August 01, 2019
The Wild Places ~ Half Full
The new Simone fabric (above)
ONDREA VICKLUND AND KELLIE MENENDEZ CREATE HAND-ILLUSTRATED WALL COVERINGS AND FABRICS INSPIRED BY THE NATURAL WORLD
Against a backdrop of Summer Fog gray, a gathering of bees wings its way through fronds of lavender and olive. This misty little scene, an homage to the Bay Area landscape, is one of six patterns created by Kellie Menendez and Ondrea Vicklund, co-founders of San Francisco-based wallpaper and fabric collection Half Full. The long-time friends and fellow artists launched their company in 2016 to channel their passion for the environment into a creative pursuit. They have since transformed their original illustrations into lively, elegant motifs populated by perching robins, leaping foxes, and other charming creatures. Rhonda Hirata, the SFDC’s vice president of marketing, spoke to Vicklund and Menendez about what sparks their creativity and philanthropy.
WHAT LED YOU TO COLLABORATE WITH EACH OTHER AND CREATE HALF FULL? We both have backgrounds in fine art and illustration, and creating something beautiful of our own that we could share with others was something we often talked about. When we started to look for resources to style our own homes, nothing really portrayed the subject matter we both hold dear—nature—at the level of artistry we sought. We set out to create imagery inspired by nature and to create patterns to give back to the environments and creatures that inspire us.
WHAT INVIGORATES YOUR WORK THE MOST? Story is the foundation of all of our patterns, which fit into three distinct groups: Wild—plants and animals abundant in nature; Endangered—endangered species; and Elements—details from the natural world. Each image is a visual narrative with its own story to tell, capturing an array of emotions—joy, transformation, hope, reflection, celebration, awareness—while allowing space for the viewer to fill in their own personal story.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PHILANTHROPIC ENDEAVORS.
With the understanding that we are adding to what is produced on this earth, we want to be able to give back. Since May 2017 we’ve given 15% of all purchases of our Elephant wallpaper and fabric to Creatura Wildlife Projects, a non-profit organization focused on helping protect African wildlife. And after the devastating Tubbs fire in 2017, we gave 15% of proceeds from our Franz collection, which showcases Sonoma County wildlife, to the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue through the end of that year. We plan to continue to educate and contribute with more of our work by celebrating the delicate beauty of nature and linking with organizations whose efforts are making an impact.
WHAT WAS THE THINKING BEHIND YOUR NEW PATTERNS, NAMED FOR INSPIRING WOMEN IN YOUR WORLD? We admire our strong female community, and wholeheartedly acknowledge the support they have given us along the way. We wanted to honor the women who have helped and inspired us with their strength, courage, and love. Our new collection of fabric and wallpaper patterns is still representative of nature, but based on amazing women we know personally. Each pattern tells the story of the woman it is named after, whether symbolizing her country of origin or her unique energy. The first pattern in the collection, Simone, is named after a little girl. When Simone was born she struggled to grow, but we knew the power she held in her soul, and that her time would come to thrive—and it has. We see the snakes and flowers as a metaphor for transition and coming of age.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? We are focused on creating beautiful imagery and patterns that can be incorporated into your life whether you own a home or are dressing yourself. Currently, we offer wall coverings and home fabrics, and are excited to announce our new venture into fashion with scarves and pocket squares, which have just launched! The future is full of possibilities and we continue looking to the positive side of things, trusting the path ahead of us.