Design is meant to inspire emotions in the viewer, whether they are feelings of reflection or of fun and adventure.
A feeling of playfulness is ever-present in hand-letterer and illustrator Mary Kate McDevitt’s artwork. She has a talent for creating silly stories to go with whatever theme she puts her mind to. Turning to plants created a new challenge for her.
“Drawing plants definitely has a different feeling than drawing letters, but in a lot of ways it’s very similar. It’s a great exercise for sure because plants are so abstract…”
As a budding plant-enthusiast, she challenged herself to learn about what she was growing through her “100 Days of People and Plants” project, a comedic series of people’s strange habits with their plants.
“I would do a little research for each day about what that plant does so it was just interesting learning about each of the plants.”
What began as a few houseplants in her Philadelphia home soon turned into roughly twenty indoor plants and a small garden out back. She found even just taking care of the plants was an inspiration for her illustrations.
“When I’m watering my plants, watering the tomatoes is always great because as soon as the water hits the tomato plants, you get this great tomatoey fragrance.”
Mary Kate’s illustrations have been used in numerous advertisements including Nintendo and Nike. She has also published a few books that help inspire people as well as elevate the readers’ drawing skills. Her success has also allowed her the opportunity to teach at her alma mater, Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She enjoys hosting workshops for aspiring artists and letterers through the studio she co-founded, Okay Fine.
This episode was filmed and edited by freelance videographer Nick Gandolfo-Lucia. He is one of PlantPop’s newly hired filmmakers.