FEATURE FRIDAY

Feature Friday: Emily Keating Snyder

Happy Feature Friday! 

This week we are featuring artist, Emily Keating Snyder! We love her playful approach to her artwork and how she lets her pieces reflect the imperfections of the human hand. Katie was kind enough to tell us a little more about herself, her artistic journey and her pieces. She also made an awesome video to teach you some of the techniques she uses in her watercolor paintings! You have to check it out, especially if you’ve been wanting to get into watercolors, but haven’t been sure how to approach them. Emily will give you the confidence to give it a try and experiment – what artists do best!


“I’m a colorful artist, designer, and art party hostess in Los Angeles. Playfulness and a good sense of humor are huge in my life. My favorite materials to work with are paper, paint, watercolor, collage, and embroidery. I believe strongly in the importance of working with our hands and not being too precious with art. After studying art and art history as part of my custom concentration at NYU, I had a few different art world jobs then made the leap to independent creative (and doggie caregiver) a few years ago. I’ve been grateful to show my work in New York, LA, and other major cities and to be featured by Saatchi Art and The Etsy Blog… and here on Castle Foundations!

I’ve been making art my entire life and to this day the best creative advice I’ve ever gotten was from my kindergarten art teacher. Whenever we were working on a project and wanted to rip it up and start all over after one misplaced tempera paint mark, she would say, “Turn your mistakes into something else.” I don’t think it was purely out of encouragement or necessarily kindness. It probably had more to do with needing to ration an entire school’s paper supply, but it has always stayed in my head and helped curb perfectionism in my art for 25 years.

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Maker Monday: Juleco Design

Happy Maker Monday!

This Monday we are featuring Julie McClements of Juleco Design! We love her amazing and positive typography prints. Julie uses her creative passions to bring encouraging words to those who may need them. A kind word at just the right moment can be all a person needs during a challenging time and it’s awesome that Juleco Design is there to help you say it. Julie’s shop is also great for finding your next inspirational mantra. We are huge fans of creating a space that inspires you, keeps you motivated, uplifts and reminds you of who you really are. Funny that it’s a Monday, as Julie’s prints are definitely the kind that make you jump out of bed, grab that coffee and fearlessly conquer the week ahead! Read on to learn more about Juleco Design and Julie’s journey.

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

: I’m Julie McClements, the designer behind Juleco. I have always been a creative person, doodling since I was no age. You will often find me behind my laptop or with a guitar in my hand. I’m a lover of typography, guitar and singing… (and as you will see in my work, I love monochrome!). I currently live in Bangor, Northern Ireland, with my husband David and work full time as lead designer at a full service digital agency called Eyekiller.

: What made you decide to start your brand, Juleco Prints?

: In my full-time job at Eyekiller my main focus is designing websites for a wide range of clients as well as lead the design team. I really enjoy what I do. However, I was missing the creative freedom I experienced when studying at art college and how I was able to express myself through my work. This made me consider doing something different with my creativity in my free time. I have also been on an ongoing journey with fear and understanding my own worth. Throughout this I have had wonderful friends helping me with wise words and encouragement. Knowing how this helps first hand, I wanted to use what I have learned to encourage other people.

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Feature Friday: Artwork by Sahar

Happy Feature Friday!

We’re heading to the world of fine art for this one! We are so excited to share Artwork by Sahar’s story and give you all a look at some of the incredible pieces Sahar creates. We love how she’s always pursued art in her life and has constantly found an outlet for her creativity. Her outlook on her own work is amazing as well, and she truly wants the viewer to see her pieces in their own way and create a personal connection with it. We are always huge fans of artwork that can be interpreted however the viewer sees it! Sahar has a lot to share about her personal creative journey as well as her process for crafting her original artwork. Keep reading to learn more about Artwork by Sahar and see some of her pieces!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: Hi! My name is Sahar. I work full-time at an advertising & marketing agency based in the Washington, DC area, but I’ve been an artist my entire life. I started taking art classes at the age of 6, and studied Studio Art (with Painting & Photography concentrations) at the University of Maryland, College Park. #GoTerps!

I am huge, huge Terps basketball fan and Washington Capitals fan – I love repping where I’m from! I live with my fiance – our wedding is this fall! – and our blue heeler mix, George Costanza. We love to spend time outdoors and veg out with Netflix marathons.

Between my full-time job, planning a wedding, and well – life in general – launching a business has been quite the endeavor.

: Since you were a child you’ve taken art classes. What about art made you stick with it into your adulthood?

: My parents put me in every kind of class you can think of – piano, tennis, swimming, tap – but nothing every really felt right. I wasn’t passionate about those other hobbies, and to be completely honest, I kind of sucked at them. Drawing, painting, creating in general – it made me happy. Everything made sense in my head.

Fast-forward to today, and it is truly my version of meditation. I am so grateful for painting in my life.

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Feature Friday: Carole Lola

Happy Feature Friday!

This week we are featuring handletterer, Carole Lola! We love her Etsy shop and all her excellent advice for those starting to handletter. Carole is always learning and evolving her style, but it has a classic beauty to it that’s perfect to adorn invitations, prints, decor and more! She is constantly striving for excellence over perfection and community over competition, and it certainly shows in her work and lifestyle. Read on to learn more about Carole’s story!

: Hey Carole! Tell us a few things about yourself!

: Hi! My name is Carole, but I also go by Lola. I am 26 years old, a California native, and a proud mom to Sophie, my little pomchi. I graduated from San Jose State University in 2012 with a B.A. in Art History and worked in several different industries until 2015, where I decided to drop everything to attend ministry school in Redding, CA. My business was born out of my time in Redding, and I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by some amazing creatives there. I love and enjoy food, and there’s nothing I won’t try once. I especially have a love for ice cream, coffee, pastries, and generally, anything with carbs. I’ve always appreciated fashion and I love the way I feel when I wear clothes that I love. My favorites are J.Crew and Madewell and you’ll find that most of my closet belongs to one of these brands. Some favorite stores for window-shopping and cheering-up include Anthropologie, Paper Source, and the Floranthropist. (I also love finding cute little paper/stationary boutiques in new cities that I visit.)

: How did you join the hand lettering world and discover you had a talent for it?

: I fell in love with handwriting at a young age, obsessed with making my letters look pretty on my school homework. I didn’t even know that there was a whole world of hand-letterers and calligraphers out there until after college! Once I got exposed to that world, I started following lettering blogs (my pre-Instagram days!), bought a book on modern calligraphy, and basically taught myself from there. My friends encouraged me to try and make a business out of it, and once the idea got into my head, I couldn’t shake it. So I ended up creating Carole Lola!

Feature Friday: Johanna Wilbraham

Happy Feature Friday!

Today’s feature is probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen before! We were truly astounded when we saw the incredible portraits by Johanna Wilbraham, and found out she creates these huge masterpieces by using jars to pour diluted oil paint straight onto the canvas! It’s amazing how something so unplanned and unpredictable can produce such beautiful results! Each portrait she does tells it’s own story and we love how she shows vulnerability and real women throughout her work. To learn a little more about the meaning behind her portraits, as well as her creative process, keep reading!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: I am a British Artist who has lived in Australia for the last 6 years with my Aussie husband. I currently live in Melbourne where I have a little studio for some very large artworks. I work part time in an Art Gallery alongside my own creative practice. I’m obsessed with painting faces, hanging eclectic figurative artworks around my house in gaudy gold frames, playful folky illustrations and music, candles that smell like cookies, floral dresses, and my dog Fox.

: We love your portraits! How would you describe your current work?

: Thank you! This year I have been challenging myself to paint on a smaller scale than usual. I’m used to working on very large canvases, and it’s quite liberating for me to be working on small 40 x 40 cm boards right now. It also enables me to paint quicker and experiment more. With my technique there is a lot of drying time in between layers, so working small allows me to get the most of my little studio. I can’t quite get away from large works though, so always have a few of these on the go too. I would describe my current work as a group of colourful, expressive and quirky portraits of women in my life. The faces tend to have a sadness and vulnerability to them which is deliberately contrasted with bright, bold colour pairings and the use of flat pattern work.

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Maker Monday: Art of Melodious

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Melodie Burns of Art of Melodious! We love her cards and the way she mixes quirky greetings with fun illustrations. A lot of her work features animals and each one has such personality. It’s no wonder so many people immediately think of someone her cards would be perfect for or instantly think that a particular card matches their personality to a tee. Melodie’s interview is just full of amazing advice so make sure to keep reading to learn more about her, how she started Art of Melodious and how she has gotten to the point she’s at today!

: We would love to hear a few things about who you are! Introduce yourself!

: Hi my name is Melodie Burns. I am an illustrator/wife/entrepreneur living it up in the countryside in Ontario, Canada. I love animals and you can tell firstly because the majority of my artwork includes creatures and I have a growing fur family of 2 dogs and 2 cats, soon to be 5 chickens! My artwork can be found on the cards that I create for my store Art of Melodious and let me tell you I love creating artwork for cards.

: You started Art of Melodious with homemade cards. Tell us a little about your background and how you got into creating cards and then starting your own shop selling them!

: Growing up I loved drawing and horses, so I drew, painted and rode horses. The great thing is I still do all those things!! In 2009 I graduated from Sheridan College with a Bachelor in Illustration, I had pursued post secondary education mainly to work on my traditional drawing skills, which I did, but I also expanded my breadth of creative outlets. These outlets after school led me to developing the style I use today for my cards today.

More about the cards now. Again growing up I made all my cards, cards for fathers day, mothers day, birthdays, wedding, Christmas, I even made my family’s Christmas cards every year to send to relative and friends. It was always something I loved doing, it was fun thinking up a funny idea for the recipient and getting creative with the artwork. Fast forward to me meeting my husband in 2011 (at the time bf) he encouraged me to take some of the artwork I had created on my own time and put them on cards. Honestly I had never considered greeting cards, even though I loved making them, my main goal was doing freelance illustration. But I decided to trust him and put out a couple designs and people loved them, and the rest is history haha. The more cards I create the more I loved them, it allows me to share my humour and connect people together. I hear a lot ‘oh that is so him’ or ‘haha that is so me’ It’s cool that people can see themselves in my artwork and also help bring people together.

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Feature Friday: The Felting Dorcas

Happy Feature Friday!

We’re excited about today’s feature with Cherylyn of The Felting Dorcas and think you all will truly love the wool products she creates! The wool she uses not only looks so amazing (who else wants to just touch it!?) but we think it’s so important that they’re free of chemicals and harsh dyes. Cherylyn puts so much heart into what she creates and wants to use her work to impact others as well — supporting various causes with each purchase. We are huge advocates of making purchases that have a greater purpose and love makers that use their gifts and talents to give back. So while you may love what The Felting Dorcas creates, supporting her brand has a larger impact! We can’t wait for you guys to keep reading to learn more about Cherylyn and the gorgeous wool products she handcrafts.

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: I’m Cherylyn, currently residing in Melbourne with my family. I am a cat lover and apart from creating, I also love baking! I started my Etsy store, The Felting Dorcas, in 2015 – it focuses on making handcrafted items out of high quality pure wool, like baby mobiles and garlands.

: We love your felt decor! How did your shop, The Felting Dorcas, get started?

: After some experience in the corporate world, I want to run or work in a service-based business that will allow me to use the proceeds to support a needy community. I’ve always liked working with my hands – I used to make cards for friends, was into flower arrangement for a while – so it seemed natural that I started this product-based business that leant into that passion of mine, creating products that I like myself whilst allowing me to contribute more to disadvantaged children and mothers in other parts of the world.

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Maker Monday: ChicharroDesigns

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Annika Chicharro of ChicharroDesigns! We just love her quirky greeting cards! Creativity runs in the family and so does making a career out of it! Annika is not only a graphic designer, she also has her own Etsy shop where you can find all of her amazing greeting card designs for every occasion imaginable. If you want to give a sweet card with a little sass added in, Annika is your girl! To learn more about Annika’s card making journey, read on!

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

 
: I’m a graphic designer based in London, UK. I like to to make people laugh every day and my best friends are my 4 siblings. My three favourite things are my miniature schnauzer dog called Boris, peanut butter on toast and napping. I’m a queen napper – you’d be surprised at the places I’ve managed to fall asleep in.


: As a graphic designer and illustrator, what made you decide that cards were the perfect format for displaying your designs?

: I always made hand-made greeting cards for family and friends on their birthdays. I would get complimentary comments about them and people would often recommend that I start producing them to sell, so I thought I’d give it a go!

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Feature Friday: Liona Lee Designs

Happy Feature Friday!

We are big fans of jewelry, so we are truly loving today’s feature with Liona of Liona Lee Designs! The products she creates are SO unique and we love how she has a distinct design style and cohesive collection, but also makes each earring and necklace stand out with different fabrics and materials. We would never think to create jewelry out of fabric — so when we came across her work we thought it was just the coolest thing! Liona has a ton of great information to share about her jewelry journey and we can’t wait for you to read more about her and see the amazing products she creates for Liona Lee Designs.

: Tell us a little about yourself.
: My name is Liona (pronounced Ly-oh-nah!). I’m 32 years old, married to Ryan, with 2 kids – Mia (4) and Charlie (11 months)! I live in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. Before I started my own jewellery brand I was a Pharmacy Assistant and Dispensary Technician for 10 years. I loved working in pharmacy but always craved a more creative path.

: How did you start your fabulous jewelry line, Liona Lee Designs?
: I started making jewellery after my daughter was born, as I decided not to go back to work. I am naturally creative and needed an outlet. I wanted something that allowed me to be creative, but also allowed me to stay at home to raise my children. I have always loved all arts and crafts but never one thing in particular. However, after making my first batch of fabric button earrings, I knew I had found my passion, my niche!

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Maker Monday: Carolynn Yoe

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Carolynn Yoe and her fabulous illustrations! Carolynn’s illustration style is so fun, which makes her Etsy store just as fun to look through! Each of her pieces have such character and need I mention the colors! The color palate of her work gives us all the heart eye emojis! Carolynn has a passion for illustrating and implementing it into creations she can share with others. You can find everything from stickers, custom portraits, magnets, coasters, cards and more in her shop! She has many exciting things (including a children’s book!) in the works and she continually pursues her craft, which is one of the reasons she’s definitely an illustrator to watch. To enjoy more of Carolynn’s work and to learn more about her journey, read on!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: My name is Carolynn and I’m an illustrator. I was born and raised in a small and sunny town in Indonesia, but now I live in Singapore. My daily routine includes blogging and working from my home studio where ideas are scribbled and created into existence. I’m also a dog-person and I’m into snail mail. I have collected postcards for years and most of them are dogs and illustrations.

: You sell your illustrations and designs in the form of stickers, magnets, coasters, cards, colouring pages and more! How did you start your Etsy shop?

: My shop started shortly after I was graduated from University. At that time, I like to draw house portraits and I’d post them on my Tumblr (carolynnyoe.tumblr.com). I received quite a few compliments and people started to ask me if I could help them draw their houses. So then I thought, hey, why not create a shop to make it easier for them to find me. Once I started my Etsy shop, I just kept finding more inspiration to draw and sell.

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