Meet CreativeLive’s Artist-in-Residence, Madeline Trait

madeline trait creativelive

Did you know that CreativeLive has a residency program? We do! For two months, our Artist-in-Residence, a working artist with a specific project in mind, receives creative support, as well as access to CreativeLive’s resources, including instructor time, a space in our Seattle or San Francisco offices, a stipend, meals, and access to our entire class catalog. Fellows are active participants in the CreativeLive community and benefit from engagement with international instructors and the global community.

Our first Artist-in-Residence is Madeline Trait, an illustrator living in San Francisco. Her company, By Madeline Trait, is, she says “what emerged from my passion for good design, crafty spirit and can do attitude.”

“I have always LOVED to draw and create,” Madeline writes on her website, “I remember how happy and proud I would fee when I would create a piece of art for myself, my friends or family. I still get giddy when I have a new idea to dive into.  All my creative projects start with illustrations and grow from there.”

We interviewed her to get to know her a little bit better:

Tell me about your career and where you are.

Ok! I got my degree in architecture, and I worked in the architectural field for a couple of years. Then in interior design, but I could tell I was moving away from that. In 2009, I started doing a lot more event design, and as a result of that, I started illustrating more. For the events, I would illustrate signage and custom pieces for people, and I realized “I would like to do this. More than anything else.”

So that’s where I’m at now — trying to figure out how to grow the illustration side of my business.

madeline trait art

Did you do a lot of illustration before? Obviously as an architect you did drafting, but what about creative illustration? Is that something you have training in?

I had high school art classes, and in architecture you do some illustration, but I don’t have any formal instruction in illustration. It’s just something I’ve always done; it’s something innately that I’ve done.

What are you hoping will happen during your residency? What are your goals?

My goals are to, first of all, create a cohesive body of work that I’ll show at the end of this residency. But along with that, I’m hoping to learn more technical information and more business information, so taking this body of work…I can promote it and capture it and produce it in a really efficient way.

Are there classes you’re looking forward to taking? Which ones?

Oh, definitely. Illustrator, blogging, digital photography, social media, Photoshop — because I use a lot of those creative programs a lot, because I take a lot my product photos myself. I want to take as many as I can!

I feel like, even with things that aren’t totally related to what I’m doing, will still help with what I do. I feel like it’s all very relevant. And there’s so much that CreativeLive has to offer.

Would you say you’re happier now that you’re focusing illustration?

Oh yeah. When I graduated with my degree in architecture, I knew immediately that I didn’t really want to work in that professional field. But it’s a five year degree and I’d already gone four years! So I finished the degree, and it was very practical, and you do learn a lot about project management and how to do things and how to make things happen…but it was not for me. I knew pretty much right away.

What’s the best creative advice you ever received?

To not second-guess yourself. Which I do a lot, and a lot of creative people do. There’s a lot of fear of failure, but that can also lead to something really great. It’s all about following your passion.

Hanna Brooks Olsen FOLLOW >

Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.