Meet the Maker: Haley Elise Hughes

I've been following Haley on Instagram for some time now, so when I noticed she started a shop for her wildflower drawings, Grown Wild Collective, I had to jump at the opportunity to feature her on Cantik.  Her work is clean yet detailed, and while she may be green to the business (no pun intended), she is already garnering the attention of many, including us over here in the Cantik crew. 

Everyone has a different path to finding their creative rhythm and becoming an entrepreneur. What got you started?

I didn't know at first that my love of floral design and illustration would eventually become what I decided to do with my life. For a year or two I drew flowers on everything - notes in classes, cards for my mom and sister, in my sketchbooks, etc. In the spring of 2015, I played around with the idea of making this a part time job while I finished college and came up with the name Grown Wild Collective. Grown Wild only really made its debut in January of this year when I decided that I had enough time to put in a good amount of work toward it. It's been an awesome process of learning and growing over the past few months!

Your work is heavily influenced by floral and other organic designs; what drew you to that? Have you always had an interest in flowers, or where else do you draw inspiration from?

I've always had a thing for wildflowers and really been drawn to them when doodling for a few years. I've been following the work of Pony Reinhardt, a tattoo artist in Portland, for a year or so now, and her tattoo work heavily influences how I see floral and botanical illustration. I try to keep my illustrations simple and the line-work clean to resemble more of old botanical illustrations from the 19th and 20th centuries with a more contemporary flair. I own a couple of American wildflower guides and house plant how-to books that I also reference frequently. 

Where would you like to see your artistic career in the next 5 years?

I graduate college a year from now and plan to pursue Grown Wild Collective full time post graduation. I go to school in Greenville, South Carolina and plan on staying here because of how great the community is. The art scene in Greenville is really expanding and drawing more and more attention as the months pass, and the support to be found here is really encouraging for artists just starting out. 

When you're not drawing, what are you typically up to? Any other interests? 

I love to get outside in my free time. I'm lucky to have a boyfriend who knows all the good hiking and camping spots in North Carolina, and we frequently find time on weekends to get away from the constant go-go-go routine of my schooling and his barista job. I play the guitar and sing, and I try to find time to make music with friends and write songs. You can also find me with my film camera or phone taking photos anywhere I go - iPhone photography is better than you know, people! I also consider myself a pro napper, so if you need any information on naps, I'm your girl.


Last but not least, who are some artists and makers out there that you think we should know about?

Emily Jeffords and Emily Katz are two artists I have had the pleasure of working for, and two of my biggest inspirations when it comes to starting an artistic business and really killing it. Emily does beautiful paintings of abstract pastel landscapes and has recently gotten into smaller abstract mixed medium pieces! She was the first artist to ever give me a shot at studio management, and that internship opportunity turned into a wonderful friendship. Emily Katz is the Portland, Oregon based goddess at the head of the global macrame revival. She's a total babe and creates beautiful macrame pieces and teaches workshops worldwide. Both ladies are a total inspiration to me and have been a huge part of my growing as an artist and entrepreneur. 

If you would like to learn more about Haley and her work, you can check out her Etsy shop, or find her on Instagram under @haleyelisehughes and @grownwildcollective