One of the things we love most about Mosiac Makers Collective is the opportunity we have to introduce shoppers to local female artists through their products. Over the next several months, we’re going behind the scenes with a new Meet the Makers blog post series so you can get to know the creatives whose products you love.
We’re kicking off our Meet the Makers series with designer and illustrator, Caitlin Alexander. We are absolutely obsessed with her prints and think it’s pretty awesome that she illustrated a book about climate change– it’s exactly the kind of reading we’re excited to share in our Little Library! Her style has been described as “rooted in a midcentury influence, through the lens of a modern existence,” and we can’t wait to learn more about the things that inspire Caitlin.
Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Caitlin! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a freelance illustrator living in Austin with my boyfriend and three cats! Besides illustration, I love reading (especially in 2020) and am passionate about promoting awareness of ethical fashion through secondhand shopping. Travel is another love of mine, but this year much of it has been put on hold, of course. One day I’d love to cross all of the US National Parks off my list, though– and then all at least a second time probably, too!
2020 has been a tough year. Aside from plenty of time to read, can you share something good that has come out of this year?
I had a hard time answering this question, which meant that I really needed to take time to consider it. It’s very challenging to give credit to 2020 for anything positive, because even besides the obvious reasons, this has been a hard year for myself and my family. That said, I think every single one of us has learned to appreciate the simple, little things in life that we had before, and I hope to hang onto that appreciation and never take my small daily privileges for granted again.
We love your positivity and think it’s so important to appreciate the little things, too! Let’s chat about your business– what do you make and how long have you been in business?
In addition to freelance illustration, I sell prints and products like postcards, stickers, and pins. A lot of my work represents messages of strength and acceptance, mental health advocacy, intersectional feminism, and equality. I also make a lot of art for book lovers, cat lovers, and road trippers. I’ve been illustrating since I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2011, but have been doing it full-time for about five years now.
That’s awesome! What advice would you give a young artist?
Make sure that you’re educating yourself on the business end of things, too– even if your education system isn’t focusing on it. It was a huge wake-up call to me, after graduating, that my career was going to be about 50% business and 50% art, and my school didn’t prepare us very well for that aspect of the job. I stumbled my way through the first few years, and if you have the opportunity to learn about that while you still have a safety net, DO IT!
Wonderful advice! What is your favorite part of your job?
Definitely not the 50% business side! Haha! All joking aside though, I love that I get to be creative on a regular basis, and pay for my life by doing that. Sometimes I still want to pinch myself. And it’s a plus that I get to make my own schedule– I know that doesn’t work for everyone, but if you’re someone who naturally has a structured lifestyle, it can be a much better fit than an office job.
It sounds like you really love what you do, and your passion is evident in your work! When the work’s done, it’s time to relax! What’s the most recent show you binged on Netflix?
My boyfriend and I have gotten into Twin Peaks during this spooky season, and it’s been really fun. If it were a regular Halloween and we’d be going out, I would definitely dress up as the Log Lady this year!
We want to see that Log Lady costume! Maybe next year! Thanks so much for chatting with us, Caitlin, and we are so thankful to have you as one of our makers!
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