Aubree Gray is an illustrator here in Omaha who specializes in portraits, illustrations, calligraphy and logos. Her dreamy designs are bold, colorful, floral, and just plain pretty. We are proud to feature her work in Scout this month and encourage shoppers to get to know Aubree and her bright, beautiful work.
Scout: Tell us your story. How did you get involved in illustration and calligraphy?
AGI: It's truly one of those cliche stories of a kid who wasn't that great at anything other than painting and drawing, so I was lucky enough to be in classes of all kinds since I was eight years old. I have to pay homage to my high school art teacher as well, who was truly a real life Bob Ross of sorts. When I moved to Omaha 5 years ago, I decided that it was time for me to start selling the small art pieces I was making, so I made an Esty account and an Instagram dedicated to the work. That eventually lead to illustrating a book, participating in local art shows, and pursuing a career as an artist full time in 2020. Creating art has become for me, like it probably is for all of us, a therapy in a way that I find all sorts of relief in.
Scout: What do you love most about your creative community?
AGI: When I was younger, I was able to take art classes at the Des Moines Art Center, near the small town where I grew up. The Des Moines Art Museum is only a two and a half our drive from Omaha, and I recommend everyone try to visit if they can! But, moving to Omaha was a liberation in a lot of ways, and even more so it was an exposure to a much larger, much more inclusive creative community. There are so many little pockets of life in Omaha, it still feels like there is a new place and a new store to check out after all this time. The music venues, the local artists, even the restaurants all have their own authentic energy to them.
Scout: Tell us more about your creative process. What is your workflow/workspace like?
AGI: Honestly a few years ago, I didn't even have a desk, and I got paint all over my coffee table while I worked from the floor. I've always been a homebody, which is perfect for my cat Keith who works as my assistant. I've been lucky enough throughout the years to acquire almost everything I need to make my own pieces and reprints from home. Sometimes the art comes from the sketch book to the actual paper, and other times my ideas are a little more spontaneous than that, and I find myself going right to the paint. My work flows in different series and ideas, my favorite that I'm currently working on is a 'nostalgia' series, the first installment being Strawberry Shortcake.
Scout: What inspires you?
AGI: It's changed a lot over the years as I grow as a person and an artist. When I was 20 and just starting, it was strictly calligraphy. These days I get a lot of joy from the more challenging pieces of magical little woodland creatures in their homes to beautiful portraits of friends and families. This year has been challenging for me, as it has been for all of us, and it's forced me to do a lot of inward thinking. As of late, I've really been inspired by other women and our journey of self discovery while we come of age during all of our stages.
Scout: Where can folks shop your goods outside of Scout?
AGI: I'm on Etsy as aubreegrayillustrate and Instagram @agrayillustrate! I'm always putting out original artwork as well as accepting custom commissions!