October 15, 2007

Portland Made - John Ryan Brubaker of Pixelgrain


John Ryan Brubaker

Sometimes I've never met the Portland Made artist, sometimes I don't even have some silly random story about how I came to find out about their wonderful universe, but in every single instance I do see something that says, "look at me, I'm amazing!" and that was definitely the case when I tripped upon John Ryan Brubaker of Pixelgrain.

I must say I felt a little nervous asking this time around but after talking with Ryan that was all set aside and I got to know an amazing photographer, yay!

1) When did you know you had a knack for photography? Do you remember the first picture you ever took?

Well, my father has been a photographer since he was in college, so I grew up around cameras and weird photo equipment of all kinds. But it wasn't until my mother bought me a Minolta X-700 for my 16th birthday that I really had much interest in taking pictures myself. I don't remember my first picture, but I do still have some prints of my friends around that time that must have been from one of my first rolls of film. But it wasn't until I took a photo class in college that I really found that taking pictures was therapeutic for me - I used to drive out into tiny Southern Georgia towns and get lost with a few rolls of Tri-X. I think that's what got me hooked.

2) Your shots in themselves are amazing and extremely vivid but when I see them placed on the wood blocks they really jump out at me and grow this completely different life. Was this a planned effect or was it more of an unexpected result? What made you want to go the extra mile and how did you come to the decision to use other mediums in your work?

Well thanks! The glazed prints on plywood that I've been making lately were a direct result of my poverty. I had an opportunity to hang a show but couldn't afford to frame 20 prints at the time, so I started trying out other options for presenting photos. In the end the best deal and the most fun was to cut plywood down to size and add some acrylic and a bit of paint-on glaze. I've come to really appreciate the process now because I get to make a huge mess and play with wood and paint and power-saws. Photography can be a very sterile process, but I'm just not a sterile person. As for the result, I like that each piece is a bit different and that you can see the imperfections and a bit of a human touch.

3) Has being a designer helped your photography? How do you think they effect each other if at all?

Being a designer is has definitely influenced my photography, sometimes even more than I think it should. My recent stuff has been as much about shape, line and color as it is about the content of photographs. I find myself shooting a great composition on the side of a building, where the telephone cables, window frames and power meter just fit together in an accidentally stunning way to me. I'm pretty sure that if I didn't spend so much time with lines, shapes and colors in my work they wouldn't be so prevalent in my photography.

4) Where can Portlander's find your work around town? How about people outside of Portland?

At the moment there's a smattering of my stuff up at Mash Tun Brew Pub at 22nd and Alberta in NE Portland. The place makes great beer and both the juke box and the pool table are free... so I highly suggest it. I don't have much lined up for the coming months, unfortunately, but I should be out at Last Thursday this month and will hopefully be up around town again soon.The best way to see my photos is probably on my website http://www.pixelgrain.org/. I've been collecting work there for some time and you can subscribe to see my recent stuff as I post it. I've also got a few things up on Etsy right now pixelgrain.etsy.com, and I hope to add more in the near future. Short of a visit to North Portland, Etsy is the best place to see what the glazed wood prints really look like. Also, you might happen to see me wandering about town pointing an old 70's Polaroid or a weird looking Pentax at an empty wall somewhere. If you do please be sure to say hello...

October 11, 2007

The Sweetest Thing Evah!!

I got a package in the mail today for my birthday!! When I saw who it was from my first thought was yay because I recognized the name, it was one of my favorite repeat customers but then a sudden spark of panic hit... oh no, had something fallen apart??!! I opened up the envelope right then and there and inside the mailer was a cute black jewelry box with an adorable hand decorated gift tag that said Happy Birthday Beck! I got all teary eyed, I never would've imagined in a million years that I would be getting a birthday present from a customer and what made it so cool was it was one who has supported me since the beginning!! I was so moved I called the hubby from the car. Once I got home I took off the bow and opened it up and it was the cutest pair of little flower earrings ever. Yay! I love them big time!!!


October 9, 2007

October 8, 2007

Daisy Chains - Secret Sale # 1

Daisy Chains - Secret Sale # 1

Artwork by pinkflamingo61 & Available on Etsy!!

I've decided to have a secret sale that only blog readers will know about!! Just something a little fun to see if anyone actually really reads this thing and of course to reward those who do, yay!! I'll do this every so often and see how it goes.

Okay today's secret sale will last until midnight tonight PST!! Ready to know what it is, well so am I??!!

How about Free Shipping and 10% off of your total order and if you're extra sleuth like you'll find even more ways to save!!!
Just type in Secret Sale # 1 upon checkout!!

Daisy Finds - 10.08.2007


October 6, 2007

Daisy Chains Now At Style Kid!

Little Daisy Chains Now At Style Kid!!

Style Kid is a fun and funky online retailer of everything for Babies and Kids! They're based in Canada and carry a ton of super cute children's items. You can find children's clothing, hair accessories, jewelry, toys, shoes, home decor and so much more for your little loved one!! Style Kid is also committed to raising money for breast cancer research and has products available for purchase, of which they'll donate $2.00 per item to help find the cure. I'm honored to be a part of such a great company!!

Other brands found at Style Kid include; Von Dutch, Junk Food, Small Paul by Paul Frank, Appaman, Haba, Mudpuppy, FRED, Built NY, OFFI, Mighty Fine, Oopsy Daisy Fine Art, Krawlers, Tea Collection, Babylicious, Argington, Wee Gallery, Cloud B, Shoo Shoos, Knuckleheads, The Silver Company, Max and Gus, Baby Soy, Kukunest, notneutral, Nurseryworks and more...

Have fun shopping or simply find out more by visiting http://www.stylekid.com/ , yay!!

October 5, 2007

Portland Made - Jenn Hill & Jenny Tiffany of Robot Candy

Jenn Hill & Jenny Tiffany

of Robot Candy

I was at Handmade Bazaar this past summer running my bright and shiny booth over in a dark and hole embellished corner, and after shouting to a customer over a band I would have seriously otherwise enjoyed, my sister in law came over to me all cheery eyed and bushy tailed. She said excitedly the "light plate lady" is here! Then she showed me a fancy new coaster purchased directly from Robot Candy. I just had to check these ladies out for myself. I'd missed them at Crafty Wonderland where my sister had bought the light plate and I wasn't about to miss them a second time around. She watched my crafty type goodies while I checked everything out. I honestly don't remember who was sitting there at the time, whether it was Jenn or Jenny, but I do know I loved EVERYTHING!! From coasters to light plates to note cards and the cutest darn stuffed animals I’d ever seen!! So when I asked Robot Candy if they’d be interested in being featured in Portland Made and they said yes I was thrilled. Yay Robot Candy!!

Robot Candy was started in 2001 by Jenn Hill and Jenny Tiffany. Using recycled materials wherever possible, Robot Candy carefully handcrafts useful house wares that are visually pleasing as well as affordable. Jen and Jenny have an online store as well as three incredible Etsy shops; Plants and Animals, Chet and Dot & of course their first born, Robot Candy.

Did you two always know this is where you wanted to take your company? Has any of it surprised you along the way?

In the beginning we would talk about how great it would be if we could run Robot Candy full time and have it be our sole source of income, but I don't think we ever really thought it would be possible. That has been one of the biggest surprises for us I think, that we can do what we love and get by financially.

I love how you have three different shops, has branching out and diversifying your art and your company like this given you two the opportunity to expand in areas you’d never imagined or was this always the vision?

When we started out we did everything under Robot Candy, but as time went on, we decided that Robot Candy was primarily associated with housewares. This ended up being great for both of us because it sort of allowed us to create our own product lines and art work separate from Robot Candy.

What are the advantages of running a business with a partner compared to doing it alone?

I think the advantages are myriad. It's great to have someone to share the responsibilities equally. We have the advantage of working very well together. Jenn tends to be the one to start projects and then lose interest, while Jenny has a harder time getting started but is very good at finishing them. So it works out great in many areas of our lives, even cooking and cleaning. It's also just nice to have someone to share ideas with. There are disadvantages but not very many, it can be hard being together 95% of the time and sometimes it's hard to get work done when we both have projects we want to work on but overall there aren't many disadvantages.
Where can Portlander’s find Robot Candy around town? Where else can your products be found??

Robot Candy products can be found in all New Seasons Markets (in the Portland area), as well as many other shops across the country. A comprehensive list can be found here: http://robotcandy.com/about.html. We will be at Crafty Wonderland's Holiday Sale on December 16th and at the Handmade Bazaar. We can always be found via our website and offer pick up/delivery for Portland buyers. If you ever need a gift in a hurry, email us and we'd be happy to meet you someplace or you can stop by. We also have our annual Last Minute Shopping Party the week before Christmas, more details available as it gets closer.

Daisy Finds - 10.05.2007

If I Were A Horse Girl

October 4, 2007