Feature: Dee Wilkie, surface designer and collaborator extraordinaire


I was going to start off about how I met Dee Wilkie, but we have yet to actually met! We “met” online and have gotten to know one another through social media. How modern of us! Despite our lack of being in person, we seem to be kindred spirits. Dee is a creative soul who works in surface design and also promotes other artists on her blog The Art Project, with a new website that will go live in August. Since I’ve known her, she always seems to be working a new project and always with other artists, photographers, models… like in the post I did a few weeks back about The Define Project. I think that to know Dee Wilkie is to get drawn into her creative vortex of ideas and become a part of something bigger, more beautiful than a single artist working alone.

Here are some pics and a behind-the-scenes video from her "Silk Canvas" shoot with Brent McCombs.

Here is a little Q/A I did with Dee:

(For more reading about Dee, check out a recent feature by Alex Vautour)

How did you get started with surface design?

I attended NBCCD where I received my diploma in Surface Design.

What mediums do you work with?

I primarily work with silk when I hand dye fabrics, but I have also worked with other fabrics such as cotton, velvet, and knit. You can screen print on just about anything as long as it has a flat surface!

When people ask you what you do, what do you say?

When people ask me "what do you do?" I always have to stop and think. I have my hand in so many different pots its hard to narrow it down. I usually then explain what a surface designer does, and then my husband jumps in and says, "tell them about this project you are working on!" (Insert various project here. lol)

What inspires you in your work?

Colour and emotion are my biggest motivators. I am obsessed with bright colours, and mixing them with moody feels. I also get inspired by local photographers and models. When I see a style of work that I like, I always want to collaborate with that artist whether it be a model, photographer, or another designer.

What is it that you love about collaborating with other artists?

Oh man, where do I start!?! There are so many reasons... I love seeing both of our visions come come to life. Working with another person requires compromise, respect, and kindness. When you work together a few times, and get into a jive, it's such a good feeling. Their is a trust built up and its a really precious thing.

Tell me about your studio/workspace and what you need to make it work?

I currently work out of my apartment and any spare space I can find. We have a two bedroom apartment with one room dedicated to my supplies and materials, but there is so much stuff in there that I often end up working in our living room and/or kitchen. It is my personal belief that "where there is a will, there is a way." I might not have the fanciest equipment, or the most organized apartment, but I make it work.

Tell me about the new website you’re working on:

My new website deewilkie.com is also going to help encourage people to follow their artistic dreams, and also show people a behind the scenes look at all my current and upcoming projects, and show the final results of my work and the work of people who I have collaborated with.