couldn't agree more with her choices and hope you get inspired to shop local wherever you are. 

The shop local movement started as a way to support the local economies during the recession in 2008 and after, but the current shop local movement has transformed into a way to support local businesses and artists during a time when perhaps they are struggling to keep up with rising rent prices due to the local economic boom. There is no time like the present to support the shop around the corner or the artist you see every morning on a walk- every little bit counts and it helps to create the type of environment we wish to live within.  I took a little time to map out a few creatives who are excellent and whom I will most definitely be gifting from this year and are perfect last minute holiday gifting ideas or a way to celebrate a new year!

Maria Shoettler’s work is so fresh and loose and documents local flowers, veggies and basically the Bay Area environment in a way that honors the land that they’ve come from. Her 2017 calendar has a recipe for each month with her beautiful watercolor illustrations showing the seasonal veggies and fruits that would honor each recipe. She is as thoughtful as she is creative and I cannot wait to give my niece her new coloring book depicting local wildflowers.

Maria Shoettler's 2017 Produce Calendar 

Grace Levine is the genius behind Kitty Hawk Gallery, an adorable boutique and art gallery in Sebastapol. Grace always has time for a fun chat and a good back story on each of the items in her shop. If you do not have time to visit her in person, she has an incredible online shop and is able to honor over the phone orders. Her paintings are whimsical and sarcastic and make me laugh every time. She has her own artwork as well as that of other artists, clothing, jewelry and other goods made by talented local and national craftsmen and women. Definitely a good place to take a day with the fam to get some lunch at one of the cool little breweries and wander around downtown Sebastapol. 

Kitty Hawk Gallery in Sebastabol 

Kitty Hawk Gallery in Sebastabol 

The first time I visited Julie Cloutier’s  studio (the Mud Room) I was so surprised at how hidden it was amongst all the other sunset homes around it. It is in the top floor of a renovated, still in the works, Sunset home that she shares with its owner Georgia Hodges, who also has lovely ceramics to explore. I am always blown away by seeing how people work, and seeing Julie’s space was no different, she clearly is a woman of precision and repetition, a person of process. Her ceramics are incredibly designed, so that you can find any use for them. I have so many of her bowls, cups and tiny sake glasses, and they are always in use. Whether for actual drinks and food or to hold colored pencils, pencil sharpeners or shavings, water for painting or flowers from the park, they find a practical and beautiful appearance on my table. Julie’s ceramics make an appearance at another of my favorite local shops:

Julie Cloutier ceramics

Case for Making is an art supply store like you’ve never seen in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco next to the beach and the park. Alexis Petty who owns the shop designed the space and stocked items around the idea of what artists actually love using and experimenting with. All of the items stocked in shop are things that the working artists who staff the space actually use and love. Alexis is an artist herself and loves process and exploration and she has framed her store with the idea that you everyone has the ability to be creative. Alexis’ newest endeavor with Case is that she now make her own CFM watercolors from scratch! You can gift a set of locally handmade gorgeous watercolors- with colors like Ultramarine Blue, Florescent Red, and Sahara Ochre- you can choose what colors make up your set. There is something for everyone at Case, whether you are an experienced artist or someone who hasn’t ever created before and especially for kiddos, there is something to explore and feel empowered by. Grab some lunch up the street with the fam at Outerlands and then grab some supplies for a creative afternoon at Case.

Case For Making interior, photo credit Nick Forland 

I first saw Illustoria Magazine when I was working on a Saturday morning at Case for Making. As a kid I grew up loving Highlights Magazine, where there were activities and articles that entertained me for weeks. Illustoria is totally a nod to old Highlights while also being for kids’ grown up counterparts! It's insane how Joanne Chan, the founder and editor-in-cheif of Illustoria, and Elizabeth Haidle, the creative director, have both created a magazine that is challenging and fun for both kids and adults. They have cram packed it with illustrations from talented artists from all over, made it informative and creative with projects, coloring sheets and articles from different creative people. I will say as a kid I had no idea that I could actually be a creative person as a grown up for a living, only because I never saw examples of adults I knew doing that, but had I grown up with Illustoria I would have had a completely different understanding of what my adult life could become. I already gifted subscriptions to kids in my life and I look forward to seeing what else they come up with!

Jen Garrido is a San Francisco Bay artist who works with oils, acrylics and watercolors. She does incredible, loose and colorful florals on paper and panels that she always has for sale on her website. Jen has an alter ego, when she isn’t painting, she is designing textiles for her home wear company Jenny Pennywood that she has printed locally items like tea towels, pillows and textiles.  Jen’s patterns and paintings are fun for everyone in the family and are a perfect gift idea. You can find them in person along with all sorts of other equally beautiful items at the General Store, right next door to previously mentioned Case for Making in the outer sunset.

Jenny Pennywood napkins

Kindah Khalidy is a local oakland based painter that is just an explosion of color. I have been dreaming of getting one of her large paintings to hang in our bedroom. Her paintings are vibrant, playful and very very beautiful, she also makes them into small makeup bags, beautiful shirts and other fun items that you can find in her webshop. She will even make prints of any painting that you like for a more affordable option if an original isn’t in the cards this year.

Landscape Pop Diptych (#196) 2016, Mix Media on Paper, two panels 22" X 30" each

And finally if you are looking for a place to visit with the kiddos, a morning or afternoon trip to get everyone out of the house during this holiday season- take a short trip down the coast to Yonder Shop in Pacifica. Linda Fahey is the amazing ceramicist behind this space, she has turned her studio into a small boutique. When you visit Yonder you can see her work in process as well as shop finished mugs and bowls of hers and beautiful paintings, textiles and apothecary goods of other makers whom she has curated in her shop. Linda is a great host, has lived in Pacifica all her life and visiting Yonder is like stopping by a friends house. After you get some goodies I would wander down to Linda Mar beach and let the kids run around while you watch some surfers and look for whales.

Yonder Shop interior

Lindsay Stripling is a San Francisco based artist who lives and works in a neighborhood located right next to Golden Gate park which runs for miles, due west, straight to the Pacific. Lindsay works primarily with watercolor on paper, using color and form to create dreamlike narratives that echo folk and fairy tales that we vaguely remember from childhood, where the moral might be lost, switched, blurred or even just completely missing. Lindsay’s illustrations have shown up in Illustoria and she is currently working on a fun coloring book for both kids and adults.

Lindsay Stripling is a San Francisco based artist who lives and works in a neighborhood located right next to Golden Gate park which runs for miles, due west, straight to the Pacific. Lindsay works primarily with watercolor on paper, using color and form to create dreamlike narratives that echo folk and fairy tales that we vaguely remember from childhood, where the moral might be lost, switched, blurred or even just completely missing. Lindsay’s illustrations have shown up in Illustoria and she is currently working on a fun coloring book for both kids and adults.

You can learn more about Lindsay and her gorgeous work and support her  here . 

You can learn more about Lindsay and her gorgeous work and support her here