Lori Wemple has had quite a year. When we asked her to name the highlight of 2015, she said, “I can’t name just one!” Among just a few of her high points, the work-from-home illustrator listed spending time with her kids in the summer, a cruise with her husband, and lettering the Minted booth at the National Stationery Show in New York. Here, the North Carolina artist-designer talks about balancing her career with family, everyday inspirations, and how Minted changed her life.
How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I’ve worked a variety of design jobs, including prepress for a printer, newspaper art director, grocery chain designer, and museum designer, and each one taught me different aspects of design. I feel like all of those things have come together to help me work independently.
What’s a typical day for you?
Each day is a little different. My daughter is home with me most days, and I like to really enjoy our time together. We go to the park, play with friends, or visit the library and then pick up my son from school. Then the three of us do something together before dinner (including swimming and art classes), then homework and reading stories. I often have to catch up on work at night after they are in bed.
How did you first hear about Minted?
I saw an ad for Minted while flipping through a magazine during my maternity leave with my daughter, Elle, in 2011. I loved my full-time job, but I really wanted to find a way to work and be home with my kids with a more flexible schedule. I am ever-grateful for that fortunate moment because it literally changed my life.
What do you enjoy most about the Minted community?
I’ve made so many friends through the community and found people who share the same joy for design, and struggle with the same challenges of balancing work and raising a family. The community is so enthusiastic and supportive, and I am so happy to be a part of it and give back the support that I have received.
What have you learned from being part of the Minted community?
Design is a process, a struggle, a challenge that you put your whole self into, and it feels personal and emotional. It feels this way for all those who create, and accepting those challenges and staying positive are so important. Realizing that we all feel this way, and being there to support each other and cheer each other on makes us better designers and better individuals.
“In the Flowers” by Lori Wemple
Your Minted work spans a variety of categories, from Stationery to Home Decor. Which category do you enjoy most?
I truly love them all. I enjoy trying different mediums and being able to experiment and step outside of my comfort zone. Each category has its own challenges and advantages. I’m recently exploring soft toys; it’s so fun to see a two-dimensional piece of art come to life.
What’s your family like?
I have a wonderful husband, Brian, who is devoted to family and passionate about his work. I have such admiration and respect for his passion. I have a 6-year-old son named Connor, who’s so smart and creative. He has an engineering mind but loves to paint as well, and I must admit that I often borrow from his palette choices. My daughter Elle is 4 and the happiest, most enthusiastic soul I’ve ever known. She loves to dance and sing and just lights up any room she’s in.
How did you meet your husband?
We went to separate all-girl and all-guy high schools in Tampa. These two schools had extracurricular events together, and we met our senior year in Masque Club—he was the whiz technical guy, and I was an actor. We were fast friends but didn’t start dating until our freshman year, when we decided to take a spontaneous trip and meet in New York, because we attended different colleges at the time. New York City is a special place for us now, because we had our first kiss in front of Radio City Music Hall, and my husband proposed to me a few years later in the same spot.
Click through to read more from Minted artist Lori Wemple…
How do you balance work and family time?
It is a constant struggle, but I have learned two important things for myself that guide me. One is that a career is less important to me than spending as much time with my little ones as I can. The second is that I have to keep the two completely separate so that when I’m with my kids, my attention is fully dedicated to them.
How do you encourage creativity in your children?
We love to paint and craft together. I let them use my own art supplies so that they feel empowered and important, and I let them paint how ever they like, so they feel free to express themselves and find what they like on their own.
What objects have been most significant to you lately?
My kids’ paintings—they are so free, expressive, and inspiring.
“Winter” children’s birthday party invitation by Lori Wemple
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Describe your last month in a word. Stressful.
Can you share an as-of-yet unrealized project? I am designing fabrics that a friend and I are developing into kids’ goods, such as dolls, soft toys, and costumes.
What are you serious about? Being dedicated to my family.
What are you silly about? Everything else.
Photoshop or Illustrator? Illustrator
Oils or watercolor? Watercolor (though I do love oil, too.)
Movies or TV? Both!
Modern or vintage? I love a mix of both.
Morning or night? Midday?
Summer or winter? Summer. Definitely.
“Winter Birds” holiday card by Lori Wemple
City or country? Both! We live in a fairly rural suburb outside Charlotte, with a farm behind our house. We often see deer, foxes, chickens, and turkeys running wild along the street, and it’s quite charming.
Texting or calling? Texting.
LORI’S FAVORITE THINGS
Who inspires you: Danielle Kroll, Helen Apple, Lora Lamm, Mary Blair
Favorite place in the world: My kids’ room at night during story time.
Favorite charity: Those that help children; especially with receiving immunizations, food, and clothing.
Favorite movie: “Grand Budapest Hotel”
Favorite colors: Teal, chartreuse, blush
Fashion idol: I am fashion-impaired.
Favorite city: St. Augustine, Florida
Last stamp on your passport: London
Daily website read: Brit + Co
Song in your head: “Guilty Filthy Soul” by Awolnation and “Electric Love” by Børns
Favorite Instagrammer: @micahplayer, @parimastudio
“Holiday Stamps” holiday card by Lori Wemple
Favorite pieces of art in your home: “Married to the Sea” by Clare Elsaesser; my great-grandmother’s Norwegian beadwork and jewelry
Pets: Rudy, a Westie, and Phoebe, a rescue cat
Favorite flower: Peonies
Favorite gadgets: iPhone
Favorite neighborhood restaurant: Dresslers—the owners make their own amazing cheesecake
Favorite drink: Wine
Favorite dessert: Fudgey brownies
Coffee-table book: “Poster Art of the Disney Parks”
Favorite snack: Hummus and pita or pita chips
What’s in your Netflix queue: “Vikings” Season 3, “101 Dalmatians” (for the kids, I swear), and “Into the Woods”
MORE ABOUT LORI
• Lori Wemple’s Minted Artist Store
Published December 1, 20151 COMMENT