Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Story Behind the Art-Chad Barrett

Hello and welcome to the fifth installation of 

If you are new to my blog, The Story Behind the Art will take you on a little journey into the STORY behind a particular piece of art created by one of my talented friends from around the globe. The stories are posted on the first Wednesday of each month.
This month, I am happy to introduce you to my Wonder Twin, studio mate and partner in crime, Chad Barrett. In addition to being a talented artist he is also a fantastic whistler and can make a mean cocktail. 
Chad's Story Behind the Art is about a coastal collection he designed for Creative Co-Op. If you happen to attend the winter gift shows be sure to stop in and check out his beautiful new line.
Ladies and Gentleman........Mr. Chad Barrett........

The Story Behind the Art - Chad Barrett

This collection all started with an art director’s request for a coastal series. I’ve done many coastal collections in the past and its one of my favorite themes. Maybe that’s because the beach is my happy place and the idea of sleeping under a palm tree is so relaxing. 

Getting started I first like to hear the client’s ideas.  Their inspiration, color direction, expectations, etc.  Quickly my mind starts spinning with direction of my own and I can’t wait to get into the studio. I always start out each project with tons of research and this one was no different. I scoured the internet, hit the book store, looked at fabrics and went through all my past beach trip photos. When I travel, I’m always snapping photos for possible references for anything that might be useful in the future.

Basically I was thinking “coastal” 24/7. My ideas started to focus round specific locations in Florida; places like Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, and Sea Side. If you’ve never been there, you’re missing out. I love everything about those locations. The color of the water, the architecture, the vegetation, you name it… I love it all. The idea of those communities set the tone for the collection, so after that it all came together.  

Chad Barrett

Chad Barrett

I started painting many different shells and sea creatures all in transparent layers of watery acrylics. I focused on shades of blues and aquas accented by hits of coral, keeping it all very simple and clean. Then I started adding in patterns and what I call “supporting” elements. 

Things like borders, little sketches, stamps and text. All the extra pieces are used to complement the artwork and help round out a good collection. 

Once I’m finished with all the work, everything is then transferred into Photoshop. There I do all the little tweaking, create new elements if needed and make the final compositional arrangements. 

Then I like to take my images and create a mood board with a few, basic product mockups and I give this to the client along with the final artwork files. I do this, not with the expectation that my products will be created as I see them, but mainly to inspired the client.  Showing them what I envision hopefully helps them think about how they will incorporate my artwork into their product line.  To me this is part of the collaboration process and I love to see if any of my ideas show up in the end. 

Paula Joerling

I started this collection almost a year ago and the products just hit the wholesale market back in October. Samples were delivered to me a few weeks ago and I’m over the moon happy with the final outcome. Fingers crossed other people will like them too! 

Creative coop

creative coop

Follow Chad on Instagram
Find Chad's line at Creative Co-Op


  1. Wow! This is wonderful. It's great to hear the process of another artist. Very nice story behind the art Paula & Chad.

  2. I found Pacific palmito in the street this morning walking my dog and took it back home.
    I love it and now I am please to know Chad Barret.