Artist Detail

Deborah Willard

Business Name: Willy Nilly & DeborahWillardDesign
Type of Work: Hand Painted Clothing, Pet Portraits, Illustration

Contact Information






I have been drawing pictures ever since I could hold a crayon. Not really knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up, I chose to study foreign languages instead of art at UNC-Ch, out of concern that I might “ruin a good hobby.”

Much of my art education has come through participation in numerous calligraphy workshops, with such world-renowned lettering artists as Peter Thornton and Thomas Ingmire. Free-lance graphic design and sign painting gave way to the art of hand painted clothing when I moved to St. John, USVI, in 1989. Something about painting it and wearing it appealed to me, and I've been painting clothing ever since. In 1996 I opened Deborah Designs, my own studio/retail shop, which I operated for 8 years.

I returned to my native Winston Salem toward the end of 2004, and immediately immersed myself in the exciting renovation and development happening in downtown Winston-Salem, and particularly in the Downtown Arts District, Even now, I still see the Arts District as “St. John, only in brick.” My 15 years in St. John continue to influence my outlook and development as both a studio artist and as owner of Willy Nilly, my shop on Trade Street, from 2010-2014.

Currently I work out of Willy Nilly Studio, in a shared space at Studio 7, located at 204 West 6th Street, just off Trade St, in Winston-Salem's lively Downtown Arts District.
I still create painted clothing which I sell mainly through my e-commerce site at I'm also undertaking more drawing, illustration, photography, and design projects, generating work for myself through various on-line photo, portfolio, and print-on-demand sites.

Other Information

Commission Work
Sells Work
Sells Work at Red Dog Gallery