Hi makers, my name is Rylee and I am so excited to share a little of my story with you today as an OML guest blogger!
I am a self-taught illustrator and maker who has created a handmade business called Rylee & Ink.
At Rylee & Ink everything starts with an idea, pen and paper. I hand-draw all my designs then transfer them to wood with a laser engraver to make different products like 3D art pieces, brooch pins, and buttons!
As many self taught makers, I’ve had my own set of experiences that have inspired me to create the things I make today. My work is constantly shaped and influenced by my education, my surroundings, and other talented makers.
I attended the University of Victoria and graduated with a Bachelor degree in Geography. In the last couple years of school, I started drawing as a way to deal with anxiety. I would fill the margins of my notes with doodles and then began practicing more regularly with pens and a sketchbook. Eventually, I discovered Etsy and immediately wanted to be apart of it. I started an Etsy shop in my last year of University called “The Whimsical Wild”, which mostly sold my detailed artwork and coloring books.This year I made a hard decision to take my hobby business full-time and I worried I did my 4 year degree for nothing. I’ve begun to realize, though, that my degree is what led me to search for a creative outlet. Geography has inspired my artwork to be based on travel, nature, and animals. I also had my eyes opened to the importance of sustainability. I try to carry that into my business as much as I can by using sustainable wood for most of my creations and eco-friendly packaging.
I was born in a smalI fishing town and now live in Victoria, BC. Since I’ve lived by the ocean my whole life, I am always inspired by it and use it as my main subject matter for my products. You'll see everything from deep-sea dwellers to majestic birds of prey in my pieces. I also love using inspiration from my travels. For example, my latest collection of wall-hangings is made up of scenes from different cities I've visited.
Being at craft fairs and seeing how others make has improved my own skills. I’ve seen what a great tool a laser engraver can be, and I thought it would be a great way to elevate my art in a unique way. I have also been inspired by the amazing knitwear I’ve seen and wanted to make a product that could be applied to it. This is how I came up with the idea for a line of wooden buttons. I made them in unique shapes and sizes so you can add them to any project you’re working on. They all maintain the natural colours of the wood and compliment knitted yarn very well.
The things I've learned, places I’ve been, and people I’ve met have made me the creator I am today. And most of all, I’m motivated to make things you haven’t seen before. I want my pieces to make you smile, brighten your home, or add a unique touch to your wardrobe - and perhaps, best of all, inspire you to make.