STUDIO Anne Cole Print Design with Hillary Bott

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Introducing Hillary Bott: Fashion, illustration, surface design.

How did you get started in the industry? I got started in the industry right after graduation, I earned a degree in fashion design was looking for assistant designer roles.  In my early 20’s I was lucky enough to travel and bit and also build my career.  I worked in Miami for a menswear company, then Orange County CA for a surf brand.  A few years later I returned to the east coast & NYC and climbed the designer ranks at brands such a Juicy Couture and Victoria’s Secret.   I gained a breadth experience working with different teams and meeting talented people in the industry.  Those connections have been so important now that I work independently. 

What is your day-to-day like? A usual day begins by getting my son off to preschool.  From there, I usually pick up a coffee on my way home and put in some time in my studio.  Could be drawing artwork for a client, working on textile prints, or just painting for myself.   Then I will pick him up, settle him for his nap, and then try to get a few more hours in of freelance.  After that, we play, go to the park and get dinner ready before my husband gets home and we have some family time.  It’s a juggling act!

Where do you typically look to find inspiration (online and IRL)? I find Instagram as a huge resource for constant visual inspiration.  The new and established artists & designers I have become exposed to is amazing.  I appreciate the online community with groups such as http://www.womenwhodraw.com & http://www.creativeladydirectory.com where you can connect with other artists and be inspired by their work and achievements.  I also try to get out for field trips whenever I can.  Even though we live in Montclair, it’s really easy to get in and out of NYC.  If I can spare a few hours I love to walk through the Cooper Hewitt, Whitney or any of the other amazing museums in the city. I also take a fashion drawing workshop in the evenings, which is yet another great chance to refine my skills and meet other artists.

Would you mind describing your creative process? Sure!  A good example would be when I began the drawings for Studio.  After we discussed some basics about the project, I did some research online looking for poses I thought would be great to showcase the collection.   Then I did some rough pencil sketching, and then eventually more refined figures.  We knew we wanted the girls to really resemble Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, so that was also fun to research their look and hairstyles.  From there, I showed and received feedback from the team and made any adjustments as needed.   It really has been a wonderful project to work on!

What do you do to get “creatively unstuck”? To get creatively unstuck, I usually just take a break.  It also helps me to go workout, take a walk or cuddle with my son.   If I can pick it up again the next day, I will.  I think I freshest first thing in the morning, my “hand” feels much more loose and spontaneous then, I think it’s when I do my best work!

What was your “a-ha” moment – the moment you knew you wanted to be an artist? I have been drawing forever; I can’t really remember when I began!  As a kid, I was really into illustration and comic books (believe it or not!)  I think my a-ha happened when I was accepted into art school (RISD).  I think it really validated my interest in pursing an art career, and gave me the confidence to go for it.  Joining a community of artists was also really important to my growth.

What are you working on currently (any special projects etc.)? I just finished a new illustration project for Studio- Spring 2018.  It’s flirty and very cute!

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Given that your studio space is in your house, does this make it more challenging to find the balance between work and home life? It is definitely a challenge to find the balance.  I am the most focused when I am able to shut the door and get into it- I am one of those people who can work at home and not be distracted by the phone or the mail and other chores.  I am unbelievably lucky, in that I can go and work in that space, and then come out and be right there with my son and husband in family life. It’s really wonderful!

How did you approach designing your studio space? The space has such a beautiful light I immediately claimed that room for my studio when we bought the house.  It just needed some sprucing up for sure.   I wanted it to feel feminine and bohemian, and a comfortable space to work in.  I picked the dark teal paint color because I loved the richness and drama.  I added some plants, hung my records on the wall, and a pink agate windchime I bought at a hippie fair in Rio de Janiero. After that, the rest all kind of fell into place! 

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How did you approach designing your studio space? The space has such a beautiful light I immediately claimed that room for my studio when we bought the house.  It just needed some sprucing up for sure.   I wanted it to feel feminine and bohemian, and a comfortable space to work in.  I picked the dark teal paint color because I loved the richness and drama.  I added some plants, hung my records on the wall, and a pink agate windchime I bought at a hippie fair in Rio de Janiero. After that, the rest all kind of fell into place! 

Do you prefer 1 cup of coffee or five? FIVE!  I have a toddler.

Are you an uptown or downtown gal (NYC, or course)? I’d like to think I’m downtown!  Even though we now live in the burbs, I still come into the city often!

What do you like to do in your free time? I wish I could say I have a lot of free time!  But if I do, I’ll treat myself to a spa day!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself! I’m a huge Fleetwood Mac fan!  I have seen them and/or Stevie Nicks solo maybe a dozen times in concert.  I also have attended “Night of a 1,0000 Stevies”  so many times I have lost count- such a fun night out and so unique to NYC. 

 

Want more? Visit Hillary's Website and Instagram to see her latest work! 

hillarybottsorrentino.com | @stevieandhill