September 17, 2016
Behind the Curtain of the Big Top Collection

This week, we're taking a look inside our Big Top Collection with artist/illustrator/designer Emily Dumas.  

Emily is an illustrator, surface designer and hand letterer from north of Boston, MA. In addition to teaching as an adjunct professor at Salem State University and illustrating, she has exhibited and sold her work from craft fairs and markets to coffee shops and galleries across the US. We met Emily at the amazing Alt Conference and are so excited to have finally made this collaboration come to life!  

Emily Dumas Illustrations

Get to know Emily through her own words:

Talk to us about your process.

It's kind of all over the place. If I don't have a moleskin sketchbook on me, I jot down my idea(s) in my phone's notes section. Then when it comes to sketching, I'll draw on anything! Colored paper, gridded paper, scraps, napkins. Most of my sketches are on loose sheets of paper. I buy sketchbooks but then never use them. I just get a rough idea (on paper). Once my sketch is done, I take a photo of it with my phone and use that as a base in Illustrator, then I recreate my vector drawing in there. That's the point in which I refine, add details and choose colors. Color comes pretty naturally to me, so I don't think too much about it until I'm in the program. The joy of using a computer as your medium is that color is easily adjustable. 

What is your favorite piece of work or illustration?

Of my own? I've drawn this cute koala that I've started using in my branding materials. I've recently given him multiple expressions and accessories. I've even named him Kiwi. I think he's going to start making more appearances.

Koala by Emily Dumas

Of other peoples? My favorite illustrator currently is Chris Piascik. He has this bold, unique, witty style. A sense of humor plus being able to know what that person likes (aside from drawing) I think is special and he seems to draw what he likes. So perhaps I can relate. Plus, I love his use of bright colors.

Do you have any great (or terrifying!) circus memories?

Not that I can recall. I probably only went for the food. 

If no, what is your favorite circus act?

The trapeze! I just recently saw Cirque de Soleil. Those people are unbelievable! It's both exciting and terrifying to watch.

Best piece of advice (for other illustrators)?

Draw every single day. Even if it's just for a few minutes.

Emily Dumas Hip Hop Sketches

Favorite music to work to?

I LOVE hip hop. Tupac, The Beastie Boys, Biggie and A Tribe Called Quest are some of my favorites to work to. But I usually just put on a good mix. 

Check out Emily's work on our Big Top Collection. We love how she brings a fresh take to the greatest show on earth. 

Circus Inspired Personalized Kids Clothes

Maggie Allen