Feature Friday #008 — Sheri Roloff

Hey there, and welcome to Feature Friday #008, our series highlighting some of the incredible people on Cotton Bureau. You can find Sheri on Instagram and around the web. You can also shop her collection on Cotton Bureau.

Hiiii, how's it going? Are you still located in Milwaukee? What's your work life looking like these days?

I am still in Milwaukee! I actually just moved to a new house in the area. It's a fixer upper, and I work from home for both my day job and my independent illustration/design work, so things are a little extra chaotic right now! I'm looking forward to getting a dedicated workspace set up again soon. Right now I need to be flexible with where I work, so I've been focusing on smaller ink drawings in my sketchbook and digital illustrations on my ipad, both of which are easy to take from room to room and outside! Once I have a dedicated creative space set up again, I want to start working on some larger concepts I have brewing in the back of my mind.

Oh that's so fun (and stressful)! Fixer uppers are the best. Do you ever incorporate your art into your living spaces? I'm imagining little Sheri 'easter eggs' all over your house now haha. Maybe a tiny drawn penguin dancing down the hallway? If it were my house, Mr. Bones the Flamingo would for sure be painted on the wall in the office.

I definitely incorporate my art into my living spaces! Since this house is a fixer upper, everything is in a temporary place right now, but my husband and I are still hanging up art wherever we can to make it feel like home. I have a series of large acrylic paintings I did several years ago that have moved with us many times and have become signature pieces for our walls, as well as some newer illustrations (like the penguin!), which have made their way into the rotation. I usually hang a combination of my favorite old and new work along with many artists I admire. It makes the environment feel more personal and creatively inspiring. Also, I love the idea of Mr. Bones the Flamingo earning a spot in your office!

Ah that's awesome. Sounds like you're really making the space work nicely for y'all.

I've noticed a lot of your art includes animals. Have any pets we should know about? I'd love to hear about the unimpressed giraffe roaming your back yard but if you have dogs or cats that's cool too.

Animals are definitely my favorite subject matter to illustrate. And I've always secretly wanted a miniature giraffe as a pet. Can you imagine a tiny one?! It would be amazing.

As for more standard pets, I love both dogs and cats. I grew up with some deeply loyal dogs and had an intense, but handsome cat for a while as an adult. Unfortunately, I've developed allergies to both cats and dogs. So now I just enjoy my friends' pets when I visit and make sure to take extra allergy meds. I tend to be the person who is playing on the floor with the dogs and cats. I can't help myself!

Wow, I never knew I needed a mini giraffe but now I'm pretty sure there's nothing I want more. Have you seen a giraffe fight though? I'm not sure if the mini guys go around whacking things with their long necks but maybe clear all lower shelves in your house just in case.

So what else are you up to these days? Any hobbies we should know about? Have you joined the pickleball craze?

I have seen giraffes fight! It's incredible and terrifying! Clearing off the lower shelves to accommodate your mini giraffe seems like a good call. :)

No pickleball for me! When I'm not drawing, I'm usually writing. I've been on a poetry kick lately. I share a lot of my writing and a behind the scenes look at my illustration and design practice in my Substack Newsletter. I also write, perform, and record music for fun. My most recent project is called Bring Us the Stars. My husband and I along with two of our closest friends collaborated on two EPs long-distance during COVID. I designed the album art and a bunch of merch because, as you know, I love designing t-shirts.

Dang, that's awesome! The Enemy is going to be stuck in my head all day now, so catchy. Really cool to see y'all made the best of COVID. Was the long distance a challenge with recording?

Recording long distance worked really well for building off of each other's ideas and getting song structures and arrangements in place. We all used the same recording program (Cakewalk) and shared files in Google Drive. We captured some of the final instrumental takes long distance, but for vocals, we converted our front closet into a vocal booth and did all the final takes in person once the vaccine was available and things were a little less scary!

Wow it's so neat to hear the stories of how people overcame the challenges that came with social distancing and all the uncertainty we were facing in the world. It's wild looking back, and inspiring really when you take the time to think about everything you accomplished despite the obstacles.

Well hey, it was so nice catching up with you Sheri. Good luck with the renovations and I can't wait to see what you're up to next!

Thanks! It was great chatting with you about creative pursuits, tiny giraffes, and all the rest! I have many more designs brewing that I can't wait to add here on Cotton Bureau. If you'd like to keep tabs on my creative work, subscribe to my Substack Newsletter or follow me on Instagram for the latest.