| Isabelle Allen
What a delight it has been to work with the amazingly talented regional NSW acrylic artist Whitney Spicer on our 2022 Christmas Collection.
I had been an admirer of Whitney's work on Instagram so we started chatting and the ideas flew!
Together we explored the concept of The Christmas Table and a very summery Australian Christmas! With prawns and watermelon, lemons and fresh fish, oysters and avocados, champagne and cherries, a joyful celebration of all things Summer and Christmas.
Whitney’s original acrylic artworks combined spectacularly with our letterpress gold foil and resulted in a stunning range of gift wrap, cards, gift tags, gift bags, puzzles and more.
We sat down with Whitney to chat all things creativity and Christmas, we hope you enjoy.
Tell us about yourself. What is your background and where do you live?
I am an Australian Still Life Artist, living in regional NSW. My husband & I have three beautiful boys, Finley 9, Teddy 7 and Darby 4. I feel very lucky to live here and watch my children grow up on a small farm, it is such a great lifestyle.
Did you grow up in a creative family? And when did you decide to pursue your art full time?
Whilst I wouldn't say my family was super creative, they most definitely supported and nurtured my interest in art. I pursued what I believed to be a more stable career path in accounting following high school. However, once having children, I found myself gravitating back to art. There was never an intention to pursue art professionally, it was a submission to an open call at a local gallery that prompted me to share my art with more than just my own family. After putting myself out there, I had some lovely response, and never looked back!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Given my painting subject is predominantly food based, I find myself following a lot of amazing food photographers and stylists. I am inspired by their ability to present food in unique and beautiful ways, to dress and set a table, and to capture light, shadow and mood. I feel that setting a table and presenting food is an art in itself.
What does this 2022 Bespoke Letterpress Christmas collection mean to you?
First of all, major fan girl moment when Alischa contacted my about collaborating with Bespoke Letterpress. I was a long time admirer of your brand and product. To collaborate on art work for a Christmas campaign is very special, as these pieces will become a part of a season and day that is so treasured by families all across the world. Christmas is my favourite time of year, and its the tradition of meeting and sharing a meal with your loved ones, selecting thoughtful gifts for people that you love, and not least taking great pride in my wrapping and decoration theme. This year will be so super special, I cant wait to fill my home with all of the joy this collection brings.
There are so many gorgeous products in the collection. Which product is are you most excited about and why?
Oh my goodness, this is a hard question. I have just received my first sample box of product from the collection, and I am blown away! To see my art in a different format, other than on a flat canvas, is a pinch me moment. I would have to say, I am a 'card' girl. I think gift cards are very important. I always take time in consider the words I fill a hand written card with. They capture a moment in time, and are a special token to hold onto and cherish. A matching giftwrap or printed gift bag is a wonderful compliment.
What does your Christmas Day look like? What do you most look forward to each Christmas?
Christmas day is happiness. My children's faces filled with joy and the excitement of a day full of family, gift giving, amazing food, and being thankful for a year of health and happiness. We most definitely get into our table decorations, and take great effort in developing a menu that leaves everybody's bellies full and hearts happy.
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
I was given an amazing recipe for traditional Christmas pudding. It is a labour of love, but one that is so fulfilling. You don't really realise the effort that goes into such a small ball of cake, but it will most definitely be on the menu this year! Oh and...new PJs on Christmas Eve is a great tradition. Nothing better than waking up in fun new PJS Christmas morning.
What will be on your Christmas Table this year?
There will be some traditional Christmas meats, but we like an Aussie Christmas will some gorgeous fresh seafood, and an amazing array of salads. I feel this is the perfect mix for a hot Aussie Summer. All this bespoke linen deserves some seafood and salad to accompany it, this years table will be a fun one indeed!
Do you have any big plans for 2023? Are there any exciting projects in the works?
I have just opened the doors to my new studio. I have taken up residence in a small shop on the main street of our home town, Manildra NSW. Here I have an open painting room where I develop my collections, but I also have a shop floor full of art, prints and pieces from collaborative endeavours I have been lucky enough to be involved in. I have also selected a range of homewares that is true to my own style, and I feel work well with my art. This will most definitely keep me busy next year, it is already proving such a happy and inspiring place to go to work, so I'm feeling very excited about the year ahead.
You can see more of Whitney's work and shop her lovely collection on her website here.