artist interview - ashley a. dailey of pop + shorty...

Ashley A. Dailey is the lead designer behind Pop + Shorty (so named after her grandparents - Pop and Shorty were their nicknames). They create a wonderful range of fun cards, prints, and poster all with a wonderful quirky edge. Visit their shop here, and don't forget to check out their blog for new work and upcoming events. Commissioned work is available on the their site.
what three to five words would you use to describe your work?
Pop + Shorty creates bold, witty, and unexpected design. In other words, design that pops!

what inspires you?
I try to immerse myself in design by visiting art galleries, reading books, blogs. and magazines, and teaching myself new techniques. My husband, Matthew, is also a huge inspiration for me. He pushed me to start Pop + Shorty from the very beginning and is one of the most creative and clever people I know.

what was your first job? when/how did you know you wanted a career in art?
My first job out of college was at an advertising agency in Indianapolis. I started in Account Management, then worked my way over to copy writing. I would watch the graphic designer place my text into a project, I would dream about what typeface, what color, and what placement I would use instead. I knew then I needed to try my hand in graphic design, so I went back to school to study advertising design.

your work is so fun and unexpected - describe your design process?
My ideas usually come at the most unexpected times, so I always carry a small sketchbook to scribble down my ideas and thoughts. Sometimes I will flip through old sketchbooks and find an idea that had some potential and work from there. I have family and friends all over the country, so I fly quite frequently. Being 30,000 feet in air is my favorite time to sketch because I can't get distracted!

design books/blogs you can't live without
This answer could easily be ten paragraphs! I love the blog Grain Edit. I drool every time I receive an email with a new blog post. I am a huge fan of Communication Arts, HOW magazine, and Computer Arts in the UK. As for books, I think anyone wanting to dive into the crafting world should read the book Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco. It is not a design book; however, my favorite book of all time is called the Darkside Zodiac by Stella Hyde. It flips astrology on its head by telling you the darkside of your horoscope (and it is scarily accurate). I sometimes call my sassier cards the "Darkside" of Pop + Shorty!

what do you do when you are not doing art?
Ha ha, when I asked my husband "What do I do when I am not working on Pop + Shorty?" he said, "Work on Pop + Shorty more?" He is about right! I also love listening to music and going to shows, hosting parties for friends, and dreaming about adopting a dog. I am hoping this Christmas my husband and I can add a new addition to the family.

name one thing about you that would shock the outside world.
I collect chopsticks. I have over 150 pairs, yet I never use them because I am not a very skilled chopstick user! I also still sleep with a teddy bear that I've had since I was one year old. Her name is Tedra, and she wears a small little jacket my great-grandmother, Shorty, sewed. Yes, the same Shorty from Pop + Shorty!

what city in the world best describes you?
Seville, Spain. I lived there for six months and felt right at home. During the day, the city is so calm. Then at night, the entire city just lights up and goes wild! If you get to know the city well enough, you'll find hidden flamenco bars in the streets that showcase the real Seville.

what's next?
Pop + Shorty just had its six-month anniversary, so we are still newbies. Our next step to to spread our cards and products around the country by selling in retail shops. Also, I am teaching myself how to gocco print, so I would love to incorporate more hand-pressed gocco designs into the mix. Lastly, we are hoping to launch some new geeky tee shirts since our CSS to HTML tee has been a huge success.


what if...

Taking a moment to be grateful today, as we should each day. What are you thankful for? What if we took a moment to practice gratitude each day? Have a good holiday! We will be back on Monday. Email me for info on photos.
images from Croatia/Budapest/Paris Aug 2009 copyright khristian howell and may not be used without the artist's permission.
what if we never forgot where we've been, and thus never went there again...

what if we allowed ourselves to nurture our souls daily...

what if we treated everything like a fragile gift...

what if we took a moment to discover the wonders just outside our door...

all images are copyright khristian howell and may not be used without the artist's permission.


etsy finds - kellyssima...

Kellyssima is one of my new followers on twitter, and now I am thrilled to have found her! Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil Kelly is now creating her line in Austin, TX. Her work has a sweet vintage feel with a slight modern edge. I am just falling in love. To top it off these product shots are fantastic, and your pieces will come in this delightful little package. Perfectly prepped for exquisite gift-giving! Well done Kelly!

etsy finds- stephanie corfee...

I noticed Stephanie Corfee recently over on Daisy Jane's etsy ticker. Oh my! It was an instant party for my eyes! I adore the use of all of this COLOR! Stop by her shop and check out her blog for downloadable art you can color up as you like.
all images are copyright stephanie corfee and may not be used without the artist's permission.


jet stream - ode to japan by rachel asimakopoulos...

Japan and Me: A Love Story

Descending into the land of geisha, sushi, and harajuku girls, I am once again astonished by the homogenous nature of the Japanese culture. It has been 8 years since I lived in Japan - eight long years.

The lights of Shibuya called to the shopper in me like a beacon, a star in the night, leading the way home. Home here comes in the form of the shopping districts of Tokyo. If this were my home, my closet would be filled with flannel shirts and puffy jackets. Every where you turned, buffalo plaid, window-pane plaid, madras plaid - plaid, plaid, plaid!!! It was a plaid plaid world in Japan. And puffy jackets weren't taking a back seat either. It was like walking into the world's largest outdoor retailer on the planet. As if all the Japanese stores took their inspiration from the likes of LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, Land's End, and REI.

However, despite the over-stuffed store racks and repetitive window displays, there were few people actually sporting these looks. Instead, the apparent consumer choice came in a lace package. The vintage victorian influences were commonplace attire throughout the streets, especially for the female crowd. Subdued colors, in earthy cosmetic tones, grounded the liberty inspired floral patterns. Lace, gathers, and puffed sleeves helped emphasize the feminine nature of this trend.

Tying these 2 strong trends together were the ever popular Cowboy Boots. In every shape, size, color, and pattern - from animal printed to hot pink slouched, these boots were pounding the pavement every where I looked.

It took 8 long years for me to get back to Japan. Now here are 8 reasons why I will once again return some day:

#8 Sweet Bean Paste
#7 5 Tiered Pagodas
#6 Butt Biting Deer (If you feed them, they will come)
#5 Sumo Wrestlers and their rice throwing ways
#4 Warm Sake Under the Cherry Blossom trees
#3 The soft glow of lanterns at night
#2 Disco themed private Karaoke rooms
and the #1 reason...Easily Identifiable Fashion Trends!!!

Until 2017 - Sayonara!

courtesy Parapluies et Soleil contributor Rachel Asimakopoulos.
Rachel is a senior designer for REI in Seattle. She has lived in Japan and traveled extensively throughout both Asia and Europe.


new collection: wanderlust...

Just when I am itchy for a new trip to plan, Wanderlust is born. The core print seemed to go over well, hope you like the rest of the group too! For info, email me.


fashion - opening ceremony...

Opening Ceremony, the fab store out of New York that seeks to foster young innovative design talent, has opened its first concept store outside of the US in Tokyo. This eight story space is designed to feel like a "mini mall". Opening Ceremony collaborated with the designers to capture the feeling of the different lines in each area. Shopping each brand is truly a boutique experience within the Opening Ceremony space. Designers include Alexander Wang, The Row, and Boy Band of Outsiders. To shop on line click here.


new at anthropologie - expanding kids...

Hooray! Anthropologie seems to be expanding its kids line! The kids featured in the new catalog are just the cutest kids EVER!


new work - alluminare...

Two of my prints have been released with fantastic lighting and home accessory site Alluminare. Check out my patterns "Granted" (so named after my amazing little bro) and "Eloise". These prints can be applies to their wonderful line of pendant lighting, pillow, wallpaper and more! To top it all off, you can customize the color. Great for both domestic and commercial use. Thanks Alluminare!