Susie Ghahremani of boygirlparty: loving every part of every process

We can never get enough of stationery with darling animal illustrations. Which is why it was only fitting that we feature the brilliant artist behind boygirlparty. Boygirlparty (one word, as we learned) is one of the gift and stationery companies out there that is sure to make you smile. Whether you’re buying for yourself or for a friend, a boygirlparty product will not let you down. And whether you’re a creative entrepreneur or you simply like nice artists, you’ll love this quick interview we conducted with the brains behind the brand, Susie Ghahremani.

1. You are incredibly talented! Can you tell us a short history of your love affair with illustration? 

Thank you so much!

Creating handmade products has been a natural showcase for my artwork. I earned an Illustration degree at the Rhode Island School of Design and go wherever my art has taken me — from building my own product line to the pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to the shelves of boutiques like Art Star Philly and Craftland to big chain stores like Barnes and Noble and Urban Outfitters.

susie-ghahremani-22. How did you transition from being purely an illustrator to somebody who runs a creative business?
There was never a transition; I have always done both simultaneously.

3. What do you love the most about selling things using the items you’ve drawn?
Knowing someone is bringing it into their home to make part of their lives. A lot of times, illustration is either disposable (newspaper, magazine) or only for one person’s enjoyment (as with an original piece of art) — making products with my work has expanded the life of my artwork to become personal and permanent to many people.

4. Your stationery is just lovely. Can you tell us what your creative process is like? How does an illustration become a stationery design?
I paint in gouache; everything I create is hand painted.

For creating stationery designs, usually I have a product idea and I get to work on sketches and then final paintings, based on the ideas I’ve had for how it will be used and the size of the product. I scan and place my artwork in templates to be printed, and that’s about it! Sounds easy but often it isn’t.

5. What tools of the trade can’t you live without?
10/0 liner paintbrush, gouache, a very sharp pencil, my sketchbook(s), Uniball Micro Deluxe pen. I think I’m at the point where my scanner + mac + a solid internet connection are pretty required as well!

6. What’s the nicest thing that a customer has ever said about one of your products?
Anytime anyone tells me anything nice about my products, it makes me happy — but when they say I am their favorite artist, I feel like there is absolutely no higher honor!

7. Your favorite animal to draw is:
I like drawing them all. I draw finches a lot and am most known for my owls. I really enjoy drawing from life and nature that I can see in person!

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8. Any advice for illustrators who also want to turn their hobby into a successful business?
Be good at more than just your hobby. Be a strong communicator, a photographer, pay attention to details. Unless you’re rich enough to have a staff of help the size of Downton Abbey’s, be willing to work hard at least 50% of the time at things that are not your hobby, like packing and shipping or communicating with customers or building a website. Love every part of every process!

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Dear World VI: A Cheeky Greeting Card for Everyone

A showcase of Ecka & Pecka and A. Smyth Co. cards with messages to possible recipients. To whom would you send the following cards and what note would you write? 

1. To a friend:

Inside: so you must be really smart. Happy Birthday

 Message: It pains me (but just a little bit) that I will never be as wise as you.

2. To your mother:

Inside: How appropriate. Happy Birthday Mom

Message: Staying true to the theme, the whole family decided that you shall have an upside down cake during your party. And because it’s a topsy-turvy world, you, the celebrant, will likely bake this cake. Happy birthday again!

 

3. To somebody dear to you:

Inside: Hardly seems fair. Get well soon

Message: What excuse will you use now when we need to go out antiquing during a work day? You had better think of a good excuse for such an occasion while on your way to recovery.

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How to Throw a Unicorn-Themed Birthday Party

Got a friend who is special in so many ways? If said friend is celebrating a birthday soon, you will want to give her the unicorn treatment. Take cues from this darling Shenanigans Murphy unicorn birthday card. And for an unreal shindig, the following party ideas will surely be of help. Remember, this is for a grown-up unicorn party; we included a recipe for jello shots.

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1. Unicorn badges/buttons – give to special guests

2. Unicorn stamps – will be fabulous for making the invites, don’t you think?

3. Unicorn headbands

4. Rainbow jello shots

5. Unicorn glittery horns – use these instead of party hats

6. Glitter unicorn cake topper

7. Unicorn cake pops – you can have a cake pop-making party, actually.

8. Rainbow ‘happy birthday’ sign

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The Instagram Series: Illustrators IV

Inspiration is all around us, especially in the age of social media. Through our Instagram Series here on Ecka & Pecka, we hope to bring lettering, calligraphy, photography, and illustration inspiration closer to you. Get to know new artists, go behind the scenes of their creative lives, learn from their works in progress, make friends, and be inspired.

This week, here are who you should follow:

1. Adam Bunting (@abunt_art) – This art teacher has quite an inspiring Instagram feed. If you love colors and nature, hit FOLLOW.

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2. Anne Marie Cortis (@annemariecortis) – Sweet, delicate, and all-around lovely. Those are the words that will come to mind when you take a look at Anne’s Instagram account.

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3. Marisa Redondo (@riverluna.art) – Marisa is a prolific artist and has quite a following on Etsy. It’s not surprising, really, judging from her beautiful IG account.

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Studio Inspiration: Skylight Confessions

Ask any artist or would-be creative entrepreneur what they want in a studio and they’ll likely answer “natural light.” That and a working coffee maker. Natural light doesn’t always have to come from standard windows, though. Sometimes, the best kind come directly from the sky. Hence, the need for skylights.

For inspiration, check out the following overwhelmingly gorgeous spaces:

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9 Dorm Room Art Prints for the Unique Freshman

Know a fresh-eyed teen starting college soon? Apart from some money and your number, you will want to send him or her over to the new school with a nice gift. We’re thinking art prints that they can hang in their dorm room. We have here a great selection that will remind the recipient to embrace their inner weirdo, be fearless, never fear imagination, and do the laundry properly.

1. Blessed Type

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2. Florever

 

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3. Dorinda Art

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4. Zyanya Lorenzo

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5. VB Typography

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6. We Are Yawn

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7. Awkward Affections

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8. Mike Wrobel

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9. Leslee Mitchell

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Craft Your Storefront: Geometric Crafts to Love

It’s looking like the geometric pattern trend is not going anywhere. Just like that trend of turning young adult novels into movies. The good thing about the former is that you can use it as inspiration for your stationery shop. Take a look at the following DIY ideas for decorating your lovely store.

1. Wall treatment - These are made of MDF boards painted in shades of turquoise and gold. Won’t the hollow ones be great for displaying new greeting cards?

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2. String Photo Display – Now this geometric DIY idea is just quite perfect for displaying greeting cards. Not only will this be nice for a display window, it might also work for any blank wall in your shop.

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3. Wreath – This geometric style wreath is darling. It’s just the right design for someone who likes minimalist decor. This will look nice hanging from your shop door.

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4. Geometric Heart – Maybe you carry beautiful wrapping paper in your stationery or gift shop. What you can do is buy several, cut triangles, and then shape them into this lovely heart!

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5. Lanterns – A display window with lots of hanging things is always a crowd-pleaser. For your geometric decor, this lantern idea will be a big hit.

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6. Paper Mobile – This is another geometric DIY idea that is great for hanging by the display window. If you don’t want something colorful, using monochromatic paper will do as well. These triangles don’t have to be hanging from a hoop, too. Arrange them like a curtain and you’re good to go.

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7. Paper Diamonds – This is very similar to the lantern idea above. Instead of tissue paper, though, you will be using sturdier materials. Imagine these hanging from your store window. Pretty, right?

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8. Wall Treatment – You don’t have to paint this directly on your wall. Doing this on a piece of wood will work as well. This will look nice as a wonderful greeting card display backdrop.

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The Instagram Series: Photographers III

Inspiration is all around us, especially in the age of social media. Through our Instagram Series here on Ecka & Pecka, we hope to bring lettering, calligraphy, photography, and illustration inspiration closer to you. Get to know new artists, go behind the scenes of their creative lives, learn from their works in progress, make friends, and be inspired.

This week, here are who you should follow:

1. Beth Kirby (@local_milk) – Beth has a beautiful food blog. But if you’re in the mood for less words and more gorgeous photos, her Instagram account is where you should go.

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2. Cindy Chen (@mrpaddingtonbear) – The vibe of Cindy’s feed is actually similar to Beth’s above. Cindy’s, however, has a more urban feel. She styles her photos delightfully. Her cats are adorable, too.

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3. Kurt Rahn (@kurt_rahn) – For a taste of nature, Kurt’s Instagram feed will delight your senses. If you love his photos, you will want to snatch up some of his prints from his Society6 store.

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10 Birthday Cards for Someone with a Great Sense of Humor

Warning: these cards are not for friends whose tempers flare at the smallest poking. These birthday cards are are slightly rude and are for friends who would not mind if you mention how old they are. They will, in fact, likely respond with a more hilarious age joke of their own.

1. Oddball Press

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2. Red Letter Paper Co.

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3. Two Trick Pony

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4. Shenanigans Murphy

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5. Calypso Cards

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Inside Greeting: It’s a perfectly normal response to the sight of THAT many candles. Happy Birthday!

6. Stuff Anna Loves

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7. Dude and Chick

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8. Alternate Histories

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9. Get Thee to a Nunnery

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10. Naughty Betty

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9 Colorful Thank You Cards to Make Someone Smile

You know what the best way is to say THANK YOU? Saying it with colors! If you can do with all colors of the rainbow, the better. Think bright hues that can instantly cheer someone up. These will make a monochome-enthusiast friend “happy,” too, make no mistake. They’d be blinded by all the colors, they will instantly know how grateful you are. For inspiration, here are colorful thank you greeting cards:

1. Hello! Lucky

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2. Posy Paper

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3. La Familia Green

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4. Calypso Cards

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5. Man vs George

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6. A Smyth Co.

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7. Little Low

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8. Red Cap Cards

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9. Mr. Boddington’s Studio

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