At just 23 years old, Owensboro native Allison Lewis used some ingenuity to grow her creative studio Bright Eye Designs in the midst of a pandemic. With many couples postponing their engagement photo sessions, the young entrepreneur took to technology to craft digital illustrations from afar.
Her efforts caught the attention of freelance journalist Hillary Sheinbaum, who recently featured Lewis in her New York Times article titled, “Turn Your Relationship Into a Work of Art.” The article highlights the struggle of marrying in the midst of a pandemic and how some couples are re-envisioning the experience.
“I want to make this experience more special and memorable for the couple,” she said. “This is not in replace of a traditional photoshoot, but hopefully it can add value to their experience.”
After losing a cousin to suicide nearly three years ago, Lewis embarked on a mission to spread joy and happiness through her works.
“I’ve strived to put as much good in the world as possible,” she said. “I want to create bright and colorful pieces that make people happy.”
While engagement illustrations put her on the map, Lewis also recreates any portrait illustration — her most notable of which are pet illustrations.
“Pet illustrations are one of the most popular requests I receive,” she said. “A majority of people will request to have a pet commission created so they can decorate with the print in their house or even use it as their phone background.”
Bright Eye Designs is more than illustrations, though. The young company also specializes in graphic design and social media marketing. They also have plans to launch a website in August where consumers can purchase specialty stationery, greeting cards, and much more.
“I want to grow into creating physical products that can create a more tangible experience,” she said.” “Once my product shop is set up, a percentage of all sales will be donated to suicide prevention charities. I want to honor (my cousin) and help others through my art that might struggle with mental health.”
Lewis graduated from Owensboro High School in 2015. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising from Western Kentucky University in 2019. She spent the past year working in visual merchandising for Kendra Scott Jewelry in Nashville before deciding to return home and grow her business.
“I’ve always been obsessed with design and fashion. It’s been a passion of mine for a long time,” she said. “In high school, I enjoyed art and paintings, but I slowly transitioned to doing more design-related and creative work in college.”