artist interview

Feature Friday: Aviate Press

Happy Feature Friday!

This week we are featuring Ava Puckett of Aviate Press, a shop of handmade greeting cards and other goods! You’ll be able to find a card for your sassy, funny or sentimental friend from Aviate Press’ amazing greeting card line. We love how Ava has developed her business and how open she is to trying new designs and different strategies to take Avaite Press to the next level. She’s always pushing the limits of where she can go and others have recognized this as her work has been featured on sites like Buzzfeed! Read on to learn more about Ava’s story.

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: Well, I am an illustrator, small business owner, full time job haver and dog lover. I’m originally from Oklahoma City, but came to Nashville to pursue music at Belmont University. I fell back in love with art and illustration after I graduated. During the day I work at MerchCave managing day to day operations.

: We absolutely love your designs and the products you create for Aviate Press! How did you come up with the brand’s name and decide to create such awesome greeting cards?

: Thank you! I was originally going to name it after myself because I had already established brand awareness as Ava Marie Doodles via Instagram and a blog I used to have, but then I read something by one of my greeting card idols, Emily McDowell – she talked about how she wouldn’t recommend naming your business after yourself for several reasons. After that, it took a few weeks of brainstorming and figuring out what voice I wanted to have in the greeting card world. I landed on Aviate Press because ‘aviate’ has my name ‘ava’ in it (cool) and because I liked the idea of incorporating paper airplanes into the logo, to go with the fact that it is all handmade. Once I came up with the tag line, I knew it was a winner: ‘handmade goods to lift your spirits.’

(more…)

Maker Monday: Mary Beale Art

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Mary Clark or Mary Beale Art! Mary Clark, a Rochester, NY native, received her BFA in studio art from Skidmore College in 2012. Her work is easily recognizable by her playful style and complex palette. Mary’s artworks are an abstract representation of shapes, contours and vibrant colors found in nature. She begins her paintings with a loose hand and expressive marks. By deliberately layering color and shapes, Mary creates complex pieces bursting with excitement and rhythm. Read on to learn more about Mary and her work!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: Hello! My name is Mary and I currently live and work in beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY. I split my time between painting and working at a local boutique – taking any day off or free night to work on my art. I have always been artistic, and always had the mentality that art would be my “side gig”. I even went into college thinking I’d pursue a degree in Chemistry and minor in Studio Art. I ended my freshman year and knew I wasn’t following my heart. So I changed my major to Studio Art, with a concentration in both painting and textile design and never looked back. Even though I graduated not having a clue what I would do with this degree, I always managed to keep up with painting. Since graduating, I’ve lived and worked in Rochester, Boston, NYC and now Saratoga Springs. I spent 3 of those years at an incredible company, where I worked hard to learn as much as possible, eventually becoming the executive assistant to both of the CEO’s. I owe so much to my time at that company, where I learned so much about myself.  I realized, ultimately, that I truly wanted to dedicate myself to art, so this past October, I left NYC and my full time job (EEK!).  It’s been the best decision I could have made. I am moving slowly and cautiously, really taking the time to think about how I can best create a future based around my art. I spend any free time I have painting and working on commissions. I am happier than ever and am excited for the future of Mary Beale Art!

: We love your paintings! How would you personally describe your own work/aesthetic?

: My work can 100% be described as “happy art” – it’s very whimsical, bright and floral. I try to limit my palette but always end up throwing more color onto the canvas – and I think that is totally ok! I never sketch out or plan my paintings, I just start painting. Ultimately, I want my art to make you smile – I want it to brighten your day and bring joy to whatever room it’s in.

(more…)

Maker Monday: Chanine Hameetman Illustrations

Happy Maker Monday!

This week we are featuring Chanine Hameetman Illustrations! We love Chanine’s illustration style! They are such a representation of happy moments and make us smile just looking at them. Many of her illustrations are representations of her daily life and they make you want to jump right into the drawing and join the fun! Read on to learn more about Chanine, how she discovered her style and her goals for Chanine Hameetman Illustrations!

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

: My name is Chanine. I’m 27 years old, born and raised in Spijkenisse, the Netherlands, which is a small town near to Rotterdam. I’m happily married to Marius and we live in a cozy apartment with our bunny ‘Gijs’.
I have attended an arts academy for one year, but then decided to become a primary school teacher. I’ve always loved to draw a little in my spare time. Nowadays I’m almost always carrying my drawing stuff with me. My friends and family are used to see me drawing all the time.


: Your illustration style is so fun and original! How did you get to where you are in terms of determining what your illustrations would look like and finding your own personal aesthetic?

: Drawing always kept my attention. For this reason I followed an illustration workshop last year. The illustrator of this workshop told us that the best way to develop a style is to complete at least one drawing every day, for forty days. I followed her advice and from that day started to draw and share my drawings on Instagram for forty days.
I drew everything I experienced and saw in my daily life. This experience caused my style to self-develop, because automatically started to draw the way I liked it the most: black lines first and then coloring it with bright colors.

(more…)

Maker Monday: Stevie Rozean Co.

Happy Maker Monday!

This week we are featuring Stevie Rozean and her amazing shop filled with all things lettering, illustration and design! Stevie can do anything from painting your childhood home or lettering your favorite quote, to designing your wedding invites! She also has a wonderful outlook on pursuing growth as a artist and the importance of practice when it comes to developing your style. Keep reading for great insight and to learn more about Stevie Rozean Co.

: Tell us a few things about yourself!
: I’m 22, passionate about pursing my dreams and inspiring others to do the same, newly married and a sucker for desserts (specifically donuts). I’m from Cincinnati, OH but moved to Springfield, MO about 5 years ago to attend college.

: How did you discover your love of creating art and decide that you wanted to pursue it and start Stevie Rozean Co.?
: I’ve always been an artist, but it wasn’t until about five months ago that I decided to turn it into a business. Throughout middle school and high school I dabbled in starting Etsy shops and occasionally did commissioned pieces for friends and family. I knew I loved it, but I couldn’t clearly see a path in which I could turn it into a career. So I studied journalism (I also love to write) in college and got a really great job as a reporter after I graduated. The job was very demanding, of both my time and energy, from the very beginning. So as a way to decompress after work, I started painting. I would paint from nearly the time I got off work till I went to bed. I started posting pictures of my work on social media and as I did, people started responding. My dream of owning a business was suddenly right in front of me. After much prayer and talking it through with my husband, friends and family, I decided to take the leap. I quit the job that fit perfectly with my degree and paid well to pursue this little business of mine.

Maker Monday: Mollycat Mosaics

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Hollie Graze of Mollycat Mosaics! Her mosaic pieces range from small accent decor to large artwork that’s bound to be the focal point of the room! Although many of us have seen a mosaic in our life or remember pasting little pieces of tile on a popsicle stick frame, there are so many factors that can make working with this medium a challenge. Hollie has definitely risen to meet that challenge and we love how her social media gives us a peak into her process. It truly shows how much Hollie and fellow makers pour into their work to give you a unique piece of art. Read on to learn more about Mollycat Mosaics!

: Tell us a little about yourself. What are a few silly things that make you, you?

: What makes me, me? hmmm. I like new projects, the ideas and planning and problem solving are invigorating. I love my balcony and watching birds. I trained my cat to sit and do paw. I have not figured out how to make him not meow for food at 5:00 in the morning. I create part-time and also work as school-based occupational therapist supporting students with disabilities. I have a deep need to contribute, whether by helping others or creating beautiful mosaics that make people happy every time they see it on their wall.

: How did your shop Mollycat Mosaics get started?

: It’s funny, people ask me this all the time. I have no real definitive memory of when I started making mosaics or even what my first mosaic was! I dabbled in so many mediums, basketry, painting, ceramics, stone sculpting, etching. I was always starting something, trying something new. One day I just started mosaicking and never stopped!

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.

IMG_1740

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.

IMG_1758

(more…)

Maker Monday: Kate Tangney Studio

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Kate Tangney, a letterer and abstract artist! We love how her art expresses the ups and downs of life and how they connect. There’s a lot of heart and meaning behind her pieces and we think that is something that is often overlooked with abstract art. Kate also finds a way to make it happen when it comes to creating. The general responsibilities of life can make little time for many artist’s creative process, but Kate has found a way to work together with her busy schedule to be an even more productive artist. Her creative journey tells a similar story to her paintings as they both reflect creating beauty out of difficulty and finding space for your passion to flourish. Read on to learn more about Kate’s story and work!

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

: Hi there! I’m Kate, and I am an abstract artist and hand letterer, living just south of Boston, MA. I was born and raised in the Boston area, and I have the accent to prove it! I’m married to a wonderful guy and we have two little kids (my daughter is 5 going on 15, and my son is one). I’m also the middle of three sisters, and I live next door to both of them, as well as my mom. So it’s usually very busy around our house! Other than that, I am pretty much a big dork, and love classic rock, watching cheesy action movies with my husband, and buying houseplants that I will never remember to water.

: We absolutely love your hand lettering and abstract art. How would you describe your style and the theme behind all of your artwork?

: Thank you so much! My inspiration generally stems from the idea that life is raw and it’s hard, but there’s also a lot of beauty and resilience there. That juxtaposition tends to be reflected in both the texture and composition of my work. Each piece is a combination of raw, unrefined marks, and some sort of graceful lines – either using detail work or lettering.

(more…)

Feature Friday: ArtDanilo

img_1956Happy Feature Friday! Today we’re so excited to feature the work of Danilo Dos Santos of ArtDanilo! We love the central theme behind his art, as it all displays the most beautiful biodiversity of Brazil! Between the colorful birds, turtles, and mammals he draws, you’re able to really see and feel the beauty of his country! Plus – it’s amazing how he uses his work to bring awareness to the importance of nature! His online store is filled with these works of art, so keep reading to see more and hear about how he got his start!

Castle Logo: Tell us a few things about yourself!
screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: I was born in a city that has the name of a plant, Dracena. Here in Brazil we are surrounded by nature on all sides, even our money has drawings of animals. This is my first memory of drawing something, I loved to draw animals from the bills of money and books.
An interesting fact is that before I only drew in black and white, only after I met my beautiful wife Gizele did I start to draw colorful.

img_1001

Castle Logo: Your illustrations are beautiful! What made you decide to focus on biodiversity and portray it in a minimalistic way?
screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-28-10-pm: Thanks for the compliment! I decided to work on this topic in the first place because it interests me a lot, and also because it is very good for people to know more about the biodiversity where they live.
I decided to make them small because there are 100 drawings per collection and this way I can do more drawings in less time, and it is also a tribute to my wife who helps me a lot with this project, each drawing sheet has 16 cm, the size of her hand.

img_1007

(more…)

Feature Friday: Lauren Lee

Happy Feature Friday!

laurenlee_profile_2016Today we’re featuring the whimsical works of Lauren Lee, an illustrator who works in advertising by day but creates amazing illustrations every free chance she gets! We are in love with the characters and scenes she creates in her work – honestly we’re crossing our fingers a coffee shop gets her to design their cups, because we’d be there ASAP! Keep reading to hear more about her creative journey and see her fun coffee cup and sketchbook illustrations.

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-12-45-47-am: I’m a twenty-two year old designer working in the crazy world of advertising. I use illustration as a way of release. Outside of design, I love animation films, re-reading Harry Potter, and binging title sequences.

casfoundation_ll_03

(more…)

Feature Friday: Mo Milligan

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetHappy Feature Friday! 

This week we are featuring Mo Milligan of Destiny City Threads! We just love her fun, unique and quirky embroidery art. Among her embroidery hoops you can find bright colors, pretty botanicals and sassy sayings. Mo is currently getting her Etsy store up and running and after you guys see her work you’ll be happy she’s setting up shop. We can see all her pieces being the perfect little accents to brighten up your space. To learn more about how Mo started Destiny City Threads read on!

Castle Logo: Tell us about yourself.
isla_500x500.20505935_8suw99oq: I’m a Pacific Northwest native, but I love to travel and have had the opportunity to go on some amazing adventures stateside and abroad. I have always been an avid reader, but have found that since having two young children my attention span has been reduced to that of a gnat and I don’t read as much as I used to. I love music and try to see a few live shows every year, although a lot of my favorites aren’t around any longer. I have a sweet tooth, I’m a coffee addict and I love pickled foods.

IMG_2913

(more…)