For our next artist interview for the City Wallets series, we find out more about Emily Dumas, the designer and illustrator of the Brooklyn wallet. Dumas runs Flowers in May, a design and illustration studio north of Boston that specializes in uniquely handmade art prints, paper goods, invitations, and miscellaneous housewares. Today, the self-professed concert junkie shares with us her artistic inspirations and recommendations for visiting Brooklyn!
1. Please tell us more about yourself, and share with us your background, how you got started as an illustrator and how you define your artistic style.
I graduated from a state school in graphic design 8 years ago and was interested in Illustration from early on. I did the big ad agency job as a designer for over 6 years but knew ultimately I wanted to have my own business. I always considered myself as having two jobs. When I was done with work, I’d go home and work on my own personal projects. My love for illustration grew when I started working on invitations for friends and family. And Flowers in May was formed.
Simple color palettes and tiny details are what I’m all about. I love clean lines and symmetry. I work in my own strange way, it’s not always the same every time. But I do pick a topic, a color palette, write out a list of words, do quick sketches and then create them in Illustrator.
I’m constantly rearranging my illustrations until they fit into the perfect puzzle that I want. The sizes of the images as well as the flow of color are really important when I’m working.
2. How did the design for the Brooklyn wallet come about?
I had a lot of fun with this one! I’ve not been to every Brooklyn neighborhood. But I love it! Brooklyn is so hip. It embraces art, music, trends and culture. So this design focuses on all those things.
3. What are some places to visit/things to do in Brooklyn that we shouldn’t miss out on?
Every time I go to Brooklyn, I want to find a new record store, coffee shop and Mexican food (I’m a huge fan of fish tacos) I love Mesa Coyoacan in Williamsburg. But for a first timer, I’d recommend you get a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge (day or night). and check out the Brooklyn Flea.
4. What is your best travel memory?
I’d have to say my trip to Paris when I was in college. It was my first time out of the country. It’s a beautiful city. I packed so much into one week because I thought I may never come back here. I have to see it all!
5. Which destination(s) is high on your travel list this year and why?
Austin, Texas. I love discovering new music and I’m a sucker for a live show.
6. You describe yourself as a “concert junkie” on your website…what kind of music do you enjoy, and how does music influence your work?
Haha, I am a concert junkie! That’s what I grew up doing. My parents took us to shows, we didn’t go to Disney World. I worked in a record store in high school and college. So music has always been a big part of my life. As far as what I like, I’m all over the map. I love alternative country and folk but I’m also a huge hip hop fan.
Music certainly influences my work. It sets the mood. I always listen to music while I’m working.