Artist Spotlight: Holly Simple
This week we caught up with artist, jewelry maker, and arguably Philly's most eccentric fashionista, Holly Simple. Scroll on to read our interview with her!
Can you introduce yourself for us - who you are, where you’re from, what you do
Hey! I’m Holly Simple, an artist and designer here in Philly :-) before living here, I was in Brooklyn for almost 12 years where I created my namesake tarot deck Holly Simple Tarot among other “firsts” like one off painted clothing, weird jewelry and lots of zines and comics!
Not much is changed although now living in Philly, it allows me a quality of life that ensures my art and design comes first! At the moment I’m working out of Bok Building in South Philly where I have a shoppable studio space and focus on hand painted and doodled clothing!
What's your zodiac sign?
Capricorn sun, Aquarius rising and Taurus moon!
How did you get your start in visual art and illustration?
I was always an artist, definitely that weird awkward kid in middle school turning glow-in-the-dark stars into statement fashion accessories. Once I move to New York City from Rhode Island, it was off to the races seeking a creative career in interior design. although working full-time, I made time to create zines and silly animations.
I bopped around working with different creative companies and stumbled upon a woman reading tarot at one of the shops I worked at… she convinced me to get a reading and my mind was blown! I was thrown into a huge creative explosion! I was inspired to learn the cards, and practice and knew I needed to create my own deck. This process took just over a year - the longest project I had ever started and completed!
From there, I was divinely guided to create more decks and more tools for growth and inspiration. I feel deeply tapped in when creating my work :’)
How and where do you find inspiration?
I am so inspired by all things visual and get lots of inspo walking the streets of Philly seeing weird trash on the streets, graffiti on buildings and abandoned cars. I love roaming thrift stores an thumbing old magazines. I also use oracle and tarot cards to pull and gain inspiration for life in general!
What’s your favorite part about the design process?
Oooh that moment when an idea comes to mind and I absolutely have to get it down on paper then, the floodgates open! I work best when I pencil my work very loosely and fast before beginning. It’s so cool to see things take shape when I’m in the moment from idea to the physical.
Who are some other artists/designers/brands you look up to?
Any words of wisdom for fellow makers or peers looking to get their business off the ground?
It’s hard work! Sure, part of it is having the idea or the talent but it’s the TIME behind learning HOW to do all ”the things” that makes the end result possible. I’m so grateful for my willingness to ask for help when I don’t know how to do something and the ability to do the research (thank you brain!) although…. it can be BORING it is this time that makes your experience unique to YOU.
What is a dream project/goal for you?
Getting my clothes on John Mayer or Post Malone <3 and top it off with a Vans or Converse collab!