Break me off a piece of that ART!: Helena Garcia

I have a darling little 18 month old. Those are her gorgeous brown eyes up in the header there. Not long after she was born, I set about designing her room. Of course, with a big sister in the house, much of her room was decorated with hand-me-downs. Determined not to let my second child get the perennial shaft, I made sure there were a few things that are all her own—the lemon colored walls, the white sheer curtains with hot pink polka dots, and a perfect set of prints from illustrator and artist Helena Garcia.

OK, so I had my eye on Helena’s work before baby #2 was even in the picture. Who wouldn’t be charmed by her colorful world of cheeping birds, adorable rocker chicks, and shared sushi yumminess?! Framed and placed on my little one’s walls, I knew they were a hit when my big one, who was two at the time, instantly decided…“that’s me! I’m the one with the guitar!” and “Look at me, I’m walking with my music.” Notice her sister wasn’t mentioned at all there. Still, I’d say little sister is the one who wins out. After all, she gets to wake up with Helena’s illustrations everyday.

Having spent a lot of time looking at “I Love Music” and “A Stroll” while I rocked my sleepy, sick, or just plain cuddly baby, I came to the conclusion that for me, good design is truly comforting. Throw in the additional “cute factor” of Helena’s art—I mean isn’t the little animal ear hat in “A Stroll” is an inspired choice?!—and I’m comforted even more so. Her saturated color choices warm me and the musical themes found throughout her illustrations speak to what it’s like being a girl who loves music (which I still happen to be to this day). The flat 2-D nature of Helena’s work reminds me why I love being a print designer, and her “less is more” approach makes her art very accessible to children and adults alike.

Speaking of which (my big one’s new favorite phrase), I aim to choose art for my children’s walls that will grow with them and I felt these prints were perfect for that. Nothing against the “nursery art” trend, I’ve made some nursery art myself in the past. But much the way adults converse naturally with babies to encourage receptive language and verbal skills, I want to give my daughters more than just the equivalent of visual baby talk. I want my home to be filled with art that they notice, that interests them, and that they enjoy. As I rocked my little one the other night, thinking of how she’ll someday be too big to rock, she pointed to “I Love Music” and said “guitar.” That’s when I was reminded once again, of what a good choice I made buying Helena’s prints. Oh yeah, and I was also reminded that one is never too big (or too little!) to truly RÖCK!!!

For more on Helena Garcia’s rockin’ illustrations check out:

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