Tate Yotter


Tate Yotter joined the Department 56 Creative team in 2013 and as the newest artist, Tate brings a fresh perspective to the design of Village accessories, Classic Brands and Department 56 giftware. As the youngest member of the team “I like being the voice of my generation but sometimes I get a little razzed by my *ahem* cohorts. They like to give me some grief. But don’t you worry, I give it right back!”

A graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design Tate earned a degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Comic Art. “My work has always been figure-based and I work primarily in traditional mediums like graphite or oils. I will on occasion work digitally if the piece calls for it. I’m multifaceted, and recently I’ve been incorporating architecture and plant life into my personal work.”

We asked Tate what her favorite new piece for 2017 is and she shared “I’m extremely excited about how the Wenham Lake Ice Delivery accessory turned out. The sculptor did an excellent job and I was careful to get the delivery man’s pose right. I also love the acrylic ice blocks.”

Tate shared a little about what inspires her when she designs. “I’m typically inspired by family and friends. When I’m drawing a child, for example, I think of my nieces and nephews. I think of their movements and their laughter. I translate that into my drawings and a good sculptor will do their best to represent those feelings, too. As an accessory artist I mainly design the characters you see in our Villages. I consider myself a storyteller in that I think about each character and their personal story as I draw. If there’s someone in my life who makes sense to incorporate into a character, then I will.” Tate works closely with our staff sculptor, Kiri Namtvedt to get the pieces just right.

Department 56, the leader and gold standard in lighted collectible Villages, is part of the Enesco family of brands and is located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.