Monday, March 14, 2016

Designer Spotlight: A Chat with Shelly Comiskey (and giveaway)


Meet Henry Glass designer, Shelly Comiskey.
In preparing to have a chat with Shelly Comiskey, I do what I do with (nearly) everyone…I Google them. (Yes, Google is now an official verb in the Oxford English Dictionary).

Here is the first tidbit of interest about Shelly, a small fact of which she humbly admits in her demure manner, she has a book on Amazon that is for sale for $2000.00. What?

Buy this now on Amazon today for a bargain price of $1211.00

So we had to start at the beginning to get to the apex of that small feat. Shelly began her early career like many women did in the late 1980’s, as a secretary, with a heart for artistic pursuits that began in high school. She ran to the art store with her first paycheck, and kept her hand in creativity, and her eyes on the search for that ‘something’ that would ignite her passion.

Twenty something years back, while pregnant with her daughter she went to a craft show and saw candle holders that caught her eye, and a catch in her heart. The crafter was not very forthcoming in the ‘how it was done’ category, so Shelly went to the art store to discover that the candle holders were simply made with polymer clay. Shelly bought one of every color of Sculpey® and went to work. She made darling little figurines of animals, particularly penguins and snowmen which she loves. She often made custom pet figurines for people to remember their own companions.

So, the book, the book … What about the book?

It all started with a video Shelly says. A simple “How To” on the art and science of her work in polymer clay. After presenting the video to Polyform Products company (maker of Sculpey®) they developed a relationship and Shelly began designing toy kits, projects, and also traveled to various trade shows doing demos for them.

During this time, Shelly authored a variety of craft books using Sculpey® clay with Hot Off the Press, a book manufacturer. The opportunity for the book came about with a collaboration between Polyform Products, Hot Off the Press, and Disney®. The idea was a book on creating their well-loved characters using polymer clay. This was an exciting experience for Shelly as she was able to work with infamous Disney® artists. She learned how to take her art form and present it in an exacting and professional manner, which was their standard.

Shelly continued doing polymer characters but started illustrating more and more.  This was her true passion. She taught herself Photoshop®, and was really drawn to the software and how it could be used to express her art.   While she still enjoys making clay figurines for pleasure, her time and focus for her business is now illustrating. 

Shelly begins her design process with simple pencil sketches in her many sketchbooks and begins to doodle away with ideas. Once she is happy with a specific design or character she then simply takes a photo with her IPhone® and opens it in Photoshop® to begin another step in the process.

Step 1 - Sketch and Sketch and Sketch and Sketch

Shelly sketches until something 'looks back' at her. 



She has a super huge Wacom tablet that allows her to meticulously paint every stroke in her illustrations and produce the shading and coloration that she sees in her mind.

Wacom machine that allows every brushstroke to be meticulously placed. 

Office Mate: La La
 So now, she is a designer for Henry Glass. A thriving one at that! Shelly was found at a Surtex® show in New York city, About 25 collections later, fabric is now about 70% of her work. While admitting that she doesn’t sew herself, she is a HUGE fan of seeing what people have made with her work.  


“I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seeing what others create. That is truly the magic of it all.”  Does she feel a special kinship with her characters, we asked? “100% yes,” Shelly says. “I sketch and sketch until something looks at me and comes alive. I believe there is a little part of me in all the characters I create.”

So what’s the next big thing for Shelly? The next big thing is a whole line of kids décor with wall stickers, and bathroom accessories that aims to be out in 2017. She is excited and expectant, but she says, “it has been a long, slow process.” She is also looking forward to exhibiting once again in New York at the Surtex show in May of this year. 

Is there a downside to having an artistic life?  
"I really cannot call it a downside, for an artist it is great to be busy, but I do have some crazy hours. Deadlines, call outs, and even unexpected opportunities come along which can lead to days, nights, and weekends in the studio designing and painting. The social life does take a bit hit at times." 

Shelly's creative workspac
However, she sums up, “I am a very happy and blessed person. 
I absolutely love what I do everyday, and my studio is really one of my favorite places to be.”

The only thing she confesses to needing is a maid and a social media expert.

“And I need to go put that book in a safe deposit box.”  She laughs. 

Here is a lovely giveaway for this week to win TWO bundles from Shelly's past collections with Henry Glass. 

Stay tuned next Monday too, because Shelly has her own special CUSTOM giveaway planned for the day we launch her next collection, on March 21. 

Designer Spotlight Giveaway of TWO bundles from Shelly Comiskey's lines

96 comments:

Joanne Bryan said...

Your imagination and ability to put your thoughts onto paper and then cloth is amazing. Love your work.

Allison CB said...

i have not seen fabric by Shelly before but I will be on the lookout for it now!! So talented!!!

Knittingdancer on Ravelry said...

Love this fabric.

tac73 said...

Love this fabric collection!

annmarie said...

Great post. Thanks for the info on the beginnings of those cute characters that end up on fabric!

Linda said...

LOVE THE INTERVIEW+LOVE SHELLY'S FABRICS> I'VE SEWN "WHOO ME"! THANKS FOR A SWEET GIVEAWAY! msstitcher1214@gmail.com

ldevries said...

Shelly is EXTRAORDINARY!

Janie said...

Oh my gosh what a great designer. No I haven't purchased from any of her lines. I can't believe that she has been doing this so long and I haven't heard of her. Thank you for the introduction.

Melinda said...

Your creations are simply adorable

Bean said...

Shelly is a favorite of mine.. in design, in polymer clay, in person..Congrats Shell on your feature!!!

Ruth said...

Love Love Love all of Shelly's things!! Though we've never met in person I've known her and about her work for a few years now. she is a super talented lady!!

Lisa Marie said...

Her art looks very familiar to me and I think it's adorable, so I probably have bought some of her fabrics. If not, I probably need to!

Christy's Quilts 'n More said...

Love Shelly's designs... Can't wait to see the next few collections coming out.

Victor Rohrer said...

cute fabric. love the animals

anna brown said...

No cant say as i have very nice looking though would make a nice kids quilt..... happyness04431@yahoo.com

QuiltShopGal said...

What talent and such beautiful fabric lines. I'm looking forward to her upcoming collection to be released. Just looks like it is going to be packed with #CreativeGoodness.

QuiltShopGal
www.quiltshopgal.com

Shelly Comiskey said...

Thank you so much to all for these amazing comments. Such a warm feeling and I so appreciate every word! Loving my job ALOT today!

Shelly Comiskey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shelly Comiskey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tricia said...

I love all of your designs! Thanks so much for your artistic expression :)

tricia said...

Oh, and yes I've bought almost the entire Honey Bee Mine collection :)

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

I don't think I have ever even seen any of Shelly's lines, but with a new grandbaby on the way, I am starting to look for all cute fabrics I can find! I would love to win this to make things for my future grandbaby. Thanks for the chance!

Lorie Ballard said...

I love your illustrations, and I am so happy you were an artist for pcC for a bit, so I was able to use your art in my paper crafts. Now to see your art, on fabrics is a bonus! You have been blessed with a wonderful talent!:)

JANET said...

The fabric is so cute!! I will look for her collections when I go shopping tomorrow.

barbara woods said...

love that fabric

Chookyblue...... said...

Always interest me how people get into the industry....
Wish I could draw...

Cecilia said...

Grew interview! Thanks for sharing your history with us Shelly. I've seen some of Shelly's fabrics, but I'm not sure what the names were.

craftychic said...

I absolutely LOVE Shelley's creations! I've been a fan for a long time. The fabrics look adorable :)

Lois Von Gunten said...

I buy all of your fabric but my favorite is the bunnies. I bought 5 yards of that one!!

Renea said...

Loved reading your interview. This fabric is sew cute and I am sure I have a grandchild who would love it. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

Ashley said...

Always a fan and can't wait to get my hands on some of that fabric!

DebrafromMD said...

Love your animals!

Pam said...

Oh those rabbits are adorable! I hope there are some in the bundles. I love the Owls though! Thank you!

minibea12 said...

Very interesting post. I have not bought any of Shelly's fabrics but I will now. Love her designs!
nikilsend(at)outlook(dot)com

Debbie Bastian said...

Shelly! You are my hero girlfriend!! I adore everything you do...you can tell that you put love and caring in everything you do!!!

Michele T said...

Adorable fabric collection!!!

Susan L. said...

Just love these prints!

LeAnne said...

So fun to read about Shelley. I've been a fan of her work for many years and have quite a few of her fabric lines. Her critters have such a distinctive look that I can always pick her stuff out.

Karen said...

I really enjoyed the interview. I don't think I have bought any of Shelley's fabric, but I think there is a purchase in my future!

lindawwww said...

I haven't bought any of Shelly's fabrics yet. I love her Kringle Krossing line.

lin.web.28 at gmail dot com

Dody said...

Just adorable! Your very talented!

scottylover said...

I don't think I have ever bought any of Shelley's creations. They sure are cute, though!

Sandy A

genofwa said...

Hi Shelly, You did an absolute fabulous job on the fabric. My only granddaughter is going to be 1 year old next month & I would love to make her a quilt from this.
Thank You for all your hard work & Thanks for the contest. Good Luck Everyone!

Rosa said...

It`s nice to meet her .Great interview and the fabrics are super cute.

Evie H said...

I would love to win these cute fabrics. Thanks for the opportunity.

OhioLori said...

Have not seen her fabrics! This one is ADORABLE!!!! Looooove it! Thanks for chance to wim the Bundle! :)

Bonnie58 said...

Beautiful, so whimsical. Thanks for sharing

Kathy E. said...

I've been unaware of Shelley and her fabrics until just now, but I will definitely be looking for them from now on! She is a fabulous artist!

Emily C said...

I love the owls, they are too cute! I haven't used any (yet).

Pauline Gudas said...

I have never seen her line of fabric before

Nettie said...

These designs put to cloth are so adorable! I would be so excited to be the lucky recipient of some.
Thanks for the chance.
nettiecrain@live.com

Liz said...

I was introduced to Shelley's creations just recently and I cannot wait to purchase more ! Absolutely ADORABLE creations !! Liz

LeAnne said...

Shelly is one of my fabric designers. I can always tell her designs and anxiously look forward to a new line so I can add it to my collection.

LeAnne said...

I love Shelly's designs. I have quite a few and can always tell which ones are hers.

Peggy Carstens said...

I love Shelly's designs. My sister got me started on recognizing her drawings.

Peggy Carstens said...

I love Shelly's designs. Really cute.

Irene Storteboom said...

Wonderful blog post, amazing creativity as well flexibility in moving along with events and changing direction as needed. I am impressed with all your accomplishments!

Jennifer Essad said...

No I haven't but I'm going to see if the sewing studio I shop at has them. I just moved here so I'm getting familiar with who has what in their stores

GranChris said...

Oh yes I bought the Honey Bee line, too cute for words.

Farm Quilter said...

Love her drawings and her fabrics look to be just as adorable!! I don't know if I have any of her fabrics or not...now to go check the stash!!!

Sherry said...

I don't believe that I have purchased any of Shelley's fabric but this fabric line is adorable.

Claire Sutherland said...

I have never used any of Shelley's fabric x
Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

Beth said...

I made a baby quilt for our Ronald McDonald House using one of Shelley's sweet, cheerful lines, although I don't know the name of it. Her love and optimism came shining through, which was exactly the attitude I wanted to share with the families staying there. If I am lucky enough to win more of her fabric, I'll be spreading the Shelley sunshine around the Portland Ronald McDonald House again; it's a very good match. :)

Kathy Gorman said...

I have never bought fabrics from Shelly' s lines, but the animals are adorable! I would love to create something using her fabrics. What a great gift she has!

delaineelliott said...

I just love Shelly's designs - so cute and sweet. I have bought some of the Believe line. Thanks!

Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

Karen Fisher said...

How cute these fabrics are...thank you for the chance.

sop.hie.s said...

I never bought from her line before because I didn't know it, but looking at these cute designs, my daughter would love it so I'm definitely keeping this in mind...

Rebekah Roth said...

Thank you!

ledamewood said...

I love Shelley's designs. I make a lot of quilts for a quilt ministry that supplies one of the areas NICU's. I like to make special quilts, and the fabrics she designs make them really special.

Debbie Rogowski said...

I love all Shelley designs, it's so nice to see the process she takes to design her fabrics for you.

Dominique Wielgosch said...

I admire Shelley's creativity, and her recognition of having a blessed life. To date I have not purchased any of her fabric designs however, I will certainly be on the look-out for it now.

Dominique Wielgosch said...

Love that Shelley recognizes her life as "blessed"... I have not purchased her fabric designs as of yet... but will certainly be on the look out for it.

Kathy said...

I love Shelley's designs - her rabbits are just adorable

Danette Stankovich said...

I did as you did and "googled" Shelley Comiskey. I don't think I have bought any of her fabric designs. I will pay attention from now on because I was going to purchase "Honey Bee Mine" from Keepsake Quilting, but, unfortunately I did not buy it. So cute!

Shelly Comiskey said...

I am truly touched by the wonderful comments. Thank you! :)

Karel Hamilton said...

I have loved Shelly for years and years and years. She is by far a fantstic artist and will remain one of my favorites!

gab said...

Thanks for the interview. Will be on the look out for Shelly's fabrics.

Krafty Katt said...

LOVE Shelly's stuff. One can never have enough of her snowmen, owls, santas..... :-) Keep the GREAT designs coming! So happy that Henry Glass was smart enough to snag her up. Kuddos to H. G.!!

Connie Cain said...

You are so talented!! Love this fabric, would love to include it in a quit for the grandbabies. :)
craftyccain@gmail.com

cjmont said...

i had not seen her fabrics before, but will look for them now. thanks for the giveaway.

Krafty Katt said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE Shelly's designs! One can NEVER have too many snowmen, Santas, owls, bears..... KUDDOS to Henry Glass Fabrics for being smart enough to snatch her up! May you have many happy profitable years together!

Katy M said...

This is the first time I've seen shelleys designs but they're lovely!

Diane H said...

Thank you for the wonderful introduction to Shelley. It would be a pleasure to make a baby quilt using her adorable designs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such eye catching designs. Definitely speak to the heart. Sherri

Kaddy said...

Oh, sooo cute.
Thanks for the chance to win.

Lars Sone said...

I would love to win this!!
thanks!
larslaura27@gmail.com

Sandra Walker said...

No I have never bought any of her lines. Very cute!

Karen S said...

Love seeing how the design process works! Great fabrics!!

Nancy said...

I have not bought any of her designs before, not seen them. Are they cute!

Jen Barnard said...

I haven't, but I really like her fabrics.
jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

Katie Sews said...

That was a really nice story! Happy Spring, Katie

Vicki H said...

I don't think I have seen her designs before.

Rose Santuci-Sofranko said...

I haven't bought any yet, but oh my are they CUTE!!! Thanks and God bless! ILuvTheEucharist (at) aol.com

Terri Shepard said...

Love all her designs! :)

Lorri Allisen said...

I've always loved Shelly's designs. Thank you for the great article. It was nice to learn more about Shelly and the design process.

Nancy said...

Thank you!