Beginning painters don’t sell paintings. Not because they are bad painters, but because they are bad business people–and Kevin O’Brien was a prime example of that. Finally, a friend took pity on him, told him to get some silk, paint on it, and sell it. Not knowing much about fabric, Kevin promptly bought the finest polyester money could buy and began painting it. When he took it to Barney’s NY, they immediately placed an order–although they did suggest that now that he had an actual order, perhaps he could splurge for some real silk.
Over the past 15 years, Kevin O’Brien Studio in Philadelphia thrives because he recognizes that everyone in the company has value to contribute. Although Kevin still designs all the prints, much of the creative work is in the hands of his employees and collaborators.
Sara Baldwin met Kevin O’Brien when both were in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, she modeled some of his first silk prints. Their collaboration continues, with the Lily Pads panel for the Synergy collection.