Behind the Design: Meet the Artists who Created Our Women’s History Month Capsule Collection at Kohl’s

March 15, 2023

Behind the Design: Meet the Artists who Created Our  Women’s History Month Capsule Collection at Kohl’s

This Women’s History Month, we’re proud to spotlight the talented female artists who helped bring to life our recent capsule collection, which is available now at Kohl’s.

The Global Good product line was designed by Chelsea Smeaton and Ermelinda Mendanha, two female designers at TO THE MARKET - along with a team of talented freelancers including Bernie Dickson, Katie Hosier, and Julia Wollner. The team was inspired by themes of self-love and women's empowerment, portrayed through bold and feminine design choices including colors, patterns, and illustrations. These talented ladies share their perspectives on Women’s History Month and provide valuable insights through the brief interviews below.

 

Ermelinda Mendanha


Where are you from and where do you live now?

I was born in Mozambique, but I've been living in Portugal since I was 4 years old.


Who or what influences or has influenced your art most?

One artist that inspires me a lot is Justyna Green, a UK artist that uses her art to start conversations about some issues in today's society.


What does Women’s History Month mean to you as an artist?

For me, WHM is all about celebrating and recognizing all the women who have come before and made it possible for me to be working in this field. It's a chance to honor all the women who are currently in my life and inspire me day-to-day. This month is a time to reflect on me and my role in the next generation.


What daily routine is a must for you?

Going to the gym or doing some walks before work is what I need for a good start on my day.


Any advice or life lessons you might want to share that helped you on your path as an artist?

After some years working in the industry I learned that I needed to be more patient and kind with myself. You need the patience to understand what you can or not do. Doing more than you are capable of doing and stressing about it, definitely doesn't help with your work development. You need to be kind to yourself and avoid the illusion of perfection. 



Katie Hosier


Where are you from and where do you live now?

Born and raised in Portland, OR. I spent the last 20 years in Southern California, but as of this past weekend, my family and I moved to Seattle, WA, and are now Pacific Northwesterners!


Who or what influences or has influenced your art most?

So many artists have influenced my work over the years. Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, and random artists I stumble across on Pinterest when I am searching “neon color mood.” Before there were computers, we had scissors and glue and paper and magazines and photographs. I have been collaging since I was a kid and I know that led me down the path to where I am at today. My mom always fostered the never-ending desire to create something new and beautiful in my brother and me. We always had paints, markers, paper, scissors, fabric, and trims at our disposal. I am a graphic artist by trade, but whenever I have the time to work on art for myself, mixed media pieces have always been the most inspiring for me to dive into.


What does Women’s History Month mean to you as an artist?

Art is the visual representation of our voices, and Women’s History Month is a beautiful time to remember and acknowledge those who paved the way for us to have that voice be heard! It is an opportunity to learn about our great leaders, artists, activists, and pioneers who have worked hard to ensure women are recognized and that future generations will learn with accuracy the contributions women throughout the world have made. Now that I am a mother, it is even more important for me to inspire my daughter to emulate the women who laid the framework for us to succeed, be treated equitably, and be recognized in society.


What daily routine is a must for you?

Coffee before anything. My husband brews a large pot for us as soon as he wakes up, so I pour myself a cup and go through emails first thing every morning.


Any advice or life lessons you might want to share that helped you on your path as an artist?

Get out and see as much of the world as you can. Open your eyes to the beauty and richness of other cultures. Art is subjective, some people will love your work, and some people won’t. As long as you feel proud about what you are putting out there, that’s the only thing you can control. Time is your best ally. Time grows confidence. Confidence is key as an artist - a lack of confidence will be your downfall.


Bernie Dickson


Where are you from and where do you live now?

I am from Orange, CA and I currently live in Santa Ana, CA.


Who or what influences or has influenced your art most?

Hope, change, running, and personal relationships influence my art. 


What does Women’s History Month mean to you as an artist?

It is a reminder to me that women are strong, beautiful, creative, and the soul of our existence. 


What daily routine is a must for you?

Waking up early. running between 4-8 miles a day and having a 10 min bath.


Any advice or life lessons you might want to share that helped you on your path as an artist?

I am most creative when I am moving my body. I personally need to have a physical outlet that allows my mind to wander while also maintaining a strong sense of discipline. Having this element of routine reminds me that my art is not only a visual expression, but the way I move through life physically, emotionally, and relationally is all a part of the artistic path. Something I wish I learned sooner was that having other ways of expression outside of my focused medium is not only suggested but necessary.





Julia Wollner


Where are you from and where do you live now?

I am from New Jersey and currently live in Ridgewood Queens. I’ve lived in NY since 2010.


Who or what influences or has influenced your art most?

Living in New York has been very influential to me. The energy, the people, the culture, it is unmatched. I’ll walk ten blocks and end up with 50 new photos in my phone, 5 new random facts, and a new friend. My space and surroundings influence me the most. It could be a doodle on a subway, a painter, music, a fashion designer, architecture, a beautiful dinner, etc. I’ve met so many talented friends and artists that inspire me and watching them grow only influences me more. Some of my favorite artists will always be Basquiat, Picasso, and Matisse.


What does Women’s History Month mean to you as an artist?

This is so important to me. Women are constantly creating emotional and essential art. Not to mention campaigning and creating art that addresses sexism, racism, homophobia, and truth. Unfortunately, women have not always been recognized for this work so WHM is an amazing time to highlight the women in our world today that are breaking down barriers and fighting for equality. I think now more than ever we need to support each other, especially as artists so that we can spread a supportive and inclusive environment. As an artist and a woman, I appreciate what women before me have done to pave the way, which inspires me to keep going.


What daily routine is a must for you?

No matter what, I find time to take a walk by myself and practice gratitude.


Any advice or life lessons you might want to share that helped you on your path as an artist?

I used to get so down on myself for having too many ideas or “too many” art styles but as I’ve made a path for myself, I’ve realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. As an artist, your thoughts/style etc. are always revolving. It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people are “doing” and you may find yourself trying to be something that does not feel natural. Embrace what you are feeling and be your authentic self. Stick with it. Working on any craft takes a lifetime of practice and exploration. Don’t listen to others that try to bring you down and find a community of people to surround yourself with that will help you grow.


These products are now available for a limited-time at select Kohl's stores nationwide and on Kohls.com. Happy Women’s History Month! 



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