Artist Spotlight - Meet Suzy Ultman

Suzy Ultman is an illustrator, product designer, toy creator and storyteller from Pennsylvania. She is known for her colourful and playful designs, which have a child-like sweetness - making them perfect for greeting cards.
Our recent collaboration with Suzy has resulted in twelve new card designs, ideal for adults and little ones alike. They're available to buy exclusively at Ohh Deer, here.
We caught up with Suzy to talk about inspiration, advice, toys, hobbies and more! Read the interview below.

When did you first start writing books and creating toys for children? 

I’ve been creating kids' products since my professional illustration career launched about 13 years ago. But I already had some experience — my passion for writing stories and making homemade toys started as a 7-year-old. It’s fun to look at my childhood scrapbooks and see how much of my kid self is still a part of my creativity today.

How do you bring your ideas to life? 

I doodle, draw, paint, cut paper, or simply play to help spark ideas. My imagination comes alive when I’m working with my hands.

What are your favourite art mediums to work with?

I love superfine pens, markers, watercolors, gouache, and scraps of colorful paper. I’m excited to explore pottery in the near future!

What’s the best thing about your job?

I get to be myself every day! I’m happiest when I’m expressing myself through the creative process, whatever that may be. I feel completely fulfilled doodling on a sticky note, whipping up a batch of hummus (extra garlic, please), making a thank-you note, or conceptualizing a client product. It’s a privilege to call my job “work”. It’s also extremely fulfilling to make things that engage kids and families.

What was your favourite toy as a child?

Play-Doh was a favorite toy of mine! I would sit at the table for hours shaping blobby characters, pets, food, and miscellaneous household objects. Then, I’d build a shoe-box home for them all to live in. I also saved my allowance for a Snoopy stuffed animal. The Snoopy accessories inspired me to begin sewing my own pieces of doll clothing.

What stories/books have inspired you the most as a child and as an adult?

I recently found out that I’m dyslexic, so it’s no surprise that I was drawn to books with strong visuals and very accessible writing. Maurice Sendak and Shel Silverstein have inspired me since childhood, especially In The Night Kitchen and Where the Sidewalk Ends respectively.

What do you like to do when you’re not creating? 

I love bird watching, walking in the woods, traveling, exploring, flea marketing, yoga-ing, reading, hanging with my family and friends, smiling, and finding the perfect brownie recipe.

Do you have any upcoming events/projects that you could tell us a little bit about? 

I am cooking up a few new children’s books. I’m working with exciting new themes, and telling stories that are close to my heart. I Like Your Chutzpah releases this year!

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