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Artist's Corner - Trudi Hemans of Tea Rose Illustration

October 07, 2020

trudi hemans of tea rose illustration

Meet Trudi-Ann Hemans!

Born in the Red Hills of St Andrew in Jamaica, Trudi left everything she knew to move to the United States at age 16. Now based in Atlanta, Trudi is an illustrator and designer, specializing in detailed illustrations that celebrate feminine energy and botanical elements.

Welcome to TSC’s Blanket Fort Blog, Trudi!

Trudi: Thanks so much for having me!

When did you first fall in love with illustration and design?

TH: I fell in love with making marks on the backs of furniture when I was a toddler and it’s been my passion ever since. Despite all the grime and stress that life brings, creating has always been my escape and my healing. I’ve always had a love for art but I think I fell in love with illustration specifically when I was sixteen and learned about how flexible and innovative drawing could be! I owe a lot of that discovery to my high school art teacher who really pushed me to try new art styles and fully immerse myself in these projects.

What advice do you have for artists who are still searching for their signature style?

TH: I had a professor who would say “don’t get married to your work” which basically means that as artists we shouldn’t be so attached to our work that we fear starting over or erasing that seemingly perfect line. This fear of messing up or starting from scratch is what really stunts artistic growth. This is the same with finding your “art style”. I think that artists trying to do this should forget about what they think their style “should” look like and not stick to one look. I think that I may have wasted a lot of time trying to create work that fits the traditional “best illustration style” but once I decided to be true to my own tastes and preferences things began to flow more naturally. Experiment, do a lot of art studies and really look at the art that you’re drawn to. Ask yourself what it is about this art that you like so much and see if you can bring elements of that into your own work. I’d also say that styles evolve as you do. I look at work that I did just a couple of years ago and cringe BUT a part of me still appreciates the work because it helped me to understand things that I’m doing with my art now. To summarize, experiment and keep doing so until you find something that feels right. 

Who are some of the people (or places) that give you inspiration for your artwork?

TH: I’m inspired by people, especially women! I admire their ability to be so much despite the confines, labels, and injustices that have been forced upon them (us). The first things that I started drawing were girls and rainbows so I think it's safe to say that my inspiration comes from people and nature. My home country of Jamaica always manages to bring a smile to my face and spark my imagination. 

Can you share more about your creative process when creating the “Self-Love” scrunchie design? 

TH: My process for creating this design was a bit more abstract than what I usually do. I like to work with blobs of shapes first and then work general to specific. The shape that kept repeating with my blobs was a heart. I love drawing figures, especially the female figure so when I thought of the heart somehow my brain came up with hearts and boobs! Breasts come in all shapes, sizes and conditions! Unfortunately, more often than not, the media only shows one specific type as the standard. This design is a cheeky little reminder that one size does not fit all and that is completely OK.

When someone wears the Self-Love scrunchie, what do you hope they are feeling or thinking about?

TH: When someone wears this scrunchie I hope that they are reminded of the things that make them unique and boldly (or discreetly) celebrating them. I hope that they are feeling good about themselves and maybe even having a little laugh.

15% of the profits from the Self-Love scrunchie will be donated to Planned Parenthood Southeast. What does this cause mean to you?

TH: I think that it is so important, now and always, that women be in places and in discussions where decisions are being made that will affect them. Clearly, this has not been the case which has led to so much needless suffering and pain. I believe that what Planned Parenthood does as an organization helps to combat the completely unethical system set up for governing our bodies.

In addition to Planned Parenthood, can you tell us about some of the causes or nonprofit organizations you support?

TH: I support causes that help those being marginalized or actively silenced get a chance to be heard, seen and loved.

How do you treat yourself with kindness?

TH: I’m still learning how to do this! The perfectionist in me gets antsy whenever I’m not “productive”, but I’m learning that it’s ok to get off track sometimes and make mistakes. Listening to what my body really needs, taking healthy breaks when I feel burnt out and learning to say no to things that don’t serve me are definitely my go-tos for self care. I also try to enjoy the moments of simply existing and being enough. It’s hard to shut my brain off sometimes because I am a serial overthinker (every single scenario needs to be analyzed and inspected, ha!) but usually curling up with a book or a Ghibli film helps to settle me.  

Thanks for your time, Trudi!

You can learn more about Trudi’s work on her website or Instagram, and shop her "Self-Love" scrunchie on our website.