Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet Valerie of Valerie Kiser Designs

Sunday, June 9, 2013
We're excited to share more about talented artist and designer Valerie Kiser.  She's been an important member of the ScrantonMade creative tribe since day one.  Her Electric City prints are a must have for anyone with local pride and an eye for design.  You won't want to miss her work at Arts on the Square

Hello Valerie!

Tell us a little about your company and what inspired you to start it.
Around 2010 I needed something here in Scranton that I could get behind, believe in, and be proud of and was tired of hearing people say things like “that will never happen in NEPA” so I started my own design company full time.

I graduated with a Fine Art Portfolio but ironically I started screen-printing some of my original designs on ready-to-wear fashions to make some quick money. It was so well received that 13 years later I’m still designing and printing for ready-made fashion, home décor and accessories. And I can say I totally love my job.

I currently sell my designs to local and national boutiques,, etsy, scrantonmade and just recently started selling a few of my tees on

How did you learn your craft?  Do you have formal training?
I graduated in 2000 from SavannahCollege of Art and Design with a BFA in Fibers. In that program, I was exposed to amazing technology as well as the basic fiber fundamentals like screen-printing, repeat pattern design, dyeing, weaving, sewing, 3D fibers and installation art. I was able to explore options in fine art, studio production, entrepreneurship and commercial textile design. 

What kind of materials do you use to make your work?  How long does each piece take to make?
My fibers background begs me to find the yummy, tactile materials that are really nice to touch and wear.

Some products come together within minutes others need more time to marinate in my brain. If I am working on a collection that can take a month or more but individual pieces can happen pretty quickly.

How would you describe your style & where do you find inspiration?

I happen to love my current t-shirt collection that was inspired by animals, patterns and the urban landscape. This collection showcases my original drawings transformed into wearable art. 

What items will you be featuring at the Arts on the Square festival?
My Electric City T-shirt Collection and throw pillows, as well as all my current and past print collections.

What is your most popular item?
Hands down people love my Electric City design printed on anything! Outside of that these designs are really popular right now: Flamingo, Giraffe, Elephant, Raccoon and Porcupine. 

What are your can’t live without craft room essentials?
My computer, camera, sewing machine, scissors, paper cutter and fine point sharpie marker.

How do you make your workplace an inspiring place to be?
By surrounding myself with colors, objects and design that have clean lines and with interesting graphics.  And "ease of access is conducive to use"...I have been known to be so organized that I squirrel something away and then forget about it. Now, I have everything surrounding me in my studio for a more fun and efficient creative process. 

Will you be demonstrating your craft at Arts on The Square
Haha, no because this year I will have my 2 month old son with me. Yes, my husband and friends will be around my booth to help out but this year we all have our hands full. I'd love to do something in the future though. 

Is there any other information you would like us to highlight about you or your work?
Yes, thank you for asking. I am proud to be a member of The Pop Up Studio. We are a group of creative thinkers and designers that organize one time, interactive events for the community. We did eleven events last year and will possibly do nine for 2013. Our most recent event, Sko0l, was in conjunction with UNC (United Neighborhood Center) Illumination Arts Group. Our next event for June is called, The Hunt, a creative, city wide scavenger hunt. I invite people to visit our website to check out the archives page and get information on upcoming events. People can also follow along with us on facebook and twitter. 

Follow Valerie Kiser:
Twitter: @vkiser
Instagram: @ValerieKiser

Follow Arts on the Square & ScrantonMade:
Facebook:  Arts on the Square and ScrantonMade
Twitter:  ScrantonMade
Instagram: @scrantonmade_blog
Pinterest: ScrantonMade

See our previous interview with Valerie here: 

Meet ScrantonMade's Valerie Kiser

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