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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Stephanie Simpson Illustrates the Vibrant World of Alberta Flora and Fauna

Stephanie Simpson is an Edmonton-based illustrator, photographer and occasional filmmaker. Her illustrative work focuses on bright, simple, and very Alberta-inspired imagery – national parks, city landmarks, local plants and animals, and those sorts of things! She first vended with us in the December market in 2017, and we are thrilled to have her back with us! Keep up with Steph's progress on instagram (@stephanie.illustrates) and do yourself a favour and read on down below to see what inspires Steph to illustrate!


RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
STEPH: Tough question! It’s something I’ve done since I was a little kid (I took my first painting class when I was 6 or 7, and was both properly terrible and very much inspired). 

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
STEPH: I have new landmark illustrations (the old and new Royal Alberta Museum buildings), new plant illustrations, and I’m tinkering away on a map. I also have a little Canadian landscape series in the works!  


RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018?
STEPH: Most of my work is done digitally, but this year I’m trying to get off of my computer as much as I can. I’m hoping to do some screenprinting in the next couple of months and just signed up for a pottery class at Viva Clayworks.

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
STEPH: Tom Haugomat (@tomhaugomat) – master of the Posca marker! I’d like to spend a day in his dreamy landscapes.

Don't forget to check out Steph's instagram account (@stephanie.illustrates) for all the latest in her work!


Grab Some Vibrant Locally Inspired Prints From Stephanie Simpson Illustration

Stephanie Simpson Illustration draws her inspiration from the local environment, like city landmarks, Rocky Mountain scenes, and animals found in different parts of Canada. Stephanie prints and cuts all of her illustrated prints herself using archival papers and inks. She first started making in 2015 and will be joining us for her first Bison on the December weekend! You can find Stephanie's work progressing on instagram (@stephanie.illustratesand read on down below to see what inspires Stephanie to draw!


Q: What does it mean to be an Edmonton maker/designer/artist?
SSI: To me, it means being part of such a generous community – of inclusive makers and artists who are keen to share what they know, and of individuals, businesses, and institutions that are excited to support the incredible work being made in the city. 

Q: What are your top 3 influences (artists, things, etc)?
SSI: Alberta-y things (landmarks, mountains, bison), old travel artwork, and kids’ books (a hotbed of illustration talent!).   

Q: Favourite Bison item you’ve picked up at a previous fair?
SSI: A set of animal notecards by Gabe Wong. Giving them away was painful!

Do yourself a favour and swing on by Stephanie's shop before seeing her work in person this weekend here: and read on down below to see what other accomplishments Steph has been up to!

My work was included in the Edmonton Made gift catalogue, and was included in an associated installation in the Gibson Block space back in September. There’s a short article about my working being in the catalogue (alongside other Bisoneers!) here: Edmonton Arts Council article

In addition to working as an illustrator, I’m also a photographer and newbie filmmaker, and made a short documentary in January that picked up some nice press: CBC article, + Huffington Post article.

Stephanie Simpson herself!

Stephanie Simpson herself!