Tammy Smith knows how to paint the town—artistically speaking, of course. She’s the hand behind the city-themed prints and gifts you’ve probably spotted at local craft shows and shops (including Bella Patina during Warehouse Weekends).
Leave a Comment Below and You’re Entered in the Framed Print Giveaway!
Here at KC Homes 365, we adore Smith’s work (the prints make perfect housewarming gifts!) and wanted to learn more about her story. Turns out, it all starts with a not-so-simple sketch.
“I begin some of my pieces by ‘sketching’ in wire. I like the fact that it keeps my lines from looking too perfect (versus when I start from the computer),” Smith says. “Then I photograph the wire and it becomes my black line. I build the rest of the design, the color part, on the computer, using either Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.”
Smith’s prints feature some of the top cities in the world—from New York City to Paris to her hometown and our personal favorite: Kansas City. Her KC design can be found on various sized prints, pillows/pillow covers, tea towels (in 4 color choices), cutting boards, notepads, a blank card set and most recently melamine platters, trays, ceramic mugs and totes.
“I’m inspired by KC architecture, especially the landmarks that I use in my KC products: The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kauffman Center, Union Station, World War I Museum and the [Country Club] Plaza,” Smith says.
Did we mention she also launched a top dog collection? That’s right, she’s illustrating the most popular dog breeds for prints and towels, with special shelter dog and mixed breed dog products.
“So far I’ve done Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, shelter dogs and English Bulldogs. They’re extremely cute dogs—and very funny too!” Smith says.
Her pieces are covered in creativity. So it’s no surprise that she started out at Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards Inc., before launching her freelance career. She says Hallmark was the best ‘college’ she could have attended as an artist.
“Because of them, I learned product development, digital programs and marketing, just to name a few things,” Smith says.
Her advice for aspiring artists in the area? Do your research. And make sure your artwork is original.
“Then learn all you can by going to shows or reading blogs written by other artists,” Smith says. “Photography and writing are all huge parts of being an independent artist today so try to brush up on both of those things also.”
“I really do like helping people celebrate where they’re from or where they’re going,” Smith says. “I think it’s only natural to want to have something from a place that meant something to you.”
[ Framed Print Giveaway ]
How to Enter [Now Closed]
And for your chance to take home your own Kansas City 11″ x 14″ framed print (14.75″ x 17 .5″ outer dimensions) *, simply leave a comment here telling us one of your favorite things about Kansas City.
*Entries must be posted by Wednesday, July 27th, at 9 p.m. CDT and one winner will be chosen at random* Sorry, limited to readers in the Kansas City area only. Comment while logged into your social media accounts or by entering your email address (It won’t be published). $65 USD total value. Winner will be contacted by email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after. Good luck!