Collaborations

Event Recap: Teaching Hand Lettering At The Creating For Goof Conference

Just about a week ago I had the pleasure of joining the Creating For Good team to teach a hand lettering workshop in their first ever creative conference here in London. Creating For Good came together earlier this year and has been making ground in their mission to give back to the word. The London-based collective combines their creative forces to use their skills to improve the lives of the less fortunate. 100% of the proceeds from the conference and other events that they put on, are donated to a good cause. This conference teamed up with Women for Women International, an organization that runs year long programs to support women in eight different countries affected by conflict and war. All of this—the conference, the people, the organization—are helping to continue to move our world into a positive space in a somewhat shakey time.

Having never taught a hand lettering workshop before, I was a little hesitant to jump in but with this being my year of having grit, I knew I needed to say yes. I have taught in other capacities before. Some facts about younger me, I used to volunteer at an after-school art program for little kids to help them embrace their creative side. I also worked at a summer camp for years in various positions from teaching sailing to heading the department of arts and crafts. Those roles have given me experience leading and teaching so I felt I had a good base to go off of combined with my love of lettering. So, I ultimately agreed to jump in and teach the workshop, ready to tackle a new obstacle in order to grow.

First off—I'm super grateful for Jo and Jess. They answered the many questions I had—everything from class numbers, space set up, and allotted time. It was great to have them to ease my nerves and allow my planning to go smoothly. It was important to me to give each individual the best first go at hand lettering. I put together tote bags full of notes, pens, paper, rulers—everything they would need—so they could just focus on relaxing and getting into their creative flow. While I enjoyed talking about hand lettering and walking the class through the process, the best part was weaving through the rows of chairs to chat with everyone individually. I loved to see how each one of them was interpreting what they were learning and how they were putting their own individual twist on it. Honestly, they all blew me away with their talent. It was awesome to be in a room with such love and energy!

The whole conference was beautifully put together. And while I do mean that in a heart eyes kind of way—WeWork was the perfect space, London Flower School provided gorgeous flowers to fill it, West Elm donated beautiful plates, and The Social Kitchen laid out the most stunning (and delicious) spread of food. What really made the day special were the people though—the Creating For Good team, the instructors, Women for Women, and the attendees. I met so many lovely people that I have already been staying in touch with and feel so blessed to have crossed paths with. They have filled me with a new found creative energy and direction.

I left the conference feeling so full. My heart was truly happy and I felt like I had a super clear vision of where I was heading with my own creative path. Having the opportunity to share and chat with so many fellow creatives was really wonderful. I hope to have many more of these creative burst of energy! London is an amazing place to be for that.

And now, to end this recap of my workshop, I will leave you with this beautiful video the oh-so talented Daria Shevchenkocreated of the day. Enjoy!

Learn Hand Lettering At The Creating For Good Creative Conference In London

Today I am ever so happy to announce I'll be teaching a hand lettering workshop at the Creating For Good Creative Conference on the 7th of May in London! If you haven't heard of Creating For Good, let me just fill you in because you need to know about these amazing ladies. The London-based collective has come together as a creative force to use their skills to improve the lives of the less fortunate. By donating their skills and time, they work to build curated conferences and events that donate 100% of the profits to stand up organizations working to make the world a better place. For the Creative Conference, the proceeds will be donated to Women for Women International, an organization that that runs year long programs to support women in eight countries affected by conflict and war. 

The all day conference is a chance to connect with like-minded souls through a series of mixers and workshops. Through out the day, there will be three sessions of the classes with an amazing selection from cinemagraphs to food styling to choose from. In my class, I will share my love of creating to help you bring out your artistic side through the art of hand-lettering. We will break down the anatomy of lettering by showing you the ins and outs of how to create eye-catching letters by hand. Through an organic style, my aim is to show you a simplistic approach to the popular medium to help you create your own pieces and leave confident to continue exploring.

For more about the all day Creative Conference, head to the Creating For Good website (here) where you can purchase ticketsand look through the other amazing workshops being offered! All of this—the conference, the people, the organization—are helping to continue to move our world into a positive space. It's going to be an empowering day to be a part of and I hope to see some of you there!

Makers for Makers: Morgan Dyer

When you think about an artist, you envision someone immersing themselves in what they do for the sake of creation. Someone that has the empowering force to transform feelings and memories into something that makes you stop in your tracks, wanting to know more. All of this is at the core of our next Makers for Makers feature artist, Morgan Dyer. Morgan and I met at Montserrat College of Art as students. She is admired amongst the community for her dedication and natural ability to mix stunning colors while she brings her paintings to life. Pulling from memories of locations that speak to the soul, her work comes to life not just through her brush strokes but her desire to find new ways to add depth and texture into her pieces. I am so excited to be sharing her work with you all today so you can get a glimpse into such a unique and joyful person who is really making her way in the art world. So, without further ado—enjoy!


TELL US ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO.

I'm currently living and working on the North Shore of Massachusetts. I paint mostly large abstracted work that can translate into landscapes or seascapes, but try to avoid restricting myself with that idea. Medium wise I typically work with acrylics on canvas or paper and prefer to paint as big as possible. Recently I’ve been fortunate enough to take on some commissions, but most of the time I’m focusing on personal projects or finishing pieces for local shops that represent my work.

WHAT PUSHED YOU TO TURN THIS DREAM INTO REALITY?

When I was 17, I remember sitting in a river in New Hampshire mimicking Andy Goldsworthy’s Elm tree series for a class project. I was really drawn to the quietness of the work—the intimacy between the physical movement and the subject. I think that moment was unusually pivotal because there was so much pain and loss going on in my life at the time and I felt this urgency to study the idea of holding onto a memory or a feeling versus letting things organically disappear. Obviously, I didn’t know how I’d later represent that.

WHAT IS THE CORE MISSION BEHIND WHAT YOU DO?

I guess my mission is to build stories the only way I know how. I like expressing personal development to an audience while investigating color and environmental awareness. My work can take on different forms depending on the kind of day I'm having, where I am physically, or what kind of work I may be doing personally. Heavy paint, transparent layers, uncomfortable spaces all resonate with places I’ve been and memories I have. There’s always going to be that technical drive to just to paint better and keep learning…but I like to focus on sharing my intimate experiences with people from different perspectives to see how their own memories interact with the visuals I present.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE STARTING OUT?

I tend to bite off more than I can chew...I’m always guilty of doing too much. When I first graduated, I would bombard myself with multiple side projects. I don’t regret killing myself with a huge work load, but it can end up doing more bad than good in terms of stress and pressure. I think it’s important to stay busy and productive but if you aren’t careful you can quickly lose sight on your personal goals. I’ll still find myself digressing back to the habit of overloading myself or saying yes to everything—but I think I have learned to be more aware of the consequences.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

Yes, definitely...my Instagram is flooded with people and artists I admire. I’m also really lucky to be part of a supportive community of artists and friends who constantly push me. More specifically I’m inspired by Richard Serra and James Turrell’s ability to transform a space with such overwhelming power and presence...I love Richard DiebenkornHelen Frankenthaler...pretty much all the classic abstract expressionists. I’m really interested in artists who can deliberately curate a viewers experience or challenge spacial awareness.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

I’d like to think my day begins after my full time job which luckily or unluckily starts at 7:00am and ends at 3:30pm. If I’m not committed to anything after that, I can typically get to the studio by early afternoon. For a while I had something scheduled almost every afternoon, but right now I teach art therapy every Tuesday. During the week I paint/reflect/prep canvases in my studio and leave my weekends for larger sessions, organizing, and communicating with clients. Oh also, afternoon coffee is definitely a thing for me right now.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

Being a maker has a way of bringing people together, and I love being able to connect with like-minded people. As artists we tend to live in our own heads most of the time, but I think our commitment to expression and the vulnerability that it creates pushes us together. Overall I love the challenge of being a maker, and how my relationship to my work constantly keeps me on my toes. Having an outlet to share my soul with people is a serious privilege and when that moment becomes an opportunity to bring joy to a person or environment it’s a really good feeling.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

I mean I still consider myself as just starting out, but I suppose first my advice is to figure out want you want to gain from being an artist. Everyone is different and has their own way of defining/approaching their work—it’s all very personal so try to avoid comparing yourself to others. Lately I’ve been trying to keep an image, book, or quote that will always remind me of the feeling I got when I realized this is what I wanted for my future…a little visible daily reminder. Right now, it is Agnes Martin’s letter “Advice to Young Women Artists.” Also...have a lot of coffee dates with friends and people who inspire you - staying connected is super important. If you feel stuck or are struggling it always helps to know you are not alone.


MORGAN DYER

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**All images courtesy of Morgan Dyer & Myra Thornton**

Commissioned: Travel Drawings For The Global Creator

Back in the early fall I was commissioned to do a travel inspired illustration series. To be asked to do this was one of the best ah-the-world-gets-me moments. Over the past couple of months, I've been sharing a little bit about them on my art Instagram but since I have been getting a lot of inquiries about where to purchase, I figured I would open the book a little further to share my process and to better direct you all. Most of my personal art work revolves around my recent travels or are nature inspired. For me, it's about taking all the information that I am absorbing around me and trying to translate that into something to bring me back to certain moments in time. So when Amy Hayes, founder of The Global Creator, contacted me to be a part of her England collection for the online shop, I could not have been more excited. 

Our main reason for moving to London was to be able to travel more freely. We had a longing to get out to see the world and experience life in a new way—to shake things up. We've been enjoying London for two years now. I have so many visuals and all sorts of information whirling around in my head ready to come out on paper whenever the time is right. Travel has become my number one resource for inspiration. After being away in a new country and soaking up a different culture, I can't help but continuously feel transformed. Seeing the different architecture, wandering around the unique city lay-outs, and finding inspiration in different artistic approaches around the world. This series touches upon the key cities that have all won a spot in my heart. It felt good to finally get some of these locations down on paper and translated through my own artistic style.

These are all one-of-a-kind drawings—not prints. So when you head to The Global Creator, know you are purchasing a true piece of art that no one else will have. I believe in this process—one that is about the hands, the texture, the lines. It's not about mass production but connection to the individual piece. Each one was drawn by me on handmade paper. My hope with these drawings is to help connect others back to their favorite travel memories or to stir a little wanderlust up. These drawings show all different angles of these cities—some highlight an icon and others show what you can find when you wander a little further onto a side street or more local neighborhood.

Creating these brought me right back to some of the most amazing memories we have made over the past few years and I hope that they can do that same for others. Traveling is one of the best things we can do during this wild life of ours. It helps us to open our eyes to new cultures, ways of living, and to embrace one another. We all need that in this moment. I'm so thankful to Amy for letting me explore this series and pour out my recent inspirations onto paper.

Makers for Makers: Run Wild Child Co

Today I am so excited to bring you another Makers for Makers feature! Ashley Turner is the empowering lady behind Run Wild Child Co, a brand that screams adventure through it's unique handmade shirts. I was lucky enough to connect and cross paths with her thanks to the this very community of uplifting souls. What I love most about Ashley is how she is using her spirit to help push others to be as wild and loving with their own lives as she is with hers. Each shirt she produces through her company is designed to help inspire others. We need more people like Ashley in this world with her hard work, commitment to her family, dream chasing abilities, and good-natured heart. Without further ado, here's the story behind this amazing person and company.


TELL US ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO.

I am the owner/operator of Run Wild Child Co. which, at the moment is a shop of hand printed shirts with designs and sayings that are meaningful to me :) My intention is also to include some other products that are authentic and meaningful to the brand in the new year, but for now it has started out as printed shirts.

WHAT PUSHED YOU TO TURN THIS DREAM INTO REALITY?

I actually came up with the idea for this shop one afternoon while laying in bed with my youngest babe while he napped lol. Originally it started out as an idea for an online shop that retailed other brands (specifically for kids, and not as much for adults). I spent many hours researching other brands I liked that I wanted to include in the shop and then when it came time to execute the whole thing, it didn't feel quite right. So I slowly scrapped the whole idea and decided to start designing my own! And RWCC was born. The shop really started with a 50/50 of kids and adult apparel but is slowly moving toward more and more adult, and less kids. It's fascinating how businesses have a mind of their own, and can direct us in the most miraculous ways if we just let go of control and let things flow.

WHAT IS THE CORE MISSION BEHIND WHAT YOU DO?

The whole idea and feel behind the RWCC brand is to invite adventure, authenticity and also community. My mission behind the product is that it, in some round about way, speaks to everyone in unique aspects of their life where they can relate to others within the words on their shirt. The High Tides shirt originated because I'm from the east coast.We also all have a little wild child in us or a little wanderlust, and this brand seeks to embrace and invite all that in everyone who wears it.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE STARTING OUT?

I think trying to nail down what my vision was! When I first came up with the idea, I had no intentions on making my own clothes, and so it took a while to really figure out the vision for the brand, where it was going, and what my intention was for it. I am about 5 months in now and I really feel like I have a clear vision, wonderful connections with other amazing collaborative shops, and a really exciting plan/addition in place for 2017. I guess I don't like to think of it as an obstacle, but more a necessary learning process in order to come to where I am right now and where I am headed! One other thing I have found challenging starting out is to know how much inventory to have on hand! The Black Friday sales, for example, completely caught me off guard being my first one yet, I sold out of a lot of things and potentially lost out on sales because of that. But, once again, a learning curve and a necessary one!

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

Once I started designing and putting those designs on shirts I was really influenced by Hannah And Tisse from @radearthsupply and Lindsey from @mothersunandthecaptain. All three are really badass women, strategic (and in my opinion brilliant) entrepreneurs (and some of the youngest I've met!), and/or moms (which I obviously have a soft spot for), what they do with their brands is incredibly authentic and inspiring. Not to mention, they are within a collection of the sweetest and kindest women who strive to create community and collaboration and not competition. Women who build each other up inspire me. AnnMarie from @threeleavesco is another, who has been supportive in cheering on other like-businesses on the Instagram platform and who is forever a cheerleader in my (and I'm sure other's) corner!

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

I am a stay-at-home mom to two little wildlings, who in the beginning were the muse for the whole brand. They keep me incredibly busy but there are a couple days a week where I am without them for part of it and on those days I work on packing and shipping orders, sketching any new designs (or doodling them on my computer), and connecting with a friend of mine in the city who helps me a lot with any digital stuff (turning sketches into digital formats and re-sizing/editing), then restocking or ordering new product. And lately it has been co-creating and business planning for 2017's big spring launch which I'm so excited about, but that's all I'll tell you for now ;)

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

I used to own a Yoga Studio here in my hometown, and I decided then that I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. The main reason for that is because I love the flexibility of being able to create whatever I want! The sky is the limit, and while there are definitely strategies for building a brand and developing a following, I truly believe people are here because people are attracted to authenticity, and so being a maker means I have the power to be authentic and true to myself, the power to colour outside the lines, and live outside the box, and change my mind as much as I want to. Being an entrepreneur (and maker) for me means I am in charge of my own fate, and that it's up to me to create something really great...there is a lot of excitement in knowing that.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Well, to be honest, I am just starting out, myself! haha, So I'm definitely no expert on that one. But I guess what I have found helpful for me in this whole start-up has been letting go of the control. In five months the business has really morphed and taken on a mind of its own and that could have been really scary had I been fixated in one vision of the truth for the brand. It really became something very different than what I originally set out to do! But I am thankful that I allowed myself space to step back and let the vision slowly manifest. That has made it a really exciting experience so far.


RUN WILD CHILD CO

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**All images courtesy of Run Wild Child Co**

Makers for Makers: Grace Gulley

Los Angeles based artist, Grace Gulley, and I crossed paths a few months back and I was instantly in love with the work she does not just in the studio but for other creatives as well. As a maker herself and the founder of CYL Collective she is the true definition of what Makers for Makers stands for. Between giving her support to others and spending her time hand-knotting beautiful creations, it's easy to say that she is one heck of a go-getter. It's inspiring to see her conquering the art world with crazy cool hard earned features as she creates her fiber-based wall hangings and installations. The best part of it all is how handmade and true to the natural process her work is. Through sticking to a mix of ancient and modern techniques, Grace brings to life truly captivating pieces that anyone would be lucky to have in their spaces. I am beyond honored to share the story of such a beautiful and empowering person here on the blog today. Enjoy!


TELL US ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO.

Fiber is the name of the game! All my pieces are totally hand made using both ancient and modern techniques to create wall hangings that are minimal, yet extremely textural. Outside of my art, I also run a female creative collective, called CYL, or Craft Your Life Collective. My biggest happiness in life is working with other people and empowering women to follow their own creative happiness.

WHAT PUSHED YOU TO TURN THIS DREAM INTO REALITY?

Both ventures started without a plan and evolved out of a need to feel connected and present. CYL began in early 2015 while still living in Portland. I had been feeling a tad lost and uninspired for some time. My intent was to start an online collective to seek out other females and perhaps make a few creative friends. It quickly snowballed into so much more. There was an obvious need for this sort of positive and empowering community.  I was consumed and finally on the right path. I happened upon hand knotting shortly after because of one of the CYL friends I made. It was immediate and real love.

WHAT IS THE CORE MISSION BEHIND WHAT YOU DO?

With both of my outlets, my primary mission is to empower others to follow their bliss. I want to encourage people to explore creative mediums and use those mediums to better themselves. I find that when you are taking care of yourself and happy, you have much more to give to others. So here’s to the hope that this ripples outward and creates a tidal wave of kindness.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE STARTING OUT?

The biggest obstacle starting out (and quite possibly still!) is time management. Like I said, this initially wasn’t supposed to be a business. It was a passion project. So as both projects grew, the amount of time that was needed to sustain and grow them, also grew exponentially. It was very easy to get lost. Since then, I’ve been working on a real business plan so I have a clear path and can learn to prioritize and manage myself more efficiently.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

Oh, there are tons! One of the first maker friends I made was Ilana of The Small + Savage Wild. That has blossomed into a very close and important relationship. She inspires me to continually support others work and foster those relationships. I also adore Cindy of WKNDLA. Her level of craftsmanship and extreme attention to detail and process is so admirable. Mariana of Easy to Breathe is another dear, dear maker friend. If you can ever truly say someone has a gentle and kind spirit, it is her. She is a real joy to be around. Nina Klein is another beautiful maker. Her feminine, creamy palette and figure illustrations are a dream. I love the way she celebrates women through her art, and she makes me aspire to embrace my own womanhood. And of course, Sally England. Sally’s sculptural fiber pieces have literally reduced me to tears.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

Structure is something I’m trying to get better at. When you are working for yourself it’s easy to fall into the trap of three-hour lunches and Netflix binges. One thing I have gotten down is my morning routine. I wake up, put on my running shoes, plug into a podcast or audio book, take a few gulps of lemon water, and go outside for fresh air and mild exercise. This is before emails, before checking social media, before looking at my to-do list! It sets the tone for my day and allows me to create me space before I turn the day over to everyone else that I need to complete pieces for, send PDFs back to, respond to their emails, etc…

I also find mornings the best time to answer emails. I’m sharp and quick in the morning, and can quickly and efficiently move through emails. I usually follow that with other computer intensive accounts. And a few hours in, I’m tapped. Another walk to recharge, and then it’s creative time. I love using the afternoon to create because I’m in that sleepy-hazy-I-could-take-a-nap-fog and let me tell you, that is the most conducive state for creativity!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

Connecting to other makers! Seriously. They are the best.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Be flexible with yourself. You will hear a lot of rules and expectations will be set. Things won’t always pan out how you think, and you need to be able to accept that and move forward. You also may find a medium isn’t working for you a year in, if you lose that passion don’t be so rigid that you feel you must keep doing it or you will be a quitter. Try new mediums. Explore! You never know, you may come back around to your original medium. Or you may find something you love even more. 


GRACE GULLEY

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**All images courtesy of Grace Gulley**

Makers for Makers: Vacilando Quilting Co

Laura Preston of Vacilando Quilting Co is a very unique soul. After traveling around North America with her fiancé, she now is settling into the Bay Area. She spends her hours crafting beautiful modern quilts in her Airstream home. The designs are simple and timeless but bring you back to your childhood. I remember the numerous quilts my mother displayed around our house. Each one seemed to have a different meaning and story behind it. That is exactly the feel Laura is trying to bring forth again but with a new spin. Her quilts don't look anything like the ones I had seen growing up. The designs she creates are taking quilting and making it relevant again as people long to get them in their homes to being a tradition of passing them between generations back.

The pieces that Laura creates are stunning and her process is inspiring. The way she ties it all together is a sign of a remarkable maker. I won't give any more away so I encourage you to read on to learn more about Laura of Vacilando Quilting Co. I promise it will leave you wanting at least one quilt for your own home and family!


TELL US ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO.

I’m a designer, maker and traveler. I’ve been living and working in a 34 foot Airstream with my fiancé, our two dogs and cat since February 2013 - two and a half of those years were spent traveling full-time exploring North America, but for the past year and a half, we’ve been stationary in the Bay Area, living right on the coast (which is as dreamy as it sounds!). I make modern heirloom-quality quilts, pillows and a few canvas goods that are inspired by travel - beautiful landscapes, places I’ve visited or locations tied to memorable experiences.

WHAT PUSHED YOU TO TURN THIS DREAM INTO REALITY?

I have a background in painting, so when we decided to get on the road, I brought all my painting supplies with me, expecting to have all this time, space and inspiration to paint. And I didn’t pull those supplies out once - painting just wasn’t conducive with traveling often in a small space. But I still needed a creative outlet, one that was also practical and useful for my minimalist lifestyle. So after struggling to discover that new outlet for a few months and finding inspiration in makers sharing their work on Instagram, I decided to give quilting a try. I looked up some tutorials online, made my first quilt (completely by hand!) and was totally hooked - once I finished a quilt, I was ready to start the next one. After making a handful of quilts for wedding presents and honing my skills, I decided to plan my first collection and launched Vacilando in February 2015. At that time, I still had a day job, so I was only quilting part time, hoping to build Vacilando up until it could be my full time job. But I was unexpectedly laid off in August 2015, so I took that as a sign that it was time to jump in with both feet even if it was a bit sooner than I planned. It was the best decision I’ve ever made and now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

WHAT IS THE CORE MISSION BEHIND WHAT YOU DO?

I want to keep the tradition and craft of quilting alive while making it modern, relevant and fresh. I can’t tell you how many people have told me their “quilt story” - how they have a quilt their grandmother made or about a family quilt that’s been passed down through generations. There’s such warm sentiments of home and family in those stories, but they don’t actually use or display their quilts because the style is old fashioned. My goal is to make quilts using traditional techniques that are both contemporary and timeless - quilts that your kids will be fighting over when you finally decide to pass it down.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE STARTING OUT?

Starting out and even now, my biggest obstacle is pricing and educating people about the value of a handmade quilt. When so much of what we buy theses days is cheaply made overseas and you can go to any big box store and buy a trendy quilt for $99, trying to convince someone to buy a quilt for $700 can be a tough sell. Most people have great things to say about my work, but when they see the price tag, it scares them away. Which I totally get - my quilts aren’t cheap. But buying a handmade quilt, which is more or less a piece of art that you can snuggle with, is an investment and something to save up for. You’ll have it your whole life and then pass it down to your kids.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

So many! One of the many reasons I love Instagram - I get to discover and following along with ridiculously talented and creative makers that inspire me and make me think about design, color and creativity in different ways. Quilters who inspired me from the beginning are Folk FibersMeg CallahanLindsay SteadCortney Heimerl, and some of my favorite makers/artists that I love to follow are Aleksandra ZeeBlock Shop TextilesAriele Alasko, and Heather Day.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

Every day looks a little different, but I’ve finally got a pretty good routine down. I wake up around 8am, walk the dogs and make coffee. My brain is the most fresh and focused in the morning, so from around 9am to 11am, I take care of all my admin work. I plan out my day, write and respond to emails, order materials, post to social media, work on custom order or new designs, etc. Then I make a quick breakfast/lunch before getting to work on whatever I’m making that day. Sometimes it’s piecing a quilt top or hand-quilting some pillows or whipping up a batch of canvas totes - just depends on what needs to be done. I work until 6pm or 7pm (sometimes later if I have a tight deadline), then make dinner and relax with my fiance and pups for the rest of the evening.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

I love making something with my hands every day. Having a tangible product at the end of the process. Being in charge of what I create and being responsible for how successful or unsuccessful my business is. Not having limits, aside from myself, to what I can do and create.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Just do it! Whatever it is, do it. It’s so easy to make excuses that you don’t have enough time, enough space, that it’s too scary or hard or just not the right time. If it’s something you really want and feel like you’ll regret not doing, do it. You’re in charge of your life. Oh, and that feeling of not totally knowing what you’re doing, but figuring things out along the way? That’s normal and doesn’t go away completely.


VACILANDO QUILTING CO

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**All images courtesy of Vacilando Quilting Co**

Makers for Makers: Ashley Provencher

Half way through my college career I transferred to Montserrat College of Art. It was a strange jump to go from a State university to a small private art school of under 500 students so it took time to adjust. In my second semester, I met a girl who would become my roommate my senior year and that is where Ashley comes into my life. My roommate and Ashley were tied at the hip and I openly welcomed the smiling positive soul into my life. She was the third roommate we wanted to have. There aren't many people you would say that about, I'm sure, but Ashley lights up a room and pours nothing out but love to the people that surround her.

Ashley now lives in Boston where she has truly found her own unique path as a painter and illustrator. Its been a joy watching her work hard over the past 4-5 years after college to become the amazing artist that she is today. You can see all the dreamy textures she creates in her work that is sea inspired as you read through this #makersformakers feature. There is no one more deserving than Ashley so I am proud, honored, happy—all that sappy stuff—to introduce you all to Ashley Provencher.


TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST.

Well to start off you should know that I’m madly in love with the ocean, being near it, in it, close to it; everything about the ocean brings happiness to my life. I grew up going to the beach at any given chance that was available. My mom and I would spend sun up to sun down by the water. Over the years I started to paint my ideas of the ocean. My paintings aren’t exact replicas of the ocean but more my memories and feelings from my times spent there. The other part of my art is my love for New Orleans. I spent a summer there rebuilding, working on urban farms and setting up charter schools. The vibrancy and excitement of the city brought out the colors in my work. In each piece I’m looking to bring joy to the viewer, when they look at my paintings I want them to smile and feel the warmth and energy in each one.

WHAT MADE YOU BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY?

After graduating from college I started working at an art gallery in Boston. It’s a very unique gallery that assists in finding artwork for hospitals and health centers all over New England. I remember like it was yesterday, the owner of the gallery asked me to bring in some of my artwork so she could take a look at it. At the time all of my paintings were just something I did in my spare time. I had never even considered showing them to anyone. The next day I brought in a few of my paintings that I thought were somewhat representative of me as an “artist” and she loved them. That day we created a PowerPoint for a major project with the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, which showed my artwork as an option for a wall in a waiting room area. In a week we heard back and my pieces had been chosen to be installed there. It was one of the happiest days I’ve ever had. After that I knew I wanted to keep painting and actually pursue a career as an artist.

WHAT ARE THE CORE BELIEFS BEHIND YOUR ART?

I think believing in myself and my art. All through college I consistently doubted myself and my artwork, I never felt like I could express my art the way I wanted. Now that I have an amazing support system (friends/family/coworkers) I finally feel proud of what I create. It’s amazing to get emails from hospitals telling me that my artwork has brought smiles to patients and their families while they might be going through something where they need a smile or just something to get lost in. 

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE WHEN STARTING OUT?

Definitely self-doubt. Not having the courage to show what I could create to others. You have to move past what other people think, if something makes you happy or gives you joy you should go for it. For so long I was stuck not wanting to share with others my artwork I thought that people would look at my paintings and not see what I was trying to represent or create, but once I got past the fear of rejection I realized that everyone is different and what some might not enjoy others might love.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS YOU ADMIRED THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

I have so many current makers that inspired and continue to inspire me. Most of them are also lovers of the ocean so I feel like I can really relate to them and their artwork. Kim Hovell is one of my favorites she uses such simple brushstrokes and shapes to create these breathtaking contrasting oyster shell paintings. Paula Desimone is another artist who I love. You can get lost in her monoprints, the layers and colors that reside in her pieces bring such an excitement but also a peacefulness to the viewer. Lastly, Robert Cipriani; his work is what I reach for. The layers and texture each of his pieces has is laid out so gorgeously. He started out as a graphic designer and used that background to create such analytical, organized ocean/beach scenes from his times on the cape. Unfortunately, he passed away a couple years ago but I still go to his work for a lot of my inspiration.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

Well unfortunately I’m not a full time maker so my days are spent at an office from 8-5, but once I’m home that’s when the magic starts. I live in a very small but beautiful apartment in Boston’s Seaport, because my apartment is so tiny it can be difficult to do a lot of painting in there, so I usually head up to the roof deck where I can see the ocean (and smell it.) I paint till it gets dark then head back downstairs where I either keep paintings or sketch new ideas that came to me while I was up there. The weekends are usually spent traveling with my boyfriend to new beaches or places (we’re trying to visit all 50 states!) my sketch book comes along with me where ever we go so I can either write down something that inspires me or sketch it.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

Being able to create. Since I can remember I’ve always loved making things, painting things, creating things, it’s something that keeps me going. Painting is my way of expressing myself if I didn’t paint I don’t think I’d be really living.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Be brave! What you create is a part of who you are as a person, never let fear stop you from following your dreams.

To create one’s own world, in any of the arts, takes courage.
— Georgia O'Keeffe

Makers for Makers: pidge pidge

Vanessa Lauria is an extremely talented weaver and maker. She discovered her love for the craft in college where she began exploring the colors of fibers and finding her own way amongst the medium. After some years, she finally took the leap to start her own studio, pidge pidge. Through her new outlet, she creates swoon-worthy one-of-a-kind handwoven scarves in brilliant funky colors. I love the way she proudly proclaims it as "art you can wear" because it really is just that. Vanessa's work is that of a very creative individual and it was a joy to cross paths with such a lovely passionate person. Learning about her process, it was clear how important her art is to her and it shines very brightly through each piece she creates. I encourage you to read on and learn more about Vanessa and her studio. Her path is nothing but inspiring and full of such joy!


1. TELL US ABOUT PIDGE PIDGE.

pidge pidge is my weaving studio, where I design and create vibrant, modern scarves and accessories in unexpected, inspired color stories. I sell my handwovens at craft shows and in my online shop, and relish every opportunity to connect with fiber enthusiasts and the color-obsessed in the process.

2. WHAT MADE YOU BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY?

I fell in love with weaving in college and was lucky enough to use the studio the summer after graduating. After a full day’s work, I’d trek to south campus and weave up a storm.

I think having a series of less than ideal day jobs made the dream of creating full time & sharing my art with others all the more desirable. Five years after graduation, with motivation from another creative friend & an awesome craft show experience in Chicago, I quit my job and began pidge pidge.

3. WHAT ARE THE CORE BELIEFS BEHIND YOUR ART?

pidge pidge strives to create handcrafted heirloom textiles that will be adored (and feel luxurious) for years to come. Every piece I weave has been thoughtfully designed and expertly handled down to the last detail.

I believe that creative exploration keeps my work (and life) fresh, that color is exciting, and that sharing my woven pieces with others opens the door for great conversation. With every piece I design, I hope to create the perfect handwoven accessory for anyone who loves bold color, pattern and texture – truly unique wearable art!

4. WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE WHEN STARTING OUT?

Managing everything myself has been (and still is) my biggest challenge. Juggling social media, marketing, and record keeping doesn’t come as naturally to me as making. It’s all the more difficult when I just want to do the fun stuff—weave, sew & create.

Learning to be confident in my business also had a learning curve. It took several craft shows and a few years before I was fully comfortable promoting myself and pidge pidge. Gaining that experience and listening to the stories of other makers has helped me overcome that tendency many of us have to undervalue our work.

5. DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS YOU ADMIRED THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

As an art school grad, my first instinct is to look to paintings from well-known artists like Gauguin and Kandinsky for color inspiration. I often rely on my journals collaged with photographs and magazine clippings or pinterest art boards to collect my references & aid in design brainstorming.

I’m also inspired by artists and creatives working in mediums like crochet, painting, photography, and quilting on instagram (@yarn_house@geninne@tarafaughnan). I use my newsletter as a way to reach out to makers that I admire and feature their work in an Artist Spotlight each week.

6. WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

Every day in the studio looks different. So much of my work is preparation for weaving—winding bobbins and warps, dressing the loom, and designing color stories. My favorite studio days are weaving days. I design the initial flow of colors for scarves by lining up bobbins, then I weave through them, adding repeats and playing with color proportion. Mistakes and glitches in a pattern can become happy accidents when I intentionally repeat them.

A large portion of my day to day is centered around admin work. I schedule and create content for social media, work on my weekly newsletter and seek opportunities for promotion and networking.

In the evenings, I usually pick up another fibers project to relax with. Knitting, quilting, and tapestry weaving are go-to crafts. This week, I’m designing a few baby quilt patterns with colored pencils and graph paper. The summer studio also extends into the kitchen, where I'm exploring natural dyes. My freezer is stocked with Queen Anne’s lace, daffodils, dandelions, and avocado pits, which will hopefully dye beautifully colored yarn. I’m excited to see what hues I coax from foraged materials. I also want to play with altering the pH of dyebaths to expand my palette further.

7. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

Sharing my passion and enthusiasm for fiber arts and color just makes me feel good! I’ve recently started teaching weaving workshops and learning how to naturally dye yarn. Growing my creative community, asking and answering questions, and forming new friendships with other makers help me feel connected to the world; it’s easily my favorite part of the process.

8. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

I think curiosity and playfulness in making can lead you in new directions. Be bold and reach out to others you admire or have questions for. Engaging with your creative community can help you feel supported and realize that you shouldn’t undersell yourself or your work. Also, there’s nothing wrong with supplementing your income with a day job. It can, in fact, help to take the pressure off and give you more room to explore and invent.


PIDGE PIDGE

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**All images courtesy of pidge pidge**

Makers for Makers: Michal Friese

 Image by  Kevin Klein

Image by Kevin Klein

Based in Germany, Michal Friese creates eye catching work with an undeniable passion. I've enjoyed following Michal's artistic journey for awhile now and she continues to surprise and amaze me with her moon creations. It was an honor to get to finally interview her for our Makers for Makers series. Learning more about her process and views shows that there is so much more depth to her work than meets the eye. I love that Michal is down right honest with her creating. She allows herself to play and find inspiration in unique ways. Interviewing her helped me understand more about myself as an artist and I hope that it does the same for all of you who are on your own artist soul search. The world can joggle us around but our art can help us express and communicate that in our own ways. A huge thanks to Michal for allowing this interview to happen and for opening up her own artistic soul to us. Be sure to have a read below and take in all the goodness she has to offer. Enjoy!


TELL US ABOUT YOU AS AN ARTIST. 

Hi! Well, I LOVE experimenting. That’s why I can’t stick with one medium only but have to do a bunch of other things on the side. Besides my main act painting I like playing music, doing macrame, dyeing natural fabric, the list goes on and keeps me full of inspiration. It all works with each other to create a big picture, not against each other. But it also means that sometimes I don’t paint a single thing for weeks at a time and then when I feel the right „level“ of inspiration it hits me and I paint hundreds of pictures in a week. 

 Image by  Kevin Klein

Image by Kevin Klein

 WHAT MADE YOU BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY?

It’s actually kinda funny, because I studied translation and interpretation at Uni and got my BA, but already knew half way through that the fact that I was spending more time doing art than homework would eventually lead to me not working as an interpreter or translator. And that is what happened. So when I moved back to my hometown I started this little art adventure of mine. :) 

 Image by  Kevin Klein

Image by Kevin Klein

WHAT ARE THE CORE BELIEFS BEHIND YOUR ART?

Art is an expression of how the artist sees the world and it’s almost like a funnel to me: lots of beauty goes into my head (from other art or creation or people or writing or whatever comes my way) and my version of it all mixed together and scrambled around comes out. That is one reason why I think you can tell so much about a person by their art. And art connects people and souls and that is one of the best aspects. 

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE WHEN STARTING OUT?

Bureaucracy. I knew what I wanted to do but things like taxes and paperwork have a way of paralyzing me. Anyone with me on that one? 

 Image by  Kevin Klein

Image by Kevin Klein

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS YOU ADMIRED THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

I have been hugely inspired by interior designers. It is actually my #1 go to source for inspiration in magazines or online. And Austin Kleon (@austinkleon) he wrote a book called Steal Like an Artist and I highly recommend it to anyone, creative person or not. One artist whose color schemes and patterns always inspire me is RAJOVILLA (@rajovilla on Instagram). You’ll see why ;) There are plenty of others, a lot of which you can find by looking through who I follow on IG. 

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

Typical…. to be honest that is not existent in my world. The only routine I keep is getting up (kinda) early and drinking a cup of strong coffee with milk while I read my Bible in the morning. From then on there’s no knowing what happens. But I can say there’s lot’s of bike riding, nature admiring, day jobs working, friends visiting, painting, new art forms exploring, involved. And laundry and teeth brushing. 

 Image by  Kevin Klein

Image by Kevin Klein

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

The Freedom I get to create what I like and sell it and the joy it brings to people who connect with it. Honestly there is nothing better than when people tell me that my art speaks to them in some way! So exciting, because I too experience that with other people’s art and I know exactly what they mean. And to be the one creating that in a person! Wow! I am in awe every time! 

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Just do it! Seriously! There will always be ups and downs and difficulties and such, but you won’t experience the highs and joys unless you get started! 


MICHAL FRIESE

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**All images courtesy of Kevin Klein**

Makers for Makers: Hello Laura Jane

Hello Laura Jane is the workings of the amazing female artist, Laura Jane Baker. The Sydney based paper cut studio is nothing short of amazing. The dedication to time, detail, and beauty is evident in each and every piece as is the patience that Laura must have to be able to work in such a delicate medium. When you factor everything together, or just simply look at her end results, it is truly hard not to fall completely in love with Laura's creations! The pulling form nature and the thin organic lines—I can't get enough of it all! 

Laura and I met through Instagram, the place that seems to be the hot spot for connecting creatives, and I am so happy that we did. She is an inspirational person and I couldn't be joyed to have found another artist who enjoys working in silence (call us weird, but we like it!). I'm so thankful that she allowed us to peak in on her life for a little bit to see how she brings it all to life. So it's here that I now encourage you to read on through her #makersformakers interview, you wont be disappointed—she is the loveliest human being!


TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.

I am a paper cut artist from Sydney, Australia. I live in a tiny but cosy home with my husband Rhys and our kitten Ninja. During the day I work as a gift and stationery buyer, allowing me to meet and support many talented local makers and creatives. My evenings and weekends are usually spent paper cutting, watching Netflix and going for long walks.

WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU NEEDED TO BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY?

I started posting photos of my paper cuts on Instagram about a year ago. I felt so vulnerable putting my art into the world, as whilst I enjoy making each piece, I feel too close to it to form an objective opinion on whether it is any good or not. I was so surprised when people loved it and wanted to buy it. That support and encouragement has inspired me to follow this further and turn it into a business.

WHAT ARE THE CORE BELIEFS BEHIND YOUR ART?

I love the imperfections and human marks of hand made objects. I collect hand made ceramics and when I visit art galleries I get as close to the paintings as I can to see each stroke the artist has made. All of my paper cuts are cut by hand, they are all unique and time consuming and loved. That is very important to me. I also believe that art should be accessible to everyone, which is why I predominantly work in smaller sizes - I try to keep them affordable so anyone can enjoy a piece of original art in their home.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE WHEN STARTING OUT?

Technically I am still starting out. As I am writing this I am in the middle of building my website, with the hope to open it in a few days. There is much more to think about than I'd realised, but the biggest decisions so far have been on my business name and my logo design. That took forever! I am way too fussy.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS YOU ADMIRED THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

Instagram is a constant source of inspiration for me. I could honestly list every creative person and business that I follow!! I am particularly grateful for these creative people who have supported my little dream over the past year:

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

When I have the time, I try to wake up early. I love to slowly brew a fresh cup of coffee, browse social media, and set up my workspace. Usually I start with some quick sketches or tiny paper cuts before settling into something larger. I can get lost in a piece for hours but sometimes there are distractions and I find myself playing with the kitten too much haha. I also like working in silence which people find strange.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

There are so many talented people I have met through sharing my art and I love being a part of this creative community. These connections have led to amazing opportunities - workshops, interviews, collaborations, even just yummy lunches with like minded people.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Begin? Haha, I am still beginning. When I first decided to do this, I came across this quote which inspired me back then and still inspires me now:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
— Goethe

HELLO LAURA JANE

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**All images courtesy of Hello Laura Jane**

Makers for Makers: Antlers + Honey (Now Kira Gulley Art)

Kira's intricately detailed illustrations inspired by nature are soul-softening-ly beautiful. You might be wondering what that means (since I've just made that word up)—you know that feeling you get when all the stress releases from your body? You feel soft, free, and able to breathe. Light. That's what I mean. Now back to what we should really be talking about here—When I look through her work that she creates through her company Antlers + Honey, my eyes and heart feel at ease. They're simple yet full of something special—something unique comes pouring out of her passionate soul into each one. I discovered Kira's work some time ago (and even won a little Instagram contest to get one of her temporary tattoos! I'm saving it for one of our summer trips. It deserved a special occasion.) and I am so every glad I did. Not only is her work beautiful, but she's a great person to connect with and have on your side. I love following her journey and seeing where she treks out into nature to pull her inspiration from. She recently took a trip to Big Sur (instant swoon) which she laces the imagery from throughout this interview so I encourage you to read on as I know hand it over to her...


TELL US ABOUT ANTLERS + HONEY.

Antlers+Honey is a gathering of botanical artworks from a SoCal native with an ever growing wanderlust. It is a collection of delicate details from several adventures on the trails. Each botanical explores a moment of  standing next to the tall lush trees, swimming  in turquoise blue lagoons, and wandering around the golden deserts. Every water colored paint stroke is meant to capture the organic nature of plant life. Keeping a minimalistic approach with shape, form, and color to unify the flora and bring a peace to the artwork. The works are journaled keepsakes to bring a little of the clam, connected, and rejuvenating feeling of the outdoors into the everyday life.

WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU NEEDED TO BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY?

I have always known that I wanted to have a creative career. Finding which one would be best for me was a series of trial and error though. I have tried being a graphic designer, running my own artist zine, working in children's photography, and teaching children art. Through all this I eventually realized that I needed to create for myself, not be creative for someone else. 

It wasn't until I went on my first real trip to the great outdoors that I felt I had found my calling. My husband (then boyfriend) planned a trip for us to visit Yosemite National Park. I remember the moment we rounded the corner through Tunnel View like it was yesterday. Towering granite mountains, lush green sequoias, and raging rainbow waterfalls filled my view. Yosemite completely took my breath away and stole my heart in one blink of an eye. It was here that I fell wildly in love with the outdoors and needed to collide its beauty with my art immediately. Before this trip I didn't have any defining artistic style. But after this trip I left understanding what it meant to find your passion in art. I knew then that all I wanted to do was capture the magical detail that surrounded my experiences. There was this feeling of completeness where I just knew I found my voice as an artist.

Deciding to start the A+H journey wasn't an easy choice at first. In fact, it was one of the scariest choices I've ever made. The thought of sharing what I created seemed daunting to say the least. But in the end I decided that I'd rather fail at something I loved then to fail at something that made me miserable, so why not try! And so a I opened my shop and started an Instagram to jump in with both feet. Although it's been a bumpy ride, it's a choice I would make one hundred times over again. 

WHAT ARE THE CORE BELIEFS BEHIND YOUR ART?

Clean, minimal, modern, and earthy are words that I hold dear to my heart each time a create a new piece. I take pride in my inspirations stemming from my travels with my husband. It pushes me to find the beauty in the little things and to try to express that so others too can sense that same beauty I find outdoors.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE WHEN STARTING OUT?

Confidence. It can be really intimidating starting out and trying to run with the bulls of the creative world. I found myself in a puddle of self doubt as I constantly compared my art to others who maybe had a more realistic style or a large following. When you let yourself into that negative headspace it can really pull you down. I had to change my perspective and choose to enjoy the ride. I learned to be inspired by those who are further along in their career and to lean on the outstanding support of other makers for encouragement to keep doing what I love. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS YOU ADMIRED THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

How long can this list be?! There are so many girls that shock and awe me with their talent. Several of which constantly surprise and inspire me to keep creating. But to name a few;

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

There definitely isn't one specific type of typical day for me. My to-do lists often vary from day to week with the various growing amounts of new projects I embark on. Each project is often unique and requires different tasks for me to fulfill them. Plus working from home allows me to set my own schedule as far as my artist time and my personal time. So often there is no recurring structure to my work day.

However there are a few routines I keep to bring some form of normality to my schedule. Every morning I start with a cup of hot tea and work through my emails and updating my social media. I also plan for daily walks and at least a dedicated hour to my yoga practice. Finally I try to break down my never ending to do list into attainable goals to finish each day. Other then that I try to ebb and flow to whatever my current projects may be. 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

I love that I am able to connect with so many people through my art and my travels. It's been such a humble experience being able to share my growth as an artist in front of so many and to receive such positive interacting. Deciding to pursue art has opened up so many unexpected doors and relationships that is something I will forever be grateful for.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

The best advice I could give is to not give up when things are not going so perfect. I find it's easy to feel like you are on a roll when everything's going good for you. But the real challenges arise when you are in a slump and what you choose to do about it. If doing something creative is what you want then put the hard work in one hundred percent of the time and do not expect things to happen on their own. You are in control of your own success, so set yourself up to thrive in the good times and the hard times. Find a good support system in your friends, family, and in the several amazing maker communities online. Learn to do your homework and don't be afraid to ask for help. If you can learn to stay positive and motivated through the many ups and downs in your journey, then you'll be sure to be happy and successful in your business.


ANTLERS + HONEY (NOW KIRA GULLEY ART)

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**All images courtesy of Antlers+Honey**

Makers for Makers: Light & Letter Photography

Breanne and I crossed paths awhile back—I couldn't be happier that we did! The life that she has built with her husband is simple, beautiful, and honest (not to mention they have a beyond cute little boy that is guaranteed to steal your heart in an instant). Their photography business has always impressed me not because of the images (though its hard to deny that those are anything but amazing) but for the unique way they tell people's life story. Breanne and Jonathan captivate you, entice you, and make you see the world in a whole new light through every day moments and breathtaking landscapes. Its an honor to be able to share that all with you today and hopefully inspire you to live a life full of intention and love just as they have.


TELL US ABOUT LIGHT AND LETTER.

We’re a husband and wife owned photography business. We combine light infused photography and word-woven documentation to craft your story in way that reveals the magic present in your every day life. 

WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU NEEDED TO BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY?

We’ve always been attracted to photography and writing. But since becoming parents, our perspective changed on how important it is to appreciate our here and now. We realized how easy it is to get lost in the stresses of everyday life and lose sight of what really matters. We’ve seen so many people at our stage life forgetting how beautiful their life is right now. We’re here to help with that. 

WHAT ARE THE CORE BELIEFS BEHIND YOUR WORK?

Whether your ‘here and now’ is raising babies, finding and falling in love, or simply living your ‘..one wild and precious life’ (Mary Oliver). We’re here to help you find the wonder in it. A beautifully documented life is an appreciated one. You don’t have to go on grand adventures (although those are great too! :) ) to realize how sacred life is. We want to make you fall in love with your life as is. 

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE WHEN STARTING OUT?

Experience. It takes time to hone your craft and how to grow it into a business. We’re still in the blossoming stages but learning so much right now! 

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS YOU ADMIRED THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

Our days are fairly uncomplicated. Jonathan works full time so that Breanne can stay home with Behr (our nearly two-year-old son) and run Light & Letter Photography from there. Basically, what that looks like is a lot of picture editing and story weaving all while drinking French pressed coffee and chasing a toddler around. We’re in a beautifully simple season. 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

First, the ability it’s given us to love our life as it is right now. This is something we all struggle with from time to time. But realizing how important other’s life-stories are has given us a newfound love for our own. We’re really fighting to not have a ‘one day’ mentality, but instead seek to make our life now the best it can be. 

And second, when our clients finally see their documented story and they absolutely light up. The tears of happiness, the joy. That moment when we watch them fall back in love with their life. It’s so worth all the hard work. 

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Invest in educating yourself in your field. Don’t wait to go for your dreams until you’re completely ready. You’ll never be completely ready. Start now and learn as you go. Stay humble. Ask for help. Don’t rush the learning process. And don’t give up! The world needs your art. Trust us. 


LIGHT & LETTER PHOTOGRAPHY

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**All images courtesy of Light & Letter**

Makers for Makers: Gretchen Powers Film + Photo

Gretchen and I just recently crossed paths but were instantly connected by our New England roots. She resides in Portland, Maine—a place that just might have the number one spot in my heart. It only seemed destined (in my opinion) that we should get chatting. After connecting and learning more about Gretchen, the honesty within her path was what truly drew me into her work. She's chosen as a photographer and videographer to find her own beautifully unique outlet telling people's true, authentic, down-to-earth stories. And—her own story fits right into that as well which makes me so excited to share Gretchen's Makers for Makers feature where she dives into business, day-to-day life as a maker, and how she got where she is today. I found her words refreshing and inspirational to read so I hope you do as well!


TELL US ABOUT GRETCHEN POWERS FILM & PHOTO.

I am a freelance photographer and filmmaker currently residing in Portland, Maine. I specialize in brand content creation whether that is lifestyle photos for social media content or a brand video that shows a consumer the who, what, where, why of a company. I also shoot weddings, couples and portraits and love how I am able to balance both within my business structure.

WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU NEEDED TO BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY?

I have had a lot of support over the years from family and friends who believed I was a gifted visual storyteller even before I realized it myself. My dad bought me my first video camera, and then DSLR really encouraging me to follow my passions. My moms both told me over and over again how gifted I was at capturing photographs, but as a kid, and young adult it's hard to believe every word your moms say as things are sometimes skewed through "mom goggles." It was friends of mine, Helen and Jake, who insisted I shoot their wedding after I gave them almost every excuse in the book not to hire me that really jump started my photography career. If it hadn't been for them I would still probably just be making films.

WHAT ARE THE CORE BELIEFS THAT DRIVES YOUR COMPANY?

I capture everything, whether a wedding, a brand video, an event, a portrait in a way that is simple, yet authentic to the person or company behind my lens. I love making pretty pictures and shooting videos that bring people and brands to life, but I really strive to do so in a way than emphasizes the little things, the smaller moments that may have been missed if I hadn't zoomed in a little closer.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE WHEN STARTING OUT?

I am not an inherently outgoing person—have I become one since I started my business? Yes. But starting out I was nervous about reaching out to other photographers and potential clients, nervous about speaking to people I had never met before and trying to get them to be comfortable in front of my camera. That, and not having a clue what to charge what I was worth. I guess I'm still learning that part.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS YOU ADMIRED THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

I am constantly meeting new makers who inspire me or give me something new to think about in my work. I struggle so much with captions and love the way Greta Rybus (@gretarybus) is able to match photos with words to educate her viewers and enable them to truly understand the story behind her images. Jillian Lukiwski (@thenoisyplume) blows my mind the way she photographs herself—and despite her success is one of the most humble artists I know. Hilary Swift (@hlswift) is one of my oldest photographer friends and I love the way that as a photojournalist she continues to push to take the most unique, interesting, educational photos every time she goes out with her camera to cover the news.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

It always starts with tea. A cup of black tea, usually Earl Grey or chai, and breakfast. Food is crazy important to me, as it fuels my brain and keeps me motivated. When I can I like to give myself an hour in the morning to read, knit, take it slow while drinking tea and eating breakfast before getting after it. Then I spend the next few hours editing photos, video or whatever is on the schedule, LUNCH, then more knitting, editing, client meetings, shoots, I really try to exercise every day even if it's just taking my dog on a longer than usual walk.  Getting outside and sweating is super important on days when I'm stuck in my little home office in front of the computer—leaves me feeling so lethargic! Other photographer's might gasp when they hear this, but I'm almost always off my computer before dinnertime. I'm most productive and creative during the hours when it's light outside and thus really don't like it when I have to work into the night—even in college I was rarely up past 10pm doing homework, but then again that might have had something to do with the rowing schedule I was on. Anyhow, that's what my days look like when I'm not out of town on a shoot or a project.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

I love that each day is different, that my schedule allows me to meet new people every week, go on mid-week adventures that inspire me, and that I get paid to do what I love—that's the obvious answer right? But really, being able to run around with a camera and capture peoples stories—whether of love or life—is a pretty neat thing to be accountable for by people and trusted by them to capture their story authentically. 

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Do not be afraid to reach out to the people who inspire you.  Ask them to get a coffee and pick their brains. Go to networking events even if they may be boring. Say yes to some of the projects you really want to say no to. Connections are so important and you never know who you are going to meet when you go places outside of your usual routine.


GRETCHEN POWERS FILM & PHOTO

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**All images courtesy of Gretchen Powers Film & Photo**

Makers for Makers: Knotty Bloom

Nalani of Knotty Bloom is a maker based out of Tauranga, New Zealand. Though very far a part, we luckily crossed paths through other makers through Instagram. Her hand crafted macramé plant hangers are items that help cozy up a home with their integrate details and and timeless designs. After learning from her mother, Nalani took to practice as a way to relax and meditate in her down time. What draws me in most about her though is the support she pours out and shares with other makers. Nalani seems to always chime in when you are in need of some encouragement. Her love for the creativity flows right through her words to others and also into her own pieces.

Nalani's story is unique and beautiful—just like each of ours—so I encourage you to have a read and support Knotty Bloom on its journey through the makers movement!


TELL US ABOUT KNOTTY BLOOM. 

Knotty Bloom is a studio based in New Zealand with a focus on modern and mindful design. As an interior architect, I like to view this creative outlet as an extension of my work. Currently it is a space used to hand craft macramé pieces made with locally sourced New Zealand made materials. 

WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU NEEDED TO BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY?

I grew up surrounded by a very innovative, artistic and build-it-yourself community. From my parents building our house, to my father and his business partners building their sailing boat, to the many handmade objects that filled our home and now having two very creatively focused siblings and one super handy partner. All of this shaped me into someone who has endless appreciation for handmade. So of course I had always dreamt of channeling my creative passions into something viable.

However, Knotty Bloom initially began as a side project when I first moved to New Zealand. During the early stages of setting up our home, I was reminded of the importance of physically creating something with my hands in order to connect with my surroundings. So it wasn't that I consciously decided to start a business, instead it happened rather organically. Then before I knew it, my days were consumed by this new venture and I loved it. 

WHAT ARE THE CORE BELIEFS THAT DRIVE YOUR COMPANY?

To create honestly made and lasting products that strive to embody a sense of comfort, care and visual aesthetics. I hope my pieces bring meaning and life into their spaces. My wish would be for them to find forever-homes in which to be passed down and cherished for many years to come, instead of becoming temporary-trend pieces.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE WHEN STARTING OUT?

Attempting to charter the unknown waters of starting a business alone. Once I made connections with other makers, creatives and even customers, the whole process became less intimidating and more enjoyable. I cannot emphasise the importance of being part of a supportive and positive community. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS YOU ADMIRED THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

There are an amazing amount of makers out there who endlessly provide inspiration, encouragement and kindness. Just to name a few:

Sam of @handmadesammade (himmeli + air plants)
Marion of @rekersdreesdesign (illustration + paper goods)
Kira of @antlersandhoney (illustration + water colours)
Andreia of @and_gom (hand weaving)
Haily of @b_for_brian (woven wall art)
Jenny of @livingpattern (botanical art)
Sarah @sarahkbenning (contemporary embroidery)
Katie of @ceramicmagpie (ceramics)
Sammy of @makersmovement (creative support + community)
Grace of @larkandarrow (macramé)

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

At the moment my days look something like this. I wake up early and have coffee with my partner before driving him to work, most often this includes a trip to the post office. Then I set aside some time for administrative tasks and answering emails. The rest of my day varies and I tend to just flow with what needs to get done first. I also try to take a couple small breaks throughout the day, such as tending to our garden, watering plants, playing with George (our cat), a little yoga, or just getting out of the house for a wander. In the evenings is usually when I am most focused so sometimes I end up knotting away into the night.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

I love the freedom to express my vision using my own two hands while aspiring to bring some lasting-happiness into other peoples spaces. Additionally, one of the most rewarding and fulfilling aspects is being part of a larger collective filled with genuinely supportive makers. 

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Don't be afraid to begin something you believe in. Also to remember that creativity isn't a competition and you are stronger as a community than as an individual.


KNOTTY BLOOM

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**All images courtesy of Knotty Bloom**

Makers for Makers: Handmade Sam*Made (Now Hemleva)

I met Samantha how I seem to meet most other makers—on Instagram. Her simplistic, artistic, and cohesive approach to her work instantly captivated me. The delicate geometric structures are unique and just down right stunning. It's hard to take your eyes off of them. While she is a fellow creator making by hand, our styles vastly differ. It was refreshing to see someone take the maker path in such a clean and empowering way. Getting to know Samantha and learning about her background has been nothing but inspiring. She is definitely a go-getter with her curious mind and gifted hands. 

Handmade Sam*Made was created out of passion and that's just what carries her story all the way through. So without further ado, I invite you to learn more about Samantha and her path to discovering her very own creative path in life. Her journey is a beautiful reminder that we have control over how we spend our lives.


TELL US ABOUT HANDMADE SAM*MADE.

Handmade Sam*Made is a modern design studio with a clean and minimalist feel. Inspired by the Scandinavian aesthetic and traditions, I currently have a line of handmade brass geometric mobiles and wall sconces called Himmeli. They are a modern interpretation of Finnish Himmeli, and are sleek and modern with a midcentury feel.

WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU NEEDED TO MAKE THIS DREAM A REALITY?

Even as a super young child, I was determined to learn as much as possible. Whether it was a craft, skill, or just absorbing knowledge – I was determined.

By the age of eleven, I knew how to crochet, change the oil on a car, wood-burn and etch, solder, screen print, cook, and more. I started cooking Thanksgiving dinner when I was nine. I got my first job at 14 at McDonald’s. At 16, my friends and I started our own business. We learned how to sew and how to make clothes and fulfilled costume orders.

I finished high school, went to undergrad where I graduated with degree with a quadruple minor. I was on track to go to Law School. Instead, I went to China and taught English for a year. And that is the moment where my train got derailed. I couldn’t resume my “path.” I knew I had to do more.

And that is the moment that I decided to start my own business. I have always been drawn to a Scandinavian aesthetic, even when I was incredibly young. As soon as discovered these traditional mobiles I was absolutely awestruck. The intricate layers of geometric shapes, the symbolism and meaning behind each piece, the ability to be so complex and layered – yet so minimal.

And so I worked to interpret them, to update them for our modern world, and to create original designs that I fell in love with.

WHAT ARE THE CORE BELIEFS & MISSION THAT DRIVE YOUR COMPANY?

My mission is to make things that help curate a beautiful life. To make art that is affordable and accessible to everyone, and to help pique curiosity and joy with every person that comes in contact with my pieces. And to continue to expand my line of house wares with original designs and creations.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE WHEN STARTING OUT?

Believing in myself enough to start. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS YOU ADMIRE THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

I don’t have any mentors, but I do have quite a few makers that constantly inspire me. Whether it is through their creativity, their talent, or their kindness.

Bianca @_wildhumm (mixed media)
Nalani @knottybloom (macramé)
Kira @antlersandhoney (water colors + tattoos)
Grace @larkandarrow (macramé)
Sarah @sarahkbenning (embroidery)
Cynthia @livebybeing (skincare)
Luke @hopeinthewoods (woodcarving)
Kristine @kristinebrookshire (mixed media) 

And I can go on, and on, and on. Instagram has created an incredible community for makers and creatives, and I am so thrilled to simply be a part of it all.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

My work days vary wildly between 8 and 20 hours a day. 

I am a bit of a night owl, so my days start around 9AM with a giant cup of coffee. I start by tackling e-mails incrementally with block scheduling. I schedule 25 minutes for e-mails (reading/responding/clearing out my inbox), 5 minutes to plan the rest of my day, 25 more minutes for e-mails and 5 minutes to catch up on social media. 

I was once told that creatives have to have a routine to keep them focused and to decrease decision fatigue. I then also recently read that creatives shouldn’t have a schedule to make it so that their day will ebb and flow naturally. To accommodate that, my mornings are routine, and the rest of the day is determined by what needs to be done. 

Since I work from a home office/studio the line between work/life is extremely blurred. There is always something on the to-do list, and my personal drive makes it so that it’s hard to shut off my brain. 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

Being able to create something that sparks joy, curiosity and happiness in others. To be an artist and to be able to share my vision. And finally to be a part of this growing community of supportive makers.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Come up with a creative new idea, and just, do it. There is no perfect time to start. Just start. It will be messy. You’re going to stumble, we all stumble. If you want to succeed, you just have to remember to get back up and to keep trying. You have to have the courage to fail, in order to have the courage to fly.


HANDMADE SAM*MADE (NOW HEMLEVA)

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**All images courtesy of Handmade Sam*Made*

Makers for Makers: Three Leaves Co

Three Leaves Co was started by Annmarie, a fellow free spirt who wholeheartedly believes in living a life of adventure. A girl after my own heart. Her company is inspiring, authentic, and the true meaning of down-to-earth. Throughout the past year, I kept stumbling upon Three Leaves Co over and over and was always in awe at the movement that was being created through the simple but powerful graphic tees and other items such as awesome adventure blankets. Everything created through this lifestyle brand speaks to us explorers.

Not only does Annmarie create beautiful goods through Three Leaves Co but follow on her instagram and you will see she is a true source of inspiration, passion, and community. Through The Morning Project, Annmarie works hard to let everyone know that they aren't alone, that some times its hard to wake up in the morning, and that we can tackle whatever comes our way. Its beautiful to see the energy she puts into making sure positivity spreads out into the world. I am so happy to be sharing more of her story here with you all to help spread the word about her and the amazing company she has built to do such good for our souls day after day. 


TELL US ABOUT THREE LEAVES CO.

Three Leaves Co. is an adventure inspired lifestyle brand for those who believe in the outdoors and dancing on mountains and exploration and living outside of the box! I design and hand print each shirt (no machines to be found, here!) and always seek to provide a quality and unique product.

WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU NEEDED TO BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY?

Three Leaves Co. was born out of a season in my life where I had moved back to the city I was raised in on the East coast after living in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. I was homesick for the mountains and for the culture that was so different than where I had found myself. Three Leaves Co. became an outlet for me to bring that culture and mindset back to the forefront of my life and gave me the ability to share those feelings and experiences with the people around me.

WHAT ARE THE CORE BELIEFS, VALUES, AND OVERALL MISSION THAT DRIVES YOUR COMPANY?

For me, Three Leaves Co. is all about connection. It's about forming a community of individuals that love the outdoors and adventure, and believe that life doesn't need to be lived behind a desk or in a comfort zone. I want the people in this community to know that, despite the fact that we may never meet, I genuinely care about them and their well being and wish all of the best things for them. In addition to forming connections and spreading as much love as possible, a portion of our proceeds are donated to the Wounded Warrior Project; a foundation extremely close to both my and my husband's heart.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE WHEN STARTING OUT?

Comparison. Comparison, comparison, comparison. The ugly monster that holds creativity back and keeps us from truly seeking out our true potential. I constantly was comparing myself to other designers, photographers, writers, etc. I still struggle with it sometimes, but I have finally arrived in a place where I can push past that to create and search for ways to grow and be better.

DID/DO YOU HAVE ANY MENTORS? OR MAKERS YOU ADMIRED THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

I have made so many amazing friends that have become such an inspiration to me. Three ladies that I carry very close to my heart, Nicole (@nicoleloher), Claire (@clairepayne0102), and Chelsea (@chelseadorsey), are constantly encouraging me and pushing me to be better.  They help me to make Three Leaves Co. what I want it to be, and when I stumble, they don't let me stay down for too long. Aubrey (@aubreyyrenee) has become a soul sister of mine. I admire her ability to write out her heart and share her intentionality about living a wholehearted life. Michelle (@girrlscout) has been a long distance friend for many years, and has been an incredible encouragement to me since Three Leaves Co. began. She and I bounce ideas off of each other and she helps me stay grounded, sassy, and confident.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

In addition to running Three Leaves Co., I also have a full time job in the ER working three to four 12 hour shifts per week.

On the days that I am not at my day job, I am constantly designing, writing, printing, photographing, and doing everything I can to better and grow Three Leaves Co. I do my best to have at least one day per week where I am in the presence of those that are inspiring to me and add value to my life. My days also involve coffee and tea. A lot of coffee and tea.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

I love the connections I've gotten to make with other people; in person, through my Morning Project campaign, and through Instagram. I love the freedom that comes with creating a unique product, and then knowing that product is being well loved by people from all over the world. I love creating something that makes other people feel cozy, loved, and inspired.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Don't stop. Whatever you do, keep pushing.  Keep going. They say that it can take up to two years for you to create something that you're really proud of, to become an expert in your craft. Don't listen. Keep creating, keep pushing. Do everything with love and remember, kindness above all else.


THREE LEAVES CO

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**All images and video courtesy of Three Leaves Co**

Makers for Makers: The Wild Standard

 Photo: Ellie Koleen

Photo: Ellie Koleen

Linsey and Tara are the hard working creative duo behind The Wild Standard producing high quality handmade flags that are guaranteed to stop you in your tracks. That's how I discovered them at least. The flags are simple, natural, and just down right stunning. Linsey and Tara's passion shines through in each stitch. And, let me hit you with a surprise, while the two own the company together, they are separated by many many miles. Drive those miles and you've found yourself halfway across the States.

The two empowering ladies make it work and they are totally killin' it. There are a lot of wonderful handmade products out there from greetings cards to tote bags, but let's be honest, some stand far out from the crowd. And these flags are standing 1,000+ miles ahead of the crowd. So basically Linsey and Tara have taken the miles separating them in their long distance business partnership and used them to get ahead. (Maybe they are onto something here...)

There is no doubt that Linsey and Tara are bold creatives and daring adventurers so we couldn't resist sharing their story here with you. It's worth a listen.


TELL US ABOUT THE WILD STANDARD.

Linsey Metcalf: Hmmm, well, little known fact about us, WS was started up by myself and Tara and we live and work half way across the states from one another. She is in Texas and I am in California. It makes for a lot of late night phone chats and texts but we make it work. I tend to handle business and creative and Tara manages and produces each flag we make: materials, stitching and shipping. We also have a shop dog, Babe, who routinely gets buried in fabric.

 Photo: Grace Adams

Photo: Grace Adams

WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU NEEDED TO BRING THIS DREAM TO REALITY?

Linsey: I think with a lot of our story, we have to give thanks to our friend Phil Sanders. A few years prior to our start, Tara and I had tossed around the idea of collaborating but never found the opportunity with our schedules. Back last July, Phil called me up and asked if I wanted to make a couple flags for Foster, his creative co-working space he was starting up in Atlanta. I began to work up the art and pull materials together and at that point I called up Tara and asked her if she wanted to join in and stitch this thing up for me. She and I finalized all the details, went through a couple prototypes and finally landed on the flag we have today. Our flag in Atlanta had great reception and Tara and I had a great time and worked well together, so we thought we’d give flagmaking a stab. From there we formed The Wild Standard and officially launched last October.

 Photo: Christian Rudman

Photo: Christian Rudman

WHAT ARE THE CORE BELIEFS, VALUES, & OVERALL MISSION THAT DRIVES YOUR COMPANY?

Tara Bauerschlag: I think keeping our friendship the most important, that’s how we started; I would never want business to overshadow any part of what brought us together initially. You always hear stories of people fighting in partnerships, but we make decisions together. We are conscious of each others feelings’, thoughts. We balance each other well, the core of our business is balance, and we keep that in the forefront of everything we do.

Linsey: Yeah, having our company created out of a friendship, I think a lot of our internal goals are about valuing friendship over work, or personal goals. Take care of one another and communicate, especially since we can’t work together in the same room, or even state for that matter. We want to enjoy our work and make a quality product that we are proud of.

 Photo: Grace Adams

Photo: Grace Adams

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE WHEN STARTING OUT?

Tara: The fact that Linsey had to move across the country the week that our business was launching made it slightly hectic to try to find a sweet spot for scheduling when we would make decisions. You never realize how difficult it is to be long distance until you have to make decisions and you aren’t able to go to someone’s house and hash out the details in person.

So during our conference calls and periods of being able to physically work together we try to get as much work done as we can. Even though half of that time is spent eating pizza and talking about boys. And sending each other gifs.

 Photo: Ellie Koleen

Photo: Ellie Koleen

DID/DO YOU HAVE ANY MENTORS? OR MAKERS YOU ADMIRED THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?

Linsey: I often find it difficult to attribute one individual. I tend to find that my life is made up of the influences of so many different people. And as far as makers, a couple personal favorites are Dana Tanamachi-Williams and Christian Watson of 1924us.

Tara: Right now I really enjoy Allison Kunath’s work; she’s the one I’m following closely. Sophie Roach is a great one, she always gets me stoked. And Powwow World Wide; they’re a collective centered around street artists’ work. It’s amazing to see them collaborate to decorate an entire city. Really, anyone pursuing their passion to create something authentic, original, and with their own hands is always inspiring to me.

 Photo: The Happy Hunters

Photo: The Happy Hunters

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?

Tara: Day job first, when I get home I give myself an hour to decompress, and then I start working on Wild Standard. And I keep that going until I can’t see straight. Thankfully I have a lovely man to make me dinner most nights.

Linsey: Ha, right, first the day job. If it is a Monday, Tara and I will typically hop on the phone after work and chat thru our details from the previous week and what is coming up that week. Any other night I might respond to emails, work up files for our printers or draw up custom art for folks OR hang on the back porch with my friends. I’m lucky enough to live next door to some of my closest friends, so good people are never far.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?

Linsey: Meeting new people has been one of the most enjoyable aspects that I didn’t expect. We get to make the most wonderful internet friends thru social media. Sometimes they will come thru town and we will get to hang and other times we just get to support them from afar.

Tara: Freedom of creativity, true collaboration with someone. The decision to own my own business is probably the best decision I could have ever made.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?

Linsey: Find a good team to work with. Do what you love. If you don’t love it, don’t do it.

Tara: Just know, you will never be prepared. Be realistic. Be able to say no. Under promise, over deliver.


THE WILD STANDARD

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**All images courtesy of The Wild Standard unless noted otherwise**

Collaboration: Simple Stamp Branding With Sea of Atlas & Lumi

Shortly after our new Sea of Atlas logo reveal on social media, Lumi reached out to do a fun collaboration. Our whole branding journey has been eye opening and truly directly from our souls so we were anxious to test out our new logo using their custom rubber stamp! The Lumi team was so easy to work with and quick to deliver. I have already been using my stamp on all sorts of items, especially when we ship products out from our shop. It is so nice to be able to just grab the stamp and easily brand all our packaging—envelopes, cotton bags, mailers, etc. I keep dreaming up all sorts of ideas on what else I can use it on and it feels endless. You'll probably see me walking around the city with stamps all over my body soon.

When working with our branding clients I always stress how important the logo is to a company. It is not just something that should look good; it should evoke emotion and strength. By carrying your unique branding throughout all aspects of your business, you give your clients/customers/viewers—whoever your target audience may be—the full brand experience. That makes a huge impact and takes everything to the next level.

Strive to build an empowering brand—one that people will remember.

Our Sea of Atlas branding journey has brought a new sense of clarity to our work. We are happy to stand behind a cohesive style that speaks to our individual story. And we want to extend a huge thank you Lumi for partnering with us to create such a special piece to help bring our new brand to life!

 

LUMI

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Makers for Makers: The Empowering Creative Community & Movement

We are here to introduce a new series to the Sea of Atlas journal called Makers for Makers. We're calling for an empowering creative movement with the hope to bring attention to other makers who continue to inspire us to keep doing what we are doing with all our passion. As artists, illustrators, calligraphers, designers, photographers—whatever craft we identify with—we are all in this creative world together, so let’s gather for some support!

When we started out, it was talking to other makers or reading their stories that helped shape our path. It was inspirational to see other people chasing their passions with all their might. But sadly, we also saw the exact opposite. I had found an ugly side to the community that I was so desperate to be apart of. Competition came out and rather than supportive mentoring, there was a money chase happening. I didn’t like that feeling. When reaching out to other makers, my motives were never about customers or money; it was about building my own creative community with the people I admired.

And since then, I always wanted to be a positive role model through my own journey. When a student or an admirer reaches out, I always respond to offer my support. If someone took the time to reach out to me then it wasn’t truly about me, it was about them. It was about them figuring out their own path—why should anybody tear that down? This is about being a part of an empowering creative movement.

Makers for Makers is about taking a stand as a creative and supporting our own community. It's about highlighting the people who are giving it their all with love and support. It's about trusting us makers to help non-makers spot the ones with beautiful souls helping form a positive impact on a path that isn’t the easiest one to take in life. It's about the hard workers—the ones that get their hands dirty.


HOW TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

+ Read their stories here on our journal as they roll out.

+ Shop their goods or hire them through our directory over on our page, Makers List.

+ Makers (and non-makers too!), use #makersformakers to show your love and support of the makers community. This is meant to be a positive place to show your journey in the makers world to help inspire others. We will be looking there for future features and using the photos every once and awhile on our Instagram to show our support for you all!