Tate Yotter joined the Department 56 Creative team in 2013 as a Village accessory artist and Classic Brands designer which means that she works on many Villages as well as our giftware lines. As the newest artist on the team, Tate brings a fresh perspective to everything she is involved with. She is graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she earned a degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Comic Art.
Tate works on many of our licensed giftware lines – the Grinch, Dr. Seuss, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Peanuts, Pusheen, Girl Scouts, Margaritaville, Elf on the Shelf, and Disney. With her background in graphic and comic design, she is at home with the variety of assignments she is given. And she’s one busy lady! “But I like it that way, keeps me going and keeps the creative juices flowing.”
She shared a little about what inspires her when she designs. “I’m typically inspired by family and friends. When I’m drawing a child, for example, I think of my nieces and nephews. I think of their movements and their laughter. I translate that into my drawings and a good sculptor will do their best to represent those feelings, too. As an accessory artist I mainly design the characters you see in our Villages. I consider myself a storyteller in that I think about each character and their personal story as I draw. If there’s someone in my life who makes sense to incorporate into a character, then I will.” Tate works closely with our staff sculptor, Kiri Namtvedt to get the pieces just right.
Outside of work, Tate is very active and loves cycling. Sometimes she even bikes to and from work, a trip of close to 30 miles roundtrip.