if you don't already know who susie ghahremani is, this is your lucky day. if you do know susie, and or her amazing website: boygirlparty.com, maybe you will learn a tidbit you did not know because...drumroll.... she accepted our invite to be our "love it" artist for april!!!!! interview to follow, but not before we shower her with some april showers of adoration (and well wishes, she broke her shoulder last week!) no shortage of props here. she is a superstar in our eyes, plain and simple. before we were selling her goods, we were buying them on her retail site. we still do actually, when we can't get our piggy little hands on them at o'suz. her prints are my weakness lately as i am obsessed with collecting art. i have 2 prints in red's bathroom
and 2 in his room.
let me tell you, i am not alone in my love of susie's talent. jessica, who works at o'suz and does at least half the blog tending, may need an intervention, ha. i'll let her tell you in her own words.
jessica here to share my boygirlparty obsession. as suzannah suggested, an intervention might be appropriate right about now. as i was collecting all of my boygirlparty goods to photograph, i realized that i have something in every single room of my house, from an owlie necklace to magnets to notepads to stationery to prints. it's just that it's all so painfully adorable, and i mean that in the best possible way. i love susie's subject matter, which is predominantly various kinds of animals, including my two favorite animals: hedgehogs and dogs. i love her style as well, that her little creatures are often depicted in various forms of human activity, like cooking, getting down with some tunes, or talking on the telephone. i hope one day i will be able to own one of her original paintings, or at least get to see one of her shows, which always seem to be amazingly installed. here are two of my favorite boygirlparty possessions:
that's right, it's boston terrier time. on the left is a print of one of susie's paintings, and on the right is my beloved one of a kind pouch. the pouch has its own little story. a few years ago i came across a boston terrier boygirlparty pouch on flickr and, um, kind of flipped out, because i couldn't imagine a more perfect combination of two great loves: boston terriers AND boygirlparty. i immediately emailed susie to see if there was any way i could get one because i knew i NEEDED this little delight, and she told me that she didn't have any at the time but she might make more in the future, which led to my stalking of her shop. then, in december 2007, one went up for sale, and i missed it. it was devastation station. i emailed her again, and told everyone at o'suz how sad i was to have missed out again. unbeknownst to me, suzannah had already commissioned a boston pouch from susie for christmas, and everyone but me was in on the scheming. i almost died of excitement when i opened it at our party -- it was all too perfect! so now i have my pouch, and i love it so much because it reminds me of this dude, mick aka mister puppy (1994-2008), whose lovely countenance you see here being held up on my fridge with boygirlparty ipop magnets that we sell in the shop:
we have tons of magnets in the shop, including a new series of cats, dogs, forest animals, and hedgies. i am trying to resist, really. but these few things really only scratch the surface of my boygirlparty collection. here is my assortment of notepads and recipe cards from susie (and yes, i do use them):
yes, that's a squirrel playing the guitar. these come straight from susie herself, and they always go quickly whenever we get them. in the past couple of years, susie has been partnering with companies like chronicle books and madison park greetings, which brings her work to an even larger audience. here are a few of the goodies we have in the shop, some of which are brand new:
the owl journal is so snazzy, it's also illustrated on the inside! aaron and i love love love the mini notes, because, yes, that is a kitty napping while all wound up in the telephone cord on a card that says "call me!" a lot of susie's work features not only her imagery but her handwriting as well, which is just amazing, simple and sweet. we also just got a whole new series of cards like the ones on the right, for various occasions from birthdays to anniversaries to new babies.
susie also does a lot of book illustration, and one of our favorites is this baby book for adoptive families for chronicle. isn't that the sweetest cover ever?
while we aren't able to carry the prints in the shop, that doesn't stop suzannah and me from being cuckoo about them. here are a few of mine:
hedgehog playing piano. nothing more need be said. now that we've gushed about our love for boygirlparty and susie herself, please keep reading to learn about how she ended up working as an artist and what inspires her to keep keeping on. thanks so much, susie, for taking the time to answer our questions!
what was your first job and how did you end up painting and creating paper goods?
My first longterm job was at a mom&pop art supply and framing shop outside Chicago, IL. I took the job for the employee discount, of course! The second question is a little harder for me to answer, I've always painted - as far back as I can remember, and I also have some pretty early memories of making paper goods. "Susie Cards and Gifts" circa 1985 was alarmingly on par with what I do these days... I guess I took painting & paper professionally around graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002 as a natural progression of what I had been working on the time, which was album artwork and t-shirt designs for my band, and making zines.
what is your favorite piece/group/series in your work?
The musical animals series is my favorite to work on, but I'm most proud of my polka dot owls paintings that appeared on the covers of various Chronicle Books projects -- I just know I put every ounce of my energy into those. I was very proud of my installation and exhibition "The Wild Life" from the fall as well..
who or what inspires you?
I love to mix colors and often rely on memory and nostalgia for inspiration...I'll be mixing paint and unsure of what to make next and suddenly a certain blue will remind me of something I've known... a pair of socks or a plastic swing.. it could become the basis for new work.
Also, animals and nature consistently amaze me and influence my work. Any hike, climb, swim or David Attenborough series does the trick. And my pets, I love my cat and finches.
what three websites do you visit daily?
90% of the time I'm usually wikipedia'ing or googling something like Tiny Tim or the grammar rules for "addictive/addicting". I recently joined Twitter and like to check in on there, especially when I feel confined! (Working at home can make you pretty unsocialized.) I love Flickr, too.
describe your ideal sunday.
Sleeping in, tofu scramble for breakfast - my most coveted breakfast favorite, but sadly rarely available here in San Diego! Then, a bike ride with my fiance where no cars go (cars are scary to me when on bike) Possibly stumbling upon a garage sale with incredible mid century finds. a picnic in the shade with plenty of opportunities to birdwatch and/or see wildlife, a nap, a crossword puzzle, a funny movie. Simple, cozy. I'm lucky to say this accurately describes most of my Sundays!
what do you see outside your studio windows?
Bougainvillea, a bamboo fence, and a lemon tree that refuses to cooperate. A perfectly clear typically San Diego sunny day.