Showing posts with label favorite friends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label favorite friends. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Favorite Friend: Danielle Krysa aka The Jealous Curator

We have to admit that Danielle Krysa (aka The Jealous Curator) is not just one of our favorite friends--but one of our favorite people. We have gabbed about her in the past, both for her Girl Crush event that we helped host and her first art show in our gallery, alleglory. However, now she's throwing even more awesomeness our way, as her first book, Creative Block has hit shelves and she's packed her suitcase and headed for Seattle and Portland this week!

This coming Saturday, May 24th, Danielle will be speaking, fielding questions and having a book signing for Creative Block at Elliott Bay Book Company from 7-9pm. We'll be there--will you??

PLUS--If you're a Portland reader, your event is a bit earlier--with Danielle hitting Powell's Books on May 21st (that's tomorrow!) at 7pm. You won't want to miss her!

We were so excited to host Girl Crush: Seattle with you a while back--how did the series change you? Did you have a favorite moment throughout all of the events--other than hanging out with us, obviously!?
HA! Well, yes, clearly that was the best part! It really was an amazing experience. I met so many exceptional women who I can now happily call my friends. And yes, it did change me. I didn't realize how emotional those workshops would be. Amazing to find out that so many of us share so many experiences... self doubt being a really big one!

We're big fans of your series, "Real Art for a Fictitious World," on SF Girl By Bay --are there any lesser known characters that are special to you that you'd like to curate for that probably won't end up on the blog?  
Oh thanks! I absolutely love writing that series. I really want to hit all my teenage faves (Sixteen Candles, Dirty Dancing, Footloose) but I'm afraid it will date me, and also make me look like I don't have fancy taste in "films" ... because I don't!

When we first met, you were only just starting to delve deeper into your own art career--what have you learned about yourself as an artist?  
So much. Writing my blog, and then the book, was like art therapy for me! I actually allow myself to experiment now, and if something sucks, that's ok. I've realized that's just part of the process. I used to let that stop me, but now I just keep on going. I've also just had a major revelation... I was told a few weeks before I graduated with my BFA, by a horrible prof, that I should "never paint again." I was a painting major. And thinking about it, I literally have not painted since then (that was in 1995!!!). I do collage now (which I love), but I kinda wonder if I've been hiding out in collage so that I don't have to paint. So I'm buying new paint, and I'm going to do a bunch of the painting "unblocking projects" from the book and see how it goes...wish me luck!

When and where is the most inspiring time/place for you to create?  
I love my studio. It's in my house, for the first time in my life. It's messy and creative and lovely. I'm not very creative until about 4pm, but then I could go until about 4am!

Your book, Creative Block, has come out and is a smashing success! How did you feel when you received your first published copy? 
 I cried. And felt a tiny bit sick. It was insane to hold it, considering that for the past two years it was just a word doc and whole bunch of spreadsheets. Seeing "KRYSA" down the spine was a totally surreal moment that I will never have again.

What was your mission when writing Creative Block?  
I had a really hard time after my BFA (see previous answer re: jerky prof who kinda broke me), and then felt blocked and insecure for about 15 years. 15 YEARS?! What a huge waste of time. Anyway, I just thought if I could help one person not go through that, then the book would be a success. I had no idea how ridiculously open and honest all of the artists would be in their interviews. They truly made this book special by sharing their doubts, insecurities, and then amazingly helpful advice. I am totally grateful to all 50 of them.

Any inspiring or fun stories that have happened along the writing, publishing and touring path?  
Well this was kinda weird. One of the artists, Kristi Malakoff, is a paper artist based in Russia. I knew she was Canadian, but that was about it. Anyway, we went back and forth with the interview, getting her images etc.--probably about a 6 month process. Just before the book came out I sent an email to the artists to give them a status update and mentioned the name of my friend that took my bio photo for the inside cover... she knew him too. Long story short we ended up figuring out that we had grown up one town away from each other, and that we had actually been in a dance routine together when we were 12. She had the photo with her in Russia and was looking at us, in matching pink spandex, as she emailed me. Um, hello insanely small world!

If you were stranded on a magical, monotonous desert island and could have only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Do potato chips count as a meal? If I add dill pickle dip, then I'm pretty sure that counts.

If you could choose any celebrity to proudly display one of your art pieces in their home, who would it be?  
Oh boy. Hm. Probably Kristen Wiig or Tina Fey. I love both of them so much, and since my collages are kinda weird/funny, maybe they'd like 'em!

What is your favorite color? ...Why?
I love rosey/coral pink. It's adds joy to any piece you make. 

Images courtesy Danielle Krysa

Friday, March 28, 2014

Favorite Friend Friday: Mickey Trescott of Autoimmune Paleo

Mickey Trescott is a personal hero of mine. Having suffered from severe dermographism and urticaria (autoimmune reactions) for nearly 25 years, I started a blog called The Itch Factor, which was about my journey with discovering the connection between food, my gut and my skin allergies to health. Mickey happened to stumble upon The Itch Factor and offer her recipes to help in my journey! Because of business and time-related constraints, I retired that blog and focused on Mickey's blog and ebook: Autoimmune Paleo

Since starting the protocol, with Mickey's help, I have been able to reduce my medications from six allergy pills a day to ONE. Talk about a medical miracle, it honestly brings me to tears! And recently, Mickey released her brand, new hardcover cookbook, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook and I could not be more excited. We're delighted to have her here, as our Favorite Friend:

 What exactly is the Autoimmune Protocol?
The Autoimmune Protocol is an elimination diet where a person removes certain foods for a specified time period (usually at least 30 days), in order to pinpoint which foods they are sensitive to in addition to heal the lining of the small intestine, which is usually compromised in those with autoimmune disease (this is called “leaky gut”). In addition to removing certain foods, equally as important is adding in nutrient-dense foods that help heal the gut as well as nourish the body of someone facing chronic illness. Over time, a person is able to reintroduce foods to determine what diet is best for their particular healing journey.

What is your story--how did you come into following the Autoimmune Protocol?
I discovered the Autoimmune Protocol after being diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases: Hashimoto’s and Celiac. I was told that if I just removed gluten from my diet and took some thyroid hormone I would be back on my feet again, but that was not the case. I had a downward spiral that left me without the ability to work any longer, and I was desperate to find a solution. While I had been a strict Vegan for 10 years, even going as far to try cleanses and raw food diets, this time nothing was working to help me regain my health. I decided to switch to the autoimmune protocol in a last-ditch effort. To my surprise I found out that the nutrient deficiencies that I had gathered during my time as a Vegan were really holding me back from healing (and yes I tried supplements—they did not work!). Nothing seemed to turn it around until I discovered the potential of real, nourishing foods.

The cookbook is absolutely gorgeous--and self published! What was the experience of writing/self-publishing like?
Thank you! Writing was what I thought it would be, self-publishing was a whole different experience. I had a hard time finding a publisher who believed in my vision for the book, and early on I decided to do it myself so that I could retain control over the process. I think the big difference between working with a publisher and self-publishing is that it takes a LOT of money up front, and you get that final call working with the contractors when usually the publisher would do that for you (I’m a little OCD, so I liked this, what can I say?). What I did to make the financial piece happen was start a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo to help with production costs. In addition to that, my husband and I invested most of our savings in the first print run. Sometimes it was a little scary, but mostly it was really exciting. I was incredibly blessed to have worked with such amazing people who were experienced in how to put it all together and let me ask novice questions without making me feel ridiculous!

I see you recently became certified as an NTP (Nutritional Therapy Practitioner), has that always been a goal or did it come along with the creation of this cookbook?
When I came out of my illness and realized what an impact eating quality animal products was having on my health, I decided to pursue more education in the nutrition field just because I was still stuck in the Vegan mindset and didn’t understand how these foods could be good for me, so it was mostly personal. Then I thought it would be a good addition to my career as a personal chef, and decided I wanted to not just to cook for people, but learn why the foods I was cooking for them were able to nourish their bodies. Being an NTP has been a great foundation for all of the things I am doing now—writing, cooking, teaching, and consulting.

 Is this your only job--do you have a "day job" of sorts?
I quit my cooking gig last September to work on the book and blog full-time, so yes, this is my “day job!” I also have a lot of help—there is no way I could be running all of this alone at this point!

You seem to be bombarded with nutrition questions, especially on Facebook. Do you have any especially poignant stories of people who you've been able to help along the way?
Yes, my favorite story is about a dear friend’s mother. I had no idea she was suffering from autoimmunity, and one day I noticed her interacting with people on my Facebook page. I reached out to her to ask how she was doing and if she wanted any help, and she casually mentioned that she had lost nearly 50 pounds and was feeling amazing. Not only that, but she was really enjoying eating “real food” and thought her diet was really simple, colorful and fun. I had no idea she was even trying AIP, and It brought me to tears realizing that I had a role in helping my friend’s mom regain her health through the info and support I was providing. Pretty amazing!

What is your favorite recipe in the book?
The Orange-Rosemary Roasted Duck!

What is the one non-AIP food that you miss the most?
Cherry tomatoes fresh from my garden. I’m hoping I can bring them back someday!

What is your favorite restaurant in Seattle--and what do you order?
I don’t eat out much in Seattle since there aren’t a lot of places with gluten-free kitchens. When in Portland, I always visit the Cultured Caveman Food Cart, which is 100% gluten-free and Paleo. Since I tolerate eggs now I get the chicken tenders, but when I was on the elimination diet I got the mini “hidden liver” meat loves. Yum!

What do you like to do in your free time?
I don’t have much, but when I do I like to knit, shoot photos with my film camera, and make pottery.

If you could travel to any country, where would you go and why?
Argentina! I am hoping to do a big road trip down to Tierra Del Fuego and up through Patagonia. I grew up going there because my mom is from Buenos Aires. I think it would be a great place to visit since I have lots of family to catch up with, and there is a lot of great meat in Argentina!

Do you have future plans/goals for the Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook and site?
Now that the book is done I am working on building up the site as a better resource for those on the Autoimmune Protocol. I love providing my readers with free recipes and resources of how to get started. I’ll also be doing more speaking and teaching, to hopefully bring some face-to-face instruction to those who like learning that way instead of reading online!

Thank you so much, Mickey! Visit the Autoimmune Paleo website, or grab your copy of Mickey's new cookbook, here

Photos courtesy Autoimmune Paleo.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Favorite Friend Friday: Artist, Jenny Vorwaller

It's been too long since we've featured a Favorite Friend--but we're ready to break the silence for such a talented and fascinating friend like artist, Jenny Vorwaller. We met Jenny by chance with her good friend Aran Goyoaga at our another Favorite Friend, Keli Faw's shop, Drygoods Design. We became fast friends and have come to regard her and her artwork as inspirational and stunning. Meet one of our favorite friends, Jenny:

Tell us a little bit about your artistic process--how long does it take you to complete a piece?
Paintings run together from each session I have with them - sometimes one will come together all at once, and others, well, they have had many lives. I tend to work on a few at a time, so that there’s never a lag--while one dries or needs some distance, another is in the forefront, on the easel. I don’t like to rush them, but give them all the attention they need. I paint every day, there's always music playing (as essential as brushes and canvas!) and I need absolute solitude and good light.

What would you say is your biggest inspiration when working?
My inspiration is found through so many things. I feel like a collector in this way--a packrat of ideas. The challenge is keeping it focused--there are so many things to say...painting is one endless, interesting problem that I get to solve.

You have a show up in Anthropologie right now! How long will it be up? Do you have any other exciting events coming up?
The show at Anthropologie went up at the beginning of November and will go down at the end of December! Just a week left! It's more than half sold out, and I feel so lucky! I’m very excited about new shows in the next year, which include Pioneer square Art Walk at 95 Yesler in February, a two woman show at my friend Aran’s studio in March with Laura Burkhart, and a month at Drygoods Design on Ballard Ave in April. We will see what else is in store!

What is your favorite piece that you have created and why?
Ah, this is easy. “Juana de Arco” is my favorite. She has her own history, which will have to remain a bit of a mystery, since narrating paintings is so difficult for me, but I'll try my best to explain. It came to be when I for really serious about painting everyday again. I had a traumatic stay in the hospital, after I gave birth to my now four year-and-a-half year old, and there was a moment where the doctors weren’t sure if I was going to make it...that’s when it all became clear. Everything has shifted since. Life is precious, there's only so much time, why wasn't I doing what I was meant to? I had always painted, kept a sketchbook, but not at the steady pace that I knew I wanted to. "Juana de Arco" is about a lot of things, it’s very feminist. It evokes the feeling of fighting for what you believe in, even when everyone around you is not on board. It's about not compromising your integrity to stay in line for the status quo. Sometimes doing what you are meant to, and being yourself, means that not everyone will accept it, but you will go out blazing. (Juana de Arco is “Joan or Arc” in Spanish).

"Juana de Arco" by Jenny Vorwaller. Photo by Moorea Seal

Which artists do you most admire?
Joan Mitchell, De Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Richard Diebenkorn, Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, Cy many! I keep a pinboard of what I’m looking at here for reference. Pinterest has really surprised me in the way that it has become a standard tool in my studio practice. Who would've thought?

How do you balance home & family life and being an artist?
I need my structure of painting for a certain amount of hours a day, always first, then my time with my family and friends at the close of the day, when my mind is all spent and I've done all I can. Of course there are exceptions--planning things around my kids school hours, etc., but for the most part, this is my daily routine. I would say the greatest challenge as a female artist with children is that there is no real model to follow. Art History was written for and by men, mostly. When women chose to paint, they did so at the sacrifice of their choice to have a family, even getting married. But there also is an unexpected gift of freedom that comes from this challenge and that is doing what the artist has always done--and that is to forge my own path. I guess I could never be with someone who didn't understand my need to create, someone who didn't respect it, it's such a big part of me, and my husband saw and knew that part of me right away, so it's never been a question of balance, it's just what it is.

My family is what keeps my work balanced. I've been more focused as a result too--it's quality over quantity for studio time. Then when there are the off hours with family, I'm still thinking about it. Sometimes when I'm away for a few days, or even on a trip, I get a sense of mild panic--and every time, I'm impressed that not only the work is still there when I return to it, but it improves with a break. This is a good metaphor for the everyday experience of work some, be there for the family. I take a vacation from it everyday in a way, in the afternoons, and it's still there when I return the next time.

I would be such an eccentric hermit, overly-dedicated to my work at all hours of the day if it weren't for my family to keep me balanced. I don't mean that in a industriously positive way, I mean that the pull of small children's needs gives me breathing room from the hold that painting holds over me. It keeps me healthy, and in check with what I need to be doing. There's such a stereotype that artists are sloppy, disorganized, aren't good with money, and unreliable. This probably goes for most creatives, but it's absolutely essential to be concerned with the practical when you become a serious artist with a capital A and even more if you are female painter with children. We have all the odds against us, so we need to make for the best supportive environment as possible--and that doesn't just happen on its own.

I remember this breakthrough when I was first pregnant. Suddenly I was aware that I needed to slow down, to take a nap, to eat better, because my baby needed it. I finally gave myself permission because this little person who was completely dependent on me for everything gave me no choice. But would I have done that before for myself? Not really. It took having a family and that massive sense of responsibility towards this new life, to really treasure mine in a whole new way.

If you could have any "dream job" (excluding what you do now) what would it be?
Producing/shooting music videos. So magical! To illustrate the way music makes me feel! I do this with painting now, in a big way, but to take it to a level with a camera, that's almost a scary amount of control that you dictate the experience of sound for other people. I see multimedia art in my future...

If you could have one celebrity buy a piece of your work, who would it be? Diane Keaton.

If you could only eat at one local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be? Too hard! I love s'mores cookies from Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery...but everyday would be death by chocolate!

You're stuck on a desert island--which book do you want to have?
Whatever my new book club has chosen that month--I like to get it read early!

If you could live in any other location, where would that be?
I would fly south back to Buenos Aires for winter, but just for a few months, I love it here in Seattle.

What do you do for fun?
I love going out to eat with friends, reading, biking, cooking, and in the summer, gardening and kayaking. I'm always up for roadtrips and travels... my list of museums I have yet to see is so long - hoping to cross some of them off in the next few years!

Photos via Jenny Vorwaller unless otherwise indicated.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Favorite Friend Friday: Lesley Poole of Poole Party of 5

I met lovely Lesley back in the days of Paper Source. She left before Emily came on staff (and Assemble began to burgeon) but we reconnected recently at Alt Summit! Lesley exudes the kind of calm, creative sense that we neurotics tend to look up to. She's a class act, and her blog is evidence that she's incredibly talented at that. If you're looking for gorgeous seasonal recipes, DIY projects and adorable kids' clothing and accessories, skip over to her blog and business, Poole Party of 5.

Tell us a little bit about Poole Party of 5. When did it start? What is your mission? What made you want to start this project?
For about five years, all my energy went towards the having and raising of babies. We are done having kids, so I felt that my next step was to try something new that I could build into a creative career. I wanted to craft a venue to rediscover my own interests and share that journey with others. Poole Party of 5 was born to document this journey. The blog focuses on whatever crazy projects we are working on--whether we are canning local produce in the summer or creating a fun birthday for one of the kids. My time is extremely limited right now, but I truly value catching moments of creativity when they happen, even if it feels like I am never able to do as much as I want to do!

Poole Party of 5, Favorite Friend on Assemble's blog

I started sewing around the same time as I started the blog. My baby spit up like crazy and I realized I needed to add some style to the burp cloths I was wearing every day throughout her first year of life. I added bright fabrics to the burp cloths to keep them functional, while adding a pop of color. We started giving these burp cloths as gifts to families with new babies and Poole Party Designs was born! Poole Party Designs provides personalized gift items that celebrate individuality with a preppy and modern aesthetic. Our style is classic with a twist. I appliqué fresh designs onto classic silhouettes for effortless custom gifting.

What are your goals for your blog and and company?
It is amazing to think about what has happened over the past year with both the blog and the business. I have a difficult time imagining what will happen over the next few minutes, let alone the next few months! I see that Poole Party Designs evolves as our life changes.

My background is in corporate retail and clothing production. When I became a mother six years ago, I decided to take a break from the world of retail. My primary focus is my family, but fabrics have always fascinated me and I realized that this was a part of my identity that I wanted to explore again. I love custom requests and working with my customers to help them create something special. Poole Party Designs allows me to play with lovely fabrics and create beautiful, custom gifts. I hope to keep doing that for a long time. Our family of five provides constant inspiration. The clothing and accessories I design all begin based on a need in my own life. If someone is celebrating a birthday, a child is headed off to his first day of school, or a new baby is being welcomed into the world; we believe all the milestones, as well as the everyday, are worth celebrating.

You went to Alt Summit this year too! What did you learn?

Alt was amazing. I enjoyed myself so much and I was reminded how wonderful it feels to be around people who are passionate. It is very inspiring. At the same time, I feel like the most important lesson I learned was “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle,” -Jon Acuff, author. We are all in different places with our creative process. When starting something new, it is so easy to get overwhelmed, looking around at others and not taking into account that these very inspiring people might be farther along their path. Good things take time. It is important not to get frustrated with ourselves when things go more slowly than we might like.

You also have an Etsy shop where you sell handsewn items for children--do you find yourself enjoying working on those items or your lifestyle blog more?
I find that my focus seems to shift back and forth, somewhat seasonally. There are moments when I am so inspired by fabrics and sewing and feel that I should concentrate all my extra energy on that and then it will switch to where writing the blog feels like my real focus. I believe that the seasons truly impact what I want to work on.

Lesley Poole, Favorite Friend Friday on Assemble's blog

Do you ever struggle with balancing life as a wife, mother and blogger?
Yes, absolutely, every day. Even though I continually struggle to balance every aspect of my life right now, it still feels worth pursuing the blog and my small business. I know that my creative endeavors feed my spirit and that helps me to be a happier person. Sometimes I am able to involve my kids in the projects I am working on and that helps me to feel that this all makes sense. It feels then like I am adding creativity to their life and not just making myself crazy!

If you could eat at only one local restaurant, for the rest of your life, what would it be? What's your favorite menu item?
There are so many fantastic restaurants in Seattle. We are constantly on the hunt for a neighborhood restaurant to become regulars at and we haven’t found that one yet. But, we recently had a phenomenal meal at Tilikum Place Café. We ordered the fried squash blossoms and hand cut pasta and both were out of this world. I also love the cocktails at Zig Zag. The bartender is famous and I order The Blessed Event--a rye whiskey and citrus concoction.

You get to organize a dinner party. Who do you invite?
There are historical and famous people I could imagine inviting and sound much more intellectual, but right now, what I would love most is a little comfort. Life is so busy and we have wonderful friends, but we don’t see them as much as I would like. It would be dreamy to have all my close friends, many of whom are spread out across the country, collected under one roof for a lovely dinner that would go on and on for hours.

What do you like to do for fun?
I love to read. I also love to travel and entertain.

If you had one day completely to yourself what would you do with it?
Life is pretty hectic right now, so mostly I would be enjoying some peace and quiet. I was recently given a morning to myself and I took a lovely run outside with the dog. Then I spent a few hours sewing.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
San Francisco or Seattle. My husband and I met in San Francisco and we loved our time there. But, I am also pretty fond of the life we are crafting here in Seattle. Difficult choice.

And what's your dream job, besides what you're doing now?

I would be a floral designer. I worked with a really talented florist in college and I loved being surrounded and working with so much organic beauty. I also love the idea of bringing joy to other people through my work and who doesn’t love receiving flowers that have been lovingly put together?

Head over to Poole Party of 5 to follow along with Lesley and her adorable brood.

Images courtesy of Poole Party of 5.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Favorite Friend Friday: Fine Artist, Joey Bates

We've known Joey Bates forever--and he is one of the most talented artists in the Pacific Northwest. His portraiture style combined with mediums like paper-cutting, gouache, (and even painting on windows!) is by far some of the most lovely and inspired work we have seen. Recently, Joey announced his plans to venture out to Iceland, and study land formations and glaciers in connection with his work. We first--donated quickly to his fundraiser, and second--asked him a few questions about his intriguing process. We think you'll be interested too:

joey bates and natasha
Left, Joey. Right, "Natasha" (graphite and gouache on toned paper)

Tell us a little bit about your process--how long does it take you to complete a piece?
I work pretty intuitively. There are times I feel like painting, times I feel like drawing and times I feel like cutting paper. It's hard for me to land on just one thing. I usually just jump into pieces; I don't do any preliminary sketches, but I gather reference material and go for it. I do end up scrapping a lot of work, I learn a lot from the pieces that don't work out.
As for reference material I look all over. For my portraits I work from people I know and usually take 100-200 images of them. Each piece can take anywhere from 8 to 30 hours for completion. The paper cuts usually take more time. I just finished the largest cut paper portrait I have ever done. It can be see in this video, by Christian Powers:

Joey Bates Profile from christian powers on Vimeo.

Do you have endless ideas or do you get "artist's block?"
I do get "artist's block." When I get blocked in regards to new work or new ideas I start doing nudes. It's really good to work through the "blocks." When I am having a hard time sitting down to work I go for a bike ride. I've always found that getting out there and riding around the city helps me greatly in re-centering and being productive in the studio when I get back to the studio.

Untitled Variant Limited Edition Print available through Joey's Indiegogo fundraiser

We hear you are trying to get to Iceland to study land formations! What turned you on to that specifically?
I am fascinated by Iceland. The land more than anything else there. The way the country was formed, how it is still forming and how it is continually changing (most of the time in small ways, but sometimes in explosive ways). I'm also intrigued by the way in which the ice interacts with and changes the land. The glaciers are moving at pretty rapid rates right now. It's insane to think of the way in which water erodes surfaces, what the land looks like now compared to what it looked like just five years ago. Land is amazing and this trip is just the start of a new body of work. The Indiegogo fundraiser is well under way!

What is your favorite piece that you have created?
Oh boy. I don't know. There are certain pieces I feel more affection for. I usually work on a piece and feel really good about it in process, then feel done and over it upon its completion. I think the piece I just completed is my favorite at the moment (the cut paper portrait mentioned earlier). It's currently untitled and not related to the new direction I'm headed with the landscape work.

paper cut hemlock by joey bates seattle
"Hemlock" by Joey Bates

Which artists do you most admire?
• Lucian Freud
• Andrew Wyeth
• Keith Haring
• Egon Schielle
• Gala Bent
• Robert Hardgrave

If you could have one celebrity buy a piece of your work, who would it be?
Oi. I don't know. A large part of me doesn't care for celebrity. I don't really gawk over anyone other than my girlfriend and the amazing people I know. I would love for celebrities to start buying my work, dig out of debt a bit. Ha.

If you could only eat at one local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?
There's a Thai place up north in Edmonds, Washington called Thai Cottage. The food is great and the staff is so amazingly nice. I could see myself stepping in every day feeling welcomed and good about where I'm at. I go every year for my birthday.

If you could live in any other location, where would that be?
Melbourne, Australia or Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I'd always come back to Seattle for visits. This is one of the most beautiful places on this planet and it's hard to think about leaving.

What do you do for fun?
Ride my bicycle, play MLB on the Wii (well actually I play the Wii to take a breather from long days at work), take walks with my girlfriend. I sound like such an old man, but we both live in great neighborhoods in Seattle: Ballard and Queen Anne.

You're stuck on a desert island which book do you want to have?

There is a book that has followed me most of my life in one way or another--Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach

Thanks, Joey! View Joey Bates' website here and donate to his fundraiser for awesome treats and cool prints here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Published: Uppercase #17

Guess what? We've switched up our writing venue for a spot in the 17th issue of Uppercase Magazine--editor Janine Vangool is one of our Favorite Friends!

In this special stationery issue, we are profiling Rosanna and Joel Kvernmo of Iron Curtain Press (more favorite friends!) before they make their way to the National Stationery show. It's an honor to be in the colorful pages of Uppercase, and we hope you will pick up a copy in our online shop! Happy reading!

uppercase magazine iron curtain press

Friday, April 5, 2013

Favorite Friend Friday: Emily Nelson of Cult Cakes

We met Emily when she was working at a coffee shop next to our former storefront in Phinney/Greenwood. Little did we know that she was a pastry genius (and making excellent mochas as well)! When I was planning my wedding last year, Emily was working as an assistant with Kelli's Cake Creations, and she assisted and delivered my cake! The cake was dream-like, and I've hired her to make a miniature version of it for our 1st anniversary on May 5th. We at Assemble are so excited that Emily is getting her brand new business, Cult Cakes, started up, and are happy to introduce her to all of our friends and customers. If you need a delightful pastry--Emily takes the cake!

cult cakes emily nelson

Why baking? What got you started in this industry?
Food always interested me, growing up, so I was always up to something in the kitchen—-mostly baking. Around age 11, I found a spring issue of Martha Stewart Living. There was an article on decorating cakes with candied edible flowers, and I thought that was so cool. For next few years, I experimented with cake decorating, and by the time I was sixteen, I left high school to pursue a degree in baking and pastry. I've always been a creative type, so it was natural to go into cake decorating, where my two passions came together.

the small object cake topper kellis creations cakes andie powers
Photo by Jaquilyn Shumate Photography

cult cakes emily nelson
Photo by Cult Cakes

What does Cult Cakes mean to you?
My inspiration for Cult Cakes is usually brought about by pop culture, subcultures, different trends (fashion is a major influence) and finding a way to translate that into a cake. I want to take the cake medium, go outside the box of traditional cake décor, and give it a fresh perspective. Right now I’m working with the classic cake silhouette, but I have a lot different ideas that I’m looking forward to actualizing. Of course, there is always the indulgent aspect of cake, so I want to dazzle people’s taste buds as well as their eyes. It doesn’t matter how pretty a cake is if it doesn’t taste good.

What is your signature recipe?
I’m currently developing my own recipes, but I’m a big fan of Fannie Farmer. I used her cookbook when I was baking growing up, and I find her recipes extremely comforting. My favorite is her Peerless Chocolate Cake—-you can find that one in many of my posts on my blog. I'm also a big fan of her brioche recipe (and I actually baked you Andie a brioche from her recipe last year!) [Editor's note: it was one of the best things I have ever eaten.]

cult cakes emily nelson
Photo by Assemble

What's your favorite things to make for clients?
Oh gosh, I don’t know if I can pick. I enjoy sculpting, be it the cake itself or figurines made from sugar or chocolate.

What are your goals for your business?
I’m looking forward to running a cake shop with a store front one day. I’m a big fan of knowing where my food comes from, so I’d hope to source locally and make our fillings (like raspberry jam) and decorating materials (like modeling chocolate) in-house. I’m excited to consult with and understand my clients, especially if I am going to be creating a custom cake for them.

Photo by Cult Cakes

If you could eat at only one local restaurant, which would it be? What would you order?
This is a really difficult question for me, haha! Probably Than Brothers, since I feel like I’m always craving pho! I always order the beef pho with broccoli.

Which famous person would you love to see order one of your desserts?
Martha Stewart. I’d have come full circle. And I would cry salty tears of joy.

If you could live in any other location, where would you choose?

This is another tough one! Probably France or New York City.

cult cakes emily nelson
Photo by Jaquilyn Shumate Photography

What else do you do for fun?
I’m really looking forward to barbecues this summer. I love to feed people. I also enjoy dancing (poorly), singing, gardening, painting, swimming, reading, and sleeping. I'd like to learn French and how to throw a good punch.

Thanks, Emily!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Take Notes: "Blog with Purpose" by Melanie Biehle

A quick note about an awesome lady, that you met back in November of 2012. Melanie Biehle of Inward Facing Girl and Genuine Mix is definitely a favorite friend, and recently, she published her first ebook, entitled Blog with Purpose: It Takes More Than Top Knots. The title just cracks me up, it has "Those Girls" written all over it.

I still manage to learn something new every time I see Melanie, and her e-book is full of valuable information for anyone who is a blogger, wants to be a blogger, knows a blogger, or really has ever read a blog. I would absolutely pick up a copy, I mean, hey--it costs less than two lattes and a donut (can you tell I'm in the mood for coffees and donuts?) Not quite so much about the mechanics of setting up a website or designing the perfect logo, this e-book focuses more on creating unique and valuable content that relates directly to your own readers, plus it has worksheets! Who doesn't love a worksheet?? Well done, Melanie!

Book cover image via Genuine Mix

Friday, March 8, 2013

Favorite Friend Friday: Julianna Swaney

We have been huge fans of Portland-based artist, Julianna Swaney for years, and were thrilled to have her work in our shop. There were several months that we couldn't even keep her watercolor, gouache and pen illustrations in stock. Elegant and delicate, her work is reminiscent of an eerie Red Riding Hood tale. Her products, sold under the name, "Oh My Cavalier," range from postcard sets to fun office accessories, prints and booklets.

This month, we're kicking off a brand new aspect of our Favorite Friend Features! Each week, our favorite friend will be curating a Pinterest Board for us: a sneak peek into their world. Visit Julianna's Guest Pinterest board, and follow her as well!

an interview with julianna swaney of oh my cavalier designer illustrator artist

People love your illustrations--Assemble couldn't keep enough of your prints in stock! Your work is so recognizable, yet each piece has so much personality. Where does your inspiration come from?
Oh gosh, I get inspiration from so many things! Of course a lot comes from remembering back to the fairy tales I loved growing up. I try to remember how they made me feel back then, and then try to make artwork that has that same feeling for me. More generally I just try to make things that I like, drawings that if I hadn’t made it myself and I saw it somewhere it would make me happy. I like old things, I like animals, I like houseplants, I like rainy days, I like stars & constellations, I like bread. All these things end up making their way into my drawings!

an interview with julianna swaney of oh my cavalier designer illustrator artist

You recently started creating logo/type illustrations for clients. (We ADORE it!) How did that work evolve?
Thanks! I think this new direction came about because I started including more hand drawn text in some of my artwork, and people really seemed to like it. I got a request from Sharon Montrose to do the hand-written text for her book, Menagerie, and after that I’ve been slowly getting more and more requests from people who want a hand drawn look for their logos. It’s really fun work and I’m enjoying it a lot, though sometimes I feel out of my depth. I had half a semester of graphic design in college, and I was soo bad at it, I switched right away to fine art printmaking! Everything I know how to do with a pen, Photoshop, or Illustrator I’ve taught myself so each new project is a bit of a learning process. I’m also trying to learn to stop apologizing about that. My path has just been a little different.

an interview with julianna swaney of oh my cavalier designer illustrator artist

You've been shifting your presence from "Oh my Cavalier" to "Julianna Swaney." Tell us about your decision to highlight your name more than your original blog title.
Well, my online and business presence has been linked with the name Oh My Cavalier ever since I started my Etsy Store way back in ’06. I just picked that because in college I had a zine by that name, and I liked it. When I picked that I never intended for people to solely know my work only from that name, but that was what ended up happening. I’d come across blogs where my artwork was credited to “Oh My Cavalier” like it was made by a company or something. I didn’t like that, I’d rather have my artwork associated with my real name, for obvious reasons. It’s been hard to know where to begin to change it though since over the years whenever I picked a username for any website to keep consistent I always chose Oh My Cavalier. It’s been a slow process of changing things over slowly and promoting myself more carefully. I think I’m finally making headway now.

an interview with julianna swaney of oh my cavalier designer illustrator artist

You seem to do it all -- original art shows, prints, stationery, an online shop, a gorgeous blog. What's next?
Actually my ultimate plan is to do less things! Lately I’ve been wanting to really focus on one of the things that I do, and to do it better. But that would mean not doing the others, which is a little scary. And I have a hard time picking which one thing I want to do!

If you could eat at only one local restaurant, which would it be? What would you order?
I love breakfast, so my favorite restaurant in Portland is probably Broder. I would order a baked scramble. They come in these adorable little skillets and served on a wooden tray, it’s all so nice, I could eat there every day.

Which famous person would you love to see own a piece of your artwork?
I have no idea! I can tell you at least one pretty famous person does own some of my artwork. (Editor's note: WHICH ONE?? Don't hold out on us, Julianna)

an interview with julianna swaney of oh my cavalier designer illustrator artist

If you could live in any other location, where would you choose?
In my wildest dream, somewhere in Europe or Japan.

What else do you do for fun?
I like to bake things, read, or go for walks in my free time.

Thank you, Julianna! See more of Julianna's work here, and click below to view Julianna's Guest Board.

Images courtesy of Julianna Swaney

Friday, February 22, 2013

Favorite Friend Friday: Kathryn Murray of Kathryn Murray Calligraphy

We did our first Favorite Friends post about Kathryn Murray, but since it was our first, we weren't quite sure what we were doing! Now that we've got our format down, we wanted to give Kathryn her just due!

Kathryn Murray is one of our favorite people. I personally have known her for about eight years, having met in Los Angeles (during a one-year, wander-lust move). Back in the day, I would pay her with coffees to address envelopes here and there for me, and then later, hired her to provide calligraphy for our wedding! She is an incredibly talented artist and calligrapher, and with wedding season coming up, we're proud to introduce her to you, plus we'll vouch for her incredible workmanship!

Photo courtesy of Kathryn Murray Calligraphy

When did you start doing calligraphy?
I started doing calligraphy about a year after I got married. I had tried my hand at it for my own wedding and struggled through the 100 invites. I am not entirely sure how it started, but people started asking me to calligraphy their envelopes and place cards, and the word spread. My true secret weapon is my very talented husband, who takes all of my photos and handles all of the web design. Without him and that help, I wouldn't have even gotten off the ground.

Is your background in art and design?
I always wanted to be an artist. In fact, as a child I envisioned college as the place where you could do as much art as you wanted and no one would limit you. In a way that was true, I was lucky enough to have that dream come to fruition and attend Parsons in NYC. I studied illustration, typography, and printmaking. I thought I would end up being more of a traditional illustrator, but things evolve and become more, and different than what I expected at 20.

Photo by Jaquilyn Shumate Photography

Photo courtesy of Kathryn Murray Calligraphy

Did you always want to have your own business?
Yes. I always wanted to have my own business and be more of a freelancer than an employee. I wasn't sure how I would do it, or what it would be exactly, but I knew I wanted to have my own business. I am an only child, which for me has meant that I am good at working on my own. It took several years to leave the "regular" job, but I am really happy to be here.

Photo courtesy of Kathryn Murray Calligraphy

What is it like to work for yourself?
Most of the time I love it. It is quiet and I have the freedom to make my own schedule. It can be frustrating at times because you have to monitor yourself. This is not always easy if you get sucked in to Pinterest or can't seem to focus. I actually prefer the "wedding season" when I am busier. It forces me to stay on task and run a tighter schedule. February is my slowest month, so this year I am re-doing my studio while I can.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed or stressed?
Of course there are times when I am overwhelmed and stressed. Sometimes I wish I could have someone else do my bookkeeping, or answer emails. One of the strangest and best things is that the internet is both my source of employment and source of frustration. It is a HUGE blessing that people like my work and trust me enough to be a part of their wedding, but I think they forget that I am a real person, not a machine and that if they don't tell me what they want, it is really hard to divine. This work is important to me and I want it to be as perfect and as beautiful as possible. I recently got a so-so review and it bummed me out for several days. The bride thought the ink I used was too pale. I wish she had contacted me and let correct it rather than post it on the internet. I think we all forget that there are real people on the other side of that email.

You gave a few quickie calligraphy lessons to some famous folks--we want details!
Probably the most famous one was Helena Bonham-Carter. I worked at a stationery store in Beverly Hills (with Andie!) and we had tons of celebrities come in on a regular basis. At some point I was scratching away, making signage for the store and the lovely Mme. Bonham-Carter asked if she could try my pen. I use what is called an oblique nib, and it is rather Burton-esque. I don't remember too much about it other than that she wrote her kids names, and that she looked like a beautiful rag doll in a Vivienne Westwood plaid skirt.

Helena Bonham Carter's calligraphy Billy Burton The Corpse Bride
Editor's sidenote: Kathryn GAVE me the piece of paper Helena was working on! I've treasured it ever since, here it is!!
(The top "Mr. & Mrs." is Kathryn, the rest is Helena)

You've received a lot of press attention--which were you most excited about?
I love all of the print stuff but I was probably most excited when I had work on the Martha Stewart Weddings Blog. I have partnered with a wonderful bakery here in LA, Modern Bite, that makes these delicious shortbread cookies that can be adorned with calligraphy. I do the artwork, send it to them digitally and it gets printed on edible paper with edible ink. Not only do they look great, but they are SO delicious. We have been doing them for a few years for favors and place cards, but last year someone at MS Weddings blogged about them. It is definitely a dream to have work in the magazine someday too!

Photo courtesy of Kathryn Murray Calligraphy

Other than custom calligraphy, what other design components do you offer?
I do menus, invitations, signs, custom stamps, stationery, etc. You name it. One of my favorite things that I did last year was custom coasters and napkins for a wedding in Washington D.C. I do a ton of stamps as well. These are really fun to do and I think they look fantastic. People surprise me all the time with creative things they come up with. I had a bride last year use the stamp for coffee sleeves. And another took their monogram and projected it on the wall at the reception.

Photo courtesy of Kathryn Murray Calligraphy

What do you like to do in your off-time?
I am currently obsessed with needle-pointing. I spend hours researching, planning, reading and stitching. But this is not granny needlepoint, I am attempting a more modern take on an antiquated art. I am drawing all of my own designs since the pre-made ones are a bit of a bummer. It is a great activity to do if we are watching TV, or when we are doing my other favorite activity, traveling. We went to Italy for Christmas, and if you can believe it, I was a little (only a little) disappointed I didn't have more down time to needlepoint!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
If it is a fantasy (and money is no object) then I would live in the South of France. Close enough to go to the beach if I wanted to, but far enough from the crowds to live a quiet life of wine and crusty bread. Then I would jet off to Italy on a whim, or pop over to London to go to Liberty. I am pretty happy in LA though, this was a hard one to answer. I am really in love with Hollywood (the actual place, not the celebrity/movie stuff), and have been for as long as I can remember.

If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Dirty Martini with olives to start, crusty bread with delicious spreads, charcuterie platter with meats, almonds, mustard and quince paste. Followed by a lovely glass of red wine and fruit.

What's your dream job, besides what you are doing now?

No question, textile design.

You get to organize a dinner party, who is there?

My sweet husband, Matt. Simon Doonan, because I think he would be so interesting to talk to. Comedian, Paul F. Tompkins, because he makes me laugh like no other. Christina Hendricks, because I secretly want to be her best friend. Our wonderful friends Josh & Rafi that own and run FORM Interior Design just because I love them (and would need witnesses for this epic party), and Tricia Guild of Designer's Guild because I secretly want to be her.

See more of Kathryn's work on her website.
Thank you, Kathryn!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Favorite Friend Friday: Graphic Designer, Michelle Beilner of Sparky & Marie and Jot Creates

Michelle Beilner of Jot Creates and Sparky & Marie is definitely one my personal favorite friends, as well as being a favorite friend of Assemble. She will most likely read this and roll her eyes, but besides being genuine, kind, and hilarious, Michelle is one of the most talented people we've ever met. Not only did she help us brand Assemble in the very beginning (the logo + all of those awesome little drawings of craft supplies on the website are her work), but she was also a writing partner on Neatloaf with us until we recently transferred to our own Assemble blog. These little projects are nothing compared to her real work, and we were excited to get to ask her a few questions about it:

michelle beilner of jot creates and sparky and marie

Tell us a bit about Sparky & Marie and Jot Creates. What different types of work do you do for each?
Sparky & Marie is a brand of prints and patterns that are available for licensing. I work with an agent that handles the business side of things. I come up with the creative stuff, and they make things happen!

sparky & marie calendar

Jot Creates is my graphic design business–identity design, print collateral, packaging, web, etc. It’s something that I’ve been building since 2006. It’s been slow growing, but I’d really like to hire a young budding designer this year to get things moving up and up.

jot creates logos

Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
Specifically for Sparky & Marie–-60s and 70s pop floral prints are a ton of fun to look at, and I always have my eyes open when I’m out and about. I might find a flower on a walk, or something else lovely in nature. J. Crew catalogs have been bursting with fun color palettes for a while now, and the flea market is always a great source of inspiration. When I’m really in need of a creative jolt, my go-to place is Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles. There’s a Kinokuniya Bookstore, which I believe also has a location in Seattle. Their craft book section is awesome (even though I can’t read, I enjoy the photos). I also love the Los Angeles Flower Market. It’s a huge space filled with vendors selling flowers.

You have the sweetest ten month-old little boy at home--what's a typical day like for you as a designer and mom?
The baby wakes up at about 6:30am and he and his daddy start their day off with some one-on-one QT. I wake up at about 8:30am and by that time the little guy is ready for his morning nap. Once he’s down for his nap, I try to work--sometimes unsuccessfully. When he wakes we eat and play. I might try and squeeze in some emails and phone meetings while he’s awake, and at about 1pm he goes down for his second nap (the same work schedule applies for the second nap). After his second nap, we usually get out of the house for groceries, a good long stroll, or to see some pals. Bedtime begins at about 5:30pm/6:00pm with a bath, PJs, a feeding and cuddles. Once the baby is down for bed the work REALLY begins, and I’m usually able to cram in 3-5 hours before it’s time for my bedtime.

How do you manage to balance work and family time?
I don’t. It’s a wild juggling act! I have big dreams of “doing it all”–-being creative, managing two different facets of my business, managing the house, being a good partner to my husband, a good mom to my son, etc. I fall behind on many levels, but fortunately I have a loving and supportive husband, a very sweet son and a big number of others (mom, dad, sisters, friends) who love me despite all of my shortcomings.

Do you have any new projects that you are excited about?

Why, yes! On the Sparky & Marie front, I’m working with a company by the name of Trimcraft in the UK on a collection of Nordic-inspired Christmas crafting papers. On the Jot front, I’ve been working with a woman entrepreneur (website, packaging and print collateral) on a product that she is soon to be launching at the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago. Labels to help you organize your paint cans!

What is your proudest design achievement?
I’m not one to acknowledge achievements. There haven’t been achievements like design awards, or anything of the like YET, but Sparky & Marie prints and patterns will be featured in a kids print and pattern book by Bowie Style of the Print & Pattern blog. The book is due out some time this year. When Bowie approached me about including my prints, I was so happy. I love her blog!

What do you like to do in your off-time?

Of course I am always thinking about business related things, but a girl has got to get refreshed and feel inspired! These days: going for walks with my family, cooking recipes from Epicurious, going to the farmer’s market, and dreaming of buying our first home (hopefully in the next few years).

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Simple. Chicago. That’s where my family is. I do love what my husband and I have created in Los Angeles, but I miss my family terribly. Thankfully, we have very loving and wonderful friends and neighbors in LA.

If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I don’t like this question. Grr. I love food too much to pick one thing. Pizza is probably up there.

What's your dream job, besides what you are doing now?
I just told my husband this a few days ago and he said, “No, you DO NOT want to do that.” Oh, but yes I do! That is, I would love to have a shop in my neighborhood that sells handcrafted artisan home goods and offers the best damn gift wrapping you’ve ever laid your eyes on--gorgeous papers and the prettiest grosgrain ribbons. No wire ribbons!! I’d be like Mommy Dearest, but with ribbons.

You get to organize a dinner party, who is there?
Ira Glass (This American Life), Michelle Obama (First Lady), Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live), Jenna Lyons (J. Crew Creative Director), plus two of my professors from college who made me look at the world with bigger and brighter eyes--Ken Carls (graphic design) and Jerry Savage (life drawing/painting). Oh, and my husband would be there, of course! Everyone would really enjoy his fabulous collection of vinyl records and his charming personality. Also, everyone gets to bring their significant others, which means the President would be at my party too.

Thanks, Michelle!!

Images courtesy of Michelle Beilner.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Favorite Friend Friday: Luke Haynes, Quilter//Fine Artist Extraordinaire

Luke Haynes is one of those people that we are kicking ourselves for not getting to work with more closely while we had a physical space. An absolute visionary when it comes to textile arts, Luke has created an arena of work that promotes masculinity in a female-dominated art form (if even accidentally).

He currently has three pieces in the High Fiber Diet fiber show at the Bellevue Art Museum--hurry! The show closes on February 5th! An "architect turned quilter," in his own words, it's been absolutely delightful to meet and chat with Luke over the years. (Even if Andie embarrassingly doesn't recognize him without a beard). See below for an awesome chat about his life, work and where he'd eat every day for a year if he could:

luke haynes quilter artist bellevue art museum

Your quilting style is unlike any other -- (mostly) non-gridded, includes portraiture and large scale objects, themes ranging from nostalgia to self-reflection to modern iconography. Your range is impressive, and still your artistry is consistent and cohesive. Is there one main drive or source of inspiration for you?
[Actually mostly gridded. though you cant see it as well from afar. Meaning that I work from square to square to dissect the image into workable parts.] There is one main drive for me and that is constant innovation. I worked for a few years on technique where the image was less important than learning how to make it, then I worked a few years on rendering images and making them clear as I could, THEN a few years on learning the methods of quilters and historical precedent AND THEN a few years learning about making cohesive exhibitions with common themes and notations. What is cohesive is that they all pull from my experience as filtered through my growth as a maker of objects.

christana's world luke haynes bellevue art museum
Christana's World by Luke Haynes

A common dilemma for fine artists is making a living. How do you balance your desire to create with your desire to sell work?
I live simply. Also I am lucky, my creativity is also what I sell. I create objects and stories that I then sell. It tends not to be mutually exclusive for me.

What is your day like, as a working artist? Are you constantly working on a project or new idea? Does this exhaust or exhilarate you?
I break up my time. I do Marketing Monday where I don't create at all and rather spend the time at the computer and/or taking care of infrastructure things. That and I work for a few months and then take one off to travel to shows and socialize. I work hard, and if I let myself I will burn out. I am constantly working on new projects and ideas and the more that I have and use the more come. I have quite a range of projects bouncing around in my brain. I get a lot of energy from ideas and schemes up until I have piles of them half made sitting around my studio which then distract me.

luke haynes bellevue art museum quilt art
The Artist with Rags to Riches

How much of an influence is being a male in the quilting world on your work? There are apparent themes of manhood, but how much of that is intentionally highlighted (versus simply being a fact)?
I would say that my gender affects my role in the quilting world in that I get to be a novelty. I made a series of quilts about that. I tend to make quilts or exhibitions to answer any reoccurring questions raised by my practice. For example I make a portrait of me for my bed every year to answer the question about if they are used. I also get LOTS of shows of people putting up shows of men in quilting.

Tell us about your work in the "High Fiber Diet" show, currently at the Bellevue Arts Museum?
That is a good show full of really really dedicated and skilled artists. The work I made was to answer the question "Why are the portraits I make Quilts?" Each portrait is made from the clothes of the individual portrait. The background is made from used clothes from the area the person is from. So it's a tactile story of the person and the environment they inhabit both daily and in general. I have three pieces at the show one each backed in red, white and black.

luke haynes bellevue art museum quilt art

What's next??

Where's your favorite place to work/create? To rest? To imagine yourself in 20 years?
Work: large quiet studio with natural and bright light. clean and efficiently designed.

Rest: Car or a bike. if I am in transit then I cant feel like I should be doing something else. I relax most when between places.

In 20 years?: Who in the world knows. I have trouble deciding where I am going to move to from Seattle. [Career wise I have plenty of ideas, but physical location isn't one of them that I am settled on.]

What other things do you love to do, other than quilting?
I love to cook and to have dinner parties. I love to be social, but only in small groups which is hard to do when 'out.'

If you could invite a role model or inspiration of yours to your studio (artist or otherwise) who would you like to host?
I do a lot of studio visits. I LOVE to ask questions of the artists I respect to learn their interpretations of my work and my practice. It's hard to pick a particular someone. Maybe Bill Murray just because: who wouldn't?

If you could eat at only one local restaurant for the rest of the year, where would it be?
Skillet. Oh man its tasty! and they even have kale sallads PLUS they have that cute plaid dress code. I'd go there all the time given the option. ALL the time!

luke haynes quilt art bellevue art museum self portrait

Any New Year's resolutions?

My best resolution is to be more self indulgent. I should have resolved to do that years ago!
I am also getting up at 8am every day. Seattle is so grey that I have had issues with sleeping my days away. [I don't have to get OUT of bed, just up.]

Thanks, Luke!!

Images via Luke Haynes

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