In follow up to our “Meet the Designer” series, we’d like to introduce you to Shell Rummel in our first “Meet the Artist” interview.
I met Shell a few years ago through our licensing agent. We have never actually met in person, but have developed a long distance relationship through phone calls and emails. I have found a kindred spirit in Shell, and it is so refreshing to connect with other women that want to share the journey and lift each other up, instead of compete. Shell has been a great cheerleader and I consider her a friend. It goes without saying that she is extremely talented. I am excited to introduce you to Shell, her fine art and her product line. Be sure to visit her website and follow her on social media.
Shell is an artist and designer. In addition to having extensive experience as a working fine artist, she self-produces a home decor product line that includes textiles, pillows and wallpapers that she offers to the Interior Design Trade. Additionally, Shell licenses her artwork under the Shell Rummel Brand to manufacturers for use on their products such as rugs, bedding, bath textiles, stationery and wall art. This well rounded knowledge of the business of art allows Shell to have her hand in all parts of the process from creation (painting a work of art) to designing (envisioning patterns on product) to working hand in hand with manufacturing partners to bring a finished product to life.
CB: Do you have an artistic style that you prefer and how did you develop your own unique style?
SR: My style has evolved naturally over time as I have been painting professionally for over 20 years. Watercolors are my chosen medium, not surprisingly, since the unpredictable quality of painting with water suits my love of fluid, organic shape and line. But I think I am best known for allowing the looseness of the medium to do its thing, while also controlling it in subtle ways. This juxtaposition of raw and refined qualities has become a part of my signature style, both in my fine artwork as well as in the products my brand designs.
CB: Is there any particular piece of work that has been especially meaningful to you or you are most proud?
SR: I am always proud to see my designs brought to market, either via licensing partners or our own studio efforts, particularly when my artistic vision for a product is honored. My artwork is at the center of every facet of my business, so my most meaningful professional moments can always be traced back to my art. In 2002, I was painting mostly tree themes art and was beginning to be well known in certain circles for this genre. But I was longing to experiment and stretch a bit, and found my eye always being drawn to the lines of objects, the way they flowed, in the ins and outs, the edges of things. I began a large series of modern organic “line” paintings that were a strong departure form my usual tree themed artwork. Hesitantly, I entered one of my new line paintings into a juried all membership art league show. The painting was titled, Non Linear Discovery and represented for me, at that moment in time, the importance of being my most authentic self, hearing and listening to my inner voice and honoring those instinct. To my surprise, I won the Best in Show award. This proud moment taught me that departures from the usual are not only okay, but also essential to growth.
CB: Is there any advice you have for people who are looking to get into this field?
SR: Stay true to your own authentic voice and vision…you are in charge of the road you walk on. Be patient with yourself and with the growth of your company…It takes time and there is nothing wrong with a long journey…enjoy it! Take the time you need to replenish your own creative force. Be generous and genuine in your support of other women business owners…it only strengthens you!
CB: What or who inspires you in your daily work?
SR: Inspiration comes from many unexpected places, but more often than not, there is a connection to elements found in nature. My love of the ocean often makes an appearance in my work through color palette, line and texture. I paint what I feel more so than what I see and nowhere is this more evident than in my modern, coastal-inspired artwork, which tends to abstract natural elements into organic pattern and shape. My design aesthetic is a direct reflection of all that catches my eye, and my collections pay homage to all that resonates deeply with me.
CB: How have different social media platforms (ex: Instagram, Pinterest) helped or hurt your work?
SR: I was introduced to Twitter in 2009, in its earlier days, when one was limited to sharing a thought or idea in a concise 140 characters. I was fortunate enough to connect with a large group of artists, poets, photographers and musicians, and through this supportive friendship circle I honed my own unique online voice. Being part of this eclectic group gave me the confidence to share my artwork with a broader audience, which ultimately inspired the directions of my design business and helped shape my developing design aesthetic. I think that is social media at its best. I spend most of my current online time on Instagram curating my stream with content that aims to add beauty, inspire others, tell a story or make a connection. I share my art, products and creative process in ways that feel right to me and enjoy seeing the same from others.
CB: Where is your favorite place to vacation?
SR: It’s no surprise that I love vacationing by the ocean most of all…the slower speed, the natural beauty and the quieter rhythm of being near saltwater inspires the majority of my art and design work.
You can see more of Shell’s work and products by visiting her website, https://www.shellrummel.com/.