Sloan Brown’s independent art brand Rookie Made is “inspired by bad ideas”

To create her sporty, graphic wares, the Toronto-based designer splits her time working between textiles, traditional sign painting and digital illustration.

4 July 2024

Designer, sign painter and digital illustrator Sloan Brown has an eclectic portfolio of hand-painted or hand-sewn objects. Owner of Rookie Made, a Toronto-based independent art brand, the designer’s ongoing projects include custom zodiac basketball jerseys, graphic tapestries and handmade felt banners, all inspired by her love of typography and sports subculture. Using materials that range from “One-Shot enamel paint to wool-blend felt and textiles”, Sloan applies her multidisciplinary skills in branding, craft and design to the trials of her crafted pursuits. “Most of my projects end up in the dumpster or Value Village so I feel very sentimental about the art pieces that execute the way I imagined they would… Everything else is left on the curb for my neighbours to score,” she tells us.

After years of working in freelance digital illustration for agencies, sportswear brands and independent shops, Sloan has returned to a range of analogue processes in her practice for her own independent shop. “I learned how to sew and started painting on objects like toolboxes, toilet seats, and light switches to experiment,” she says. Launching her traditional sign painting company in 2021, she has created a variety of signage that blends the traditions of enamel painting with her modern, sporty visuals – a graphic style that weaves into her printmaking and soft textiles. For all of her creative pursuits, Sloan is largely inspired by “what’s on my friend’s bookshelves, set design and vintage tchotchkes”.


Sloan Brown: NY Blanket (Copyright © Rookie Made, 2024)


Sloan Brown: Johnny Cash (Copyright © Rookie Made, 2024)


Sloan Brown: Blanket (Copyright © Rookie Made, 2024)


Sloan Brown: Aries jersey’s (Copyright © Rookie Made, 2024)


Sloan Brown: Ikea monkey (Copyright © Rookie Made, 2024)


Sloan Brown: Kobe blanket (Copyright © Rookie Made, 2024)


Sloan Brown: Pasta Flag (Copyright © Rookie Made, 2024)


Sloan Brown: Cancer jersey’s (Copyright © Rookie Made, 2024)


Sloan Brown: Apple bottom (Copyright © Rookie Made, 2024)

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Sloan Brown: Zodiac jersey’s (Copyright © Rookie Made, 2024)

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About the Author

Ellis Tree

Ellis Tree (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a junior writer in April 2024 after graduating from Kingston School of Art with a degree in Graphic Design. Across her research, writing and visual work she has a particular interest in printmaking, self-publishing and expanded approaches to photography.

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