Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nifty Thrifty Owl: Vintage Meets Modern Mode

All posters by Jesse Gresham; all jewelry by Alison Ritchey

Nifty Thrifty Owl is the Web shop of Alison Ritchey and Jesse Gresham. See more of Gresham's work here. The pair list their artistic inspirations as Henry Darger, Craig Thompson, El Lizzitsky and Diane Arbus.

Why were you drawn to your craft?
I'm drawn to so many things. Some things end up sticking more than others. What I love the most to make are things that people can use. I also love recycling, so to be able to find things that would otherwise be thrown out and then make it something better is ideal.

J: I just love creating and communicating things through art and design.

What is your creative process like?
A: Most of my materials are found and rare. I want my products to be far from mass produced. So I have to start with what I have. My creative process begins by me looking at all of my materials, and as my creative wheels begin to turn I come up with ideas on how I can put it all together.

J: Usually it starts with an idea. Sometimes, a picture in my head, a phrase or a word in journal, or being inspired by a book, a movie, nature, or from my past experiences. That idea might be written down and then it is played over in my head. I do research and brainstorming; most problems are worked out before I get behind the computer.

What are the tools of your trade?
A: I use mostly found, vintage things. I'm obsessed with vintage buttons. They just don't make them the same anymore. But I do buy some new vintage inspired things as well.

J: Imagery, type... found imagery from books, or found online, as well as my own hand drawn ideas that I scan in. These ideas are mixed back and forth through Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. They may be printed, Xeroxed, and then scanned back in for more manipulation.

What music do you listen to while working in the studio?
-- Broken Social Scene
-- John Lennon
-- M83
-- Flaming Lips
-- TV On the Radio
-- Mogwai
-- Stars
-- Rouge Wave

What is your dream career in the arts?

Definitely to own my own business. I want to have a shop of all handmade and vintage things-- a place where people can come and find unique things that they don't have to worry about a bunch of other people having. I want it to be a shop that has lots of art and handmade things from other people as well.

B: I think it would be amazing to have a job that involved both art and design/music. Or a design job where I could only do the jobs I was interested in. That would be a dream career. I would also like to be a half owner of shop that sold art and handmade, fashion and furniture.


randi said...

Fun stuff, awesome store, clever name! Love it!