artist

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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Feature Friday: Cheery Human Studios

Happy Feature Friday!

We are so excited about today’s feature because we are all about makers that use their artwork to brighten other’s days! That’s exactly what Kristina, the creator behind Cheery Human Studios, does and you’ll know just what we’re talking about once you see the fun and bright illustrated products she creates. She hand draws everything herself which we think is truly amazing and gives so much life and personality to her work! You can find her designs on just about everything, from pins, stickers, and keychains to prints, t-shirts, and accessories! We can’t wait for you to learn all about her background, process, and see work that truly is “cheery!!” — so keep reading to learn more about Kristina and Cheery Human Studios.

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

: Hello! My name is Kristina and I’m a 31 year old artist who was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I grew up alongside my younger brother (the coolest guy I know) in a cute yellow house in East Hollywood where we were raised by my mother and aunt. For years, I thought I would be a studio musician, a piano accompanist, or a songwriter but life had other plans and I eventually found my way to design. After a year in a masters art program for Web Design and New Media, I was hired as a full-time designer at a studio in the San Francisco Bay Area and I never looked back. Now, I’m based out of Los Angeles where by day, I am a freelance UX / UI designer, which is just a mega fancy way of saying I do front-end design for applications on mobile devices and the web. On early mornings, nights & weekends, I work on Cheery Human Studios. When I’m not working, I love visiting the Wizarding World and Disneyland with my boyfriend, chilling with my cat Mochi, and spending time with my best friends and family.


: Your products and shop name are sure to make everyone smile! How did you come up with the name Cheery Human Studios and what made you want to start your own shop?
: When I started Cheery Human Studios, I was in a bit of a creative slump and a little bummed because of it. For years, I had wanted to start a side project of my own, but couldn’t seem to get one off the ground that made me feel excited and inspired. The name Cheery Human Studios came to me because I wanted to design things that made me and other people happy like magical fandoms and random favorites – cats, flowers, candy, tea, you name it! It started as a way for me to “work with my hands”, hence all of my hand lettered and hand drawn pieces. Doing so, reenergized me and pulled me out of my creative slump.

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Feature Friday: Lily Featherston Design

Happy Feature Friday!

Today we’re talking to the creator behind Lily Featherston Design to hear all about her background and the amazing prints, cards, and other fun products she creates! We think it is amazing that Lily bases all of her work off of subjects she truly loves — which is why you’ll see so many animals and nature based imagery in her designs. She doesn’t just stick to one medium and is always trying out new ways to create prints or even put her designs on new surfaces! We can’t wait to see where her work will take her next, so keep reading to learn more about Lily Featherston Design and get inspired along the way!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: Hi! I’m a 27 year old artist living in New Hampshire with my boyfriend. I’ve spent most of my life in New Hampshire, but I moved to Portsmouth in 2013, about a year after graduating from college. Portsmouth is a beautiful little city on the coast, and I absolutely love it. When I’m not inside making art, I like to explore the coast and be by the ocean. I like pretty much all things seafood, so I spend a fair amount of time eating as well!

: You’re located in New Hampshire and grew up there. What about your environment has affected your artwork?

: I grew up in a small town, in a house surrounded by forest, so I spent almost all of my time in the woods. My family is very outdoor oriented so we were often hiking and exploring. We had a dog, and right down the road was a small farm, so I loved animals from a young age. When I was around 9 years old I got to take care of a lamb for a week. He had to be bottle fed, and I grew really attached to him. I remember he had the fuzziest little face, and he would clop along after me wherever I went. Sheep have become a common subject of mine, and I really think it stems from that early experience with “lamby” (Very original, I know!)

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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.

JFHannigan Photography

: 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!

Mike Bamboo Photography

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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: 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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Maker Monday: Young@Art

Happy Maker Monday! 

This Monday we are featuring Danaye Shiplett of young@art! We love how Danaye speaks through her art. Her pieces are an expression of herself as well as a story she’d like to tell. The imagination behind Danaye’s work leaps off the page. Each character has personality and a message for the viewer to interpret, an attribute that is sometimes lost in more commercialized art. Danaye stays true to her artistic roots and desire to create for herself, and gives her customers the opportunity to share in her creative journey- something we think is truly special about maker’s shops! Read on to learn more about Danaye and how young@art came to be.

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: Every introvert’s dreaded nightmare! (Kidding.) So, my name is Danaye Shiplett and I am a 30-something geek, bookworm, introvert… well, you get the idea. I’m married, live in the South (though I was raised on the East coast), and have two adorable fur-babies. I can’t have children so they really are my kids. (I don’t dress them up or anything, though. Promise.)

: How did young@art get started and what was the process behind getting it off the ground?

: young@art stemmed from my desire to create a professional brand around my art. Something that people see and immediately get a sense of who I am and what I create. It fits me. I am a huge kid at heart and my creations (I hope!) reflect that sense of wide-eyed innocence and wonderment that we have during our early years. I like to think I’ve kept a little (lot) of that even as an adult.

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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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