Artist Interview with Morgan Fite and 'Dusk to Dawn' Collaboration
I am very happy to highlight my dear friend and fellow artist, Morgan Fite Swartzentruber, who is an incredible friend, wife, writer, and artist. She creates under her maiden name, Morgan Fite, and recently launched her lifestyle blog which has a little bit of everything beautiful. We met years ago and I have been scheming of a way to collaborate with her artistically ever since.
We recently released a Pocketbook Journal collaboration we have entitled 'Dawn to Dusk,' which emulates two of my favorite creative times in the day--early morning and evening. This series is unique for a few reasons, but especially because they are being sold as sets with one Pocketbook represented from each color palette. Secondly, this series is unique because Morgan is, among many things, an oil painter. You can achieve incredible texture with oil that creates a unique tactile experience, all wrapped up in a little 3.5 by 5.5in soft cover journal filled with French Paper Co. paper.
What inspired your color palette choice for the 'Dusk to Dawn' Pocketbook Journals?
Well, inspiration for the 'Dusk' (grey) covers came as an extension of a series I have been working on called 'Lessons from Winter.' I used to hate winter with a passion, but have been in a season of discovering it's beauty, so the color palette and textures are all drawn from that discovery.
The 'Dawn' (blush) covers are inspired by a painting I did called gradient in blush. I also used to hate pink but I’m coming around to it, so this was me kind of exploring that. I love the simplicity of a subtle gradient; it has depth but is still simple - which is my approach to creativity, design, and pretty much anything.
When did you first start painting and what inspired you to start?
I started painting when I was 17. I was in high school and had a brilliant art teacher who constantly challenged me to get outside my box. When we started working on painting projects, I immediately was intrigued. I started painting outside of class and it quickly became one of my favorite hobbies.
Tell me a little bit about your medium choice as a painter—why oil painting?
I didn’t start using oil paints until much later. I used acrylics for probably 5 or 6 years. I’d used oils for one project in high school and hated them. They were incredibly messy, would NOT come out of clothing, and took weeks to dry. Basically, I didn’t have the patience for them. It wasn’t until I was painting my way through Europe that I touched them again. I got to Rome and realized that I couldn’t do Italy justice with acrylics. It had to be oils. Which was really counterintuitive since I was traveling from place to place every month or so. But I was determined. I haven’t looked back since. Oils are so much richer and the colors have more depth to them than acrylic paints. And since I use lots of textures in my work, oils make more sense because they are so thick.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring creatives?
Don’t give up! It’s taken me a decade to get to where I am today. Creativity is a process. Celebrate where you are in every step along the way, and keep pressing in and creating beautiful things. It’s really not about the end result, it’s really about the process. So learn to enjoy and embrace it.
What’s your creative ‘special sauce’?
When I create, I rarely ever have a plan or a picture in my head of where I want to go. I mixed up my paints with whatever color palette I’m enjoying at the time, and just go for it. When I create, I’m mostly just playing with colors and textures and movement. I really just let the process guide me and have fun along the way. So I guess you could say I’ve gotten really good at playing.
What projects do you currently have brewing?
Wow, where to start! Ha. I’ve recently been working on a series of paintings called “Lessons from Winter”. I’ve been in the process of learning to be content in the season I’m in, and finding the beauty in each one. I used to hate winter with a burning passion, but have been discovering the beauty and depth to the season. This series has been the result of me mulling and chewing on these lessons from being in a Winter season. I’m working on an exhibition now where selections from this series will be on display from April 15 through July at Grace Center.
What’s one creative tool you couldn’t live without?
Definitely my palette knife. I’m not using it nearly as much as I used to, but it’s still my favorite, and most used tool that I use while painting. Like I said, I use lots of texture in my work, and the palette knife is the primary way I do that.
When she isn't painting, you can find Morgan working on product shoots or on video shoots with her husband, Trent (who also shot this badass Ink+Honey video!). She also enjoys spending time writing, cooking delicious ramen bowls, and serving in her local church.
Fun Facts: Morgan owns the most Ink+Honey Journals of any single person to date (probably including myself!) with a grand total of 8 journals.
Morgan shot all the product photos for the Ink+Honey Winter 2017 photos as well as all of the 'Dusk to Dawn' Pocketbook Journals. If you need some product photography, she's your girl.
Here are just a few ways to contact and follow Morgan: