Rebekah Steen, a.k.a Goldfish Kiss, is an artist by trade and a wanderlusting, salt-water addicted beach lover by nature. She's painted her entire life, and given her love for being in any form of water, watercolor has always been her preferred expression. Rip Curl has collaborated with Rebekah to present a collection of apparel and accessories that showcases her unique brand of artwork under a whole new light.
We had a Q&A with the designer herself to find out a little bit more about Goldfish Kiss and how she designed the collection, read below to learn more...
1. Give us some background on Goldfish Kiss - how did it start?
First off, the name - When I was a kiddo, my first bikini I ever owned, the top was two goldfish kissing. Fun stuff, right? Ok, so I told myself if I ever started a swimwear or clothing line, that it would be called Goldfish Kiss. Well, I could never get my act in gear to do something like that, so figured it would be a great name for a blog/website instead.
Secondly, the blog itself - I used to work in advertising and had a portfolio site with a little blog on it. I realized I was kind of writing all about, swimwear, beauty, health tips, and stuff that really interested me and my beach loving lifestyle, and (for some unknown reason) it was getting some good traffic. So, one night at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Diamond head (the blog started back when I was living on Oahu), I bought my url, wrote my first post, and switched a few posts over from that aforementioned blog on my portfolio site, and have been posting pretty consistently ever since. It’s pretty cool to see how much it’s grown, and changed, and that it’s still run and maintained just by me, even in spite of some pretty big life changes.
2. Tell us about the inspiration behind your designs for Goldfish Kiss X Rip Curl. How did you decide on the colors and patterns that were used?
It was pretty cool. I got to go to the Rip Curl offices, sit down, and go through all my watercolors I’ve posted on my site with the Rip Curl Team. We then decided on a theme (Hawaii, tropical, and surfing), color palette (the colors of this collection are primarily oranges and blues, which is my favorite color combo.) and which types of pieces I’ve done that would transition well onto clothing or into a textile. Then I just kind of took it from there, did some paintings, and made a few patterns. So, (to finally answer the question) the inspiration was really just art or graphics I’ve done, which seem to always be inspired by Hawaii...because I miss living there so darn much.
3. Did you hand draw all of the artwork for the pieces?
You bet. I did all the paintings and illutstrations with my right hand, either in my watercolor book, or on a large watercolor block. Even the little triangles that are all over of the bikinis. Yup. Painted all of those too.
4. What was your favorite part of the design process when working on this project?
Working with a team. I work from home, and although it has its perks, it’s great to get input and feedback from other people. It’s helped me grow as an artist, and I just think everyone I’ve worked with at Rip Curl is extremely talented. And humble. And I’m flattered to have meshed so all with them. Ok, it was pretty rad seeing all of the CADs for the first time with my art. I might’ve tried to hug my laptop.
5. Anything else fun from this experience that you would like to share?
The hardest part for me was writing my bio for the hangtag. I love to write, yet can not write a bio about myself in the third person to save my life. So I had to have my older brother in Nashville proofread it a dozen times to make sure I made sense and didn’t sound like a tool.
On a totally different note. I was so nervous to put myself out there and start sharing my artwork on my blog (then instagram a few years later.) But the response it’s received has been amazing. It’s so cool to see how much people gravitate towards good old fashioned paper and paint in a digital age. Yes the tropical vibe might also have something to do with it. But seriously, pinch me. This…it's totally a dream come true.
For more info and to follow Rebekah Steen, checkout goldfishkiss.com
Rebekah Steen AKA GoldFish Kiss for Rip Curl