Wesley Bird - Dazey Lady Feature
This cute thang is designer & illustrator Wesley Bird (I know best name ever). She is the creative director at Society 6 as well as being a very accomplished freelancer. She regularly collaborates with large companies like Urban Outfitters on home good textiles, apparel graphics, and prints. She's also just begun exploring the fun world of pin & patch flair and is selling them as an artist under her name :) You can check it out here: http://wesleybird.com/shop
I met Wesley near the beginning of my design career and she has always been a huge role model to me! We both had the same "first adult job" designing women's graphic tees at a company called Jedidiah. I actually took her place when she left to design for Hurley. Of course I wanted to creep who's place I was taking so I found her on social media! I instantly became a huge fan and we started following each other's design journeys. A year or so after that we both ended up getting jobs in LA and moved up around the same time. We started hanging out and became good friends IRL. This girl is HILARIOUS and mega talented. I have loved watching her success and cheering her on. I am so proud to call her a friend & Dazey Lady!!! We did a little shoot and asked her some fun career questions.
1) How long have you been doing art? Did you know you wanted to pursue this as a career at a young age?
I have been doing art ever since I could hold a pencil. I can distinctly remember entering a Reading Rainbow contest where I wrote and illustrated a children's book about a llama when I was like six or something haha. Although I always knew I wanted to do something creative as a career I wasn't really sure what that was. For awhile I considered fashion design but really found my stride in fine art during my senior year of high school. My parents were always really good about encouraging me to pursue whatever I wanted, which I am soooo grateful for!
2) Tell us about your career path! First design job and your journey from there to now.
I went to San Diego State and studied painting and print making. During my whole first year I really had no idea what I was going to do with that major I only knew I wanted to do something artistic. I spent my summer after freshman year interning at Hurley in the women's department with a focus on apparel graphics and textile design. I taught myself the Adobe programs and totally fell in love with creating apparel graphics. After that summer I considered switching my major to graphic design but ultimately decided to stick with painting because I wanted to make sure I spent time refining my drawing skills. After graduation I went back to work for Hurley and spent 3 years in the Art Department working on apparel graphics and textile design before moving to Sydney, Australia to work with Hurley's international division. Soon after, I left Hurley to be a senior designer at Society6. I was looking to change my focus and chose to pursue marketing design. I had been selling my art on Society6.com for a few years at that point and really loved the concept of giving artists a platform for their work. Bringing my experience and background in commerce, I helped to build and redefine Society6 as a lifestyle brand, which is basically how I evolved into the Art Director role!
3) What does your day-to-day look like as the art director of Society6?
It's kind of all over the place and no day is alike. I spend a lot of time concepting and planning photoshoots, designing web pages for lookbooks and special projects, working with our designers on marketing campaigns, curating artists into our Art Quarterly Mag, thinking up ideas for catalogs...seriously it's all over the place. Lots of emails and meetings too haha. But my favorite part is getting to work on cool collaborations with artists. Recently we were able to go to SXSW to host an event with TOMS and Girlschool where we had an amazing gallery wall that featured artwork by female and LBGTQ Society6 artists and it was so rad!
4) How do you balance a full time job and freelance? Do you make time for personal art?
Seriously this can be so hard! Lately I have had so much work that I come home from work and get right back on the computer to work on freelance projects. It's incredibly important that I take time or myself in-between and stay creatively inspired so that I am always doing my best work. I have found that working out, going for walks, treating myself to chai lattes, and listening to podcasts all help to clear my mind and give me a fresh start before sitting down to get back to work. Right now I have very little time for personal work, which means I am pretty selective when it comes to taking on freelance projects. I pick the ones that feel most inspiring and "on-brand" for me. That way, I know I will still love the work I do!
5) What’s your plan for the next 5 years?
I am super excited about taking the leap into being a full-time freelancer and working on my personal brand. It's something that terrifies me but I know will be incredibly satisfying and rewarding. I also really want to get into album cover and book illustration. That will for sure be a focus for me when I am out on my own.
6) What does being a Dazey Lady mean to you?
I think being a Dazey Lady means doing whateverrrrrr you want and not letting anyone bring you down. Honestly, I feel like social media has made everything feel super competitive and Dazey is all about bringing back the collaborative spirit! It's about being who you want to be and doing what you want to do, all while encouraging others to do the same. Um, how awesome is that?!