We met our friend, Gerri Hyman of My Island Art a number years ago, and fell in love with her bright, colorful beach cottage pillows and whimsical canvas giclees. I thought you all might like to know a little more about what inspires her to create her incredible whimsical island-inspired designs!
1. How were you inspired to create your company, My Island?
I have always been inspired by sea life, tropical foliage, and all things colorful. These subjects have also always been my favorite things to paint so 6 years ago I decided to try "painting for a living" which meant I would paint and then reproduce my paintings onto products.
2. How did you start My Island? When?
I started in spring of 2007 with 5 designs and 3 products: t-shirts, giclees, and prints.
(Gerri creating her big blue crab on a door panel)
3. We love your bright, colors and whimsical design - why do you think you are drawn to create in "technicolor"?
Because bright colors are never boring to paint with and almost anything you can create with bright colors turns out happy and cheerful!
4. What or who do you feel is your biggest influence on your own design ideas?
I am most definitely influenced by these artists: Diego Rivera and Henri Matisse. More current artists/designers whose work and products I am drawn to are Sally Huss and Laurel Burch.
5. Do you have a design or artist's mentor, someone that has inspired you to push your boundaries? If you do, who is it and why?
No not really!
6. What do you think is your true "uniqueness" with your products? What sets you apart from other home decor manufacturers?
It's certainly the color. I think my art is recognizable because the colors are bright and vivid. I could never paint a sea turtle, pelican or owl in it's "natural" colors!
7. What are you, Gerri, most proud of? (can be anything!)
My boys! They are bright, beautiful, insightful and kind.
8. If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?
HAWAII-- preferably Maui or the Big Island. I visited there for the first time when I turned 21 and I knew then that I wanted to live there someday. It all comes together there for me; the mountains, the blue water, the foliage, and the climate.
9. Describe your perfect day at your favorite coastal destination…
Sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling on a beach in Maui in the morning; a leisurely stroll down the beach in the afternoon; and a ride back home in my Jeep with top down in the afternoon!
10. What would you like to try next?
Ceramics!!! I don't know much at all about pottery-ceramics and I'd love to create some pieces. Eventually, I'd really like to have my art reproduced on these types of pieces, too.
Interviewing Gerri was a lot of fun! I for one, cannot wait to see what she comes up with for her next project. In the meantime - check out her adorable My Island Art pillows. We have marked them at over 45% off - she's clearing them out to design some new cool stuff! Grab them while you can!