Q&A with Erin Jang

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! My name is Erin Jang and I am a designer and illustrator living in New York City with my husband and son. I like to design (I used to work as an art director at Esquire Magazine and Martha Stewart Living!), illustrate (especially for companies like Land of Nod!), create stationery (see some of my cards here!) and make things (I'm working on a craft book with a friend of mine, be on the lookout next fall!). I love making posters and designs that are colorful, minimal, smart and happy. 

How has living in different cities inspired your work?

Seattle and New York City both inspire my work so much.

Seattle inspiration: the color palette in a rainy day (forest green, brown, cobalt blue, grey, bright yellow), being surrounded by water and mountains, the flowers and alleys and old trinket shops in Pike Place Market, the alternative music scene, screen printers and poster artists, and the relaxed vibe of the city.

New York inspiration: art galleries and museums (my favorite is the MoMA), the people I see everyday on the street and on the subway (everyone has their own style and story), the eclectic colorful storefronts in every neighborhood (each one has its own personality — East Village! NoHo! Chelsea! Jackson Heights! Cobble Hill! Tribeca!), and all the creative and talented artists and makers I've worked with and have become friends with.

What were your thoughts behind the Hues You Can Use color series?

When I made these posters, my son was learning his first words and colors. I wanted to find a great color chart or poster for his room, but couldn't find anything that was simple and modern, that fit my aesthetic. So I thought it'd be fun to make this series and share them with everyone else! I was inspired by vintage educational charts and flash cards, and I like that my posters can be hung either individually or all together as a gallery.

I love Land of Nod, they are my favorite kids store (I even shopped for things for my apartment there before having Miles!). So I was so thrilled to collaborate with them on this exclusive print series!

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What is your favorite color(s)?

I like green. If you come to our home you'll see a lot of green in various hues — forest green, army green, olive green, teal green, kelly green. I think maybe it comes from living in New York City and my husband and I missing that fresh green of the Pacific Northwest and wanting to bring that color into our apartment, even if it's through a pillow or a small potted plant, or a piece of artwork or wall paint.

But if I had a choose a favorite color palette it would be an olive green mixed with brown, grey, a super bright yellow, and a neon orangey-red!

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Do you have kids, and if so has that influenced your work?

Yes, and yes! I have one sweet boy, Miles, who is two. There is inspiration everywhere when we are playing together — in the stories we read together, in the color of his Legos, in his drawings, in the lines and shapes at the playground. I also have three nephews and one niece (Jacob, NathanDylan, and Naomi) and one of my biggest joys is making things for them, whether it's designing birthday invitations and favors, or illustrating special posters and books for them. They inspire me, and I adore them!

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Any other hobbies or interests?

I love riding my bike all around the city. We have a child seat in the front of my bike for Miles and he loves coming along, waving to people on the sidewalk and shouting "Hiiiiiiiiiiiii!" to the taxicabs as they pass us by.

We also live near the big farmers' market in Union Square, and I love shopping there, and cooking for friends and having people over our apartment. It's so much fun eating out in the city too, finding a new coffee shop or a fun hole-in-the-wall restaurant to try. I love food and have a side project called Food Sketches where I draw some of my favorite colorful dishes, check it out!

Favorite Land of Nod product?

Hard to choose! But I love the Multiplayer Wall Hook for its minimal design and colorful knobs — they're so cheery! We have this in the entryway of our apartment, and Miles loves to hang up his own jacket. 

One item I'd love to own is the larger set of Greater Pyramid Blocks. They're so beautifully made, and the vibrant colors mixed with the wood make them feel like a piece of art!

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