We’re Obsessed With This Collage Artist *And* Her Creative Process

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molly mcfee bounty design challenge winner

We recently partnered with Bounty to support emerging artists and designers in a national design competition. The ask? Design a graphic for a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection themed A Clean Fresh Start, which launches this month. In this creator spotlight series, we are featuring the winners of that competition to learn more about their inspirations, their design process, and their winning Bounty design. Read on to meet…

Molly McFee, @mcfeesartstudio, Austin, TX

molly mcfee art

What are your design inspirations? I am endlessly inspired by nature, especially plants and flowers. I often incorporate abstract funky and organic shapes into my designs that are inspired by the world around me. Color is also a huge inspiration to me – finding a perfect color combination is the best.

Tell us about your design process. Creating my collages is an involved process, and each step is important to me! First, I paint all my paper with acrylic gouache in a variety of colors. I use a variety of tools to add marks and patterns on the papers to add texture and variety. I also love painting black patterns with India ink on white paper. When it’s time to create the collages, I dig through my basket of painted paper to find a color scheme I want to work with, and the rest is pretty spontaneous! I cut out each shape by hand and arrange the pieces as I go. I like to think of creating them as putting together a puzzle, fitting the shapes together. Often, I’ll use markers or ink to draw or paint lines to add movement to my pieces. When I created my design for Bounty, I had to translate my favorite shapes and lines from my collages into a digital design, which was quite a learning process, as I typically work by hand.

molly mcfee illustration

How did you get into illustration? I’m an elementary art teacher by day, and have been teaching kids for 15 years now. I’ve always been a maker, but for years I created art primarily for my classroom and also did lettering work on commission. In 2020, when my school closed, I began painting and creating just for myself to cope with the loneliness I was feeling. Now I’ve been exploring and playing with collage for almost two years, and I’m still obsessed! I am excited to continue experimenting with collage and surface pattern design in the future – I love to imagine my art on all kinds of products.

What are three IG accounts you love?

@lisacongdon is an inspiration to me!

@helendardik‘s art makes me happy!

@clareyoungs is one of my favorite collage artists

Bounty paper towel

How do you know when a piece of art, like your winning Bounty Paper Towel design below, is “finished”? The art I create is very busy and full of tiny details. I know an artwork is finished when I have added a little something to every area of the composition.

What will it be like for you to see your design on a Bounty Paper Towel at your local store? It will bring me so much excitement and also feel surreal to see my doodles on Bounty paper towels in a store! Plus, it will be fun to clean up my paint spills and new puppy’s messes with paper towels featuring colorful art from artists like me.

Be sure to look out for Molly’s winning design wherever Bounty Paper Towels are sold!

molly mcfee design

March 22, 2023

Brit Morin