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Ilene Price Design Hits Stride As Emmy Swag

Livingston artist creates mandalas for celebrity gift bags.

Celebrities will be checking out the designs of artist Ilene Price when they open their swag bags at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. And although Price calls the experience “surreal,” those who know this Heritage and LHS mom -- and her talents -- are not surprised.

After growing up in Springfield before moving to Livingston in 1991, this former graphic designer was tired of her chosen profession. “I didn’t love graphic design, working in New York City, meeting deadlines,” she said.

Life threw her a curve ball in the form of lymphoma, and after having her first child in 1994, she decided to leave graphic design and focus on being a stay-at-home mom. She still needed to be creative and explored “the playfulness of fine art in areas such as pottery, jewelry making, painting, and photography.” 

She instinctively began doodling and drawing mandalas. “Everything was spiral, floral, and circular,” Price said. She never knew, and still does not know, what a piece will look like until it’s done. 

This led to her showing her work at craft shows, which proved to be cumbersome and not really profitable. Still, it was at a craft show in Westfield that a representative approached her from “The Artisan Group,” a celebrity-gifting group. She was asked to apply, and was accepted, and then told that her work could be included in the gift bags supplied to celebrities and press at the Emmy Awards.

Pieces from Ilene Price Design will be put in the hands of representatives from the press (including all-important magazine personnel) as well as celebrities and producers. Her work will also be given out this week at a charity event.

And although Price doesn't get to go to the actual event, The Artisan Group will be tracking who comments about her pieces and what they say. Hopefully, some celebrities will endorse her designs. 

“I’d love to see someone young and funky, say Gywneth Paltrow or Cameron Diaz, holding one of my pieces,” Price says. 

“My work used to be very rigid.  I used to have a hard time just letting go.  Over the years I’ve become more forgiving. I see that a mistake isn’t always a mistake and that the imperfect can be beautiful, just as it is in nature.”

Her ultimate goal is to eventually license her work for a line of home goods, fabric textiles, paper goods, or yoga clothing.

“I’d love to walk into Target, Bloomingdale’s, or Barnes & Noble and see my drawings on pieces for the home and on jewelry.” 

You can see more of Ilene Price’s designs on her website @ www.ilenepricedesign.com

Marilyn Joyce Lehren September 18, 2011 at 12:21 PM
The Emmy Awards broadcast live beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday on Fox. We have our pick for a winner right here in Livingston.

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