The Never Ending Gallery Wall

As I've been working to finish off my

gallery wall

, it hasn't been feeling quite 'right'. It needed something and I just couldn't place my finger on what it was. 

I've shared my original gallery wall on here several times (most recently

here

&

here

) and I'm still totally in love with it. So stumbling with this 'expansion', if you will, left me feeling a bit unsure.

I've worked with

minted

a few times, so when they reached out to help me with my art problem, I realized this was the perfect chance to get out of my rut. You can see a bit of my plan above (to scale! With door, sconce, light switch & baseboards haha) and I love the idea of creating the wall around one or two 'big' pieces. That beauty front & centre is over 30"x30" and will be the perfect focal point. Everything else is a mix of prints I already own, prints I'm planning to buy (I really could do a whole wall of gorgeous

photos from Paris by Anna

:) and a few from minted too. I love the mix of old, new, and personal touches, with a dash of quirky thrown in!

You know I'll be posting on

Instagram

the second I get everything hung up, but until then, you can explore all my gallery wall shenanigans on Instagram with the hashtags

#gallerywallfordays

&

#neverendinggallerywall

Ps, if you love that '

Done is Better Than Perfect

' print I own, make sure you

enter to win

one for yourself! The

giveaway

ends tonight!

xo

Disclaimer: minted is providing me with the art to complete this project, but all thoughts, opinions & ambitious gallery wall ideas are my own ;)

Artist Feature: Kelsey of Pinegate Road (+ Giveaway!)

Good morning!

Six months ago, Kelsey opened her shop and I was instantly smitten. Beautiful calligraphy, unique quality, gorgeous materials - I mean, how could anyone not be? You may even have seen evidence of my love on Instagram - here, here & here - so clearly it's for real ;)

I was so excited when Kelsey agreed to an interview. Her work is gorgeous and the story behind Pinegate Road is beautiful - I know you'll love it!



What inspired you to open your shop?
I've always dreamed of creating my own products. Working with my hands has always come naturally and is something that I love doing. As I started going down the rabbit hole of working on Pinegate Road, there were several mantras that I came back to time and time again that helped me along my personal creative journey. Taking my love for hand-lettering, my need for a hand-made project, and the thought of creating products inspired me to create these prints.


Where did the name 'Pinegate Road' come from?
I really need to get on adding this to my about page ;) Pinegate Road is the road where I had my first 'home.' Growing up, I moved around a lot. By the time I was 9, I had lived in 5 states and 6 cities. Around this same time, my mom found out she had cancer. It was a huge shock to my parents, and this had them evaluate where they were at in life and what dreams they wanted to live out. My mom always wanted to raise her kids back in her hometown on Lake Erie, and my dad had always wanted to run his own business. My parents, my brother, and I moved up to Pennsylvania where my mom successfully beat cancer, and my dad started a thriving business. Pinegate Road is where our start as a family came to be, and my Pinegate Road is where I started coming to be as a designer. Pinegate Road hold such sentiment to me, and I love that it's a symbol of new beginnings and following life-long dreams.

'Be Brazen'
What drew you to your chosen mediums of lettering & stamping for your prints?
I wanted to create something that was unique and that had a hand-made element to it. Both my day job and Pinegate Road have me working very digitally, and reconnecting with physical processes was something that was important to me when starting this side project. At the same time, I needed something that was easy enough to duplicate. I studied block printing a bit in undergrad, and knew that a mix of stamping and block printing would give me a unique result that I could replicate for prints.

'Make A Mess'
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints?
I didn't expect these to turn in to a shop! Last summer I was asked to come to the Weapons of Mass Creation fest here in Cleveland as a featured artist. As part of the arrangement, I was to submit three posters to their gallery show to be on display. I could have used old work, but I treated this as a new project and went to work brainstorming. Creative process is always on my mind, so creating helpful ways to work through process in the form of mantras was what I became drawn to. On three of the prints, you'll see that they have 'the ticket project' written on them. My idea here was that these would each serve as a person 'golden ticket' to going for your dreams. I'm not sure how much I love that this is on there now, but hey, it's the creative process and I can always adjust later!

'Done is Better Than Perfect'
What is your favourite item in your store? 
'done is better than perfect' for sure. I love the way it fits on the page for a print, and it is something I constantly have to remind myself.


What's next for you and/or your shop? Where do you see your shop heading? 
For now, I'm taking a little break. I'll still be selling the prints that I have, but I'm focusing on bigger business plans and goals for Pinegate Road as a whole. I'm hoping to fit a month-long free span from side work this summer to brainstorm next steps. One thing I have been thinking about is selling downloads of black and white large format prints that you could then get printed yourself through a drafting printer on the cheap. I love working large scale, and this would be a feasible way for me to provide that to the world without having to manage the shipping. We will see :)

'The First Step'
Any tips for aspiring calligraphers and/or print shop owners?
Practice, practice, practice, and don't be afraid of not being perfect right off the bat! I feel so many people are paralyzed by things not being 'good enough' or perfect enough that they never start. Start with baby steps, and don't be afraid of the journey. You have no idea where you'll end up, and that's part of the fun!

********
So lovely right? And AMEN to just starting and learning and figuring it out as you go - story of my life ;)

I mean, I knew Kelsey was awesome since we've become 'instagram friends', but this interview was one of my favourites. Thankyou so much Kelsey!!

GIVEAWAY time!! Kelsey has offered one of you the chance to win any print in her shop! Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below. (or click here if it doesn't show up)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out Kelsey's blog, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for more gorgeous peeks into her work & life (she has the cutest puppy!) 

xo

Artist Feature: Melissa of Sweet Water Decor

Spring is finally blooming here and I am so excited! There's buds on the trees, flowers are starting to bloom & the cold days of winter seem to finally be over. Today's artist feature is full of florals & whimsical design - a perfect compliment to this time of year :)

Melissa reached out to me about her shop, Sweet Water Decor, and I knew it was a perfect fit the moment I opened her shop. It is full of my favourite fonts, happy prints & cheeky mugs. She was even sweet enough to offer a discount that you can find at the bottom of the post, so read on!


What inspired you to open your shop?
I got engaged in September and was going through all of my stuff and actually decided to open my shop to sell my acrylic paintings. From there I started adding art prints, save the dates, wedding invitations, mugs + stamps! Searching for my own save-the-dates on Etsy, I started looking around and thought, I could definitely design these myself! I took photoshop classes in high school and have a natural talent for art. When I was younger I wanted to be a designer. I combined that with my merchandising background - being a buyer for a major retailer, and voila! My shop was born. I imagine brides like me shopping at my shop. The girls that love a little bit of glamour mixed with shabby chic with a modern twist. I love getting inspiration and use my fashion background to come up with some of my ideas for the shop. I just opened my second Etsy stop - Stamps Lux - where I sell stamps exclusively.

Mr & Mrs Mugs
What is the process of creation like?
I first get inspiration, either while walking in my beautiful small town, Starbucks coffee in hand... to washing dishes...ideas come to me. I even have these little notebooks that I carry with me or are by my bedside that I jot design ideas as I get them before I go to bed. From my idea I create it in photoshop and bring it to live. I love it when I see my own designs on paper or on my mugs instead of just in a picture. We print all of our mugs, and it's so exciting to see a final product!

Ashleigh Suite - Printable Wedding Invitations
Your work features some gorgeous typefaces, do you have any favourites currently?
I use a lot of Carolyna Pro - it's perfect for weddings! But I've fallen in love with Jacques & Gilles and even used them for my own invitations! Emily Lime creates such beautiful fonts - I'm pretty sure she's my best friend I never met.

Strong Beautiful Brave Mug
also available as a print!
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints or other products?
My strong, brave, beautiful, courageous mug and print is one of my absolute favorites. It came to me while washing dishes honestly! I pictured in my mind the woman my mom raised me to be - strong, brave, beautiful & courageous. I added an arrow as well to top it off! Each word has a different font, really bringing out what I hope to inspire other women to be. It was so great to hear from one of my customers, she bought this mug for herself and one for her friend. She wanted to thank me as she was going through fertility treatments and her friend was going through cancer. I hope to touch all of my customers and it really makes me know that God has put me where he wants me - designing & making beautiful works to share with & inspire others.

Hello Sunshine Print
What is your favourite item in your store?
I have so many, but if I had to pick...
My favorite mug is our Mr. & Mrs. mugs. My favorite print is my Hello Sunshine print.

Be Still & Know Print
********

Melissa was sweet enough to offer you all 20% off her mugs with the code 'MUG20'. She has some seriously cute mugs - I was tempted by more than a few haha

You can find Sweet Water Decor on Facebook & Instagram.

xo

Buying & Curating Art

A few weeks ago, I posted the 'story' of

my gallery wall

. This wall has grown quite a bit since it started, and my philosophy is to always buy art that I love. If something doesn't 'speak' to me, it doesn't make the cut - otherwise I'd have enough art to fill this wall 10 times over ;)

I also love supporting creatives & small businesses, so that's where pretty much all of my art has come from. These shops are full of SO much talent - too much talent to keep hidden - so I'm sharing where all my art has come from over the years. Some pieces are no longer available, but maybe you'll find something you love even more!

hover over the photo to see the corresponding numbers

1. '

31 Rue Chanel

' - Leigh Viner

2. my own photo

Keys -

Michael's

3. '

Be Brave

' - Charm & Gumption

4. 'Dans Mon Reve de Paris' -

Eye Poetry Photography

5. my own photo

6. '

The Royal Mile

' - artquirk

7. '

Twilight Blue

' - Leigh Viner

8. 'Weeping Cherry' -

Sunny Lee Studio

9.

Balzac's Coffee

10. my own painting

11. my own painting

12. '

Silence & Noise

' - Leigh Viner

13. '

Paolo Roversi Series 1

' - Leigh Viner

14. '

Rivoli

' - Leigh Viner

15. 'I left my heart in Paris' -

Eye Poetry Photography

Metal 'B'

- Anthropologie

16. photo from an old calendar

17. my own photo

Mirror - vintage

18. my own painting

19. letter from a friend

20. 'Three Keys' -

Renee Ann

21. 'It's All Messy' -

Top Knot Weddings

22. '

God is Good

' - SS Print Shop

23. my own photo

24. '

Paris Street Shop 1

' - Minted

Most of these stores have really reasonable prices, but if you just don't have much to invest in art yet, I would suggest looking for a bulk discount (like BOGO) or waiting for a sale. Most shops will also offer some sort of first time purchase discount or a code when you sign up for their newsletter.

If you've never purchased on Etsy before, use

this link

to get $5 off your first purchase. I love & recommend all the shops listed above, but if you're in need of more inspiration: 

Pinegate Road

,

ohmydeer

,

The Paris Print Shop

,

Emily McDowell

, & all the

shops I've interviewed

are great places to start your art search.

Minted is currently running a spring promo for 15% off sitewide (including all their artwork!) until the 16th. If you need some ideas: there's a few other 

Paris street scenes

that are so sweet; I have

this guy

hanging on my other wall (see him

here

); waiting to find a frame for

this one

and

this one

too. And I always love a good floral! This

watercolour one

, this

painted one

, and this one of

lily of the valley

are all on my favourites list.

What are your favourite places to buy art? I'm always on the lookout for gorgeous new pieces to add :)

xo

The Story of a Gallery Wall

I love a good gallery wall (if you follow me on Instagram you already know that!) and I have to admit I'm pretty proud of mine. But it's not something that happened overnight. It has been collected & curated over 3 years and it's still not quite finished - there's a good chance it never will be 'done' - but I've learned a lot along the way.

I shared this thought a few months ago with a photo of my wall & it's still true now:

Wherever you are, remember that all good things take time. This gallery (which, lets be honest, is so not important compared to many things) took over 3 years. And there were many moments of not-so-pretty (and more than a few extra holes in the wall) to get it to this point. Things take time - nothing in life happens overnight. So keep asking and seeking and working, you'll get there soon.

All the photos I could find of my gallery over the past 3 years - along with my thoughts on collecting & curating your own gallery are below.


The two prints that started it all. I bought these prints from Leigh Viner during a holiday sale after admiring them for years.

Here's another shot from mid-2012 - link.

Hopefully you can see the evolution in the photos above, but it grew pretty slowly. At one point, I decided I was not happy with the arrangement, so everything came down and I planned it out with paper. I mixed up the frames, the type of art, and the colours to try & achieve a more 'balanced' look.

Below are some daylight shots (and so you can see the blue I used to have!) and the reason you usually don't see my desk - haha! Thankfully I have more storage under my desk now so it doesn't get that bad, but oh man.

You have no idea how happy I was to finally

paint over that blue

! I purposely made sure I liked the frame arrangement before I painted so I could fill in all the holes I'd made over the years. The soft grey has made the biggest difference, and I could not be happier with how it turned out!

Starting to look a little more familiar, non? Some of the photos were switched, and I finally finished the bottom half of the wall (that took far too long to decide what to do with!), but here's what it looks like now:

Full of things that I love, that inspire me, motivate me and make me smile. I love waking up to this view every morning! And that blank wall you can kind of see in the mirror? Not so blank

anymore

! #cantstopwontstop

So, after 3 years & many nails holes later, what are my

gallery guidelines

?

ONE

// Pick art that you love, that speaks to you in some way. It will all come together.

TWO

// Try different 'mediums': photography, illustration, paintings, originals, text, etc.

THREE

// Let it grow organically. Start small, & build as you go.

FOUR

// Paper templates are great, but eventually you just need to:

FIVE

// Get out that hammer & do it! Guess what happens if you make too many holes? Nothing. Fill them in & try again (or just hang another frame overtop ;)

And one bonus tip: make it yours! Use your own photos, paint a little canvas, find something that can't be bought anywhere else. These are often the sweetest touches, & it also means that no one can recreate it :)

You can see some more shots of the wall on Instagram under the hashtag

#gallerywallfordays

 & follow me

@brittdouglas_ 

to see the updates I've been working on.

Where do you stand on gallery walls? If you've got one of your own, share a link in the comments or tag me on Instagram. I would love to see!

xo

Artist Feature: Tracey Cameron (+ Giveaway!)

In my first year of blogging, I did a little post featuring several images with a 'peacock' theme. Sadly several of the image url's have been removed, but the peacock print I featured has been hugely popular on Pinterest!

I received several questions about it, so I reached out to the artist letting her know & updated the post with where the print could be bought. Just a few weeks ago, Tracey reached out letting me know she had a few new paintings up in her shop & I am so thrilled to share them with you all today!! I just love full circle moments like this :)

Peacock
What inspired you to open your shop?
I opened my shop, and make art in general, to help people create inspiring and positive homes and living spaces. I hope my art work will help them feel a little more enlivened and optimistic about the everyday world. It's not about creating or maintaining an image of perfection but celebrating the imperfect joy that surounds us if we just take a moment to breath and let it in.

Chickadee
What is the process of creation like?
I start each project with a spark of inspiration, usually from nature, and then I like to sketch out a composition with pencil crayons. I use a new colour of pencil for each revision creating a layered colourful line drawing which I will then transfer to cold pressed Fabriano water-colour paper. From there it's a matter of being loose and quick with the painting process but allowing enough dry time in between the layers so I'm not always painting wet to wet but not wet to dry either. The paper needs to be slightly damp so the edges retain a certain hardness when the colours bleed and mix with layer underneath. From there it's a matter repetition and experimentation. I will then scan the painting and digitally enhance it a bit by either adding or taking away layers and cleaning some of the splatters.
Circle Peacock
Most (if not all) of the prints in your shop are watercolour. What do you love/hate about using that medium?
I supremely love the fluid and bleedy nature of watercolour, but your right there is a little bit of hate in there too. You can try and control watercolour, but it's best to guide it and then take a step back and let the medium do what it wants to do. For me it's like life and a lesson in detachment. You can't be too concerned with the outcome and have to see the beauty in the surprises and lack of control. And not to mention be willing to do the painting five times until you get it just right!

Horizontal Peacock
There are currently three peacock prints in your store, what drew you to paint them?
I was inspired to pant a peacock after a trip to the Calgary Zoo. At the zoo there are two or three roaming peacocks and on a visit there with my boyfriend one peacock decided to spread his magnificent tail right in front of us. I loved the colour, the texture and the drama of that moment and tried to combine it with something modern by using the paisley pattern. I did three versions just to explore the colours and shapes in different directions.

As you can tell by my shop I am very interested in birds. I was even nicknamed the "bird lady" by one client as they are my preferred subject matter. I think it's because birds and the ability to fly represent freedom to me. Not too mention all the size and colour variations that are present in the bird world, I'll never get bored.

Vulture
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints?
It was on my Vulture paining that I discovered how the bleeds of water-colour can mimic the texture of feathers and from there an passion for birds was born :)

Ombre Ravens
What is your favourite item in your store?
My favourite print in the store is the Ombre Ravens. I love the rose colour of the background combined with the blue purple of the birds, and the gradation I was able to achieve on such a large scale. The original painting is 20" by 30" and currently hangs in my house.

********

Thankyou so much Tracey! Be sure to visit her shop here to see more of her gorgeous work.

Tracey has very generously offered to give TWO people TWO of her bestselling prints! Peacock & Circle Peacock could be yours :) Enter through the Rafflecopter box below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

xo


Artist Feature: Randa of I See Noise

I know many of you across the border will be celebrating Thanksgiving today, but for those that aren't (or for those popping in here before dessert ;) I have a really shiny artist feature today!

I See Noise is a shop full of gorgeous, shiny, metallic prints that have this crackled effect that makes them so unique. (Along with inspirational quotes and fashion illustrations!) Randa has a serious eye for design & I'm so excited to be featuring her shop today!!

What inspired you to open your shop? Who do you imagine shopping there?
When I first opened up the I See Noise shop on Etsy, I didn't intend for anything to happen. In fact, I thought it was just something fun to do. After my first order my parents said to me "Randa, you don't know what you have here. This is going to be huge!" I thought okay...okay... thanks parentals!

I was unemployed when I made my first prints and made them for myself. My blog readership from the-unprecedented.com saw the images and immediately asked to purchase them. I took the chance and said "They're available in 2 weeks". This was my chance to call something my own - that's what inspired me.

I imagined a girl who sips lattes, likes to dress up herself and her home and enjoys all things sparkly would purchase my prints. That's the girl who I was when I was first started. I have grown so much since then and so have my shoppers. It's such a wide selection of women and men who purchase my prints now!

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful
What is the process of creation like?
Unfortunately, that is something that I keep very hush hush. But I can tell you that the inspiration process is super fun! I'm always inspired by my Pinterest board, my friends and family and as of late - a sleek minimal design. I'm currently working on collaborations with other artists, so bringing in their aesthetic has been inspiring.

Chanel No. 5
The majority of your shop is full of foil prints, what is it that you love about the metallic medium?
The foil prints are what I started with. I was in awe of the texture and loved how they looked when the light hit them just right. I was the first shop in Canada to open up with foil prints so it was something I had never seen before - I just thought it was so special!

Vintage Perfume Bottle
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints?
I like this question haha it reminds me of all of the prints that I thought were cool and they just were not! The mens collection was my 'aha' moment. I always had women ask me for custom orders for their husbands because the felt left out - awe! So, I started an entire collection just for them.

Lipstick Kiss
What is your favourite item in your store?
That's a really hard question! I really do adore so many of them but my most favourites are... The skull, diamond, whiskey bottles, lipstick kiss, find beauty quote, logic doesn't produce magic quote, black Chanel nail polish and the Chanel bag.

********

Thankyou so much Randa!! I love that you just took a chance when you're readers asked & gave yourself 2 weeks to figure it out! Nothing like a kick in the pants to get to work!

All of Randa's foil prints come in silver & gold, and she even has a few illustrations too! Be sure to follow along on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook to stay up to date on all her new collections. And you must check out her shop - there's so much more than  the few prints I've shared in this post.

I am loving my 'Diamond' & 'Vintage Perfume Bottle' prints - the foil is gorgeous in real life & the 'crackle' effect gives it just a little edge. A gallery wall is never quite finished ;)

xo,
B

'Diamond' & 'Perfume Bottle' photographs by Britt Douglas, all others from I See Noise

Artist Feature: Alyssa of Banded Arrow

Taking a break from the world of art prints, today's featured artist has a shop full of beautiful cards! I think sending & receiving physical notes is such a wonderful change of pace to the very digital nature of my usual correspondence.

Alyssa's shop is full of beautiful cards (her new holiday collection is below!) and her unfussy design approach is inspiring. Read on to find out more about her shop & get a little discount too!


What inspired you to open your shop?
I have always loved crafting and cardmaking, and I majored in Art at Hillsdale College, so it's always been in the back of my mind. I was really into Stampin' Up for awhile, but I always felt so limited by the specific range of colors and stamps. One day, I decided to branch out and design my own cards, and that's where it all started. I'm pretty picky about what I like, so I try to make cards for those with similar design tastes. Beautiful colors, strong lines, good balance, nothing too fussy. My goal is simply to create beautifully designed, boldly colored stationery.

Monogram Stationery
What is the process of creation like?
It usually starts with a pattern or a shape. I love patterns, and I have sketchbooks full of pattern doodles, so when inspiration strikes, I'll sit down and draw something out. It doesn't mean I'll use that pattern right away, but whenever I need a new card, I'll often go back to old patterns and work it in to my current project. Once I have a good drawing, I scan it into Illustrator and finish the card layout in Photoshop. After that, I try not to revise too much. I really like the "not quite perfect" look, I guess. Once the card reaches this point, then design process is basically over, and the printing process of making and printing through the screens starts.

'Waves' Happy Birthday
Where do you find your inspiration? What do you do/where do you go when you're in a creative 'rut'?
As with all work, there are moments when nothing is working and I just feel incredibly frustrated. Whenever this happens, I head over to my local state park for a hike. It's amazing what even a short walk can do to clear my head. I'll spend my walking time not thinking about work, I just try to focus on the colors and shapes and feelings that I have while I'm in the park. By the time I get back to my house, I'm much more relaxed and focused, and more often than not, I have new ideas for the projects I'm working on.

You're my Boo!
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your cards?
One of my biggest sources of inspiration is actually my husband. He has really great ideas, and he's usually got something when I tell him I'm stuck. My only Halloween card is a perfect example. I really wanted to make a Halloween card, and I nothing that I had been doing was working. So I asked Sam and he said "You should do something with ghosts." And from there, the whole card was born. I know it sounds silly, but usually that's all I need to get an idea moving.

Peace on Earth
What is your favourite item in your store?
My green and gold Peace On Earth card is my favorite one right now. For one thing, I love the colors, and I think this card has a really nice balance of all three. But my favorite thing is that it's just so calm and simple. I really worked hard on this one not to overdo anything, but to simply let the shapes and words speak for themselves, and it think I was pretty successful with that. And, I just love Christmas :)

'Ombre' Thank You
********

Thankyou so much Alyssa! She has kindly offered 20% off her entire shop for the rest of the month with the code 'GALLERY20'.

You can follow along with Alyssa on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram to see behind-the-scenes and get sneak peeks when new collections are released!

xo,
B

Artist Feature: Crystal of The Cerulean Room

When Crystal reached out a little while ago to spread the word about her prints in support of lung cancer, I knew her shop would be perfect for an artist feature! She has a gorgeous way with watercolour, and her 'beautiful lungs' are just that - I love that she created them to support a wonderful cause too!

********
Elephant Smile
What inspired you to open your shop? 
I started my first Etsy art shop when I became a university student to see if I could use my art to help pay for the little things like art supplies, books...food. There was a big learning curve, and despite the low return at the time, I really loved selling my art online. Now, no longer a student, I've grown a ton and found I still love connecting to people online through my art. When someone buys a piece of my art, I know they have found something that they love enough to find a place for in their lives. If they tell me it's a gift for someone else, that's even more amazing, because they saw a little bit of someone else in my artwork. Selling online is fantastic because I never know where my prints will ship to. I love that distance and language isn't a problem anymore, and for my shop, art is the universal language it's translated into anyway.

Giraffe
What is your process of creation like?
A lot of chaos, a lot of mess, and a lot of work. Also much much joy. I have to be working on many projects at once in order to be creative, otherwise I hit roadblocks. This means I'm jumping around from piece to piece, and often the ideas and themes end up rubbing off on each other. As well, my artwork includes a huge variety of mediums and techniques; pencil, oils, glazes, charcoal, encaustic, watercolor, digital...mixing these together to create unexpected results is where my true place of creation lives. If a piece isn't working, or lacks inspiration, I can turn to a new material and start slapping ink on it, or experiment with crayon, and sometimes that becomes the breakthrough. It also stops me from creating too many “rules” for my art, which leads to certain death for that work. When I can build something in a new way that conveys emotion, mood, or a story, then I know it can connect with people.

Ink Sketch Pillow
What inspired you to create a collection that gives back to the BC Cancer Foundation? 
There are a number of people that I know who are fighting or who have fought cancer and seeing how strong they are, I want to help battle it as well. Some of these people I have known my whole life, some are co-workers, and some are facebook buddies. The BC Cancer Foundation, in BC Canada, is where these friends are getting help from. Creating friendly and unique “no smoking” signs is my way of giving people a choice towards keeping themselves and those they love healthy. In BC a law was passed that prohibits smoking in any indoor public area, but not everywhere in the world has laws like that to help protect people. Lung cancer is the more prevalent cause of cancer related deaths in the US, and if you work or live around smoking areas you have a 30% higher chance of developing it.

Beautiful Lungs
The 'lungs' you've created are beautiful, what did the design process look like? 
The “Beautiful Lungs” artwork grew from both a design and a human standpoint. I wanted to show part of the human body in a different way; a playful, bright and graphic way. Some of the design ideas came from toys I remember having as a kid, like that Fisher Price ball popping push toy, or those bright colored wooden puzzles. I thought that showing your lungs as something beautiful would make people see them as something to take care of better. The artwork is a compilation of acrylic, graphite and ink mediums digitally mixed to create the final piece.

Humpback Whale
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints? 
The whale prints in my shop were a surprise. I am a huge lover of sketchbooks, and have about twenty at a time. Because I work in wet mediums as well as pencil, they sometimes take a while to dry and I need other options while that's happening. My desk will often be covered in open sketchbooks with pages in various states of completion. The whales started as quick studies, which became collage experiments, which ended up including charcoal and glaze and rice paper from some packaging I'd hung onto. Eventually I realized they were actually turning into something meaningful, so I scanned them into my computer. At that point I also had a huge folder of digital photos I'd taken of street textures like rust and concrete. Mixing the two was a bit of an accident in wabi-sabi and good timing, but the textures really finished the whales somehow. I like the idea that these underwater creatures are now mixed with decidedly above ground textures like rusty drain covers and peeling paint. You never know where an idea will come from, so you can't really say no when your trying things out.

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Thankyou so much Crystal!

You can check out more of her work in her shop - she has so many more prints than I was able to fit in today! - and her range of t-shirts & prints benefitting the BC Cancer Foundation can be found here. Stay in touch on Twitter, or see what else she's working on on her blog.

xo,
B

Artist Feature: Stephanie Creekmur

I hope you guys are feeling Southern today! Or should I say 'y'all'? :)

I'm so thrilled to have Stephanie Creekmur here talking all things Southern & lovely. Her shop is full of Southern charm and I can't wait for y'all to see...


What inspired you to open your shop? 
I started my business in 2009 and back then I started offering custom design. After a couple of years I realized that wasn't the route I wanted to take my business and I had a desire to create products to be used in my own home and studio. I'm passionate about creating beautiful things and I know the greatest joy is found when you show love to others. I hope that passion is evident in everything we do at Stephanie Creekmur

Bless Your Heart - Rose Gold Foil Print
Goodness gracious, I adore the southern charm of your shop! What is your favourite thing about the South? 
It's hard to pick only one thing, but I think I'll go with the hospitality that's found down here. While I know firsthand it's not singular to the south, having grown up in a small farming town in southwest, Ohio, it definitely is present below the Mason Dixon in a big way. Someone is always baking a casserole or offering a glass of sweet iced tea and it's nearly impossible to meet a "stranger". And I think I'll cheat and add that I also love the old fashioned, southern sayings. They are SO fun and I can't get enough of them! Which is pretty evident if you take a look at my products!

SC Manifesto No. 6
What is the process of creation like? 
I love words and uplifting phrases/quotes. I have journals and notebooks everywhere and when something comes to mind - whether I come up with it on my own or I hear it in a song or at the grocery store - I write it down. I hand letter just about all of our products and when I sit down with my sketchbook I flip through my journals until I come across something I want to letter. I'm also very inspired by nature - specifically flowers!

Hey Y'all Print
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints or other items?
This isn't about the creation of a product, but how it helped me get on people's radar. A little over a year ago I was contacted by Atlanta based, interior designer, Kristin Jackson. She was working on a project that was designing a room for girls transitioning out of the foster care system. She asked if I was interested in donating my Hey Y'all print and without knowing what a rockstar Kristin was, I said yes! It turned out to be a major turning point in my business. The day she posted the room reveal just so happened to be my last day at my part-time job. My orders tripled that day and while I would still be happy to have contributed had it not helped my sales, I can't thank her enough for asking me to be a part of that project! It truly was a game changer.

Southern Sayin' Note Set
What is your favourite item in your store? 
It’s hard for me to choose a favorite because truthfully the products I design are born out of a need or want in my own life. I really love everything and it covers my desk and walls. But, if I have to pick a favorite I’d say my gold foil Hey Y’all print. I’ve been blessed with some pretty huge online press and I think it’s been really crucial in getting my shop on people’s radar.

Love One Another
You recently unveiled a new website & rebranding! What's next for you & your shop? 
We're gearing up for Christmas (I know, I know! It's still summer!) and working on expanding our wholesale line. We are also working on a few collaboration projects to debut a Stephanie Creekmur wedding collection as well as some fun graphics to spruce up your photos!

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Thankyou so much Stephanie! I loved hearing the story about your 'Hey Y'all' print, and I'm seriously crushing on that rose gold 'Bless Your Heart' print!! I've never seen rose gold foil prints but they look gorgeous!

Stephanie has so kindly offered you guys 20% off with the code 'GALLERYNO8'!

Be sure to check out her shop for more Southern goodness :) And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

xo,
B

Artist Feature: Rachel Marvin Creative

You guys. Today's artist feature combines everything I love - florals, fonts, and a dose of absolutely loveliness! Rachel of Rachel Marvin Creative creates some of the most beautiful invitation suites I've ever seen - just wait til you see them below!!


What inspired you to open your shop?
After designing my own wedding invitations and creating and assembling each piece personally by hand, I fell in love with the process and the way contemporary design and classic paper making came together. Having just graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design & Illustration, I was working for myself as a freelance designer/illustrator, while dabbling in art prints and small stationery projects on the side. With the arrival of our daughter, Skye, there arose a desire to stay home to embrace the joys of motherhood while still continuing to pursue my interests in design and illustration. I then decided to take this desire along with my design background and love for illustration and printed goods and make it into a full time, home-based business. Since then, my small, one-woman studio has slowly developed into this design and print shop, and has continued to grow as I have come to love what I do!
Vintage Bike Print
What is the process of creation like?
My creative process varies depending on many factors, but usually begins with some form of inspiration, whether that be from other design trends, fashion, nature, God + my family.

Sometimes I will sit on an idea without working on it for weeks, grabbing a little inspiration here and there and waiting for the concept to evolve before even going to my computer or sketch book. Other times I just feel like creating something new without any idea of what I am going to achieve; just seeing what can happen with a blank page and pen or tablet is such a great and inspiring thing in and of itself.

Woodland Floral Invitation
Your invitation suites are absolutely stunning, where do you get the inspiration for them?
Much of my inspiration at the moment comes from a mixture of classic, botanical etchings and modern, clean-cut geometric shapes. I love mixing the two. Having studied the age-old process of letterpress printing and art mediums such as watercolor + oil painting and graphite rendering during my college career, I tend to enjoy mixing organic appeal and hand-lettered styling with the more contemporary trends of bold typography and bright colors. I like to think this contrast blends nicely to create a whimsical and nostalgic aesthetic.

Nautical Anchor Invitation
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your products?
The backstory for the Nautical Invitation Collection I have up in my shop was actually the best "aha!" moment for me, because it was the first wedding suite I created, laying the foundation to what my shop is today. It was actually a custom project for a friend from high school, which I worked on not long after creating my own wedding invitations. It was kind of like the icing on the cake as far as assuring me that this was something I loved doing. It made me realize that this was the perfect way for me to utilize both my love for illustration and design, combining them to represent wonderful events and moments in life.

Little Squirt Invitation
What is your favourite item in your store?
At this time, my personal favorite is a toss between two items from my Nursery/Baby shower collection - My Animal Parade Art Print + Little Squirt Baby Shower Invitation, only because these both represent personal events that I look back on with fond happiness. The Art print is actually a version of the First Birthday Invitations I made for my daughter, and the whale invitations are also drawn from the invites I made for her baby shower. So as you can see, I definitely create things that I would put in my own daughter's nursery. That all goes back to what really inspires what I do!

Animal Parade Print
What's next for you & your shop?
As far as what is next, I am hoping to be able to just continue what I am doing and in the meantime create new pieces and also develop as an illustrator and designer. God has truly blessed me with such an amazing opportunity to be able to do what I love while still being a part of my daughter's day to day life. My shop has already become much more than I ever imagined it would be, and I am very excited to see what the future holds.

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Thankyou so much Rachel! I loved hearing more about how your shop came to be - can't wait to see what you create next!

You can keep in touch with Rachel on Etsy & her website (which is launching soon!).

What's your favourite from her shop? I love her art prints,  but I think my favourite is still her Woodland Floral invitation suite :)

xo,
B


Artist Love: Chelcey of WhatThePrint (+ Giveaway!!)

The first thing I think of when I visit Chelcey's shop, WhatThePrint, is fun. Her shop is so fun! From cheeky hashtags, to colourful florals and lovely motivational prints, she has everything and keeps it fun & fresh. So excited to have Chelcey here on the blog today! And there's a little giveaway for you too :)



What inspired you to open your shop?
I started my shop on a whim after moving into my first apartment in 2011. I searched everywhere for affordable art prints, and finally just decided to try my hand at making my own. From that point forward I fell in love with the design process and typography. It is incredible to me how quickly my shop has grown! My motivation comes from my drive to do what I love for a living. I don't believe in wasting your day away doing something that you can't stand just to make a pay check. I want to be able to support myself and my future family based on a creative business that I have built. I believe in creating a life that you love and that everyone should follow their personal bliss in life. This shop just happens to be something that I am wildly passionate about.

Bloom Where You Are Planted
What is the process of creation like?
I typically start off pinning to a mood or typography board on Pinterest and end up getting distracted by things on Instagram. I have always been a very visual person so I have to be careful not to draw too much inspiration from these places. A lot of my designs come from a to-do list in my notebook that I keep with me at all times to jot down ideas as they come. I draw inspiration from what's going on in my life at that moment and the current trends in the creative world. From there, I sketch the design out in my sketchbook. Depending on the look I'm going for I will either switch over to my computer and design it digitally with fonts, or I will use a brush pen and paper to make the design come to life.

Do All Things With Love
A lot of your work features awesome type, do you have a favourite font? 
I am loving the fonts Libby and Kailey lately! They seem to be popping up everywhere in my work. I am working on perfecting my hand lettering and just started dabbling in calligraphy so those two are pretty high on my list!

Hashtag Selfie
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints?
Absolutely! I was goofing around one day and just started writing out things like "#selfie" and "#ootd" when I decided on a new print line! The social media hashtag prints are pretty high on my favorites list right now, and I love that they weren't planned out at all. I'm hoping to add to this collection as time goes on. They're just so fun!

Love What You Do
What is your favourite item in your store?
My favorite item right now is my "Love What You Do" hand lettered print. It is the first print that I launched of my hand lettered collection and it is a concept that really resonates with me as I work towards building my brand and businesses.
Creative Minds
What's next for you & your shop?
I have very big plans for WhatThePrint in the next few months! I am working on new designs every day and I am beginning to add printing services for those who would rather have a print shipped to their front door. I will also be adding a one of a kind section to my shop in the near future where you will find original hand lettered prints, canvases, pillow covers and more!

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Thankyou so much Chelcey! I love that you followed your passion & opened your shop! Your love of design definitely shows through your work :) Can't wait to see your new products!

If you'd like to win a downloadable print from Checley, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out Checey's blog (which is gorgeous by the way!!) and stay up to date on her shop on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. And if you can't wait to download a print, Chelcey has kindly offered 10% off with the code WTP10!

xo,
B