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.
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.
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.
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!