We were so excited when we discovered Amber Lovell of Selador Design. Her work is fresh and colorful and you can’t help but smile when viewing it. Amber’s journey to creating her career as an artist is as inspiring as her artwork itself. You’ll want to see her work in person and perhaps get a custom illustration to hang on your wall! Meet Amber Lovell!
Tell us a little about yourself and your start as an artist.
My name is Amber Lovell and I cannot remember a time when I was not drawing. When I was very young I wanted to be an illustrator for Disney (back when Disney movies were drawn by hand!). Art became a major part of my identity as a child and continued to define me until I graduated from high school. But once I entered college my artwork fell to the wayside. I no longer valued my talent for drawing and illustrating. I began to focus more on academics, especially writing, and I eventually pursued a master’s degree in philosophy. I still continued to gift my drawings to friends and family as Christmas and birthday presents. I would get comments here and there asking if I illustrated professionally or if I sold my drawings anywhere, but I never took these questions or suggestions seriously.
After my “career” as a full-time student had come to an end I gradually began to realize that something needed to change. For so long I had severely undervalued my artistic talents and it was time for me to do something about it. The thought of opening an Etsy shop popped into my mind, so I picked up my pencils and began drawing again. I used friends and family as Guinea pigs for my custom illustration examples. That process alone was more enjoyable than I could have imagined. The reactions I received were so encouraging and affirming – one of my friends wrote to me about a picture I had drawn for her and her husband saying, “I keep staring at this and smiling – I LOVE IT!!!” That’s the reaction I want each and every one of my customers to have when they first see their custom artwork.
In opening this shop I have tried to create an opportunity for myself to do something with my life that I am good at – something I have not had in any job thus far in my adult life. There is joy in accepting who you are and leaning into it instead of fighting against it and wishing you were different. So this is me trying to be who I am.
What types of work will you be featuring at AOTS?
I currently have a handful of art prints and stationery sets that I will be selling at AOTS this year. I will also have several custom portrait illustration examples with me so that people are able to see my original artwork and ask questions about personal commissions on site.
We are absolutely in love with your custom illustrations! What do you enjoy most about it?
Thank you! My most popular item (besides custom illustrated Christmas cards) is family portraits. I love being able to create an ideal portrait for a family that does not have a quality photo of everyone together. This allows me to capture the personalities of each member of the family in one image in a way that is not as easily captured in one photograph. I also love the vibrancy and playfulness that prismacolor pencils lend to my illustrations.
Do you have a favorite piece (or type of work) and why?
I do really enjoy creating custom bridal bouquet portraits. I think it’s such a wonderful way to preserve one’s bridal bouquet! I am personally obsessed with florals so I enjoy any chance I can get to incorporate them into my life as an artist. Of all my illustrations, bouquets are among the most difficult, time-consuming, and (a bit) nerve-wracking – but they are also some of the most satisfying portraits to create.
What is the inspiration for your work?
In progressive order, I think these three influences have had the most impact on me as a developing artist: (1) Classic Disney movies (I’m still in awe of Snow White); (2) caricature artists at amusement parks and local fairs; (3) Norman Rockwell and his photo-realism as well as his ability to capture expression and personality in his paintings. I think it is these elements together that have been the greatest inspiration for my developing illustration style.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
If you are in the market for a custom illustration, I would love to talk with you at AOTS this summer about how I can create something truly unique for you and your family! Since I am the owner of an online shop and am not typically able to meet my clients face-to-face, I always welcome any opportunity to share my art in person – so stop by my booth and say hello on July 29th!
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