We're Having a Party with Susie Ghahremani | Mingei International Museum

"There is always inspiration to draw from when we look at the world around us."

Susie Ghahremani is an award-winning artist and illustrator based in San Diego. She designs whimsically illustrated stationery and gift collections for her company, Boygirlparty®. Her work is popular at independent boutiques and retailers such as ModCloth, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom. Susie also authored and illustrated the book Stack the Cats and its companion, Balance the Birds. Her latest book, She Wanted to Be Haunted written by Marcus Ewert, will be featured in Mingei’s September Family Sunday From Home.

Have you always been interested in drawings and illustrations? Did you draw as a child?
Yes, I loved to draw as a child, and used to repeatedly check out Ed Emberley’s books from the library to learn how to improve my drawing. I recommend these books to all children!

Where do you find inspiration for your illustrations?
I draw inspiration from my real experiences. For example, with my book She Wanted to Be Haunted, I used to live in a pink house that looked a lot like the main character in the book. For the bats we’ll be drawing for Family Sunday, I went to educational workshops at Yosemite National Park about different types of bats native to California and sketched them in my sketchbook. I often see bats at Mission Trails around sunset. I’ve probably seen a hundred bats in 2020! There is always inspiration to draw from when we look at the world around us.

Where did the idea of Boygirlparty come from?
I have a name that few people can pronounce, remember or spell. I thought about the feeling I wanted people to have when they saw my artwork, and I wanted a word that matched and could be memorable. A “boy-girl party” is an antiquated expression for the first party you go to that has all the kids from your class at school there. So, my hope is that my artwork and the name both make people feel like something fun and unexpected is coming and they’re invited to be a part of it!

Do you have any tips for upcoming illustrators and designers?
Keep a sketchbook and work analog when you can. The analog uses different creative muscles than all the digital processes, and it’s useful to have dexterity with both.

Stay in touch with Susie by checking out boygirlparty.com or following her on Instagram.

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