The season of summer is beloved for the vibrancy, warmth and fruitfulness of our surroundings. On Aug. 9–11, Salt Lake City will celebrate summertime, along with the best of our state’s DIY engineers, craft foodies, performers and craftspeople at the 11th Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival Presented By Harmons at the Utah State Fairpark. Every year, Craft Lake City commemorates the best of Utah’s creators, this year being CLC’s first at the Utah State Fairpark—there is much to celebrate! Visit craftlakecity.com to learn more about the 11th DIY Festival.
In a land of lucid daydreams and gentle vulnerability, artist Haylee Morice (@hayleemorice) reaches those who can relate to the delicacy of an open and tender heart. She does this through her somber but warm illustrations. Inspired by artists James Jean, Sachin Teng and João Ruas, and photographers Marilyn Mugot and Jeff Davenport, Morice defines herself through the melancholy, eerie, feminine characters she depicts in her own artwork. At 23 years old, Eagle Mountain, Utah, artist Morice has refined her strengths for digital, watercolor, colored-pencil, oil-paint and surrealist still-life images over the 10 years that she has been creating artwork. Morice says, “My personal favorite [medium] would have to be digital because as a perfectionist, it’s nice to be able to experiment without getting too committed to whatever you’ve put down on paper.”
Morice carries a penchant for a Japanese-inspired, manga-esque motif, a strong influence behind Morice’s work. This is most prevalent in Morice’s five pieces dedicated to Studio Ghibli works: My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Kiki’s Delivery Service. “At age 17, I decided to stop making fan art and focused primarily on my own ideas, having also decided that art was the field I wanted to go into for a career,” says Morice. Currently, Morice’s work is defined by a range of pink and blue hues, shaping sleepy, quiet cities at night with whimsical femme characters caught up in the dreamland’s gloomy trance.
Outside of her bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, Morice values being primarily self-taught. “I don’t think formal training is necessary if you have the motivation and desire to learn on your own,” Morice says. Morice’s work ethic and values are displayed in the time she puts into every piece. “Some take five to 10 hours, and some take 20–30 hours. I once spent 60 hours on one oil painting,” Morice says. Come take a stroll in the world that Haylee Morice has created at the DIY Festival where she will have prints, stickers and screen-printed T’s. –Bianca Velasquez