Libby Wood: Illustrator, Designer

Spotted at: Alemany Flea Market, SF

Occupation: Illustrator, Designer

What are you up to today?

My best friend Danny and I are looking for a bench for his workspace. He's an architect, designer, and furniture fabricator. I'm also looking for some lights for my workspace—I draw. I do graphic illustrations.

What are your typical subjects when you're illustrating?

I have a show coming up with about 20 pieces of art that are illustrations of animals—sea creatures and land creatures.

How long have you been an illustrator?

I've been drawing since I was little. I went to school for undergrad, now I'm getting my Masters in psychology and continuing to work in expressive arts therapy so I'm continuing to grow my art practice and just keep it going, keep it moving.

So art as therapy?

Yeah. I've been through some grief and tragedy. I lost my twin brother, and it's definitely been a good means for me to keep that present and work it into my daily forward-moving thing.

When did you realize that you wanted to integrate those two things?

It just seemed like a natural pull. Once I learned about the expressive arts therapy program, then I really started honing in on it as a tool for grieving and depression—how it's helped me personally, and how I want to help share that resource.

Is this flea market one of your usual stops?

No, usually I'll go to Mixed Nuts. That place is cool. They have a booth here—that truck that says Hauler! on it is them. But I'll just find things along the way. I'm just traveling north of here, making some camping trips. Street finds. Street scores are the best, and some antique shops outside of the city are really good.

So what are these lamps that you found? What are you planning for these?

The Smith-Victors? They have a sort of nautical, industrial, European look to them. I'm thinking of putting them on the ground, facing the corner walls so they reflect off of them. I think it'll provide a really nice light from below. Indirect light.

Any recent projects that you've worked on that you enjoy?

The pencil sketches I'm really getting into. I've done three, I have about 17 to go. They take about 20 hours each. That show is coming up in April, so that's my main thing that I'm doing right now.

Have you gotten any good advice lately?

I've made sort of a new friend down in Santa Cruz who has encouraged me to keep spreading the word about my brother Patrick who passed away and I don't know if that counts as advice but I really love that guidance and encouragement. Just having it be a story that people can relate to and identify with in their own way. I've been getting a lot of support from that recently.

What's a favorite memory of your brother?

When we were little, we used to compose music together and then draw. He was the pianist and I was a painter and illustrator, so we would work together during these activities. I remember a sunny summer day laying on the floor of the parlor by the Steinway in our house writing music. We were nicknamed Pinky and Linky.

What has been a recent challenge?

Yesterday I planned a beach cleanup in memory of my brother at Ocean Beach. That was a challenge in terms of planning something like that for the first time and working with Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. The unknown of not knowing how it would go, and planning what I would say at the event. It ended up being a blast, but it was challenging in that it was time-consuming and I'd never done it before. It was great! 27 people came, and it was really nice.

I also wanted to ask you about what you're wearing. Where is the hat from?

Oh, this is from a shop in Telluride called Alpen Schatz. It's called the Matterhorn hat. I did a trek around the Matterhorn a couple summers ago. I like to trek a lot. My mom got me this for my birthday as sort of a nod to my trip. This t-shirt is super soft—it's from Cotton Citizen, made in the U.S. These pants are Mason Scotch. I got these at Voyager. That's one of my favorite stores in the city. Robert Patterson is an acquaintance of mine, and he has good stuff so I usually go in there. They have kind of a Swedish, Japanese inspiration in their collection and that definitely inspires my look. My boots are Blundstones from Australia—I just really love them.

The sweater is nice too!

This is just XXL Mens Banana Republic from a sale three years ago. 

You can check out Libby's work on her website, Zwilling Design.

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