About Desiree

Representing wildlife and nature through my own unique design style of illustration is truly my passion. It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to see people enjoying my illustrations which are inspired by the beauty of nature on our planet. 

Desiree was unaware of her own ability in design until she attended the Burnley School of Professional Art, now known as The Art Institute of Seattle. It was there that she realized she had an innate understanding of the principles of design and learned how to expand upon that gift because of a very special instructor and artist, Fred Griffin.

Fred Griffin forced me to understand what I was doing and how to do so much more. I owe much to him.

She then studied Printmaking at the University of Washington. After leading the art department of one of the nation’s largest insurance companies, she chose to devote her energy to fine art and teaching design fundamentals. 

In her artwork the unique simplification of shapes that form visual planes of color are the direct result of her passion for design and love of wildlife. When Des looks at an animal, she visualizes not individual hairs or feathers but organic planes. These flat planes render the subject in a simple but elegant style that enhances the identity of the animal. Her work has offen been compared to the work of Charley Harper.

It is a great compliment to have my work compared to Charley Harper's. I love what he did with wildlife, but my work I would describe as more organic and Charley Harper's more geometric.

With the advent of computers Desiree has been able to execute her design skills through Adobe Illustrator for the last several years. Although her illustrations are drawn on the computer, they are by no means quickly done. Each animal is thoroughly researched and studied. The actual execution of a design, from beginning to end, has taken anywhere from approximately 40 hours to many, many weeks.

Throughout her career as an artist, Des has been involved in art education, from elementary school through the college level. She has shared her love of design, striving to get students to explore the creative process by applying fundamental design principles using varied media. She has been an art instructor at North Creek School, Woodland Park Zoo, The Little School, Seattle Academy of Fine Art, NeoArt School, and Bellevue Community College.

Desiree Smith has been the recipient of three awards of excellence from Graphic Design: USA magazine, was honored as one of the top 500 poster designers in the world by Graphis of Zurich, Switzerland, the premier magazine of graphic design. She has been recognized by countless Northwest art shows and galleries. In addition her work has appeared in galleries in New York, Paris and Switzerland.

Desiree lives with her family in Seattle, WA where they have a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary to enjoy wildlife daily. In her hard to find spare time she enjoys her urban farm, growing and preserving her own vegetables and fruits, gourmet cooking, and spending time with family.

All designs by Desiree Smith are copyright © Desiree Smith. All rights reserved.  •  desiree.e.l.smith@gmail.com •  © Desiree Smith 2022