A Little Whimsy
Brian Schatell is an experienced, New York City based freelance graphic artist for the children’s apparel market, as well as the illustrator of fifteen books for children. He was also a faculty member at Parsons School of Design for twelve years. He likes to create fun, cute, trend-savvy graphics and prints that make garments stand out and customers smile.
What should everyone know about you?
I’m a graphic artist for children’s apparel with a focus on newborn, infant and toddler sizes.
How would you describe what you do?
I create original screenprints, appliques, embroideries, printed repeats, textiles, plaids, stripes, patches and labels. I like fun, humorous, character-driven art. As a parent and consumer I’m drawn to childrenswear that makes me smile, and I believe that’s an attribute that helps drive retail sales in this market. My goal is to create fun graphics that sell!
What steps did you take to become a designer?
I didn’t set out to be in the apparel industry, but I’m a graduate of Parsons, and received a good grounding in graphics and illustration.
Best/Most Challenging part of your job?
Apparel manufacturers want to present a line that is comfortable and familiar to their customers, that builds upon ideas that have sold strongly before, but it is also important to be fresh, updated and trend-conscious. Striking the balance between these two ideas is always the greatest challenge each season.
How did you get started in design?
I started out as children’s book illustrator – I still publish books, in fact. At one point though, I met the wife of a friend of mine who worked as a childrenswear designer, and whose firm happened to need some temporary extra help. This opened an entire world I hadn’t really known about, and I’ve been in the industry ever since.
What do you like about what you do?
I have lots of opportunities to draw funny animals, which is something I happen to like doing! Also, I enjoy the collaborative nature of working with designers and merchandisers to create a line. I’ve made many life-long friends in this industry.
How has your work evolved since you began your career?
In this business, trends certainly evolve rapidly. Art for childrenswear has become more sophisticated, more graphically varied and edgy and interesting through the years. And technology has made things possible today that would have been very difficult to achieve years ago. I find that I can be more creative at this point in my career than ever before. There are many more tools and options available.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career?
I always remember that the goal is to create garments that people will want to buy. Be aware of the market and stay focused on the needs of the client and market.
What advice would you give to young designers?
Regularly update your portfolio!
Learn more about Brian at StylePortfolios.com
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