On today’s episode of the While She Naps podcast we’re talking about illustration in various forms with my guest, Phoebe Wahl.
Phoebe Wahl is an illustrator whose vibrant work focuses on themes of comfort, nostalgia and connection to nature and one another. A kindergarten drop-out, Phoebe complained that there “wasn’t enough time to draw” in school. She spent the majority of her childhood running wild in Pacific Northwest backyards, before attending Rhode Island School of Design and graduating with a BFA in Illustration in 2013. Phoebe works in a variety of mediums, from watercolor and collage to fabric sculpture, an obsession with detail, pattern and texture present throughout.
In our conversation we talk about what it means to be “unschooled” and how Phoebe feels this type of childhood shaped her creativity and approach to learning. Phoebe tells about her time at RISD and how she connected with the editor of Taproot, Amanda Blake Soule. We talk about how Phoebe launched a freelance illustration career right out of college and how she got the book deal for Sonya’s Chickens.
Phoebe had an unusual study abroad experience living in an eco-community in Scotland called Findhorn. She explains how this experience shaped her notion of community and the role she’d like to play in the communities she lives in.
Phoebe has a very busy Etsy shop where she sells all different things she designs and makes including t-shirts, tote bags, cards, prints, and zines. She explains why she’s still selling on Etsy and her approach to building an online presence (Phoebe began blogging when she was 15!). In particular, we talk about her Feminism is Freedom slogan t-shirts and what that phrase means to her. I also ask Phoebe to talk more about her incredible zine (read it here), Gray Area.
And, of course, I ask Phoebe to recommend great stuff she’s loving right now. Phoebe recommends:
- Pentel Pocket Brush Pens
- At Blackwater Pond: Mary Oliver Reads Mary Oliver
- the work of artist Miroco Machiko
And I recommend:
Today’s episode is sponsored by Spoonflower. If you feel uninspired when shopping for fabric, wallpaper & gift wrap at big-box chain stores, then you need to check out Spoonflower. When you shop from thousands of designs in the Spoonflower marketplace, you’ll be supporting a talented and devoted artist community, all while maintaining a slim eco-footprint via Spoonflower’s digital, on-demand printing process. While She Naps podcast listeners can get 15% off your next Spoonflower order with code abby15. Learn more at try.spoonflower.com/abby.
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