I have to tell you about my new clothing crush!! I am a lover and admirer of online clothing stores like Ruche Clothing and ModCloth. This new online store is called Avenle (as in Avonlea, the fictional town from the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery--my all time favorite books).
There are so many things to love about this store (and I am not getting paid to say this--it is all my personal opinion and infatuation):
-It was founded by two best friends, kindred spirits to be exact. Andrea and Elizabeth are the Avenle Duo and the epitome of best friends. They even have matching anchor tattoos on one of their fingers. The totally grown up version of the BFF heart necklaces.
-They have cute clothes that no one else has. There are four distinct "Avenle Girls" but you can mix and match between Edgy, Boho, Classic, and Chic.
-Their packaging is done with great care. I feel like a friend sent me a package, not a business.
-They have impeccable taste. Avenle even works with Indie designers around the world and features their work in their carefully curated shop.
-There are faces behind the name. I know a company is supposed to appeal to general public, but I love that this company is personal. I love that I know who these fabulous girls are and feel like I am somehow in a community.
-Their tagline is "Avenle: For the Modern Girl with the Vintage Soul" which I kid you not was one of my personal taglines for my art, though I have not publicized that.
Here are a few images from their Lookbook:
I bought one of their dresses and fell in love! So not only do I identify with their aesthetic, I was also impressed with their product. I bought this hummingbird dress and was pleased with the quality and the cuteness!
Lily Beth Dress | Isabella Dress | Floral Sun Hat
Iceland Poppy Clutch | Aqua Erinite Earrings | Juliet Lace Skirt
Last week I was featured in April Heather Duvall Davulcu's post about artists that inspire her. It all starts with Ginger Deverell tagging Stephanie Ryan, then Stephanie tagging Heather, and then me.
First, I must tell you what an honor it is that Heather thought of me. We met in the Smart Creative Style Course a few months ago, but to be honest--I knew about her work even before! She has the cutest, happiest, sweetest character illustrations! This year she challenged herself to draw every day and has gained a lot of Instagram followers because of the cuteness explosion over there. You MUST see her work--it will make you so happy!
Here are some questions that I get to answer:
What are you working/writing on?
I have the habit of working on a custom order and then a painting for the mere pleasure of it. I like to mix it up and keep things fun!
I am finishing up some fabric work for the talented and chic Chrissi Shields. I recently collaborated with the talented stylist Vanessa Colyer Tay in her Great.ly shop. My newest watercolor print will be sold exclusively with her this coming week! I have also been collaborating with Hazy Skies Designs to create photography backdrops.
Between custom orders and all the above I have been working on new lines for my Etsy shop.
How does my work/writing differ from others work in my genre?
I am working mainly in watercolors right now. I am pretty sure I was born in the wrong era. I love old homes, long dresses with puffed sleeves, Doris Day, antiquities, and books from long ago. I love heroines that are confident, spirited, and kind.
I read so much growing up that I see the world through different eyes--ones that imagine first. Thus, my paintings are usually colorful, romantic, sweet, whimsical, and tender.
Why do I write/create what I do?
Because I have learned that there is no one else like me! I used to think there was no point in painting because it has all been done before, but it hasn't! Mostly because I love to do it and have found that it also makes others happy. How wonderful is that?!
How does my writing/creative process work?
There isn't much to it. When I sketch to figure out what I am doing I hate to put a lot of effort into it. I am not a rough draft girl. If I'm going to spend time on it, I might as well dive in head first. In college I would just sketch a quick bubble outline, write my essay, proof it, and ta-da!
My paintings take a similar route.
This is what my sketches look like. So sad.
So then I draw it out on my paper and start painting! This is obviously a work in progress.
And that sums it up for me!
Now to the meat of this post!!
let me introduce you to Michelle Schneider from The Art of Michelle.
She is so sweet! I met her via the SCS course and thought her illustrations were just adorable! She paints with a storybook flair with bright, pretty colors. She is a children's book enthusiast and loves to tell a story with her paintings. I am sure it won't be long till we see her beautiful work gracing children's book covers and nestled in between.
Right now she has a waiting list for custom house portraits in her Etsy shop. They are so cute. She really puts personality into each portrait for her clients. You can also purchase her art prints of lovely things like flowers, birds, butterflies, rainclouds, and so on.
It is so much fun to look through her shop! Go check it out, but for now here are some samplings.
Her storybook custom house illustrations:
Her adorable floral and rain cloud series with a modern twist:
And here are some recent character illustrations:
Another great artist I must tell you about is Tori Higa. Tori is so genuine and you can tell she has a heart of gold. She lives near me (which we found out by accident!) in Southern California with her husband and two cutie-pie kids.
Tori has collaborated and worked with Amy Lau Design, Anthropologie, Cardstore, Keka Case, Ink Garden, iSanctuary, & Schiffer Publishing. She started her art path off as an assistant graphic designer, then a textile designer for Milliken Carpet, started her own greeting card company, and then within her card company partnered with an amazing non profit organization called International Sanctuary,advocates for survivors of human trafficking. Now she is freelancing, selling in her Etsy shop, and illustrating three children's books that she has written. Monica Lee even wrote about her over at her site--you can check out that post here.
How awesome that she started a company that ended up helping so many people? Amazing! And she continues to collaborate and create. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!
I hope that you were inspired by these terrific women that are creating happy and meaningful art. I had so much fun doing this that I think I will be doing more features in the future!
I am a watercolor artist located in Southern California.