Hey there! My name is Antonia and I am an illustrator, designer, and fine arts artist in Duluth, Minnesota. I work part-time as a graphic designer and spend the rest of my time illustrating for my small business, Everyday Antonia Mae
. Some locals may know me as the coffee shop girl being that I find myself at one of my favorite spots almost every day of the week! I have taken the last year or so to really become dedicated to consistent art making and finding the balance in my process. Read along for some insight into my art journey and hear about some of my favorite places to sip and sketch.
Toward the beginning of my artistic journey, I put a lot of pressure on myself to create perfect and polished pieces. This self-inflicted pressure carried into almost any art making experience for me. Although I knew this mindset was impossible to accomplish, I had a resistance to feeling uncomfortable. I had been told for years about the importance of sketching and loose art making but had a hard time letting go of my own fears. I decided I was tired of this block I had created for myself and I purchased a brand new sketchbook that I would dedicate to play and experimentation. Whether I had an idea for creating or not, I wanted to feel free to make “bad” or unfinished art while also trying new materials, subject matter, and processes. So I did just that!
Part of my inspiration for creating comes from everyday life and the simple pleasures of life. For me, I have always found comfort and joy in my daily outings into the world. Coffee shops have become a place of community, coziness, and self-care for me. If I have free time, I most likely will be heading to a coffee shop, sketching a page or two, and stopping by an antique or thrift store afterward. I’d love to shout out a few of my favorite spaces and places to sip some creative juice. In order of south to north here are a few! The Back Alley - a great place for conversation, good tunes, and an intentional curation of coziness! Dovetail Cafe - the handmade feel of this space creates such a homey vibe! 190 Coffee & Tea - some of the best baristas in the world who will make your day and the best latte! Dream Cloud Coffee Roasters - the name says it all! They have curated the dreamiest space with amazing and unique seasonal specialties. Amity Coffee - a cozy spot tucked into East Duluth that is my favorite place to sit at on rainy or snowy days. Cedar Coffee - posted up in the woods of Two Harbors. I love this spot for rich lattes and seating in the trees - often visited by some woodland friends! These spaces have been spots where I have spent hours and hours creating and growing as the artist I am today.
A big change I made in my sketching routine was swapping my main drawing tool from an erasable pencil to a felt-tip marker, a pen, or a colored pencil. As mentioned before, I really struggled with a fear of making “bad” art or unfinished work. There have been several different types of subject matter that I had and still would like to get into but was afraid of the process of practice to get there. Swapping my drawing utensil to something that can’t be erased has pushed me toward acceptance of mark-making and really loosened up my work. Not every page of my sketchbook is beautiful or one that I even like, but as I continue to put my touch to paper, I can feel myself becoming more comfortable with the uncomfortable. I have found a lot of freedom in my newer work and am able to thank my sketchbook for that! Overall, I hope other creatives can feel inspired to take some pressure off themselves and find the freedom to create just to create.
I am an illustrator, designer, and fine arts artist based in Duluth, Minnesota. I grew up in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and studied graphic design at UMD from 2017-2021. I create various illustrated prints, cards, stickers, and more for my business Everyday Antonia Mae. I am inspired by the simple pleasures of everyday life such as my morning coffee, nostalgic home decor, a brunch date, and the people and places surrounding me. When I am not art making, I enjoy spending time with my husband, our kitty Meadow, and our dog Burton! We love to venture up the shore on weekends and ski in the winters. I have found that when I am doing what I am most passionate about, my work tends to reach and help people in a different way. I hope my art can inspire others to be true to themselves or remind them of the simple pleasures in life.