At the wintery end of November, I went over a snapped a few shots of Brandi Baldwin's studio for the December studio visit installment. Brandi Baldwin of YaYa Kids makes kids' wear, accessories and decor that are fun, bright and unexpected. My favourite are her watercolours.
Brandi works from home in a newly carved out studio space. It's light filled and organized. There's great prints in the room, some by her and some by other artists she finds inspiring, and there's a little library of well loved books. It's a great space.
Name and business: Brandi Baldwin, YaYa Kids- Apparel, accessories and visual art, mostly for kiddos.
Medium(s): watercolour, ink, graphite, gouache, yarn & thread
What are the influences/inspirations for your work?
I'm really inspired by illustrators who have a quirkiness and simplicity to their style. I love minimalism with equal amounts of beauty and awkwardness or ugliness. And beautiful colour palettes can inspire me to no end.
How did you come to choose the methods you currently work in?
I've always been very excited about fashion and textiles which is the major factor influencing my work in illustrating with thread and embroidery. And painting with watercolour and gouache is totally relaxing for me and gives me this enormous sense of happiness when I complete a piece that I really like. Illustration is fun because it's where I feel I can express a playful child-like style, especially on the tee shirts. Though I still have lots that I'd like to explore with drawing.
What are the tools you’d never be without in your practice?
Pencils and brushes. And erasers. Def erasers.
What do you listen to most in the studio?
Art or business podcasts and hip hop/ r&b
What book(s) do you find yourself re-reading?
I have a love affair with non-fiction. I don't typically re-read whole books but I definitely revisit books. My current favourite (again) is Neither Here Nor There- the art of Oliver Jeffers and I just got In The Company of Women by Grace Bonney-so good. I also unabashedly hoard beautifully illustrated children's books.
What is something in your career that you think differently about now than when you began?
Because I'm mostly self taught I had a lot of inner dialogue about that and how I couldn't be taken as seriously about what I do. But I think that really shifted when I realized that what I "do" or what I create is actually more of a feeling. When I really owned the fact that in the core of my being I felt like part of my purpose was to create, it felt like coming home.
When you need a studio break, what do you do?
Read magazines, shop or clean.
This month Brandi will be at the Lucky Girl Pop Up Shop in the exchange district on December 17. You should definitely plan to attend. She'll be there, I'll be there, lots of other great vendors will be there. It'll be a party.