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Introducing: Allie Runnion

last updated 03 August 2018

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Inspired by vintage illustration, and with a degree in Illustration and English from the highly-esteemed Rhode Island School of Design, Allie Runnion’s bright, bold designs and strong sense of colour and texture lend her work an immediate appeal, combining the warmth of a subtle nostalgia with an undeniably trend-savvy energy.

Allie dropped into our New York office earlier in the summer, and chatted with agent Hannah Curtis (in the States for a raft of industry trade shows and client meetings) about her creative motivations and ambitions.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I find a lot of inspiration in old things, especially mid-century illustration and design. I’ve always been a collector and love to shop in antique and thrift stores. I curate an instagram account, @vintageillustrated, where I scan and post images that I find as inspiration for both myself and other artists. I also live in the beautiful state of Maine and find so much inspiration in the natural beauty around me.

Allie Runnion_Vintage

Allie Runnion's textural artwork and retro palette draws on an eclectic range of 'found' design treasures from her keen interest in vintage modes

Vintage illustration examples

A sample of vintage illustrations from Allie's inspiration collection

What are some of your favorite things to illustrate?

Patterns! Florals are probably my favourite. I love flipping through old field guides and gardening books as reference, and discovering new flowers and plants to draw in my backyard. I also enjoy draw animals and am working on incorporating more figures into my work.

Allie_workspace and drawings

Left to right: Allie shares a glimpse inside her tranquil design studio; leafing through vintage books and guides on botanical subjects, ink pen in hand

Allie Runnion_Pattern

As a designer and illustrator specialising in surface pattern design, Allie has a fantastic array of repeat designs in her portfolio, but also creates beautifully observed, sensitively rendered standalone artworks with a spare use of line and distinctively nuanced palette.

Has your style developed at all since you began illustrating?

Yes! As an Illustration major at RISD, I struggled to find my style, bouncing between graphic work and more painterly styles. After graduating, I began my career as a graphic designer and narrowed in on more graphic work. As I have returned to doing more illustration work in the last few years, I now feel much more at home with my style. I love merging traditional drawing and painting with digital techniques that I have learned through years of experience in graphic design.

Allie Runnion_composite

Allie's portfolio also includes examples of her hand-rendered typography and figurative work - a truly versatile artist!

Do you have a dream project you’d like to work on?

I’d love to work on a bedding or home collection, or do packaging work for a fun brand!

To view Allie’s entire portfolio, click here. You can also enquire with her agent, Hannah Curtis, about licensing specific pieces or to discuss commissioning bespoke artwork.

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