April 25, 2013

family illustration + blog header for the cosa family!

you might remember the little sailor mascot i painted for the cosa's [closer to love] photography workshop... and i recently had the pleasure of illustrating their adorable growing family!! love them!!

take a little trip over to their site and look at all their beautiful work! thanks so much sammy + natalia for having me illustrate your family, what an honor!! :)

April 24, 2013

from the nest: shopping on a budget

i posted this photo on instagram this afternoon + realized that everything combined only cost me $52, yes, shoes included!! the thought sent me back to the places i found each item and the victory felt when i snatched them up.

i was never wealthy growing up, and my mom is one of the best bargain shoppers i know, so naturally i've been groomed to be a 'sale-only' kind of shopper... which has proven to be the most satisfying kind, in my opinion. :)

so, here's where i found each item + what i paid for them... shopping on a budget is not as hard as it sounds!! just be patient, browse the sale section, and take a little excursion to your nearest thrift/secondhand store... it's so worth it!! i just found a 5x7 rug for $10 at urban outfitters last week!

riding boots $25 - a local secondhand saddle shop
grey jeans $10 - forever 21
horse print tank $5 - urban outfitters [sale section]
button-up chambray $12 - target [sale section]

April 22, 2013

rough sketch: cara of mum's flowers!

happy monday friends!!

hope you all had a lovely weekend! my weekend was spent the comfort of my home, diving back into work after a nice long week in california... i'll be sharing photos of my trip soon and recs of my favorite places... oh, and i can't wait to share what i've been working on lately!! :)

today, i'm so so so happy to introduce you to the lovely cara [of mum's flowers], an amazing floral designer + shop owner here in montana!! i would probably sit in her shop all day if i could.... it's adorable, and her work is absolutely stunning!!

thanks cara for taking the time to chat with us!! :)

q. // when did you get into floral design, + what prompted you to start?

[ a. ] I bought Mum's Flowers almost exactly 3 years ago with absolutely no background in floral or design. I have always enjoyed design (my dad and my grandmother are both artists/painters), fashion, decorating, and throwing parties but I knew nothing about flowers.

After graduating from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego with a degree in business, I moved back to Whitefish and started looking for a job. A friend of mine saw that Mum's Flowers was for sale and recommended that I look into it. I immediately saw an old business (it's been in Whitefish for over 50 years!) that needed some TLC and thought that I could give it a face lift. In addition to rebranding the business, I immediately fell in love with floral design.

q. // what inspires you + where do you find it?

[ a. ] I find inspiration in so many places! For the gift shop side of my business I'm inspired by Anthropologie and West Elm. I want to create a space that people love to come hang out in, always offering creative ways to display products, fun do-it-yourself projects, and of course incredible scents.

From the floral side, I'm inspired by my product. When you're working with beautiful flowers every day it's so easy to see color and shape and texture in new ways. I like to carry unusual florals and botanicals that you can't find in your average grocery store.

A huge part of our business is wedding design and I love following wedding blogs, talented photographers and pinterest for new ideas. Oftentimes my brides inspire with their vision and excitement for their own weddings.

I'm always receiving inspiration from friends and family who see things that remind them of me; they send me photos, articles, blog posts, scraps of moss from the forest etc. I love having everyone in my life involved in my creative vision.

q. // when you're not putting pretty flowers together, what's your favorite thing to do?

[ a. ] I love to travel with my husband, have dinner parties, and spend time in the outdoors hiking, skiing, running, and surfing.

q. // if you could give one piece of advice to fellow creatives, what would it be?

[ a. ] Be confident in your style. It's taken a few years to develop a style that I love and now I'm confident that others love it too! If someone is paying you to do what you love, they must love what you do so embrace that and consider yourself blessed. I've developed a signature look that I hope people recognize when they see my work. This can be carried throughout your personal style, your home decor, and the color palate that you live by. My staff has named a whole monochromatic mint to turquoise palate "cara teal" - it reminds me of the Caribbean Ocean

fill in the blank:
i have a penchant for a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning, having sand between my toes, a photo that captures a moment that you want to feel forever, sunshine on my face, Sunday am snuggles, and coconut curry.

April 9, 2013

april desktop + iphone wallpaper!

it's that time again... i love collaborating with kelli on these desktops and i can't believe we're releasing APRIL'S desktop already, the year is flying by! you know spring is here when little baby animals pop up everywhere -- that little calf had just been born minutes before we drove up!! he was wobbly and shaking and being protected by his mum [see her staring at us? making sure we don't get too close]... it was such an amazing thing to see, and a great reminder to be content where i'm at, because God led me here.

this month represents spring in full bloom to most, but to us montanans winter is still holding on with an icy grip. there isn't much blooming, so it's quite easy to think that the grass is greener somewhere else... when i see photos of people having beach days and enjoying the perks of city life, it's easy to feel out of the loop up here. it's easy to start thinking that there would be so many more opportunities in a big city and get caught up in what's going on elsewhere, taking up so much mind space that it just pushes away all creativity.

the same goes for materials - "if i only had this brush or that paper... then i could do something great!" what a deception! i think about certain filmmakers that i've read about, who have these inspiring stories of starting from scratch, and not waiting until they had the best-of-the-best cameras or microphones to start creating their films, they just did it. they worked. they worked harder. they worked even after failure.

this couldn't come at a better time for me, and hopefully for you too! let's stop looking at what we don't have, or where we don't live, and do something now. wherever we're at, whatever we have, let's just go for it and see what happens!!

ashley :)

April 8, 2013

rough sketch: amy clarke!

hello + happy monday!

i am so excited to be sharing today's artist with you! amy clarke is a seriously talented makeup artist based in southern california, who is actually in brazil right now pouring into the lives of young women who are eager to learn the art from her. she's such an inspiration to me in so many ways and i absolutely loved getting to know her a little bit more through her interview.... and i just know you'll be inspired by her too!

thanks amy for taking time out of your busy schedule to hang out over here for a bit. :)

q. // when did you start doing make up + what prompted you to start?

[ a. ] I started my professional makeup career at four years of age. My mom left her makeup in a drawer that was accessible to grubby fingers, and the CoverGirl started flowin'! My younger sisters were repeat customers. Fast forward 13 years, and I did my first bridal makeup (work chum). Two years after that, someone actually thought to pay me for it (I liked that).

q. // what inspires you + where do you find it?

[ a. ] People inspire me. They can inspire me by having made something, or by having made something better. They can inspire me with their voice or with their heart. They can inspire me by making me think, "I can do that.", or by making me think, "I should be doing more of that." I'm always caught off guard when I run into those people. God usually just walks me right up to them.

q. // when you're not working with makeup, what's your favorite thing to do?

[ a. ] When I'm not working with makeup, I'm sanitizing my tools. But that's not my favorite thing to do, and not what you asked me. My FAVORITE thing to do is spend time with my best friend, Mr. John Clarke. We like to go to museums when we're broke, and plan trips when we're not. We go to museums a lot.

q. // if you could give one piece of advice to fellow creatives, what would it be?

[ a. ] If I could give one piece of advice to fellow creatives, then I would give two (hey, my foot's already in the door!). First, I would tell them to feed their brains with the fruit of other creative minds. Spend time in art museums and exhibits, furniture designers' showrooms, and libraries. Watch classic movies and foreign films. If you're a creative person, it's impossible to walk away from that stuff without an idea for something.
The second thing that I would tell them is to TAKE A DAY OFF. Your body and mind need rest.
"A seven day workweek does not a creative person make. duh." (a quote from amy herself... feel free to copy + paste or write it on a sticky note on your desk!)


[photos of amy taken by logan cole]

some of her beautiful work:

to see more of amy's work, visit her blog or instagram!


April 2, 2013

first tattoo commission!

wow. i never thought i would be posting about drawing up a tattoo for someone, but that's what i'm doing and i couldn't be more honored!! brandon is an amazing, super talented, super inspiring guy that is apart of the worship team at fresh life... and yes, he only has one hand but that doesn't stop him from playing guitar or making lattes at red caboose!!

he recently asked me to draw an arrow for his next tattoo [for his sweet sister chelsea... his first was in honor of his niece lenya lion] so i drew a couple of options for him... and he ended up getting all three!! i got a little choked up when i saw them in person. knowing this family is such a blessing, and i love that i could draw up something so meaningful for these two!!

[brandon + my cheezy self]

April 1, 2013

skull church majestic!!

there is nothing i love more than seeing people's lives changed and refreshed with hope, and that's exactly what skull church is all about. friday night at the majestic was an incredible party, and i can't begin to tell you how honored i am to play a small part in such an amazing event.... an event that was so dear to lenya lusko's heart. i couldn't help but think of her as i drew up these arrows + skull... that she would be front and center at this event - singing at the top of her lungs. awesome as that would be, i know she's singing at the top of her perfect lungs now, in heaven, right beside Jesus! the thought makes me cry + rejoice at the same time.

if you have a spare moment... actually, even if you don't have a spare moment, TAKE a moment, move things around in your schedule and watch sunday morning's message by levi lusko... you will not regret it - it will change your life.

my sweet, strong, courageous friends - the luskos - still need our prayers as they've now entered month three without their lenya lion. i can't imagine, so i can only pray that God would fill in the gaps of my inadequate prayers, and continue to give them strength that surpasses understanding!

love you all!