Storm Ritter is a painter, designer, artistic curator and store owner on the rise in New York City. She’s originally from Dunedin, Florida and ended up in NYC after enrolling at New York University (NYU).
During NYU, she worked as an assistant for editorial fashion including major publications like Vogue and I-D magazine, and costume production at Saturday Night Live. With years of schooling and part-time jobs, Ritter stayed persistent with painting and designing and created a divine mesh of art and fashion. Recently [April 8], she held her grand opening for her new store called Graey Studio, located at 14 West 8th Street in New York City. The event doubled as an art gallery and clothing collection launch.
The storefront sells her original collection of jersey-fabric and unisex clothing, along with all textiles inspired by her paintings. The walls of her store are covered with a two-story mural painted by herself and 30+ canvases complimenting the collective work. Some of her work can be viewed below and all art is for sale including prints.
What exactly inspired you to begin your profession?
My parents are both artists who taught me to use a glue gun and paintbrush from age six onward. In high school I cultivated skills in art direction, scenic design and costume, freelancing as a scenic designer and stylist, working with my collection of curated vintage. I transferred multiple times in college, ending at NYU, studying cumulative topics in fine art, theatrical design, art history and concentrations in Surrealism. During NYU, I worked as a stylist assistant for editorial fashion (credits: Russh Magazine, Vogue, I-D Magazine) and costume production assistant at Saturday Night Live. Along with a full-time schedule at NYU and production part-time jobs, I spent the last four to five years painting and designing the Græy Studio collection. Textiles are designed by my paintings and artwork, turning the #GræyStudio collection into a divine mesh of art and fashion.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far and why?
The moment I was able to verbally call myself an artist, hands down. Once I gained my true point of view, my artwork evolved in meaning.
How has your life changed since you began your journey and what are you expecting next?
Now that I am opening Græy Studio, I am able to share my clothing, artwork, and aesthetic with other creatives, cultivating a new movement in street style. Græy Studio features one-of-a-kind apparel, curated vintage clothing, and original artwork and merch. My creative life is much more public as opposed to alone in my studio.
I plan to continue painting, sourcing vintage, customizing clothing, and designing future #GraeyStudio lines. The studio is a place where I will bring in designers, host new artists, and spark collaborations.
What characteristics do you believe are important to have in order to be successful and why?
Confidence, humility, work ethic and humor. Without confidence, you can’t lead. Without humility, you can’t stay grounded. Without work ethic, you’ll lose sight. And without humor, laughter will be scarce. Plus smile lines are the best.
For the young generation inspired by your achievements, what advice could you offer to those pursuing a career in the industry?
Put down the technology! We rely so much on our phones and computers, making us less self-reliant. Everyone looks for beauty in the world, and sometimes we forget it is inside of us. I want to encourage finding love in yourself first, then finding a way to share it with others. For me, this reflects in my painting and clothing. My styling and vintage curation is my way of showing others how to expand their horizons.
How did you feel you contribute to the art world?
I use the term “creative rebellion.” Every generation has a form of rebellion, and we are not any different. I am influenced by retro pop culture, as Græy Studio has a mix of 1960’s/70’s groovy vibe with 1980’s club kid style. As an artist, I am a Surrealist with roots in 17th-19th century art, underpinning esoteric symbols in my work. I hope to appeal to a wide audience, as my work ranges in style but carries the same message. I look at the world with a sense of distortion and juxtaposition. I hope to rekindle an innovative sense of sense-of-self for visitors, shoppers, and clients.