Meet the Maker: Alana McCann

June 8, 2015

Have you ever looked at your phone after a day of talking, texting and tweeting? Like, really looked at it? Where’s the emoji for Ick!? Which is precisely the reason we’re excited to share the how-did-we-live-without-it product of the year, Well-Kept Screen Cleansing Towelettes. Not only are they perfect for un-smudging everything from eyeglasses to touch screens, they’re also sealed in Anthropologie-exclusive packaging created by designer Alana McCann. We were so enamored of Alana’s cheerily illustrated patterns that in addition to making them downloadableso that your screen can match the wipe that’ll get it clean, of coursewe sat down with her for a chat about her creative process.

Fancy Alana’s prints as much as we do?
Download her wallpaper for your desktop (right this way)
and mobile device (here, here or here).

What was the inspiration behind the packaging?

Mid-century-West-Coast summer fun (phew!). I channeled the Beach Boys and surfboards.

What else influences your art?

Vintage ephemera. Everything was illustrated back in the day. Even the most mundane machine-tool catalog from the 1940s can be full of beautifully detailed hand illustrations. Typography from the beginning of the 20th century can be lovely tooespecially informational type like a copyright stamp in a book from the 1920s. I’m also inspired by the textile designs of Sonia Delaunay and Lyubov Popova from the 1920s and 30s. They have really graphic qualities and amazing color palettes that feel incredibly current.

Please tell us about your creative process.

1. Research.

2. Getting my hands dirty! This could mean piecing together paper, painting or just holding different materials next to one another. I’m most creative when I’m not in front of the computer and there is a pile of materials in front of me.

What’s one tool or material that you’d love to work with?

An old Chandler & Price tabletop letterpress that a friend loaned me (with the hopes that I’ll get it up and running). I just need to replace a couple of broken springs and rusty parts, and I should be printing by the end of this summer.

When did you know illustration was your passion?

My background is in graphic design but there’s always been some element of illustration or a touch-of-the-hand within my work. When I was an in-house designer for Anthropologie, many of our projects had an illustrated or handmade elementanything from drawing tissue paper patterns to hand-painted invitations. Now that I’m on my own as an independent designer, I approach projects in a similar way. There’s a worktable in my home studio that is always full of fun materials and tools to play with and incorporate into my work.

Tell us about your typical day.

Every day starts with walking two cute shaggy pups (one big, one small) while drinking coffee. After our morning walk, I dive into where I left off the night before with design and illustration projects at my home studio. The days just don’t seem long enough lately!

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