Spring Artist Collaboration: Tara Roma Gill
Spotlight on our watercolor bows and circus animals prints created by artist Tara Roma Gill for our Spring '24 Collection. We asked Tara about her creative process, her personal style and more. Read the full Q&A below!
1. Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, but we also spent a lot of time in NYC. Currently a bit of a nomad hopping between Texas and New York.
2. How long have you been painting? I’ve been painting since I was a child, but it wasn’t until 2019 that I really became serious about it.
3. How did you know you wanted to be an artist? I’ve been creative for as long as I could remember. It was always something I did for creative release rather than a true effort towards a career as an artist. My art career happened by chance, and I’m in love with the story of how it all began. In the Summer of 2019, I posted a photo on Instagram of a floral still life I’d painted and a friend of mine messaged me shortly after and asked if she could purchase it. Shocked and also excited that anyone would want to pay for something I created, I sold it to her for $100. Then, the world shut down during the beginning of Covid and I painted one floral still life a day and every day people messaged me on Instagram to purchase. I had a few lovely interior design friends help me with pricing and many friends share these early paintings and the response was so overwhelming. In 2021, I was inspired to do my first “non floral” series of animals dressed in fabulous outfits that I named “The Menagerie”. Inspired by my crazy life raising six children! And here we are today, where I now design and create products, release original artwork and produce work for brands and private clients. This career was a gift that has been given to me and I feel so very lucky to be able to wake up every day and create beautiful things.
4. How would you describe your personal style and how does this affect your work? More is more! My personal style would definitely fall under the “maximalist” umbrella. Lots of color and pattern mixing. When I was younger, I would joke that I was a collector of all things random. A chair at a vintage store in a beautiful floral fabric, a green chest of drawers just because it spoke to me. I never curated a full room at a time for my home, but rather collected things here and there that caught my eye and somehow fit them all together.
5. Describe your most memorable moment as an artist so far? It was this past October. I was working on a new collection of Menagerie pieces in watercolor when midway through I changed directions. After I finished, I couldn’t get this idea of exploring doing random tiny portraits in acrylic of the Menagerie while combining them with my original still life work. I was so in love with them! When I was done, I essentially had three different series that I was trying to squeeze into one launch. Since I had been trying to be more organized with launches, I almost didn’t release them all. I toyed with the idea of splitting them into three separate collections but decided to go for it and release them all! A few hours into the launch, I received an email from a brand I love and respect so much asking to work together. That day I learned that one never knows what will come from an idea. But the most important thing as an artist or creator of any kind is to allow yourself to explore your ideas! You never know what great places they’ll lead!
6. What has been your biggest struggle as an artist so far? Besides the occasional imposter syndrome, my biggest struggle as an artist is second guessing myself and my own unique creative process. It’s easy to look at others and feel like they’re better. But I truly believe that there’s room for everyone! Every artist has a unique perspective and creative process and it’s so necessary to learn to trust yourself and do your thing…not someone else’s thing!
7. How did your collaboration with PC come about? Last January, after the holiday rush, Stacey reached out to me via Instagram about the collab. I was so excited because 1. I used to buy dresses from Pink Chicken for my girls when they were little. 2. The thought of having little ones twirling around in patterns I created just makes my heart sing!
8. How do you feel about seeing your prints on clothing? The first time I saw these designs on clothing I cried. It’s so exciting! Especially when working with such lovely people.
9. Bows are back! Bow prints, accessories and everything in between have been so on trend - why do you think they’ve made such a big fashion comeback, and why do you love bows (in your art and in personal style?) For me, bows have always been in style. So it's been very nice to see them so popular! So many beautiful options out there now! As to why they’ve come back, I think they fall wonderfully within a timeless look but can be reinvented in so many different ways to fit any aesthetic. I’ve always been fascinated with how painters represent delicate fabrics and ribbons in their pieces. I also love the way they naturally fall. In my work they're just so fun to paint in different sizes and colors. Without sounding basic, they just make me happy.
10. Any sneak peeks or hints on any upcoming works? Oh, wow! There are so many fun things coming this year that I can't share just yet. But what I can share is that there will be some fun brand collabs, my first line of textiles & wallpaper, new work I’m exploring with embroidery AND have been illustrating two children’s books I wrote about nine years ago that I initially planned on having someone illustrate, but now that I am in this line of work am going to do myself!