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Jacqueline Bos’ W/ Heart

November 11th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Jacqueline Bos, who is best known for her work in illustration, just launched her first line of napkins and pillows and sat down to tell us a bit about it. W/ Heart is available here for now (runs are tiny!) and if you must know my favorite piece is the rabbit pillow.


Tell us a bit about your new collection, W/ Heart.
W/Heart {with heart} is a really small collection textile collection. Each item is hand printed with water based inks (permanent) on locally bought 100% organic cotton. I personally printed and sewed each item in the collection so there are a very limited amount of each. The collection is 3 pillowcovers, 4 napkin sets and 2 plush bunnies.

What was it like, designing, manufacturing (and now selling) your first line?

It was a lot harder than I had initially thought. I went through a ton of sketches designing the patterns, and initially had more I was planning to use but it just became such a huge undertaking that I pared it down to the ones that you see. I have access to a print studio where I burned the screens, but it’s usually pretty dirty in there so I ended up printing everything in my apartment and drying everything on strings I’d hung from one side to the other. I made everything in really small batches. Setting up the shop was pretty simple, but the photography was a struggle! I’ve always struggled a bit with lighting, but I hope in the end the photos give you a good feel for the items themselves.

Any funny stories or mishaps along the way?

Oh dear, tons. It was all little things that are just so frustrating, like setting everything up, ready to print and then realizing the squeegee I was planning on using was an inch too small for the printable area. Plus since i was using my apartment as a mock drying rack, i could only print about 10 fabric pieces at a time, then wait a few hours for them to dry, and set up and print again. It was definitely a process.

Do you, perhaps secretly, have a favorite piece of the collection?

I do! I love the “Black Magic” screen and especially that pillow because it’s white with black ink on the front and slate with white ink on the back. It just looks really awesome all put together.

Any advice for other artist/designers thinking about working in a new direction/medium?

Make sure to work out all the details before you start. There will be a lot fewer surprises that way. Also stick to what you know, and what you do well. I wouldn’t have taken on a hand printing project if I didn’t have years of experience with printmaking, because there are just so many little things that you learn through the years that are integral to keeping waste low, and quality high.

Want to give a shout-out to any textile designers you’re inspired by?

Maija Louekari, Hanna Werning, and Sanna Annukka (below) all have bold, but intricate prints on everything from ceramics to textiles. I also really love traditional scandinavian textiles, they’re so simple and elegant.

Out of the Mainstream: Brooklyn meets Portland….. Week 1: Jacqueline Bos

February 15th, 2010 · No Comments

Jacqueline Bos: illustrator and designer originally from Portland, OR currently living in Brooklyn, NY

Don’t forget to check out this week’s Habit of Art interview with Portland illustrator, Kate Bingaman-Burt!

How would you describe your work?

It’s a visual journey. I think it’s narrative in nature, and by using collage to combine elements from modern pop culture and photographs from the past, creates it’s own special dimension, I hope that as a body of work, it’s like going on an adventure in an imaginary world.

What are, in your opinion, the greatest challenges of being an artist today?

One of the biggest challenges is maintaining a unique voice with the amount of work being shared and copied because of the art community’s online presence. Online art sharing is something that is completely new for this generation of young artists, things spread quickly, and ideas get mixed and remixed often because of the ease of access.

What accomplishments/works of art are you most proud of?

I am so excited about finally self-publishing “I Heart the Arctic”. The process for the book started out with an illustration series well over a year ago, and it sort of evolved into a more streamlined collection of illustrations over the summer. I’m still doing the brainstorming stage for a follow-up book, there are so many topics I want to explore!

Tell us about the biggest risk you’ve taken as an artist.

Moving to New York from Portland to “chase down my dreams” was such a huge leap of faith. I really enjoy the time I’ve spent here, but leaving my tribe of friends/family was dumb.  In New York — more than anywhere else I’ve been — it is of paramount importance to have that loving support system in order to make it through. I am so thankful that all my close friends have been overwhelmingly supportive of my little adventure. In the process I’ve gotten to work on projects I never would have dreamed of, encountered famous people (always fun) and feel like I have experienced an entirely different side of the art world.

What do you love most about Portland/Brooklyn?

Brooklyn is awesome. It smells like crap, but the energy is indescribable. I love that there are always new things to explore, new places to go. Even when revisiting a familiar venue, it always feels like new.

Portland is awesome too. It smells crisp and mountain fresh. I love that Portland has more teahouses than I can count, and being an indoor kid, I love the rain, and boy does it rain.

What makes Portland/Brooklyn such a great place for independent art?

The creative community in Brooklyn is really diverse in terms of media. I’ve met artists making sewn animals, championing their own fashion labels, working as traditional painters, design gurus, and everything in between. I think Brooklyn has this crazy energy because it’s so close to the city, but at the same time it’s much more laid back and nurturing for creating.

Portland is like a small town disguised as a city. As such, the community, especially the art community is very supportive and tight-knit. There are so many exhibition opportunities, co-op working spaces, and constant skillshares going on.

As part of the Out of the Mainstream series, we invite readers to join the dialogue on Portland and Brooklyn’s art communities. Both cities are considered epicenters of the independent art scene, but how do you think the two art communities differ?