Deirdre Kelly and her artwork are the focus of our second feature in the “Meet the Designer” series. Deirdre serves as GiftTree’s head designer, developing our high-end wine and gourmet baskets, themed gifts, and signature standalone items. Of her many innovative contributions, perhaps the most impressive is her set of original art prints seen in the Woodland Animals Personalized Wall Art and Jungle Animals Personalized Wooden Wall Art.
Enjoy the interview below for a unique insight into Deirdre’s favorite gifts, her thoughts on creativity and meaning, and what inspires her to create such elegant gifts.
Tell us a bit about your background as a designer.
I earned my degree in Graphic Design from Oregon State University. I’ve had an interesting range of design projects, from designing trade show booths and retail shop windows, to designing and casting jewelry and illustrating children’s books. I enjoy being inspired by all forms of art and I’ve spent years designing custom murals and decorative painting techniques for private and commercial establishments.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere: the way the sun light hits a leaf, or the sleek lines of a metal surface. Anything can spark the imagination. That’s what makes art ever-changing and fun.
When did you become interested in design?
Art has always been my passion; I can’t remember when design wasn’t a part of my life in some way.
What is your proudest accomplishment as a designer?
I remember the first time I saw a logo that I had designed on a Mattel Hot Wheels box. That was exciting for me. But the best feeling was when my client said, “It’s so much more than I could have imagined and better than I even dreamed.” Words like that fuel the soul.
Can you describe your style in just a few words?
My style changes, but for the most part, I would describe my style as simple elegance and modern.
What are your two favorite gift basket designs we have at GiftTree?
Toast of Elegance Champagne gift basket and of course the original art prints that I was honored to design.
If you had the freedom to design anything, anywhere, what would it be?
If I had the freedom to design anything anywhere, I’d travel the world to see what inspires me.
What materials do you like to use the most and why?
I love to work with many different mediums, but when I’m having a rough day, breaking out the acrylics always brings out the creativity and puts things into perspective.
What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Spending time with family and friends, taking a long hike in the beautiful (and sometimes not so beautiful!) weather, and collaborating on my book. These things make for a perfect weekend.
What is your dream job?
My dream job would allow me to live well, doing what I love.
What is one personal belonging you just couldn’t live without?
My dad’s ring. He was my biggest champion and always believed in my talent as an artist. He passed away when I was 15 and I wear his ring every day. It helps me to remember that the little things in life have great importance, and that life is too short; strive to always be the best that you can be.
Finally, what is the best part of working for GiftTree?
Knowing that something that I created is bringing joy to someone.