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.
2. 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!
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!