art

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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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: 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: Love Lettering

Happy Feature Friday!
It’s officially wedding season, so there’s no better time for today’s feature with Doris Wai of Love Lettering. She creates the most beautiful hand lettered signs not only for weddings, but loves to create pieces for any special moment in someone’s life! Her work can be seen in just about any type of event — from brightening up a birthday party, to adding a personalized touch to an invitation, menu, or name card! We love how innovative she is, going outside the traditional pen and paper and instead taking her lettering to all kinds of formats such as mirrors, signs, photo props and even furniture! She also takes this innovation into creating new products and utilizing new techniques, and we can’t wait to see the fun, hand lettered items she’ll come up with next! Keep on scrolling to see more of what Doris creates and to learn all about what it’s like to run Love Lettering.

: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

: Hi! My name is Doris Wai and I am a happily married hand letterer and a mom to a wonderful little girl named Melody. I graduated in illustration design from the OCAD University in Toronto but what I realized was that I loved drawing most was letters and type. This passion of mine led me to starting my own business catering to clients in the wedding and event industry, catalogues and print, logo design and currently writing a book about what and how I create my pieces.

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: How did you discover your love for lettering and that you wanted to pursue it and create Love Lettering?

: My interest in lettering began when I discovered bubble letters in grade school through a lettering book, if you draw any word in this style, it instantly becomes more adorable! And that is the magic that I see when I look at fonts and typefaces, each one has a different character, gives off a different mood and I find it so fascinating!

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Feature Friday: Nat Guinamard

Happy Feature Friday!

Today we’re featuring the work of Nat Guinamard and we think you’re going to love her incredibly expressive illustrations! Nat was kind enough to share some details on her Drawing a Day Challenge, her artistic background, and her knack for drawing faces. She also answered some of our questions too! So keep reading to learn more about her work and creative journey.

 

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Feature Friday: Soft Bloom Tapestries

Happy Feature Friday!

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Today we have the amazing, whimsical works of Marissa Long from Soft Bloom Tapestries. We are in love with how beautiful and organic her weavings are — and just plain soft and fuzzy looking! The fact that she incorporates so many natural elements into her work (all foraged herself from the Pacific Northwest!) makes her products even more unique and truly have a story behind them. She has a ton of great insight into the world of creating, so keep on reading to hear all about her brand’s start and what she’s learned along the way!

Castle Logo: Tell us a few things about yourself!

unnamed-2: I am 22 and I currently live at the foot of Mt. Hood (Oregon’s highest mountain!), right outside of Portland. When I was a child, my parents were constantly taking my brothers and myself camping and hiking. Getting outside recharges my soul and is still one of my favorite things to do, except now I have a fur-child to come along! I have a golden retriever, Theodore, he goes everywhere with me. I adore plants, I try to be always surrounded by them and that’s why I currently work at Portland Nursery. I also work with Foraged Blooms, creating floral arrangements and helping as needed. I realized early on in life that my heart is fullest when I have a creative outlet, and I love working with mixed medias and trying new things!

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Castle Logo: We are absolutely in love with your tapestries! How would you describe your brand and the products you create?
unnamed-2: Thank you! Yikes, that is not an easy question. I describe Soft Bloom as warm, and creative! It’s all about the process of creating something by hand, something that encourages you to touch and explore and experience wonder and warmth. I like to think (hope) that the hangings I create convey my heart, my love of this art form and the way it grounds me and encourages the journey of growth, softness and transformation. I would like to inspire those concepts in the beautiful people that purchase or admire my hangings!

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Feature Friday: Ever After Enchanted Decor

Happy Feature Friday!

FullSizeRender(1416)Today we’re excited to hearing from Rosanna of Ever After Enchanted Decor! She works alongside her husband to create beautiful reclaimed wood decor to really spruce up your home! Their pieces are the perfect way to show what your family is all about or add some inspiration to your walls. We love how passionate Rosanna is about creating pieces that are of amazing quality and bring joy to customers just by looking at them! The way her and her husband transform these pieces of wood, there’s no way they wouldn’t bring joy! We think you guys are going to love what the two of them create and we can’t wait for you to hear their story! Keep on reading to hear more about the brand and see some of the amazing creations Ever After Enchanted Decor offers.

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself!
ever after: Hi, my name is Rosanna, I’m 39 years old and I have two boys, a 6 year old and a 19 year old. My husband and I have always been big dreamers and have wanted to have a business together where we could create beautiful things, express our creativity, and spend more time together. I’ve always wanted the freedom and excitement that come with having my own business. In 2015 I decided to open an Etsy shop. I wasn’t happy at my job and I wanted to start this shop with the hopes that it would grow and that I could do it full time. The company that I worked for was bought out and I ended up being laid off from my corporate job. To me this was the perfect opportunity to put all I had into the business. Our goal is to take this business on the road: travel in our RV, book shows all over the country to bring our décor to people, and have fun doing it. My husband Eric currently has a full time job and is in a punk band with his brother and friends called TLB.

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Castle Logo: How did Ever After Enchanted Decor get its start?
ever after: I had the idea for my business when my husband and I were finally able to purchase our home. My goal was to have a home before my oldest son Ethan would leave for college. This did happen! We purchased our home his senior year of high school. I was so happy and I didn’t want to go to the store and buy just anything to fill our home with, I wanted to create beautiful décor that was special and meant something to me. I purchased some pieces from other makers on Etsy that I really loved, but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I was inspired to create my own pieces. Once I started painting and creating things I just kept finding more inspiration, and one day it just hit me: start a shop that has beautiful décor, inspirational, magical, feminine pieces that are close to my heart.

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Feature Friday: LK Custom Creations

Happy Feature Friday!

headshotToday we’re excited to feature Lizz Klaras of LK Custom Creations! We love how she took her love of painting and turned it into a career — making her work stand out by using glass as her canvas! Her pieces are not only unique works of art, but are also completely usable! She’s truly inspired by her surroundings, creating glassware that has amazing depictions of nature and animals — they’re sure to make a statement in your own collection! Her brand’s story will definitely inspire you in your own creative pursuits, so keep reading to hear more about how she got her start, and to see the gorgeous transformations she gives these glasses and plates!

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.
lk: I am a freelance artist from a very small town in Illinois. My husband is in the military so we are currently stationed in Chesapeake, VA and we love it!  I have a five year old daughter who is very interested in art and is often found in my studio acting as my assistant.

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Castle Logo: How did you get started with LK Custom Creations and hand painting glassware?
lk: For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a freelance artist but it took a while to figure out exactly what I could create that would be unique. LKCC originally started out as a custom invitation business.  I thought that combining my illustration skills with custom invitations would be a great fit.  I loved the design process but assembling them became a very daunting task for me.  I missed painting so much and I wasn’t about to hand paint hundreds of invitations!  I began to look for anything I could produce that could still be custom, yet outside the world of traditional 2D artwork.  Once I learned to paint on glass I was hooked!  It was usable art and that is what I loved most about it.  I started adding glassware designs to my Etsy site and instantly the glass art began to attract customers.

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Feature Friday: Everduring Designs

Happy Feature Friday!

We’re so inspired by today’s feature with Becka from Everduring Designs. We love how much meaning goes behind all of her products and even into the name of her brand itself! Her custom journals and handlettered wood signs all focus on some of life’s most important things and are perfect pieces to celebrate your marriage, new baby, or faith! Becka loves to use her pieces to connect with others, and we think it’s amazing that she really thinks about the person or family that will be enjoying one of her creations. Keep reading to hear about her artistic process, why she loves to create, and some advice she has for anyone looking to start journaling or even pursue a creative endeavor or their own!

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

 : Hi, there! My name is Becka and I am from the Houston area. Currently I am a master’s student studying health promotion and nutrition. I opened up my Etsy shop as a creative outlet and a much-needed break from staring at computer screens. I have always loved writing names, scripture, and quotes in an aesthetically appealing style. Now I feel so privileged to be able to create personalized journals and wooden signs for homes, weddings, nursery rooms, etc.

: We love your shop name, Everduring Designs. We know how tough it is to create a brand name! Explain the meaning behind it, how it came to you, and how you think it fits in with what you create.

 : In college I had a professor that shared something that impacted my perspective on the meaning of words. He said that every soul was eternal. So then when we speak to another person, our words do not have a temporary effect but rather an eternally significant impact. This helped me realize the weight of words and the necessity for compassionate thoughts and intentions behind our words. With this everlasting significance of words on my mind, I sought out the find a meaningful name for my shop. I knew I wanted to hand-letter words onto products that would exist as keepsakes or a meaningful piece in the home. I wanted the shop name to reflect the importance of those words. I took a chance and searched for some synonyms of “everlasting”. I found the word “everduring” which is an archaic form of everlasting. It is obsolete and we no longer use the word “everduring”, which I found to be ironic. I actually loved the irony that word which was meant to signify “never-ending, everlasting, and enduring” was not enduring in our modern language. I loved that it was rare and unique, so it was definitely a keeper!

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