Stephanie Simpson: Bright, Alberta-Inspired Illustrations

An Edmonton-based illustrator, who’s also an occasional photographer and filmmaker, Stephanie Simpson creates bright, simple illustrations inspired by Alberta. Her work features images that could be imagined in national parks, city landmarks, and local plants and animals. Catch her at the Bison both weekends, follow her on Instagram (@stephanie.illustrates) to see more of her playful and beautiful illos and read on to discover what inspires her art!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Stephanie Simpson:
Equal parts habit and curiosity: I’ve been making things long before anyone paid me to do it, and when I see a new medium, I almost always want to give it a try (no guarantee that I’ll do it well, alas, but I try nevertheless!).

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
I have six new Canadian animal illustrations, a couple of Edmonton maps, and a series of fairly minimalist Canadian landscapes. In an ideal world, I’ll also have a few new national park scenes ready for Bison and maybe some little ceramics too!

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
My colour choices get a lot of comments from customers (two of my most popular prints are a neon pink and red bison, and a rainbow-coloured illustration of the Muttart Conservatory).

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community, or whichever community you call home?
I think it’s a pretty special time to be a part of the Edmonton creative community for a couple of reasons. First up, it’s packed with people who are not only passionate about their work and incredibly skilled at what they do, but are also warm and funny and generous with their time and knowledge. Second, there are so many individuals, businesses, and organizations who are excited about promoting and supporting Edmonton-based makers and artists.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
I loved following Amy Dixon’s adventures painting her way around Europe and Emily Chu’s on-location sketching around Edmonton. How are these two so productive??

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
My family and I celebrate Christmas, and we’re all about the quality stocking (where each stocking is topped with a different tropical fruit. Not sure how this became our tradition, but it is!). 

Visit Stephanie Simpson’s website to see more of her work that she’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison:

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Yarn Made Local With Alberta Yarn Project

The Alberta Yarn Project is a worker’s co-operative run by Kalea Turner-Beckman, Anna Davidson, and Alliston Findlay. They are committed to making yarn produced in Alberta accessible to the people of Alberta, and crafters everywhere. Even though there is a lot of yarn being processed, spun, painted, and dyed in our province, too often crafters in Edmonton are working with yarns from far away - and maybe not ethically made. They first joined us in 2014 and are back again for our November weekend - and we're super excited to have them! Check them out on instagram / twitter and read on down below to see how they responded to our Q&A:


Q: What does it mean to be an Edmonton maker/designer/artist?
AYP: It means being able to support the local economy in a grassroots way, including small farms, small mills and home-based yarn designers. Our supply chain is Alberta-based and through our business we get to connect the farmers to the urban crafters. 

Q: What are your top 3 influences (artists, things, etc)?
AYP: Kalea is inspired by Iceland, Anna is inspired by her Mom, Margie for teaching her how to knit socks. Alliston is inspired by designers who aren’t afraid of bring colours.

Q: Favourite Bison item you’ve picked up at a previous fair?
Kalea loves her Leather purse from Keri V, Anna loves her Plantiful Blossom Body Butter, Alliston loves to browse the market, but can’t recall ever purchasing anything.

You can check out their amazing work on and do yourself a favour and check out their shop there for some great deals!