Today I am so thrilled to introduce illustration artist, Marnie Vollenhals of J.AUSTINRyan Designs! Marnie’s collection of hand-painted, original children’s art pieces include delightful characters and beautiful color palettes. J.AUSTINRyan is named after her three energetic boys and the aesthetic behind her line is a modern/classic one, creating timeless works of art your child will love for years and years. Recently, Marnie V. had the joy and privilege of painting the nursery ceiling and window for celebrities, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon! Mariah and Nick requested a dreamy sky painted ceiling and window and Marnie did such an amazing job that Mariah said the ceiling was her favorite part of the room! Read on to see pictures and find out more about Marnie’s work with the Carey/Cannon nursery and the inspiration behind her line of whimsical and loveable hand-painted children’s art!
How would you define the J.AUSTINRyan style philosophy?
I feel like it’s a mix of modern, vintage, and whimsical illustration all in one. My style is very eclectic and I really love to create art that’s different. I love color, simplicity, and really want people of all ages to wonder when they look at it. I’ve been told by many, that my art just makes them happy. I love that.
What inspired you to become a designer and start a business?
Well, I would really have to say my passion for anything baby and juvenile started when I worked in California for Gail Sedigh at AFK. I worked with them for 9 years and really got a taste of what it’s like to be in this industry. Then my husband’s job transferred us to Fort Worth, Texas and I simply missed creating, designing, and working. At first I started donating to local and nationwide charities for children and the response was overwhelming. I still donate 1 or 2 pieces a month to charities nationwide, I LOVE to give. A few months later is when I realized I needed to start my own business, around 3 three years ago today.
Why did you choose to design and paint children’s art?
I’m a natural illustrator by trade and that’s what I studied in school. I am also finally illustrating my first children’s book now and it’s almost done, which I’m very excited about.
With that said, I wanted to incorporate my style of illustration and art into art for children. It’s all about wanting people to have a piece of me and my work. I LOVE shipping art around the world with my name on it, to me that’s simply COOL. Being an artist now in this industry has really made me brave. There are so many talented artists out there and I love the fact that my art is within the variety.
What is your favorite part of your daily work when you reflect on the day, what is most rewarding?
I think it’s getting those “thankful” emails from my customers. With my company, I’m the only artist, shipper, invoice sender, and everything else so I really enjoy seeing my hard work pay off with my customers.
If you had to pick a favorite design from your collection, what would it be?
What sets J.AUSTINRyan apart from other designers in your industry?
Tough question. I think what really sets me apart is everything I’m involved in. From being on fabulous websites like RosenberryRooms.com, sold in stores, illustrating books, and some art galleries, the name J.AUSTINRyan by Marnie V. is out there.
Do you have any news that you would like to share, perhaps about upcoming designs or introductions to your line?
I do have some new designs that I’m working on. I’ll only give a hint to one though. It’s a set of safari paintings, and that’s all I’ll say.
I recently was hired by Gail Sedigh of AFK to paint the nursery for Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon….that was so much fun. Mariah loves the sunset sky so she wanted me to create that on the nursery ceiling. I guess I listened well on the details, because she loved it! It had a soothing bohemian look to it, it is gorgeous. We also added gold leaf stars scattered everywhere on the ceiling in different sizes and shapes. That’s when it really came together. Truly unique and special is what I call it. The project was fun and I can’t wait for the next.
Now…Just for Fun
Favorite Food- I’m a health nut, so really anything that’s good for me
Favorite TV Show- All reality shows -Flipping Out with Jeff Lewis….he cracks me up!
Favorite Movie- Anything funny
Favorite Weekend Activity- I’m a die-hard football mom. Secrets out! In Texas, football is year round, with a couple of months off in between. So my weekends are usually involved with cheering, yelling, and praising my boys. We also have a pool, so we spend a lot of time with our boys swimming and playing basketball in the pool. It gets rough, but it’s fun.
Favorite Band- I really don’t have a particular favorite. I listen to everything. And in my car, my kiddos take over the radio.