| 5 for 5 | spotlight + giveaway

| 5 for 5 | with laura tarrish of bridgetown papers

leave a comment below to be entered in a drawing to win a customized paper type necklace.

With a degree in visual design from UC Berkeley, Laura began her career 
as a graphic designer. Some years later, inspired by her longtime passion for 
the medium of collage, Laura transitioned into collage-based illustration. 

Her client list, every bit as eclectic as her subject matter, has included the Boston Globe, 
The Washington Post, Apple Computer, Travel & Leisure and the US Dept of Energy. 
Laura branched out into designing and producing retail and custom paper products in 2005. 
She’s an avid collector of maps, vintage postcards, old travel guides, how-to manuals, 
ticket stubs and more. Her penchant for collecting is not just a pastime, as her ephemera 
finds its way into virtually every piece of artwork she creates.

Was there one moment when you knew something special 
was happening – that your art was to become your career?  

Although I had an atypical design education (started in fine arts, transferred to the 
Architecture School at UC Berkeley, graduating with a degree in Visual Design), 
and working in graphic design after college in Boston, the moment that I began to 
earn my living as an editorial illustrator was the most exciting for me. I was living in 
San Francisco and spent a few months preparing my portfolio, creating and sending teaser 
mailers and then followed up with a trip to New York, Boston, Washington DC and Chicago, 
meeting with art directors in each city. Both the Boston Globe and the Washington Post gave 
me work on the spot and were great clients for a long time, and many other assignments 
ultimately came out of that trip!

What inspires your work?  

I have always been visually obsessed, even creating a "line of note cards" when I was 10, 
packaging them and riding my bike around the neighborhood trying to sell them door-to door! 
I always check out galleries and museums when I travel and often find inspiration in printed 
ephemera and packaging.  In my early days of illustrating I was enamored with the work of artists 
like Joseph Cornell… illustrators like Fred Otnes… graphic designers like Wolfgang Weingart.

Would you share a bit about your creative process?  

I am an inveterate list-maker and so many of my projects start with listing ideas for 
imagery and doing a bit of research on the topic, sketching alongside the list and then 
starting to gather the images I might want to incorporate. After doing this for so many years, 
the process is more fluid than the first years of my career when I would panic before 
each assignment!  Whether it is preparing this way for an editorial assignment or a custom 
piece for an individual (my focus recently), the process is much the same.

 Describe your workspace.  

I am obsessed with interior spaces, collecting examples of the coexistence of order 
and personality, those spaces that, although neat and orderly, are also fascinating expressions 
of the owner's own quirky interests.  However, in my studio, the expression of my own 
quirky interests (and copious collections) definitely has overtaken organization.  
My studio is a distressing —and constant--- battle between chaos and order!

thanks so much, laura!

remember to leave a comment below, and you'll be entered
into a drawing to win a customized paper type necklace.

send a secret message to a loved one, or create a meaningful phrase for yourself.
choose up to 50 letters and 1 gold icon, if you wish, (flowers, an eames dsw chair, 
and 31 other options available. a truly unique gift!

the winner will be announced on friday, april 12 at 2pm cst.
good luck!


Anonymous said...

Cute idea! I'd love to have one for my daughter. Thanks, Bailey

Anonymous said...

I can attest to Laura's list-making but also the colorful, eclectic, visually rich nature of her studio space as I've been a friend as well as an admirer of her collage illustration, jewelry, party invitations and other paper goods for many a year. I love the way these necklaces blend her love of typography and miniatures. --DFH

Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful gift this could be. I love it. Traci

Randi said...

Wow, love this idea! Beautiful work!

Anonymous said...


Paris Hotel Boutique said...

Love this idea and would be thrilled to be the recipient of such a charming pendant!

Anonymous said...

would love to have one ! :)

nets said...

I want one :)

Kylie Macey said...

I love the idea of having a little bottle of sentimentality hanging around my neck.

simba said...

I have always been fascinated with the idea that words can represent and create so much while being so apparently small and simple. However, Laura's creations show how they can be even more immediately evocative visually. I also love how these little bottles of letters have a bit of ambiguity and talisman quality; they mean something to the gift giver, the wearer and are also free to be contemplated by others. They are like a new kind of locket, more and less secretive and more beautiful.