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.



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.


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.



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.


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.



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.



Exploring the Cooper Hewitt Museum


We’ve always made it a mission or bucket list item to go to all of the museums in NYC. This has seemed pretty impossible because there are so SO many, but we wanted to check another off the list and headed to the Cooper Hewitt Museum in the Upper East Side. Yes, the one known for the rolling chairs. Social media has also somewhat dubbed it as the “Museum for People Who Don’t Like Museums.” Unfortunately, we DO like museums, so this wouldn’t be on our must-see list, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you want a quick, fun museum day!



Feature Friday: Artist Sian Storey

Happy Feature Friday!

1. My photoThis week we’re featuring artist Sian Storey! Her creative journey is so exciting to follow and she has gained the attention of some major media outlets. We admire the fact that she is always seeking new experiences and ways to grow in her work. It reminds us of the Julia Child’s quote which says, “Find something you’re passionate about and stay tremendously interested in it.” It’s evident that Sian is living that out every day.

Castle Logo: Tell us about yourself and how Sian Storey Art got started.

static1.squarespace: Hello! I’m an artist and art teacher in Hampshire, England. Painting is my passion, and I have a First Class Honours degree in Fine Art. As you’ll discover throughout this interview, I’m a versatile and hungry artist, always looking for fresh ways to evolve my art, and interesting new projects to be involved in.

How did I get started? Let’s see… my earliest art memory is painting my Grandad’s gnomes in his garden back in the 1980’s. My Nan still has them 25 years on. So art has always been a big part of my life and was massively encouraged by my friends and family. It’s what I love, and something I will always do.


Castle Logo: You mainly focus on people and birds. What made you decide to stick to these two subject matters?

static1.squarespace: I work from found images, and am particularly drawn to colour, pattern and beautiful pictures. I keep scrapbooks of images that I have collected and reference them in my paintings. I also love to travel, and this feeds into my work. Last summer I visited Japan, and have been referencing it in a lot of my work ever since.

The people-based images I choose are often black and white allowing me to explore my own colour schemes. I like the image to feel emotionally charged, like the person depicted has a story to tell. Sometimes it’s my story, or just the way I’m feeling.

I use birds in my work as they are also associated with literature and narrative, and they have many cultural references. I love creating movement in my bird paintings choosing colour to evoke mood, and texture to convey beauty.

And sometimes, I combine both birds and people.


(keep reading…)

Feature Friday: Illustrator Valeria Susloparova

Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!

x_ad31278cThis week we talked to Valeria Susloparova of @vsusik, who has a large Instagram following for her amazing dog illustrations. We love this feature, because these aren’t your typical illustrations. She finds ways to make them unique and integrate 3D components, all while making her subjects have personality. From the drawing skills it takes to create the dog, to the element she adds to make the portrait humorous or cute, we can’t get enough of her work! She has always wondered what dogs are actually thinking, and her art really shows this thought process. Keep reading to hear more about Valeria and see some of the funniest dogs you’ll probably look at all day.

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.

rcLH9TbRhPM: My name is Valeria Susloparova. I was born in Russia and I have still lived here. My specialization is graphic design. I have been drawing all my life. I tried different painting techniques and materials, but I especially like watercolor painting. I have a gold labrador. He is my big love and inspiration. I enjoy reading, watching films and series, riding bicycle and nature.


Castle Logo: How did you find your style of mixing illustration with physical objects?

rcLH9TbRhPM: It all has happened in a creative process. I continue developing my skills in this direction.


Castle Logo: You paint a lot of dogs. What about them inspires you to create your pieces?

rcLH9TbRhPM:  Yes, basically I draw dogs but I can create illustrations using different techniques. Dogs…Their funny and cute faces inspire me. I wonder what they are thinking about and I try to reflect it in my illustrations.


Castle Logo: What art supplies do you use most for your work?

:rcLH9TbRhPM  I work with watercolor and use watercolor pencils to breathe life into my paintings because I like the way they depict the texture of animal fur.


Castle Logo: Do you sell your work or take commissions?


:  It has always been my hobby. There are a lot of requests and offers to make more illustrations now. I put not only time but also love into my paintings. If I need to give someone my illustration, I am really upset. But I am glad, if painting has a new home, a new ‘owner’. Unfortunately, I live in Russia and I can’t guarantee safe delivery of my works. I can send them with pleasure but only electronically. And there are some advantages in this way of delivery: One, you have to wait a few seconds to get it, and two, you can print it in any size using any paper.


Castle Logo: Do you have an illustration that is your personal favorite?

rcLH9TbRhPM:  It’s difficult to choose a special one. I love all of them!


Castle Logo: You graphic design and illustrate. What do you like about each?

rcLH9TbRhPM:  I am trying to keep up to different innovations in this sphere of art. There are a lot of talented people in this area. They motivate me to develop and create in order my works to be more interesting and high quality.



Castle Logo: When did you start using Instagram to share your pieces?

rcLH9TbRhPM: Firstly, it was my personal Instagram profile but when I posted some illustrations, it become something more. Now, it’s dedicated to my works.


Castle Logo: What are some of your goals for 2015?rcLH9TbRhPM

:  To draw! To paint! And once again – to paint! It’s necessary to develop yourself constructively and creatively. Then, I really would like to travel. Also, a long list of books to read is waiting for me.


Castle Logo: Any advice?rcLH9TbRhPM:  If you are a beginner in painting and face some difficulties and failures, the most important thing is not to lose heart but to continue working. Paint every day, develop your world outlook! Learn and study more, examine the works of more experienced artists. Dream up and improvise, be bold and take risks. Love what you do. It is sure to “yield fruit”.


Feature Friday: MIRA Apparel

Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 16.58.05!
screenshot-50This week we talked to Miranda Kinkead of MIRA Apparel! We love how her apparel line came about, as she set a challenge for herself and then went on to achieve it. We also believe that you should find a way to incorporate what you love to do into your work/profession, and Miranda was able to take her passion of creating art and make it into a business. Read on to hear more about MIRA Apparel!

Castle Logo: Tell us about yourself.

screenshot-54: I have a passion for all things pertaining to the arts. I’m an avid moviegoer, a traveller, music lover, collector, jack-of-all-trades, master of none. And I am a second year Creative Industries student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.


Castle Logo: How did your business get started? What made you decide to create t-shirts?

screenshot-54: Every year I like to set new goals and challenges for myself. At the beginning of 2014, I wanted to find a way to work doing something that I am passionate about. I have always thought of selling artwork but instead I decided to combine my love of visual art and fashion to create “wearable designs.” I worked all summer towards launching the Mira brand and then I received a grant through a program called Summer Company. Now Mira Apparel is running independently online.


Castle Logo: All of your packages come with a handwritten note in a bottle. What kind of messages do you like to send to your customers?

screenshot-54: Not many people receive handwritten letters any more so I thought it would be a sweet idea to write little notes to those who purchase from Mira Apparel. They are random messages so they can range from inspirational quotes, quotes from people, books, music suggestions, interesting words, dares. Some things I find and others I make up: all of which are carefully chosen and resonate with me or that I have some connection to. I really like the idea of spreading kind words positivity, and uplifting things (paying it forward). Hopefully I write something that gives the reader a little bit of happiness that day, and then I’m happy.


Castle Logo: How would you describe the type of person who wears (or should wear) MIRA Apparel?

screenshot-54: Mira Apparel can be worn by anyone. It is a brand for both men and women. The graphic designs will appeal to someone who appreciates art and something a little different. My sketches may attract individuals who prefer a twist to a staple piece like the t-shirt; and are looking for something a little different in their wardrobe.


Castle Logo: What are some of the challenging aspects of having your own business?

screenshot-54: The main challenge would have to be being an independent owner. I do everything myself when it comes to the designing, social media correspondence, management, accounting shipping and so on. Keeping on top of all those responsibilities while being a student and maintaining a social life can be difficult at times.


Castle Logo: Where do you see MIRA Apparel going in the long-term future? Do you have any plans for the expansion of MIRA Apparel’s merchandise line?

screenshot-54: Future collections will be released featuring new sketches and designs. I have also considered expanding the line to include either accessories or trinkets for some sort, even posters, but we will have to wait and see. 😉


Castle Logo: What is the process for designing and producing your shirts?

screenshot-54: It all starts with a sketch that I create in my sketchbook. I think of a concept that relates to the Mira theme and then a draw it out. Afterward, I scan the sketch to turn it into a computer graphic and then I may manipulate some elements to make the sketch fit for a t-shirt. This is the longest part. After the designing is finished I take the graphics to a local printing company in Toronto and they screen print the designs onto 100% white cotton tees.


Castle Logo: What’s your favorite part about what you do?

screenshot-54: I love being the “boss”. It is quite the learning experience to be able to create your own business from the ground up and run it independently, especially at my age. I feel like I will gain a lot of vital knowledge, experience and insight from this venture and I’m excited about the future of this brand. It is also really awesome that I get to put my artistic passion into a lucrative pursuit. And being passionate about what I do always makes it worthwhile. Also doing this while being a full-time student affords me the opportunity to make mistakes and learn as I go along.


Castle Logo: Name three things that you can’t live without.

screenshot-54: This is actually really difficult! There are many things I can’t live without so 3 out of several would be:

-Great Music

-Sunlight & Late Nights

-Positivity & Contentment

(sorry, kinda cheated ^ :P)


Castle Logo: Do you have any mentors that helped you get where you are today?

screenshot-54: I have always had my parents along side me and through out my life they have been my biggest supporters. I can go to them for an opinion or advice for a plan of action and I am really grateful for that.


Castle Logo: What advice would you give young entrepreneurs?

screenshot-54: You have to have a clear motive in mind. Know exactly why you are pursuing your business venture because a clear objective will drive you. You should also be passionate about the endeavor because it will help to maintain your motivation. And it always helps to constantly set goals to stay on track, focused and organized.


See more from MIRA Apparel!:

The Bushwick Collective


For the past few days I’ve been in New York celebrating the New Year and my friend Emma and I wanted to do some non-touristy things we had yet to do in the city. I’ve always loved street art, and although seeing street art can be a tourist activity (mainly around Bowery in Lower Manhattan), Bushwick is where I had heard that some of the best street art is hiding. Although it’s all over Bushwick, one area coined the Bushwick Collective, is where the art seems to just continue block after block.





Luckily, Emma had a friend that has grown up in Bushwick, so it was even better that she was there to show us around. With her as our tour guide, we saw just about everything in the Bushwick Collective and loved it! To see this art for yourself, take the subway to the Jefferson St. stop (on the L train) and find where St. Nicholas Ave. and Troutman St. intersect to see the center of all of the art. It’s not just around there though, keep walking and more art will surprise you with every corner. What I love about the Collective is it’s always changing, so you can go back repeatedly and there will be new work to see! Here’s a glimpse of some of the street art we saw when we were there. (Most of the art pictured is from the Collective, but some is from other areas of Bushwick.)











Feature Friday: Artist Emma Huneck


Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!

382241_528447627196020_1892205555_nToday we are featuring artist Emma Huneck. We love love love her style. She draws a lot of her inspiration from everyday surroundings, but we like how her technique makes typical settings almost dreamlike. After all, when was the last time you looked at cars parked on the side of the street and gave it a second thought? Looking at Emma’s pieces you remember how much beauty you can find in the ordinary. She also has a great opportunity for up and coming artists. Her and a friend are planning on opening a gallery space tailored towards young artists. We think this is a fantastic idea since there is a lot of young talent out there, which is one of the reasons we started Feature Fridays in the first place. We always love to see all the crazy creative stuff you guys are doing. Read on to find out more about Emma and how you can possibly get involved in her latest project.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: How did you first get interested in art/painting?

1408914872496: I wish that I had a clear answer to this question. I can’t pinpoint a moment of my childhood when I first started making art, when I decided that it was what I wanted to study in college, or when I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life. I always just knew. It was never a decision for me, never a debate. It was just the way it was.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What is the greatest lesson you learned while pursuing your passion?

1408914872496: To stay true to yourself, and never give up on that passion. It may sound incredibly cliche, but its true. Pursuing art, more often than not, is a lot like swimming upstream. People question you. They doubt the one thing you are most passionate about. Society fixates on things that are far outside what matters most, to you. I’ve certainly had moments of uncertainty, questioning what I was doing pursuing art. But then I think: would I really be happy, doing anything else? And the answer is always no. Personally, if I gave up on art, I would lose an incredibly large part of myself. And I owe the one life I have here more than that.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What inspires you the most?

1408914872496: Everything. I am truly in awe of the earth and the world that surrounds us. My work is an extremely personal take that I have on my everyday, often quite banal surroundings.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Who are some of your favorite artists, musicians, creatives etc.?

1408914872496: To name a (very small) few: Anselm Kiefer, Jeremy Mann, Alex Kanevsky, Geoffrey Johnson, Mark Rothko, Andy Goldsworthy, David Hockney, Douglas Fryer, Brian Rutenberg, Frank Stella, Chuck Close, Jenny Seville, Lisa Noonis, Hsin Yao Tsing, Daniel Ochoa, John Wentz.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What media do you feel most comfortable working with?

1408914872496: Oil paint, and a variety of mixed media including soft acrylic gel, charcoal, conte, watercolor, gouache, and acrylic gesso. That said, I am constantly exploring new media and my list of supplies is rapidly growing.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Is there a place where you feel you do your best work?

1408914872496: This is a tough question, as the last few months for me have been what you almost could describe as a nomadic studio space. At this point, I am happiest when I have space to spread out, and music to listen to.

photo 2

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: How have you overcome obstacles and discouragements in your art career/schooling?

1408914872496: I would never have chosen to study anything besides BFA studio art in college. But going to school for your BFA means that everyone’s all-time favorite question is some variation of, “So, you’re an art major? What are you going to do with that?” If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that during my time as an undergraduate, my college loans would be substantially lower than they are. We live in a world where art and the artists that create it are more than frequently questioned.  I spent my first three years of college attempting to convince nearly everyone around me that this was, indeed, the right choice of a degree for me; by my senior year, I gave up entirely. As much as I would have loved for people to fully understand the importance of art within society, and the impact it has had upon us all, in many cases, it is simply not possible to do so. As young artists, we struggle  more than enough (working to discover who we are as artists while we navigate our way through this very fickle art world, and finding exactly what mold we fit into once we’re actually there), and the additional and rather exhausting task of explaining myself as a young artist is simply not worth it to me anymore.


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What did you like most about studying art in college?

1408914872496: Studying art in college is the absolute dream. I mean that. Until you make it as a working artist, it is the only time in your life that you have to fully dedicate yourself to your practice. I practically lived at the studio. You have every single resource you need, right at your fingertips, all of the time. You are constantly surrounded by like-minded individuals, and nearly all of your friends are young artists, like yourself. You work with incredible mentors that want nothing more than to help you grow and succeed. I could go on and on. There’s a reason why people go on for their MFA and become professors. Who in their right mind would ever leave that environment?


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Where do you see your art career going? Biggest dreams?

1408914872496: Obviously, the ultimate dream is to become a working artist, and completely live off of your work. I would love nothing more than to get to that point. In the meantime, my best friend and I are laying the groundwork to open a gallery, Two Circle Gallery. Both young artists hoping to one day live off of our art, our mission is simple: Established by young artists, for young artists. We’re going to be featuring and representing up-and-coming artists who are looking to connect in the art world whilst establishing themselves as working artists. Ultimately, we hope to become an institution that is frequented when looking for new, blossoming talent. While we work on locking down funding for a gallery space, we’re hoping to launch an online version of our gallery within a few weeks.

Here’s a brief chance for me to propagate for Two Circle: if you are or know a young artist who would be interested in being featured or learning more about being featured on our gallery’s website for our launch date, please contact us at! We would love to hear from you and see your art!


Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Tell us a little bit about who you are.

1408914872496: I am an art history obsessor, entrepreneur, museum and gallery enthusiast, avid reader, oldest child, art appreciator, sister, outdoors[wo]man, TV series binge-watcher, world traveler, baker, animal mother, Pixar lover, tea drinker and west coast loving artist.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Any advice?

1408914872496: I said it before, and I’ll say it again: don’t give up on your dream, whatever that may be. Don’t walk away because it seems too difficult. If you are really passionate, you will take the struggle in stride and move on positively from it. Learn from it, grow from it. Chances are, doing what you are passionate about will make you happier than anything else you could possibly do. And why would you waste time doing anything besides that?


Make sure to check out more of Emma’s work at: