Tate Yotter


As Department 56 celebrates the 40th Anniversary of our company, we pay tribute to our artists who draw, create and collaborate of hundreds on new products each year.

Tate Yotter joined the Department 56 Creative team in 2013 and as the newest member, Tate brings a fresh perspective to the design of Village accessories, Classic Brands and Department 56 giftware.

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 if she was able to design any historical figure for one of the Villages (with no restrictions whatsoever) what would you choose and why. “I think it would be especially fun to design Walt Disney. He’s been such an influential creative mind for multiple generations. Imagine an entire Walt Disney Village!”

Tate shared a little about what inspires her when she designs. “I’m typically inspired by family and friends. 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.”

We always like to know what the artist’s favorite new piece is, and Tate shared, “We have a ton of great new pieces this year! My favorite accessory is a cute young lady dressed as an elf handing out flyers to have your picture taken with Santa. (#4054207 “Get Your Pictures With Santa”) I like to imagine that she’s home from college where she’s studying to be a dancer. She picked up a winter break job to support her lifelong dream. Her striped leg is turned out in reference to this and her cheeks are painted bright red!”

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.