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That’s right; the Draper James “Real Women, Real Clothes” series is back.

This time, however, we’re doin’ things a little differently. You may have noticed the artwork in our Summer 2018 campaign photos…

The artwork pictured above was created by Whitney St. Pierre and is titled “Head in the Clouds.” Whitney, whom you can see below, is the first of five artists we’re featuring in the summer version of this crowd-favorite series.

We commissioned Whitney and her fellow artists—who are all part of a Southern artist collective that reaches from Washington D.C. to Georgia—to create original works of art to be used in the Draper James Summer photo shoot.

Whitney, a Tennesee resident and self-taught artist, is a member of the Nashville Artist Collective and graces the world with a painting style she describes as “constantly evolving.”

Read more about Whitney, her background, and her Draper James painting, below.

Tell us about yourself.

I am originally from Alabama, and that will always be “home.” I have such wonderful memories of being there with family and friends, but when I moved to Nashville, I knew I would be here long-term as Nashville has so much to offer.

For almost two decades (doesn’t feel like I’m that old!), I’ve been in marketing roles for healthcare IT companies. That’s my “real job,” anyway.

Painting is my side gig that, fortunately, is keeping me very busy these days. Who knows? One day I might quit my day job in pursuit of full-time painting!

How would you describe the art you create/your art style in general?

My style is constantly evolving. To be honest, some of my best paintings have been “happy accidents.”

I don’t necessarily follow a prescribed process. I just paint and whatever happens, happens. If the end result is a beautiful painting—similar to or different from all the rest of my paintings—then so be it.

Walk us through the process of creating your canvas for the Draper James Summer shoot.

I had so much fun painting this piece. At 6 feet wide and nearly 8 feet tall, it’s certainly the biggest piece I’ve ever painted. It was also funny because I knew these really beautiful and tall models would be standing in front of the piece, so I laid down next to it (on the concrete floor nonetheless!) to try and visualize how it would appear behind them during the photo shoot.

It occurred to me that if the models’ upper bodies were in front of the lighter half of the canvas, their heads would be in the “clouds,” so that’s what I named it: “Head in the Clouds.”

How would you describe your everyday style?

My everyday style is comfortable and casual. I work from home and shuttle kids to and from school and activities every day, so I dress the part! That said, I love a good excuse to dress up.

If we’re going out to dinner or somewhere fun, I’m typically wearing cool jeans with a funky top and always statement jewelry. I’m really into big earrings right now.

What drew you to these Draper James pieces?

With two children and a super busy schedule, I need clothes that are functional. The Draper James collection is perfect for women who want to look great and be comfy at the same time.

What piece of advice would you give someone hoping to make a living from their art?

Give it all you’ve got! Put energy into the product itself, but don’t forget about the business side of things. Your art won’t sell itself, so think about creative ways to promote your art… your brand… your business.

And be collaborative and easy to work with. That’s good advice I got from a former boss. It stuck with me all these years and has served me well.

What’s your favorite thing about summer in the South?

Longer days, late sunsets, catching fireflies with my girls, barbequing in the backyard, trips to the beach, a cold glass of rosé on a hot day… the list is long.

Summers in the South are the best!

Photos by Kiki Morton Photography

Welcome to the Draper James blog. My little slice of space to share the things I love most about life: people, parties, food, and fun!  It’s everything Draper James  stands for. and I hope you like it. 

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