We had the good fortune of connecting with Darby Scebold and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darby, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My dad was an oil painter and he had a lot of influence over me when I was younger. I really loved to watch him draw and paint. He taught me how to draw and would encourage me in learning how to draw from real life. We would sit together in church and I loved to draw all of the foods that I wanted to eat after the service was over and my drawings ended up looking like some crazy Thanksgiving feasts. My dream was to become a children’s storybook artist because I also loved creative writing.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love creating whimsical, punny pieces of art. Little illustrations with pops of color that bring a smile to your face. I really enjoy the entire process from sketching, hand lettering, line drawing and coloring. When I went to college I wanted to become a painter/artist but within a year or 2 realized that I needed a back up plan if I didn’t want to become a “starving artist”. I ended up switching colleges and majors and graduated with a degree in graphic design which felt more desirable to companies. I spent a couple of years doing graphic design and art directing but still felt like something was missing. Looking back I *REALLY* am glad for my design experience because it has helped tremendously with composition and layout and typography in my current work. I ended up landing a dream job at a craft company where I was able to do illustration again full time. A lot of pattern design too that was used in their products and even became a product engineer, doing everything from inventing a product, creating mock ups and then finalizing those products that were produced and sold in stores. I took a break for a couple of years when my husband and I started having kids. But it was during my eldest daughter’s nap time that I really started dabbling again in watercolor and little characters from my imagination. Doing art again really filled a big place in my heart and felt a lot of fulfillment from it. I really wanted to figure out my “style” so I began reflecting back on my childhood and the art I created then and the things that sparked joy for me. I was obsessed with Lisa Frank and all of her wild, vibrant colors and characters. She definitely influenced my art. I also love LOVED artist Mary Engelbreit. Mary Blair. So many fantastic women of art. I spent a lot of time practicing different artistic techniques…line work and coloring. A couple of years ago I entered the world of art licensing which is super fulfilling. It’s amazing to be able to create work that is sold in stores all over the US. When people buy products with your work on it, it’s nice to know that something you illustrated, connected with them and they in turn wanted to share that with a friend or loved one.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my besties from college were coming to Dallas I’d definitely take them down to lower Greenville. I’m a huge fan of HG Supply Co and Steel City Pops for dessert. Also who doesn’t love Trader Joe’s right across the street?! The Arboretum is an awesome place to go for walks and has an incredible view of White Rock Lake. There’s so many places though that we could go though. If we headed to Frisco, I recently discovered Summer Moon, an organic, oak-roasted coffee shop. I’m salivating just thinking about it!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate my Shoutout to Jenny Morgan, president of A Fresh Bunch, which is an art agency that represents artists from around the globe. A couple years after having my little kids and devoting most of my time to motherhood, I was ready to get back into the art world and really had been working on developing my style. I reached out to A Fresh Bunch and submitted my portfolio. I didn’t know a whole lot about art licensing but Jenny was awesome and has given me an awesome introduction to the world of licensing or selling your art. It’s really rewarding to walk into a store and see your work on a bag or greeting card so I’m really grateful to Jenny for giving me a chance and giving me great direction.