Friday Five With Agnes Barton-Sabo

You guys, this is the last Friday Five With for 2012. Thank you so much to the artists, designers and photographers that have been a part of it. I’m taking a little time off over Christmas to re-charge but don’t fear, the blog will be back in full force in mid January.

Now onto today’s guest!

Agnes Barton-Sabo hails from Oregon where she creates awesome art under the Betty Turbo moniker. She was the first person to send mail to my brand new Pretty Paper Things P.O. box and her Ultimate Warrior with heaps of cookies print is one of my favourite things ever. Lets learn a little more about this lovely, creative lady.

How would you describe your city/town to someone that has never visited?

Corvallis is a small city full of beautiful green areas and magical woods covered in moss. There is not a lot of Happening City Action here, (I go up to Portland for that), but it is a mellow place to hide out and make a lot of art. It is a very well-educated community, people joke that even the dishwashers have Masters degrees. I can (and do!) get anywhere in town by bicycle. There is one French bakery for croissants, but no decent cupcakes or donuts in town.

What was your favourite TV show as a kid?

As I kid I grew up on the standard fare of cartoons and Muppets, but at age 6 or 7 I found my true favorite in Perry Mason, and have been a fan of courtroom & police procedural shows ever since.

What’s your favourite font?

Almost all the typography work I do is hand-lettered, and I am most drawn to other letters created by hand, but in printed matter I have a soft spot for the font Cheltenham. It was always one of my favorites to work with in my letterpress printing days (and a common one used in Job Case Layout diagrams!), and I enjoy seeing it in images of old newspapers, or occasionally on signs. It is not uncommon for me to text friends pictures of a sign, which leaves them completely puzzled, wondering why I am texting them “Lactation Center” until they realize it happens to be Cheltenham. Or Cooper Black. Got to photograph that one every time too.

What design/piece of work are you most proud of?

I am really proud of my Motivational Speakers series. I know, there isn’t even any food imagery in them! But I also consider positivity an essential element of my work, and those prints (and later pillows) more than anything else I have done, have been tweeted, blogged, tumbled, and posted so many zillions of times. I have received so much feedback from total strangers about them, that I really feel like the very sincere and strong messages I wanted to put out into the universe were able to truly connect and resonate with many people.

Do you have a treasured possession?

I treasure handmade gifts and I am certain the energy you put into them has an effect on their enjoyment. I have a quilt my mother made me when I was in college, so it isn’t ancient but it has already lived several places with me. Everyone else loves it too. (I keep it on the sofa to share its awesomeness). I know I will have it forever and I’m willing to bet it will exist long after that too. I love to think about all the time and thought it takes to create things like quilts, which can really be treasured heirlooms for ages and ages, so I am committed to making them for other people too!

Follow Agnes
Etsy: Betty Turbo
T: @agnesbartonsabo
F: www.facebook.com/bettyturbo

Friday Five With Tina Tabibi

I was looking back through some old school reports the other day. One word that kept popping up, especially in my younger years, was inquisitive. “Krissy is such an inquisitive little girl,” my teachers said. Which of course is just a polite way to say Krissy is super nosy!

I’ve always been up in everyone’s business which is why I started this series. I love knowing the little things that make a person whole. Today we’re learning a little bit more about the always lovely Tina Tabibi!

Magazines, Books, Art or Music – what gives you the most inspiration?

I’m mostly inspired by my surroundings but music can put in a zone. I enjoy listening to music when I work in the studio. If I have to develop a concept and produce sketches, I may listen to jazz because the mellow tunes allows for more concentration and can most certainly spark inspiration. I have music for different moods. If I need to execute a design, I will rock out to anything from 80’s classics to Alternative Rock. It helps with my productivity 🙂 Artists on my current playlist are: Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Fun, and The Lumineers to name a few.

Do you remember the first piece of art/design that captured your attention? Can you tell us a bit about it?

Hmmm, this is a difficult question to answer. I’d say earlier in my career when I was more of an Illustrator, I was drawn to Edgar Degas and Claude Monet. I was in love with impressionist artists (and still am)! The technique, skill, and even emotion captured in each painting blew me away. One of my favorite places to visit is The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. I could spend all day admiring the exhibits of many talented and influential artists. Once I was introduced to design in college, Saul Bass and Milton Glaser became a couple of my favorite designers. Saul Bass is an amazing talent. The concepts and design behind his movie posters are so clever. To be honest, many artists and designers inspire me, old and new. It’s an evolving culture and one I’m very proud to be a part of.

What was the last movie you watched?

I finally had some down time on Saturday evening. I watched the movie “Elf.” It’s a holiday staple in my house. “You stink! You smell like beer and cheese. You don’t smell like Santa!!” —Elf

Finish this sentence “If I could do anything right now I would…

I’d go on a weekend getaway with my husband. We both work an insane amount of hours. It’s always good to take a step back and appreciate the things you have in life.

Do you have a treasured possession?

I don’t think I’ve ever been asked this question. I’m not big on material things and haven’t collected much throughout the years. However, I still have sketchbooks that contain drawings from grade school. It’s pretty awesome to look back and see how passionate I was about art at such a young age. This is something I will treasure for years to come.

Photo credits
Katie Nesbitt Photography (bio photo)
Sarah Park (work photo)

Follow Tina
Etsy: Tabibi Design
T: @tabibidesign
F: www.facebook.com/tabibidesign

Friday Five With Esther Stanford

Friday is here and boy-oh-boy did it sneak up on me this week! Today we’re chatting with Esther Stanford from Paragraph Cove.
(By the way Esther is offering Pretty Paper Things readers a special deal on shipping this week. Details are at the end of this post.)

What do you enjoy the most about working with paper?

I love the portability of paper. I usually have a bag full of paper scraps, india ink, glue sticks, Japanese masking tape and my favorite pens. I can grab my bag—aka portable studio—and head to a friend’s house, coffee shop or wherever my heart desires. Sometimes I create my best work outside of my studio space. I think it has something to do with less pressure and a change of scenery.

What drew you to working with paper originally?

I’ve always loved the many textures of paper. I’m a very tactile person. When shopping or foraging for paper materials the imagery is often secondary to the weight and feel. I love sitting down with a pile of scraps and a blank page; adding, subtracting, pasting and peeling until my fingers are sticky—and the piece is complete.

What’s your favourite season?

I’m a big fan of autumn. I love wearing lots of layers with a chunky scarf. I love bright yellow leaves against overcast skies. I love drinking hot cocoa curled up with my cat, Ramsey.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by my surroundings. I live three blocks from the beach on the Oregon coast. Everyday I’m overwhelmed by the landscape and wildlife, whether I’m watching a storm roll in or a deer grazing in my backyard. Sometimes I can’t believe I get to live here!

Out of all the pieces you’ve created, what’s your favourite?

My favorite piece is an encaustic called Peg & Joe I made a couple years ago. You can view it here on my blog. The piece is an image transfer of a found photo. I’m intrigued by body language and facial expressions of this couple as they embrace. I’d like to think that something is going on under the surface.

Esther is offering Pretty Paper Things readers FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING this week! Head over to Paragraph Cove and use the coupon code: FREESHIP

Follow Esther
Etsy: Paragraph Cove
T: @ParagraphCove
F: www.facebook.com/paragraphcove

Friday Five With Kell Rowe

It’s Friday, Friday! The most glorious day of the week. Friday means having a chat with another talented artist. Today Kell Rowe from Blackcurrant Photography is my guest.

How did you get started in photography?

I’ve been taking photos from a very young age (I was given my first camera when I was ~7) but didn’t really get into it until I was 16 and started studying it 4 days a week at high school. After high school I was accepted into a highly competitive course at TAFE in 1999. I then went on to office roles before returning to study in 2010. Long story short, I’ve been working on my art and had a camera in my hand for at least half my life and now have my own business.

What makes a great Australian naturescape photo?

That’s such a difficult question to answer as so many people have their own perceptions as to what a nature photograph should look like. With my own work, I try to capture an emotion, and create a piece of art, rather than just photographing a flower. I think about how I feel looking at a scene and how I can share that with someone who wasn’t there.

I like to chase light and look for the magic in everyday moments. One of my favourite times of the day is when the light is low and golden. It skips across my lawn, illuminating blades of grass so that they glow. I could stare at it for ages.

Looking to other Australian nature photographers, I’m captivated by landscapes, colour and movement. My favourite landscape and street photography images are ones where the eye can look around and take in a scene, making the viewer feel like they are there.

What image are you most proud of?

Some of my favourite images are the results of happy accidents. One that I really love is of the interior of St Georges Cathedral in Perth. It was a rainy day and I’d gone to explore another building nearby. I had 6 exposures left on my 3200iso film, and no tripod, so I just had to rest the camera on a table. When I processed the film back at TAFE, the film was too thin. In the old darkroom days I’d just have had to bin it. Instead, I was able to scan it and do some work in Photoshop. I love the way the image turned out, and it’s very different from what people consider to be my usual work.

In terms of my nature photography, I always get chuffed photographing native orchids, as some are quite hard to find!

What’s the last song you listened to?

I think it was “I’ll be there for you” by Bonjovi. I have their Crossroads CD in my car for short trips when I can’t be bothered with the iPod. The CD reminds me of hanging out with my friends when we were about 13.

What are you looking forward to the most over the holidays?

Splashing out on some fancy poultry from Mondos, and watching Love Actually with my husband. It’s our sweet little Christmas eve ritual. Wrapping gifts for my customers – I’ve bought the most delightful purple wrapping paper. Oh and I’m also hanging out to get this handmade dragonfly ring I’ve been ogling on Etsy for ages.

Follow Kell
Etsy: www.blackcurrantshop.etsy.com
T: @blackcurrantpix
F: www.facebook.com/blackcurrant.photography
P: www.pinterest.com/blackcurrant

Friday Five With Jonathan Chapman

Are you glad it’s Friday? I am. It’s my favourite day of the week after all. As an extra-special Friday treat I’m so excited to introduce the talented Jonathan Chapman (from Mr Yen Papercuts) as today’s Friday Five With superstar.

What inspires you?

Nature through and through! I’m very inspired in the detailed simplicity that I think everything in nature has.

What’s the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?

Experiment…because you never know until you try!

Out of all the pieces you’ve created, what’s your favourite?

My latest paper cut titled “If you’re waiting for a sign…” as I love the message and that it can mean so many different things to so many people.

Paper Cutting looks like an incredibly intricate process. Why did you choose this art form?

I think it chose me – Its intricate, detailed, meticulous, incredibly creative and very hands on…plus I think it’s a way of nature teaching me how to be patient as it’s the one thing I’m not!

Finish this sentence “I couldn’t live without…”

Good food, sleep, my scalpel and my loveable french bulldog Toby!

Friday Five With Sunnie D’Elton-Howard


Thank goodness it’s Friday, right? I don’t know what your week has been like but mine has been full on. I’m soooo looking forward to the weekend!

To get us one step closer to that glorious time I give you this week’s Friday Five with… Today we’re chatting with Melbourne-based designer Sunnie D’Elton-Howard from My French Sailor.

What inspires you to create your lovely paper goods?

Inspiration is everywhere. I feel more exposed than ever to creative minds and ideas through the use of the internet and social media outlets and blogs such as Pretty Paper Things. I have been attending numerous local markets to support the handmade movement and to sell my wares. I love interacting with the customers and stallholders, the market research is invaluable.

I’m currently working on a custom wedding invitation suite for a client, and I’m enjoying all our meetings and brainstorming of ideas.

What’s your most treasured possession?

I know this is soppy, but my husband! He’s a sailor in the Royal Australian Navy and is often away with work. We always treasure and make the most of our time together when he is ashore.

Can you remember what sparked your desire to be an artist?

I have always been interested in art, photography and design, even as a little kid. I studied landscape architecture at RMIT in Melbourne where I became more hands on with the idea of representation. Since then I have always been creative in my professional and personal life.

What’s the last movie you watched?

To be honest, the last film I watched was a while ago. It was an inflight movie ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’. I read the original book by Jonathan Safran Foer a number of years ago and really enjoyed it, despite its incredible sadness. The book wins hands down.

Finish this sentence…”When I want to get inspired I…”

If I’m struggling for ideas I often turn to my books. I have many which cover different fields and industries, from architecture and textiles to flower arranging and crocheting, you name it. A good walk or ride on the pushy certainly clears the mind too!

Friday Five With Amy Olert Hardy


You know what time it is! Friday Five with… time. Today we’re visiting with Art Director and Designer Amy Olert Hardy.

Do you remember the first piece of art/design that captured your attention? Can you tell us a bit about it?

In the 4th grade, I was captivated with Edvard Munch’s The Scream. I’d make up stories about the painting and mimic its emotion in my own art. I even dressed up like the painting that Halloween.

What’s the last song you listened to?

Jack White’s last album, Blunderbuss.

What artists inspire you?

Right now, I’ve been really inspired by contributing designers such as Julia Kuo for the Old and New Project. Besides designers, my photographer friends, Jonny & Michelle Hoffner of Paper Antler, have inspired me immensely this past year with their insane talent and passion for social justice.

What is the best thing about your job?

Collaborating with like-minded creative nerds. And seeing your work in the real world!

What’s your most treasured possession?

My sketchbook.


^Amy’s design for the Old and New Project – a collaborative design project based on Biblical passages.

credits
Photo of Amy – Paper Antler.

Friday Five With Michelle Leslie

Michelle Leslie
Yay! It’s Friday Five time. Today I’m featuring the super talented Michelle Leslie.

Do you listen to music while designing? If you do, what is your favourite genre/band/song?

Sometimes if things get noisy in the studio, I listen music on my headphones to help me focus. Bat for Lashes and French pop from the 60s have been featuring on heavily of late.

How old were you when you realised that you wanted to be a designer?

I’ve always loved drawing and creating. I still have a book about a worm and a mouse that my mum helped my write and illustrate in crayon when I was 5 years old. Also, every envelope and greeting card our family sent was carefully decorated with my drawings and bubble type before it was given away.

When I was 15 I quite liked the idea of being a fashion designer. After a long week of work experience sewing buttons in a clothing factory, I realised it wasn’t nearly as glamorous as I imagined and decided graphic design might be more my thing, and I’ve loved it ever since.

Which artists have influenced you the most?

My inspiration is a real mixed bag. In my teens, I was a big fan of Jamie Hewlett. I used to spend hours scouring the internet for any image of Tank Girl I could find. I’m also heavily influenced by simple Japanese and Scandinavian illustration.

Artists and designers I really admire are Kevin Finn, Rinzen, Audrey Kawasaki, Jessica Hische and Marian Bantjes. Not to mention the lovely folk I get to hang out with every day in our shared studio at Bomba (Angela Mitchell, Leah Dent, Marcus Taylor, Nic Montagu and Minneth Nguyen). They are a constant source of inspiration.

Describe your perfect (non-work) day.

My perfect (non-work) day would definitely involve sleeping in, sunshine, gin & tonic and a leisurely lunch with my favourite people.

Out of all the pieces you’ve created, what’s your favourite?

That’s really hard! My sister’s wedding invitation (the image is below) is pretty special to me because of who it was for.

Her and her partner gave me free reign on the design and Duncan at Mitchell & Dent was kind enough to letter-press them for us. It was a lot of fun seeing the reactions of our friends and family and designing all the bits to go with them like thank you cards and the seating chart. I also hand-painted a giant yellow ampersand on their wall (the reception was in their backyard), made them a pretty piñata to smash and hand-folded over 100 origami love-hearts with fortunes inside for the place settings. It was a real labour of love.

Photos of their wedding are up at First Comes Love.

credits
Photos of Michelle are by Nic Montagu.
Photo of the invitation is by Samm Blake.

Friday Five With Adrianne Barba


I am such a fan of this lovely lady.

Adrianne Barba is a designer/illustrator from Perth. She runs her own design business – bird.STUDIOS – where she produces beautiful work for corporate clients. (Hopefully she’ll open her online store soon because she designs and screenprints the cutest Christmas cards!)

I couldn’t have the Friday Five series without including Adrianne so here goes…

If you could be anywhere else in the world right now, where would you be?

My family in Macedonia live near a beautiful mountain that is a national park called Pelister. It’s like a magical forest from a fairy tale, full of lush trees, tiny wild strawberries and bears!

Magazines, Books, Art or Music – what gives you the most inspiration?

Books. I’m a reader instead of a tv-watcher. I also collect vintage children’s books and these are a huge source of inspiration for me. I love how brave the illustrators were in the 50s/60s era as well as the unusual stories. One of my favourites is a book by Carla Greene from the late 1950s called I Want To Be A Coal Miner . There’s a flickr set of some of the pages here.

When did you first realise that you wanted to be a designer?

I used to look at greeting cards, signs, cereal boxes, movie credits, books anything visual really as a kid and critique them – I was rather judgemental! I wanted to be the person that got to design these things. After deciding being a music teacher was not for me but knowing I still wanted to work in a creative field, I started look at design as a career.

What project/design are you most proud of?

A print I designed as an anniversary present for my husband.

What advice would you give to someone that is interested in becoming a designer?

Make stuff. Don’t over-think, over-analyse or spend too much time getting sucked into looking at inspiration on the internet, just keep making things and practicing. Get away from the computer – come up with concepts outside or away from your screen, then work in the studio to put it together. I also believe you should invest time in getting a solid education in design and typography principles as well as improving your writing skills and getting a basic grip of web development. These will help you become a better designer with a broader understanding of communications. Decide whether you want to do a little of everything or become really good in one area (ie, specialise).

Friday Five With Alicia Parsons from Akimbo


Yay! Welcome to Friday. To celebrate the awesomeness that is the last day before the weekend, lets ask the lovely Alicia Parsons from Akimbo some questions for this week’s Friday Five With…

What was the last movie that you watched?

Oh no this is really tragic! I was on holiday in Sydney a couple of weeks ago with my husband to celebrate our anniversary. I ended up being sick so instead of going out for our fancy dinner we sat on the hotel bed watching The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe with me clutching a bucket.

What’s your favourite season?

You can’t beat that feeling of the first warm days of spring after a long winter and seeing the cherry blossoms come out always puts a smile on my face. Plus, you can wear cute clothes.

Name one artist that you admire.

There are so many so I’m going to pick the first that came to mind. I adore everything by Amy Butler – her patterns make anything look good. I admire how she has taken a specific creative skill and turned it into a successful lifestyle brand..

Do you have a treasured possession?

My photo albums. Okay so I’m embarrassingly far behind, but I feel like they contain my whole life and everything that I hold dear.

Out of all the pieces you’ve created, what’s your favourite?

Hands down it would be the Oberon collection. It was my first timber invitation and it has been a big hit. No matter how many brides order it, I never get sick of the working with that design.