We recently partnered with Prime support emerging artists and designers through a national design competition. Requirement ? Design a graphic for a new collection of Brit + Co and Bounty themed A Clean Fresh Start paper towels, launching this month. In this Creator Spotlight series, we feature the winners of this contest to learn more about their inspirations, design process, and winning Bounty design. Read on to meet…
Clara Sasienne | Gumption Road Creative Co. | Santa Fe, New Mexico
What are your decorative inspirations? My design inspirations really come from everywhere: tiles, murals, local business logos or buildings, food (especially desserts), fashion, landscape, etc. I love to travel, so whenever I’m in a new place, I have a lot of fun looking at things through this design lens. I also love antiques and have a small collection of printed accessories, like old magazines, old advertisements, vintage matchboxes, as well as artwork and books. I also look for inspiration online (mostly on Pinterest or Instagram), but I try not to rely on it too much to keep my work fresh.
Tell us about your design process. I wish my creative process was linear, but it’s rarely that simple. This often depends on the scope of a project, but the first thing I almost always do is make a list of knowledge/requirements. I’m the type of person who makes lists for my lists, so it helps me feel like I’ve set a baseline or boundaries for a project and can think from there. The next step is research and inspiration where I usually create a Pinterest board to collect different possibilities and ideas. Brand projects are one of my favorite things to work on. After the research and inspiration phase, I use brand adjectives to refine brand elements like colors and fonts, then review logo ideas, brand marks, patterns, and more. The key for me is defining the brand adjectives and aligning the work with a brand. character or character. It makes it much easier to decide the direction throughout the process by asking, “Does this look/look like/look like?”
For illustration projects like this, I finished the inspiration phase and then really started drawing. I had a good idea of where I wanted to go based on the prompt and knew I wanted to stick with my natural design style. In the end, I had 17 different artboards, but I felt more passionate about four designs. I kept playing around with my work and eventually picked the two that looked the most like me, answered the prompt best, and thought would translate best to paper napkins.
Tools and platforms that help me be my most creative self… For me, that spans the digital and physical range. It often depends on the project and the direction the client wants to take, but generally I look in my archive of books and old prints, on Pinterest, in my saved Instagram collections, and I look at brands/creative work that have a feeling similar to what I’m trying to create. It really helps me put a lot of things together to create something new, unique and exciting.
As for specific design tools, I almost exclusively use Adobe Creative Cloud and work in Procreate when I want to draw something by hand. I will also check creative asset websites such as Creative Market for direction on a project and general ideas.
How did you come to illustration? I’ve been a graphic designer for almost 10 years and I’ve never been good at drawing. I’ve always been so jealous of this skill in others and wanted so badly to be able to illustrate beautiful things like them. I’m still terrible, but a few years ago I decided to give it a go. I bought an iPad, downloaded Procreate, and started watching tutorial after tutorial. (For some reason this seemed easier than traditional pen and paper.)
Which three IG accounts do you like? It’s so hard to choose just three! Here are my top favorites: @oliviaherrickdesign, @malikafavre, @missmelodymiller, @serviceparcnational, @amauryguichonand @charlyclements.
How do you know that a work of art, like your winning Bounty paper napkin design below, is “done”? The simple answer is: when there are no more changes I want to make and everything seems harmonious. It’s rarely that easy and often depends on the scope of the project, but most of the time I come to a breaking point where I feel like I can go on but don’t want to work too much. The thing I have to remember is not to get too carried away with the minutiae and sometimes the best thing I can do is walk away for a while and then come back with fresh eyes, especially when I’m feel stuck. It’s like when you repeat the same word over and over and it loses its meaning; after watching something for so long, it’s easy to get lost in the details and overwork the room. At some point, a piece usually just feels ready and I have to resist the urge to keep picking it.
What will it be like to see your design on a Bounty napkin at your local store? I think seeing my design on Bounty paper napkins at the store will be like a really big fever dream – totally surreal and incredibly exciting. I’m sure I’ll be the boring, squealing, crazy one who makes all the other shoppers stare and wonder if I forgot to take some kind of medicine, but I don’t even care because it’ll be a while of pure joy and happiness. Then I’ll ask my husband to take dozens of pictures of me next to the paper towels, holding the paper towels, cuddling the paper towels, and people will think I’m even crazier and it will be absolutely wonderful.
Be sure to look for Clara’s winning design wherever Bounty paper napkins are sold!