Did you know that Mud Pie has an in-house watercolor artist that created a lot of our Spring 2017 prints?! Well if you didn’t, let us introduce you!
Meet Caitlin Alderfer, Product Development Artist at Mud Pie. Caitlin started working at Mud Pie almost exactly a year ago (at the end of the month!) She has been painting/drawing/creating things ever since she can remember; her mom is very creative (she paints too in her spare time!) so there was always art supplies and classes during the summer as a kid.
Painting seriously didn’t begin until college though, where she was a Studio Art major, but focused in oil painting and collage. Watercolor painting only began for her about 3 years ago, when she was in grad school for Graphic Design but missed painting. At the time Caitlin had a roommate and limited space, and oil painting involves strong chemicals and is much messier than watercolors, so she decided to give it a try, and has grown from there.
“I have also always been fascinated with watercolor because it is so challenging and unpredictable; the more you learn about it the more you understand how the paint will react when you add water, but it is always a little bit of a surprise,” says Caitlin. “It is also really a challenge because you really only get one shot; if you make a mistake you can’t erase it (for the most part) so you have to be very intentional.”
Watercoloring takes a lot of patience. It depends on the print and how detailed/complex it is. As a general rule, any prints Caitlin designs that begin as a watercolored painting take longer than ones created digitally, mostly because there are so many more steps involved. She begins with sketching the patterns, then after painting she has to load it into the computer to clean up and digitize! It’s a process, but a fun one!
Caitlin loves a lot of the patterns she created for Spring 2017, but her favorite has to be the Midnight Floral pattern for Fashion. Although landing on the final version of this pattern took several weeks, she painted the original watercolor elements on her 2nd or 3rd day working at Mud Pie! “I remember asking if it was ok if I brought in paints to work with and everyone thought I was a little crazy, so it was fun to get to show what I could do so early on,” she says. “I think about my journey at Mud Pie every time I see this print, which makes it special for me. Plus, I’ve always loved florals!”
As crazy as it seems, Caitlin is already starting work on our Spring 2018 prints! And even when watercolor isn’t the right medium for a pattern, you can find Caitlin sketching and drawing by hand before she gets to the computer!
“It has been so much fun getting to see my work, which I’ve previously only seen on paper and canvas, live on products,” Caitlin says!
Which pattern do you enjoy the best from our Spring 2017 line?! Let us know on social media! Tag us @mudpiegift and use #mudpiegift. We can’t wait to hear from you!