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Meet Shelley Schmidt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shelley Schmidt.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I am an artist, maker, and illustrator who specializes in surface pattern design (artwork for fabrics, stationery, gifts, and various other products). As a freelance designer specializing in contemporary artwork for the women’s and children’s markets, I work with companies to create artwork and pattern designs for their products. I also create and sell a small line of handmade products that feature my own playful patterns and illustrations. You can find my products for sale on Etsy and at various Atlanta shows and festivals. I also hope to begin wholesaling my product line to some local Atlanta boutiques very soon!

I’ve always felt called towards a creative career path and I’ve dreamed of being an entrepreneur since I was a young girl. Sewing and drawing have been passions of mine for as long as I can remember! After high school, I moved away from my hometown of St. Louis to study apparel design and merchandising at Dominican University in Chicago. After graduation, I moved back home to study business and, afterward, I started working in the fashion industry. I was fortunate to work in a variety of different roles over the years (including technical design, merchandising, textile design, and product development), which gave me a really unique perspective on the many different fashion career paths available to me. I fell in love with textile design and color theory while working as a CAD designer and, although I had a few other jobs in the fashion industry after that one, my life has never been the same since!

While working in Chicago as a product developer, I realized that I was miserable. I yearned for something more exciting and it reawakened my dream of starting my own creative business! At the end of 2015, I took a huge leap of faith and decided to leave my full-time job so that I could focus on developing my own surface pattern design company: Studio Schmidt Designs. I started selling some of my colorfully-patterned handmade products at local shows/festivals and also through my own Etsy shop. In mid-2017, my husband and I relocated to the Atlanta area and we settled in Decatur. Since moving to Atlanta, we have fallen in love with life here! Atlanta has an amazing community of artists and designers and is full of creative energy! I also love exploring each of Atlanta’s unique neighborhoods – I find a lot of inspiration for my designs that way!

Please tell us about your art.
My goal as a surface pattern designer is to help people experience a little bit of extra joy in their everyday lives. My illustrations and designs feel playful, upbeat, and contemporary. I love to create artwork that has a positive energy to it and makes people smile! I favor curved lines, simplistic shapes, and bold color combinations. The inspiration for my designs comes from all around me, and I frequently take walks through city streets and forest trails to see what catches my interest. Each of my designs begins as a series of doodles in my sketchbook. Occasionally, I also add painted or stitched motifs and textures to my artwork. After drawing and creating, I scan my sketches into the computer to edit them digitally and create repeating pattern designs.

As a maker, I love creating things myself because it keeps my imagination flowing and my hands busy! I aim to bring happiness to others through my line of playfully-patterned products. I keep myself busy by cutting and sewing tote bags, pillows, kitchen tea towels, and organic cotton baby items from fabrics printed with my unique textile designs. In addition to the products that I create from my own printed fabrics, I also design and sell various illustrated stationery and gift items such as greeting cards, notecard sets, bookmarks, wrapping paper, recipe cards, art prints, magnets, and handmade journals. To create my products I use American-made materials and printers whenever possible. I care about the environment, so using sustainably-sourced papers and eco-friendly fabric and paper printers is important to me as well.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
My advice would be to create as much art as you can – make something new every day, if possible! Setting aside even a few minutes each day for yourself to create art without any agenda is so important. I wish that I had learned this earlier and given myself permission to take the time to just doodle, experiment, and create without any expectations about where it would lead.

I’ve also found that it’s important to experiment by trying new artistic techniques and mediums as much as possible in order to keep the creativity flowing.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
The artwork that I create for clients ends up on a wide range of products. I sell my own line of playfully-patterned products at various events and festivals throughout the Atlanta area, as well as online through my Etsy shop ( My products have also been sold at various pop up shops throughout the Southeast.

Earlier this year, I was fortunate to have some of my stationery items available for purchase locally at Hodgepodge Coffeehouse in East Atlanta Village. I am excited to begin wholesaling my products to other local boutiques and retailers very soon!

If you are interested in learning more about me or commissioning me for artwork or special projects, please visit my website at

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Shelley Schmidt

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