While society is continuously moving forward on the coattails of technological “progress” and the excessive culture of consumption that it entails, the need to return to where we started is becoming more and more apparent; where will we be if we forget the building blocks of culture amongst the conveniences of technology? Yet to look back or exercise nostalgia is seen as a taboo in our modern world bent on progress. In the face of our modernity, I emphasize simpler and more alternative values, such as the practicality in being able to produce or locally source the objects in one’s living space, and to purchase with intent on the grounds of function and value, rather than blind consumption. This balance between seriousness and the naiveté of childhood is illustrated here in this body of work, where I have used the influence of nostalgia for my own childhood to create whimsical yet purposeful objects for a bedroom. The light‐heartedness of the content in relation to the objects’ functionality stresses that while it is good to know what is important in life, there is also a need to live with abandon, and set yourself free in imagination and the naiveté of childhood.
Katie Ackley is an illustrator lost in love with the versatility of surface design. While she uses watercolor, gouache, ink, and digital media to make her illustrations, she loves screen‐printing for the freedom it allows to create her own handmade products for her business, Inky Blue. The functionality of her work is the focus of a multifaceted studio practice developed on a foundation of charming, mannered animal characters wearing people’s clothing. Subjects of home, nostalgia, and nature can undoubtedly be traced to her Maine upbringing, which continuously inspires her interest in sustainability. Katie Ackley received her BFA in Illustration from Maine College of Art in May 2015. She now lives near Belfast, Maine, where she gardens, volunteers with the local arts community, and lovingly crafts objects for people’s hearts and homes.
1. Trio (Quincy, Fowl, and Sunny Vines), 2015, Acrylic screen printing ink, 100% cotton fabric, polyfill, zippers, Varying sizes
2. Woodland Bedroom, 2015, Bed, Printed Fabric, Screenprinted Posters, Printed Throw Pillows, Printed Plush, Throw Rug, Bed Stand, Lamp, Installation Site
3. Creature Portraits, 2015, Acrylic screen printing ink, 100# paper, 11 x 17”
4. Birch Duvet, 2015, Dye, 100% cotton muslin, Duvet insert, 90 x 66”
5. Starry Canopy Sheet Set, 2015, Dye, 100% cotton muslin, 66 x 96” Flat Sheet, 20 x 30” Pillow Case
6. Studio Portrait