Sparky & Marie – Featured Artist

Michelle Beilner of Sparky & Marie

Michelle Beilner of Sparky & Marie

Sparky & Marie is a new, fun and fresh creative brand energized by all-over prints and iconic graphics inspired by everyday living – flowers found in the garden, trips to faraway places, colors from a vintage silk scarf and textures found on a hike through nature. Sparky & Marie designs come from the heart with the hope of bringing happiness to everyone lucky enough to discover them!

Michelle Beilner is the creative mind behind the Sparky & Marie brand. Named after her beloved grandparents, Sparky & Marie is the result of Michelle’s passion for graphic design. Michelle realized her love for art and design after a 3rd grade field trip that introduced her to the art and architecture of her native city, Chicago. She went on to study Graphic Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Her first job – over a decade ago – was designing catalogs, logos, print collateral, websites and signage for a high-end Chicago-based fashion company. The love of her college sweetheart took her away from the Midwest and over to sunny Los Angeles, California where she continued her career designing custom stationery for an innovative boutique in Beverly Hills.

After much success creating invitations and greetings for celebrity clients such as Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Jami Gertz, Paul Adelstein and Kat Von D, Michelle moved on to start her own graphic design business. Her experience helping small businesses develop brands, designing websites, creating visual identities and fueling several prominent interior designers in the Los Angeles area has prepared Michelle for a successful launch into licensing in products ranging from stationery to shower curtains. Her designs have appeared on products in boutiques and major chain retail settings.

Secret Garden Folded Notes & Mom Floral Flat Card Set

Secret Garden Folded Notes & Mom Floral Flat Card Set

Michelle lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their bossy Jack Russell Terrier, Fitzgerald.

Laura Kelly – Featured Artist

Laura Kelly Designs

Artist Laura Kelly

Laura Kelly is a creative and crafty artist and designer. She is an official Sharpie® Guru and proud member of the Sharpie Squad. Her art is created with Sharpie pens to create bright, bold and simple designs that uplift the human spirit.

Laura Kelly lives in a world as whimsical as her art. Surrounded by people who share her aspirations to generate joy, happiness and empowerment in a vibrant, organized environment, she fills notebook after notebook with playful drawings inspired by everyday images: a child chasing a butterfly, a bouquet of flowers, a pair of cowboy boots, a swirl here and a curl there. Suddenly, a new collection is born.

When she is not busy drawing, sketching and dreaming, Laura stays busy crafting, painting, gardening, molding clay, decorating, baking, traveling, shopping and seeking out new adventures. She gets the greatest pleasure from creating projects for kids and has been featured in Southern Child Magazine. You can view her projects on her blog or watch her videos on her website.

Laura grew up in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, immersed in books and art, and daydreaming of fairies, gnomes, dragons and castles. She began teaching elementary school in North Carolina and found artistic inspiration in her students’ vivid imaginations. “When they told stories of make-believe, I found myself believing the magic of my childhood was recreated,” she says.

The birth of Laura’s oldest son opened a door that would soon lead to a promising new career. Unable to find a suitable birth announcement for her newborn, she designed one herself. “The design was of a baby and his puppy in the bathtub,” she says. “When I sent them out and got such a great response from friends wanting me to draw their kids and pets, the Paper People collection was birthed, too.”

Laura currently licenses her work to companies in a variety of industries including gift, stationery, gourmet food and home décor as well as bank products. She is extremely active in her community schools and volunteers with the Girl Scouts. She is also an active member of the Greeting Card Association, Craft and Hobby Association where she has served of the Trend Team and as a delegate to the National Stationery Show. Laura is also a member of the Buttons Galore Design Team for 2012.

Currently Laura is working on a few craft books and several new collections for her licensing portfolio. She is thinking about taking up sewing now that she has fabric lines in all of the major fabric chains.

For more information about Laura, visit her at www.laurakellydesigns.com or view some of her products at www.expressionery.com.

Laura Kelly Products

Some of Laura's stationery products

Dena Designs – Featured Artist

Dena Designs

Dena

Put even the smallest paintbrush in the right hands and watch a new world of color and design burst forth. It’s the world as only Dena sees it: fresh, inviting and brimming with joy. Award-winning artist, illustrator, TV host, author and widely syndicated newspaper columnist, Dena is a leading product and lifestyle designer whose signature blend of rapturous colors and prints warms hearts – and homes – the world over.

It’s a success story that started when Dena was a new graduate of UCLA and an aspiring artist in New York City who first tried her hand at designing textiles. Now, dozens of companies around the world feature her distinctive artworks on a wealth of products, from apparel, toys and books to gifts, accessories and home décor. The list keeps growing every time Dena picks up her paintbrush. That’s the secret of Dena Designs’ remarkable success; each and every one of the studio’s designs comes from the hand of the artist herself.

Dena says, “I love working with Expressionery. It’s great to be able to use a variety of patterns, colors and characters for all kinds of products.”

Dena Designs Products

Some of Dena's products offered at Expressionery.com

Dena Designs Logo

Dena Designs

Anne Keenan Higgins – Featured Artist

Anne Higgins

Anne Higgins

When your parents meet in art school, there’s a good chance creative genes will be passed on to your generation. That was certainly the case for illustrator Anne Keenan Higgins. Today, the family includes interior designers, film producers, painters, and creative directors. A Michigan native, Anne graduated from the University of Michigan School of Art & Design before beginning a career as an art director at various advertising agencies in Detroit.

Anne later moved from the Midwest to California and began a successful illustration business in the Bay Area. She developed a signature whimsical style and began selling a line of handmade pen-and-ink greeting cards to boutiques in San Francisco, art directing for Papyrus Corporate, and eventually licensing her artwork. ChecksInTheMail.com and Expressionery.com were two of her first clients, and she continues to work with them a decade later.

In addition to designing giftware and stationery, Anne has illustrated over 100 book covers. She is currently the U.S. illustrator for British writer Sophie Kinsella, author of the “Shopaholic” book series.

Following a decade of California living, Anne returned to her native Midwest roots and now resides in a small town in Michigan with the love of her life, Jason.

Anne Higgins Products

Anne Higgins Products from Expressionery.com