Artist Spotlight: White Dawn Designs

Artist Spotlight: White Dawn Designs

Lisa White -White Dawn Designs, Downingtown, PA

Lisa Dawn White is a mixed media artist that has developed a unique botanical collage process that she uses to create framed works of art for the home, and jewelry for the body. With a whimsical interpretation of the pattern and repetition that she finds in nature, Lisa’s designs offer a contemporary take on traditional botanical arts and craft.

Describe your work.
Lisa creates mixed media art using the process of collage, featuring botanical specimens that she collects, presses, preserves and enhances. She uses vibrant handmade and painted paper and fabric for the background and collages materials together using a unique 10 step process that she has developed throughout many years of experimentation. Although she replicates her best-selling designs each piece is hand-made and one of a kind – Lisa delights in the subtle differences found in each piece. Lisa is selective about the botanicals that she uses in her works; not all botanicals “make the cut” and careful attention to color, composition, and detail give her work an element of distinction.

How did you get started in the crafts business?
If Lisa wasn't making botanical collages, she would be making something else – she is compelled to “make”. She has dabbled in almost every artistic and craft medium she can find (e.g., photography, stained glass, jewelry, pottery, painting, fiber arts, writing). Her botanical collages are an amalgamation of her academic and professional background in horticulture (she has a Master's in Horticulture) and her time spent “in the field” and her love of mixed media. She says the two are a "match made in nature". 

She particularly loves collage because it doesn't require perfection; sometimes mistakes, or accidents give birth to a design or a process that could otherwise never be anticipated. Lisa is inspired by the landscapes she encounters in her travels, the changing color palettes of the seasons, and the microcosmic universes that can be found in the opening (and closing!) of a flower.

How long have you been wholesaling?
Since 2006.
What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.?
It’s often changing, but right now, 70% wholesale, 15% retail, 15% commission (usually local accounts and cooperatives).
What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers?
Trade shows, Indieme and electronic newsletters.
How has IndieMe helped your business?
Listing her products on IndieMe has increased the exposure that her studio receives and helped her to focus in on her most viable products and create a photographic inventory to showcase them. It's a useful tool to help streamline inventory and keep work relevant.
What advice do you have for new craft artists?
Always experiment! Push yourself to find new designs, new methods, improve your techniques, explore other mediums to keep your work fresh and unique. Become knowledgeable about the business of art and take entrepreneurism as seriously as your craft. Don’t take yourselves too seriously though; it’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice! 

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?
Give constructive feedback to artists; understand that artists may be wearing many hats; try to be flexible and anticipate artist production timelines before placing orders --we know you have a business to run too so we always try to help out when we can! Do everything you can to market your artists and create successful long term relationships (e.g., use social media, offer spotlights, rotate and ensure work is given great exposure).

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