WINTER DREAMS

Watching the snow fall…

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There’s always been something about snow that gives me the most wonderful energy. I can’t remember a time that the sense of wonder and excitement didn’t come over me as soon as I got the news of an incoming storm. Of course, growing up in Georgia, that didn’t happen too often.

Since living in the northeast, my love affair with snow has not faded even the tiniest bit. If it’s snowing, there’s a good chance I’m out wandering through it’s momentary beauty.

Lucky for me, snow seems to be a common theme this winter in New York City. It surprises me how negative snow’s reputation is around here. Yes it can get messy, it’s accompanied by bitter cold air, repetitive shoveling, etc… but if you stop to look around, it’s really one of the most beautiful sights to see. Your entire world blanketed in a soft glowing white. Snow casts a silence over the city like nothing else… with just the sounds of the winter wind and crunch of fresh snow under your feet.

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The Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park.

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Central Park glowing in white.

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I hope this inspires you to look at snow differently (if you have a negative view of it), and see what a truly beautiful gift it is! 

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A LITTLE ABOUT ME

It feels like I’m starting the New Year a week late since I’ve just returned home to NYC. 2013 was a wonderful year full of new adventures, and fulfilling dream projects… but I have even bigger dreams for 2014!

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Walt Disney
 

I thought I’d start this year off by sharing a bit more about myself.

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How did you begin illustrating? 

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. It’s always seemed natural to me. I first began drawing gowns as a little girl, and it quickly turned into a passion of mine! Although, I did go through a brief stint of drawing horses (I was obsessed).

Did you study illustration in college? 

I did not. I studied Industrial Design in college… it was still a creative field and had a much more promising ‘career path’ than the fine arts. I never even considered being a full time illustrator back then; it was purely a hobby of passion. Luckily, I realized Industrial Design wasn’t my dream half way through school… and somehow tailored my ID degree to include jewelry, shoe, and costume design.

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What are your favorite supplies?

I’m forever a fan of Aquarelle Arches watercolor blocks (Graine Satine), Mission Mijello Gold watercolors (very saturated colors), Winson & Newton watercolors, and Princeton brushes. See more info on my favorite supplies here

How did you come up with the name Paper Fashion?

It seemed like a no brainer. I was sketching fashion on paper… and voilá!

Have you always been artistic? 

Almost all of my earliest memories have an artistic link to them. My cousins used to say I was an artist when I was just a little girl drawing with crayons. My aunt gave me a set of watercolors and taught me to use them as a young girl- something that has stuck with me forever. I’ve just always felt a strong connection to creativity. It’s what I thrive on.

Why watercolor? 

Like I said above, I was introduced to them at a young age. Watercolors make sense to me… they seem like a natural extension of my mind, and so they are the method of which I choose to share my creative thoughts.

Do you think art can be self taught or something that requires lots of experience and time?

I think it can definitely be self taught. Art is something that is personal. I do think studying art techniques is ideal, just as learning the technicalities of music are important to being a great musician. There are exceptions of course, but learning the rules of a field gives you the power to break them. This is where you find truly unique work.

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Was there a defining moment you knew what you wanted to do for the rest of your life? 

Absolutely. I’ve always had this creative side to myself, but the moment I realized I needed to find a way to do it for the rest of my life was during my first trip to Europe. I studied fashion and accessory design abroad in Florence, Italy back in 2007, and it forever changed my world. I became so obsessed with fashion, I wanted to know everything about it. During school, usual world history classes seemed boring to me.. but my first fashion history class, I couldn’t get enough!

My fashion professor worked for Moschino when he wasn’t teaching, so I asked him if there was any chance he could get me tickets to a show during fashion week in Milan. He granted my wish, and made my dream of attending my first fashion show come true. It was QUITE the experience.

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How has the transition from Boston to New York City been?

I will always have a love for Boston after nearly six memorable years there! I love change, and the new experiences it brings with it, so moving to New York seemed like the right step for me. It’s always scary taking new risks, but they have always been my best decisions. I don’t quite feel at home in New York yet, but I’m loving every minute that I’m here, creating a new place of memories. The inspiration here is ever flowing in both the landscapes and the people… and it’s true what they say, New York is where dreams are made. 

What is the best way to stay inspired?

To never stop looking. Whether I’m traveling or in the same place I’ve always been, it’s important to look and observe constantly. You’ll be surprised what you can find with an open mind and a curious eye!

Images at desk by Ashley Weeks Cart. Outdoor images by Emma Jane Kepley.

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Japanese Dolls

The day after Christmas I flew off to a destination far different than anywhere I’ve ever been before. Japan was a new adventure, a place to find fresh inspiration for a new year.

My Mom’s family lived in Asia when she and her siblings were growing up, so we’ve had various artifacts from Asian cultures all over our home. My grandparents received this Japanese doll as a gift when they were overseas, and I’ve always loved it so much.

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It was my dream to see a living breathing Geisha or Maiko (Geisha in training) while I was in Kyoto, Japan… but unfortunately luck wasn’t on our side. I’m fascinated by their look! However, we did catch a glimpse of many beautiful women dressed in Kimonos for the New Year.

I picked up a few traditional books with artwork depicting the style and dress of kimonos at a book shop in Tokyo. Flipping through them inspired a lady of my own…

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I loved the wooden Kokeshi doll my mom had in our home, so when I went to Japan I made it my goal to find a special one of my own. The name Kokeshi comes from the combined meaning of “small wooden doll”.

The simplicity of the Kokeshi dolls (and the simplicity of Japanese style in general) is beautiful. Here are a few Kokeshi inspired watercolors from my sketchbook while I was in Japan…

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Parker Pens Holiday

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Parker Pens are undoubtedly classic. A classic brand that has kept it’s beauty and has a history written in the hands of President’s and notable authors alike. You’ve probably come across this famous Parker Pen advertisement by the charming Norman Rockwell- which is personally a favorite of mine!

I’m honored to have been tapped by Parker Pens to create their holiday greeting cards this year!

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It’s easy to get caught up in today’s digital world, but I truly believe in the act of sending hand written cards and notes. There is nothing more special than receiving a personalized card with a note during the holidays (or anytime, really!). There is an unspoken charm to handwritten letters that I hope never disappears… I’ve collected letters and cards I’ve received over the years and it’s the most wonderful feeling to discover them all over again. The different papers, designs, handwriting, colored inks; they are full of such personality! Email just doesn’t carrying the same magic…

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Leave a comment below about a hand written card moment or memory you have for a chance to win a lovely Parker Pen of your own. I’ll be choosing one winner to receive either the Parker Premier or Parker Sonnet. (please be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you are chosen.)

Final_Parker_Cards2Happy Holidays! Follow along here as I’ll be taking over the Parker Pen instagram account this week!

This post was made as part of my collaboration with Parker Pens. Parker Pen purchases $75+ will receive a set of our holiday greeting cards at Parker Pen retailers.
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HOLIDAY SALE

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I’ve extended my holiday sale! Use the code PaperHoliday in my shop to get 20% off your order. New prints just added. Ends December 14th!

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