New + Reignited Endeavors.

We all have particular gifts - talents we were born to use. Ever since I can remember I have loved to draw. Not to toot my own horn, but it's always something that has come easily to me - it's one of my God-given talents. I used to challenge myself by figuring out how to draw horses, which were tough. It was so gratifying to set a goal for myself and attain it, especially as a child under the age of 12. Another beloved muse of mine has been to sketch stylish people, which lately I've felt more compelled to do once again. I stopped drawing sometime around my pre-teen years, the desire just drifted away: it wasn't considered "cool," and new priorities took precedent, probably things like make-up and MTV (TRL, anyone?). Neither of those are good excuses for ditching a craft you enjoy, but I was a pre-teen girl, and hindsight is ... well, you know.

My passion for painting developed in college, where I also progressed in developing my drawing craft. Wow, I am glad I took off from where I left off in my adolescence. I learned so many valuable technical aspects of illustration and painting in those college classes. After another brief, more recent hiatus in the artistic realm, I am gratefully recalling those very techniques now. After some Google-ing of various watercolor tutorials I began recently focusing on painting fashion and glamour in that style - painting in acrylic and oil already I know. I've learned that I love to paint using watercolors. Doing my YouTube make-up tutorials has been a fun learning experience, but this painting medium has been a welcome new challenge. 

Painting and illustration are a couple of my passions, whether the medium is watercolor or make-up. Since glamour and style are other loves in my world, it's exciting to incorporate those interests into my art. It may sound obvious, but after much thought and work, I realized it's important to pursue the skills that come naturally to each of us, whether as a hobby or a career. I'm very grateful I have the opportunity to invest time in exploring my path. You too should put thought and effort into the positive things that inspire you. I thought I would share some of my latest illustration and watercolor work in hopes that it motivates your creativity. 

Stay tuned for the latest developments on this front! I hope to start taking commissions soon.

What hobbies might you have had at a different stage of life, that might reinvigorate you now?

I hope to hear you in the comments below!

xo Lauren

 

©2017 ShesLaurenAshley/All images by Lauren A. Oosterlinck

Drawn to Diti's Designs.

Diti Loves is a unique NEW handmade accessory line based in India, selling for a limited time in NYC. Diti Mistry is the woman behind the whimsical creations you'll see below in this Q+A with the young designer.

I am so flattered Diti wanted me to help her by modeling her awesome pieces! It must have been meant-to-be because she made this necklace - one of my favorites - before ever meeting me, with my newly-dyed purple hair! The image is illustrated by Diti, double sided - what do you think is one the flip side?

I was drawn to Diti while attending a pop-up store opening party (a few posts ago: The Bowery Bond), not knowing she was one of the designers featured that night (and ongoing) in the store. Demure and unassuming, Diti was wearing an unforgettable Frida Kahlo pin, which I immediately had to compliment (who doesn't love Frida?). We exchanged details that night. Shortly thereafter, she asked if I would model her accessories for her online store - obviously, I was delighted to oblige!
I am excited to share a bit of Diti's story, along with her beautiful, eye-catching pieces in this Q+A (via email) between myself and Ms. Mistry - enjoy, and don't forget to check out her one-of-a-kind accessories online or in NYC.

What or who has inspired you to design jewelry+accessories?

I was interning in a Design house in South India as a content writer. They design beautiful clothes and fabric. I started collecting waste fabric over there and making head gears for myself and my friends. My workplace inspired me a lot. I became more conscious of the surrounding and started designing and stitching.

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Jute + eco-friendly

materials make up the majority of sources Diti utilizes to create the accessories in her line. After ideation, it typically takes her 3-4 hours to construct each piece.

What materials do you use - and why did you choose them as your aesthetic?

I started with just fabric and beads. Currently, I'm experimenting with different kinds of Jute, and also canvas to make my illustration part of the jewelry. To be honest... fabric is everywhere. I start sourcing from my house and then step out... Jute is much lighter and playful. 

How old were you when you first started creating jewelry+accessories?

I remember as a kid I used burn plastic bangles and twist wire and make them into earrings. But it was in my first internship, when I was 22 that I started creating these. And now I'm planning to take it much more seriously.

What is your favorite style of jewelry to wear? And, are there any particular designers you love?

"I remember as a kid I used burn plastic bangles

and twist wire, and make them into earrings."                          - Diti Mistry

I love to shop at flea markets and explore different artists and designers. My jewelry style is quite bohemian. Currently I'm crushing over Eleanor Bolton's designs, London based jewelry designer.

What do you hope to accomplish through your line of designs and jewelry?

I wish keep growing the pieces I've created while I exploring the nature around me, and my own nature.

6. I love your Frida pin design! Do you plan to create any more Frida-inspired pins or jewelry pieces, or any other icons?

Yes I'm working on few other icons as well. Let's see :)

 

7. How did you get involved in selling at The Bowery Bond?

I had come to checkout Bowery, where CBGB movie was shot. I was walking around with my friend and I saw The Bowery Bond and just walked in - I was wearing my Frida pin which started my conversation with Tara, and then it just happened. 

8.  What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

To keep working hard. 

What is the name of the university/college you attended and the year your graduated?

I went to National Institute of Fashion and Technology, Mumbai, India. I graduated in 2015.

11.  How would you describe your line of accessories?

They are an amalgamation of my many interests. It's an artistic adventure of stitching and sketching and creating new art everyday.

"They are

amalgamation of my many interests. It's an artistic adventure..." - Diti

Diti Mistry, pictured above wearing one of her handmade necklaces in Brooklyn, NY - June 2017. Photo: Lauren A. Oosterlinck

I hope you enjoyed familiarizing yourself with Diti, and get to know her work!

XO Lauren

Photos and writing by Lauren A. Oosterlinck and Diti Mistry, 2017.

Opening Party @The Bowery Bond

Up-and-coming artists from around the globe gathered to celebrate the opening of joint store space, The Bowery Bond, on Thursday, June 22nd. Giant balloons, drinks a-flowin', and beats from DJ Crazy B filled the space, while artists mingled, with their displays of handmade goods.

If I could take anything away from this multi-artist store, I believe it would be this rock'n'roll jacket - so rad!

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OMG!

I heart these clear sunnies. ;)

Don't miss finding a unique piece - whether it be jewelry, art, home decor, or clothing! There is a wild, daring array of inspiring one-of-a-kind items here on Bowery. My husband, Ben, found a hilariously cool series of Ab Fab themed goodies by sweet CherocPopShop.

If your style errs on the adventurous and whimsical spectrum, I would highly recommend checking out the clothing ByRaha. Her items are ethically-sourced handmade luxury items mainly made in Iran. She is a pal and invited us to the party, so I am a tad biased. :)

Fantastic mules! I’d wear ‘em.
— Moi

It's Frida

by Diti Mistry, India.

Pretty things!

Thanks for having us! What I'm wearing: Pants-Tory Burch. Top-LF. Heels-Seychelles. Spider charm-Betsey Johnson. Ben's flamingo top-Asos. XO

All images and writing by Lauren A. Oosterlinck, 2017.

DIY Mission: Ben's Birthday Surprise!

Dazzling your beloved with an unexpected, yet heartfelt birthday gift is not always easy. In fact, the longer you are together, the harder it can become - especially when you both "have everything you want."

In my case this year, we had already done a joint birthday gift of getting concert tickets to see one of our favorite bands, Radiohead - but, still I had to give him something on his actual birthday. We are on a budget currently, and I know it's a bit cliche, but guys can really be tough to buy for - my dad certainly is. 

Then, it came to me: DIY. For over a year, Ben had been casually asking me to draw on an old guitar of his, and all this time it had gone by the wayside. Finally, this was the perfect opportunity to surprise him - a handcrafted, personalized, revamped guitar. I sneakily drew on his guitar using permanent Sharpies whenever he wasn't home. Here's a time lapse of the process, condensed from about 6 hours.

A happy birthday boy - HOORAY!!! Even though we live in a pretty small apartment, he still had no idea I was doing this (it was sitting in our living room, covered under a sheet, HA).

Thankfully, Ben was beyond thrilled with the surprise artsy guitar. We made a silly video of us lip syncing (me badly pretending to play guitar - Ben playing for real lol) to The Beatles' "Birthday" song, but the Copyright to this song restricts it from being posted on YouTube - lame. You can find a version of it on my Insta if you scroll down.

I hope this motivates and inspires any of you who may need gift ideas on a budget. :) Contact me if you are interested in commissioning an illustration or painting. I want create more art again, and see where that goes. Peace + blessings.

XO Lauren