Q&A with Inslee Haynes, of Inslee by Design

It’s been a BIG two weeks for Inslee Haynes of Inslee by Design. First, she got engaged, second, she created the illustration for Stuart Weiztman’s new line of shoes for Beyonce’s, “The Mrs. Carter World Tour”, and, third we got to ask Ms. Haynes about everything from her drawing inspirations to her ideal places to go while visiting Washington, D.C. Inslee Haynes is a wonderful artist and I am honored to share her answers, along with some of her illustrations, with you.

courtney draft2

1) Where did you study fashion illustration?

I was drawing “fashion” long before I knew that fashion illustration was a legitimate career. My childhood was consumed with sketching girls and their dresses. My high school art teacher recognized this as something I should learn more about and explore as a career path and suggested I take a summer course at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago on Fashion Illustration. I was HOOKED immediately. I later studied studio art and art history at Washington & Lee University.


2) When did you know that you wanted to start doing fashion illustration?

The summer course in Chicago really was a turning point for me. But it wasn’t until I graduated from college and realized how few real world creative jobs there were out there that felt right for me that I knew that pursuing this was the way that I would be creatively inspired and fulfilled in my professional life

candice and hank

3) When did you start Inslee By Design?

I started Inslee By Design sort of on a whim, bored at home the summer after my sophomore year at W&L as a way to share my art with friends and family. I struggled with whether or not to continue growing my little brand or move on to work for a “real company” after graduation. Ultimately I chose to continue focusing on Inslee By Design and begin accepting commission work in addition to designing cards. I discovered that I really loved what I’d created in the process. I am so lucky to have a career I am passionate about now!

berry and lily

4) Where do you get your inspiration for your iconic, “Calendar Girls”?

It takes me months and months to think up each one. It is an ongoing, year long creative process! I try to think about the sentiment of each month, the flowers that are in bloom, the parts of the world that are most beautiful at each time of year and the type of girl I imagine looking perfect in that setting. I save images for weeks and weeks trying to decide who is “a january” vs “a november’ etc.!

nayla 2

5) What are two of your favorite commissioned projects you have ever done?

I am very proud of a wine bottle label design I collaborated on with a winemaker in Burgundy last summer. Ray Walker is an American winemaker in France. His wine is quickly becoming highly sought after. I was so honored that he asked me to illustrate the label for his most precious vintage – Le Chambertin. So much of my work is for fashion brands so this was a cool change for me. Ray anticipates that the vintage that I worked with him on the label for will hit its peak many years from now. Buyers will store the bottles for decades. I love knowing that someday, 50 years from now someone will unearth one of “my bottles” from their cellar and dust it off to see what I drew. Wine, especially old wine, evokes such romance and I love that my label sets the tone for that – almost like the cover of a vintage book!

bride for patti

6) Do you ever do wedding invitations, save the dates, menus, etc…

As a matter of fact I do. I will pretty much illustrate anything! I once had a gig painting perfume bottles in high school! Brides should get in touch through my website, I love working with them on all their wedding and engagement paper needs! One of my favorite projects for brides is bridesmaid gifts. I will sketch each of the girls in the wedding party as a gift from the bride.

bride for kasey copy

7) What are some of your favorite things to do when you come visit Washington, D.C.?

First thing I do, every single visit, is head straight to Patisserie Poupon and then pop in the antique shops of book hill afterwards! And if there’s time I love Down Dog Yoga in Georgetown. Now that I’m engaged and planning a wedding in Washington I’m sure I’ll have lots of new exciting things to add to my agenda for each visit.


8) What are the latest trends for fashion illustration?

Fashion illustration is really “having a moment” right now I think. I am so flattered and excited to see young illustrators asking me for advice and launching their own websites and marketing their skills. I think the fact that fashion illustration is becoming a legitimate web presence and career option is so cool.

Thank you Inslee!

Check out Inslee’s website here and follow her on Twitter at @inslee!



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