Have you noticed the fresh artwork on our Tulsa billboard? We have CAITLIN HENRY to thank for that. At first glance of her work, we fell in love with how Caitlin views the world. Her playful and bold works show not only the power of eyewear, but the power of design. Black Optical family, meet our friend Cailtin…

Where are you from? I’m from Coppell, Texas - a small suburb outside of Dallas

We are opening up our new location in Dallas at Knox Henderson so we have to know… What is the best BBQ in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area? Knox Henderson is such a great area! LOCKHARTS BBQ is definitely the best.

Tell us about your first experience with eyeglasses or sunglasses. I actually vividly remember an early experience with sunglasses. As a child, my mother would push my sister and I in a double-stroller during day-trips to the mall.  We were usually bribed with cookies or those big mall pretzels for good behavior. But once we were bribed with sunglasses. “If we were good, we could pick out a pair of sunglasses at the end before we go home”. At the end of our mall excursion, I picked out a little pair of sunglasses- the kind where the sun part flips up at the corners and underneath is regular clear glasses- from the Dillard’s children section. The rims that flipped up were hot pink and the rest of the sunglasses were matte black. Very chic for a 4 year old I’d say. 

Where do you draw inspiration from now? I find color and subject matter inspiration in everyday, mundane/common objects/feelings that are a part of my everyday life or in passing.

Who is your favorite architect? I like Pierre Koenig a lot. And Edward Killingsworth.  Really, I like any California mid-century modern architecture- especially mid- century modern architecture in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. I like the clean structure and the use of glass/light- bringing the outdoors indoors.

Who is your favorite illustrator? I’ve always really loved Egon Schiele. I really admire Julia Rothman’s work in terms of her illustration being utilized in so many different ways/products and being involved with so many different brands/companies.  I also really like Monica Ramos - I think her work is fun.

You work a lot with patterns, what is it about repetition that strikes you? I like being able to make something tactile/tangible- patterns is an easy way to translate drawings/paintings into objects or products - like blankets, wallpaper, wrapping paper, stationery, etc.

On your website you noted, “The older I get, the more I find myself drawn to imagery that has a childlike quality in its subject matter and simplicity.” Why do you think that is? Hmmm… probably because I’ve stopped taking myself so seriously.  I feel like everyone goes through this struggle in art school (or shortly after) to figure out what inspires them or what they want their creative identity to be. Once I stopped trying is when I was drawn to the subject matter that I am and when I developed my own style. I think I am drawn to and use simplistic imagery because I like things that are light and fun. There are so many heavy things in life, I want what I create to be simple, even if there is a heavy undercurrent. 

Sweet potato or regular fries? Regular, but only with Ranch.. otherwise nah.

Favorite spot in NYC? Baha, I don’t think I’ve even earned the right to say I have a favorite NYC “spot” yet. But I am very fond of the MOMA and I have a soft spot for this little swedish coffee shop in Williamsburg (mostly because they have great playlists).

Favorite iphone game? I have zero games on my iPhone.

Have you ever been to Oklahoma? If yes, what was your impression? Of course I have! I used to go camping in Oklahoma as a child.  And one of my favorite people in the world is from Tulsa- I’ve only heard great things.

And lastly… What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? “Stay true.”

Learn more about Caitlin and her work at CAITLINHENRY.COM


Black Optical Billboard by Caitlin Henry - Tulsa, OK


Self-Portrait by Caitlin Henry


Caitlin's first pair of sunnies


Original Illustration for Black Optical